While much of the public debate in the United States over church-state issues has focused on the construction of nativity scenes in town squares and the addition of "under God" to the Pledge, Faircloth, who served ten years in the Maine legislature and is now Director of Strategy & Policy for the U.S. Richard Dawkins Foundation, moves beyond the symbolism to explore the many ways federal and state legal codes privilege religion in law...
All they have to do is claim a religious belief, no matter how bazaar and they're good to go.
They can refuse medical help for their children and rely solely on prayer. If the child gets worse and worse and finally dies, oh, well, it was "God's will."
If they want to refuse medical help for themselves, that's one thing. But to not get help for a child who has no say in the matter is not only abusive, it's criminal.
Faircloth tells of a two-year-old who attended a religious child-care center in Alabama. The center's staff lost track of her and she died in a hot van.
Alabama's health and safety laws that apply to secular child-care centers do not apply to religious ones. Why is that?
This makes absolutely no sense.
And then there's the fundamentalists' determination to refuse gay people the same rights straight people enjoy. They don't want them to marry, (or buy a wedding cake!), to adopt children, or even to come out of the closet!
Also, of course, is the woman's right to choose. These religious folks think they have the right to choose for them, right down to their most personal decisions.
Here's one story from the book:
A twenty-year-old woman was raped in Tucson, AZ. She made calls to pharmacies trying to fill a prescription for emergency contraception. When she found a pharmacy that carried it, she was told that the pharmacist on duty would not dispense the medication because of the pharmacist's religion. By the time a willing pharmacist was found, the optimal time for taking the medicine had passed.
And the list goes on and on.
These people are working daily and tirelessly to put into law their interpretation of the Bible, to force us all to live by their beliefs.
We must all work to see that never happens.
I highly recommend this book!
Available from Amazon
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