Somehow the term “religious freedom” made its way into the modern American lexicon. The term was coined by those who justify bigotry and xenophobia based on so-called “Christian” beliefs. In fact, they’re trying to flip the script from “religious oppression.” It’s hard to reason or negotiate with a person who says “God spoke to me so we don’t have to serve your kind in this establishment.” They want a pass from civil rights laws while jamming their rules down everyone else’s throats. The bullies are pretending to be martyrs. Zealots like to claim it infringes their civil rights to have to respect the rights of others. Meanwhile, churches are exempt from paying taxes. It’s kind of like an abuser suing the victim for his hand getting hurt when he punched them in the face.
Art: “Struggle: From the History of the American People” by Jacob Lawrence. Circa 1957.