By Tom Ehrich
Just as they claimed the label "pro-life" for what actually is "anti-abortion" and "anti-choice" -- and in the eyes of some, "anti-female" -- the religious right-wing now clusters under the label "religious liberty" to set up state-sanctioned discrimination.
A case being heard by the Supreme Court on Monday concerns the alleged right of a corporation to disobey Federal law because that law offends company officials' religious beliefs.
Rejecting Federal law -- in this instance, requiring coverage of contraception in company health policies -- has nothing to do with religious liberty. It is about one group not wanting to do what the law requires because they disagree with it.
In no way can this argument wear the label "religious liberty." The desire of some to impose their religious beliefs on others is why the First Amendment was written in the first place.
Moreover, waiting in the wings are many who hunger for the right to impose their bigotry on others, as in discrimination against homosexuals. They, too, claim "religious liberty" for what is just bigotry, plain and simple.
Claiming the hashtag "religious liberty" doesn't mean any respect for religious liberty. It's just a clever abuse of the Constitution to bully yet another group whose lives, lifestyles and preferences offend conservative Christians.
Fundamentalists deserve their day in court, of course. We all do. But they must not get away with wrapping themselves in the flag, pasting a "religious liberty" label on it, and then claiming they alone honor flag, Constitution, Christian faith and freedom.
Their claim does more to dishonor the nation, not to mention violating Christian faith. They would usher in a nightmare of discrimination wearing a lofty label but having only one effect: not to glorify God, but to marginalize some fellow Americans.