Now, I’m Liberal, but to a Degree: An Essay on Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination.
33 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2021 Last revised: 3 Jul 2022
Date Written: June 4, 2018
This essay is a critical analysis of the book authored by John Corvino, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan T. Anderson, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination. The book offers two contrary views on how best to think about some of the conflicts that have arisen over religious liberty and anti-discrimination laws, e.g., Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Comm’n, 138 S. Ct. 1719 (2018). One position is defended by Corvino, and the other by Girgis and Anderson. After a brief discussion of the differing views of religious liberty throughout American history (including the American founding), this essay summarizes each side’s arguments. This is followed by two sets of critical comments: (1) Neither side adequately explains why the celebration of weddings—the focus of the most prominent cases—are thought to have religious significance by many citizens; and (2) Each side is making arguments that the other side would have made until just recently. It seems that yesterday’s liberals have become today’s moralists and vice versa.
Keywords: anti-discrimination law, religious liberty, Masterpiece Cakeshop, gay rights
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