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Posts Tagged ‘discrimination’

Religious liberty in the Age of Obama

Posted by Richard on March 14, 2012

Item: The federal government has exempted an Indian tribe from the Bald and Golden Eagle Act to accommodate their religious beliefs.

A pair of Wyoming bald eagles now qualify as a really endangered species.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe secured an extraordinarily rare permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing the Native Americans to kill two of the national birds for religious use.

The national agency, in a 2009 report, said it has never issued a license for the killing of a bald eagle — making it likely that the tribe was the first group to ever get the legal go-ahead.

Federal law bars the killing of any bald eagle under almost any circumstance. The Wyoming tribe argued that the ban was a violation of their religious freedom.

Item: The federal government has refused to exempt Catholic institutions from the mandate to provide birth control and “morning-after” (abortifacient) pills to their employees. The Catholic institutions argued that the mandate was a violation of their religious freedom.

I’m not religious, or anti-abortion, or particularly pro-eagle. But I’d love to have someone explain to me on what rational basis the federal government can choose to accommodate one group’s religious beliefs, but not the others’.

Does the phrase “equal protection under the law” have any meaning at all anymore under the Obama administration?

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