About this thing in Kentucky: When you cut through the screeds and snark, it really is a pretty big deal. But something isn’t getting enough play.
That is: The First Amendment is why we have religious freedom in the United States. Preventing the government from promoting or projecting any one religion over another is why we can have so many people practicing so many different faiths. And when you think about it, without such a protection, things could get really ugly and crazy fast. Like, the government could promote one flavor of Christianity over another. Or Orthodox Judaism over Reformed.
Best, the founders thought, to keep government out of the religion business altogether, and to prevent it from stopping anyone from practicing their particular faith.
I think what we’re witnessing reflects a troublesome ignorance of the principles behind the First Amendment. That clerk in Kentucky doesn’t know that she’s spitting on the part of the constitution that ensures she can worship as she pleases.
Beyond ignorance, it takes a certain kind of selfish entitlement to presume that while working as a public servant she can refuse service to someone who doesn’t share her faith and attendant beliefs. They have the same right that she does–to worship (or not) as they see fit.
It borders on crazy. But that’s where we’re at these days.