Bow down, heathen

The elves are busy.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Department of Justice is creating a “religious liberty task force.”

Sessions said the task force, co-chaired by Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio and the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Policy, Beth Williams, will help the department fully implement the religious liberty guidance it issued last year.

The guidance was a byproduct of President Trump’s executive order directing agencies to respect and protect religious liberty and political speech.

Huh. That’s a little surprising, given the way Trump explicitly banned people from selected “Muslim countries” from traveling to the US.

I’m just kidding. Of course he doesn’t mean those other people. He means fanatical conservative theocratic Christians.

The announcement came during the department’s religious liberty summit.

Sessions said the cultural climate in this country —and in the West more generally — has become less hospitable to people of faith in recent years, and as a result many Americans have felt their freedom to practice their faith has been under attack.

By “practice their faith” he of course means pester or punish other people in the name of a narrow coercive brand of Christianity.

“We’ve seen nuns ordered to buy contraceptives.”

Oh no we haven’t you lying dog. We’ve seen Catholic institutions told they have to treat their employees equally and provide health insurance coverage for contraception as other employers are required to do. It’s not “religious freedom” to refuse to provide health insurance coverage for contraception because you have the delusion that your god doesn’t like it. It’s an intrusion on the freedom of other people to refuse such coverage.

“We’ve seen U.S. senators ask judicial and executive branch nominees about dogma — even though the Constitution explicitly forbids a religious test for public office. We’ve all seen the ordeal faced so bravely by Jack Phillips,” he said, referring to the Colorado baker who took his case to the Supreme Court after he was found to have violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws for refusing to make a cake for a same-sex wedding.

So brave, refusing to make a cake.

Sessions said the guidance he issued in October lays out 20 fundamental principles for the executive branch to follow, including the principles that free exercise means a right to act — or to abstain from action — and that government shouldn’t impugn people’s motives or beliefs.

“In short, we have not only the freedom to worship — but the right to exercise our faith. The Constitution’s protections don’t end at the parish parking lot nor can our freedoms be confined to our basements,” he said, according to his prepared remarks.

In other words we can harass, pester, interfere with, reject, refuse, proselytize and otherwise mess with other people as much as we want to as long as it’s in a goddy cause.

Liberty for them, but not for us.

6 Responses to “Bow down, heathen”