On Equal Dignity

Religious privilege of this sort was never intended for all belief systems, but rather for one type of religion. Sure, its advocates will on occasion rope in representatives of non- Christian faiths to lend the illusion of principle to their cause. But the real aim and effect of the religious liberty movement is to advance their idea of religion at the expense of everyone else. If your religion or deeply held moral beliefs include the view that all people should be treated with equal dignity, then this religious liberty won’t do anything for you.

Katherine Stewart, “Whose Religious Liberty Is It Anyway?” - nytimes.com/2018/09/08/opinion/kavanaugh-supreme-court-religious-liberty.html. This is a helpful summary of what is at stake in current debate in the United States (and Australia) concerning religious liberty. As the author here is clear, what is meant by “‘religious liberty’ is its opposite.” The aim of its proponents is to foster the rise of religious discrimination of a variety of sorts by religious people against other differing sects, as well as non-religiously affiliated people who don’t fit key racial, gender and/or other categories. It seems to me that disagreement on the basis of religious belief in democratic societies does not entitle people to deny their fellow citizens equal dignity under the law. This implies both that we develop the capacity to discuss religious viewpoints in more rigorous ways, as well as that we do so fully acknowledging the fact of plurality.