It was bound to happen and personally I think it's about time. Conservative online publication Deseret News is sending out the warning alarm about the concept of "religious liberty." There is a growing belief that "religious liberty" is more about weaponizing faith to discriminate. And this belief, according to the publication, is going to lead to problems.
Amid growing calls to advance LGBTQ rights, conservative religious freedom advocates are scrambling to avoid potential fallout for people of faith. In so doing, they’ve been forced to confront an uncomfortable truth: Many Americans see faith-based protections in the public square as a bad thing. A recent survey from Public Religion Research Institute found that only 22% of U.S. adults support exempting business owners with religious objections to some LGBTQ rights from anti-discrimination rules. Twice that many Americans (44%) feel their own rights are threatened by other people’s religious liberty claims.
Deaton, who is gay, acknowledged that faith groups played a role in bringing about religious liberty’s current PR crisis. As support for gay rights grew in recent decades, some religious leaders vilified the gay community in hopes of protecting themselves. For example, in the lead-up to gay marriage legalization, U.S. Catholic bishops often argued that same-sex relationships damaged society as a whole. “There are people who have misused and misappropriated religious freedom to harm LGBTQ people,” Deaton said.