Was Jonestown one of the worst massacres of innocent American men, women and children in history? What purpose could the deaths of so many people have served? Could an external force have been responsible? If so, who might it have been?
The decision is a victory for the rights of religious groups to uphold standards for membership based on their own religious beliefs and to be free to resolve purely ecclesiastical matters for themselves.
This situation has gotten so bad that there are now law firms that specialize in defending churches’ rights against suppressive government zoning boards, and these law firms make enough to stay in business just combating government suppression of religion.
This year, on the last night of the holiday, as the candles in our menorah flickered out with puffs of smoke, I thought of the meaning of Hanukkah. We celebrate a long ago victory in a fight for religious freedom.
How do we reconcile the fact that religious freedom for one person could violate the basic human rights of another? If someone doesn’t want to bake you a cake for your wedding because they don’t support you getting married based on their personal religious conviction, where is the middle ground (if it even exists)?