To the editor:
The recent letter regarding religious freedom caused a backlash. As many Catholic bishops have expressed concern about threat to religious liberty, I want to answer those who say our nation is secular.
Secular can mean religious neutral, but it can also mean exclusion of religion in the public square. This second definition seems to be the current interpretation leading to a “state religion” of no religion.
That “state religion” was in full force with “politically correct” economic sanctions against the state of Indiana because adhering to one’s faith in business transactions is unacceptable.
The letter writer stated that “businesses have a right to refuse services if doing so violates their deeply held religious beliefs.” Now the wording is vague and prone to bigotry clothed in Scripture, but there is also bigotry masked in tolerance.
Take, for example, the florist who said she could not do the flower arranging for a same-sex wedding because she could not be part of something that was contrary to her religion. Now, if a gay man or woman asked to buy a bunch of flowers and was denied because they thought it was for a same-sex wedding, that would be bigotry based on an assumption. That would be discrimination against the person and not the action.
The official Catholic opposition to same-sex marriage makes me uncomfortable because I cannot deny anyone something I would want denied to me. If I were the florist,
I would have accepted the request. However, these are based on feelings and not objective truths. If there is an objective truth involved, I cannot force anyone to violate it no matter what I feel.