June 21, 2016 | Podcast | Open in Browser


Autonomy Explains It All
Genocide in the Middle East
Religious Freedom Demands True Tolerance
One Year After Same-Sex Marriage Decision, Dissent Not Permitted
California lawmaker: Christian colleges must drop view of gender, sexuality
Why are churches burning in Chile?

Autonomy Explains It All

If you've been paying attention to the news (and if you're reading this e-mail, you have been), you're familiar with many of the hotly debated issues of the day: from marriage to abortion to physician-prescribed death. What ties all of these issues together?


So argues Scott Yenor at The Daily Signal:

"At first glance, autonomy seems to reflect the traditional American notion that all human beings are created free and equal. For example, everyone believes that marriage begins in the consent of two people and that a married couple should be able to make the most important decisions about their common life without state interference.

"But autonomy, as today’s liberals understand it, is about a radical form of personal independence: Everything about a truly autonomous individual’s identity must come from their free choice."

How do we see this value of extreme autonomy play out? On marriage, it means that anybody can marry absolutely anybody else, so long as that person consents. For abortion, it means that women can choose to end the life of their child at any given point, since it boils down to her complete independence. If we're looking at an issue we've spent a lot of time talking abourt recently, physician-prescribed death, it means that any person can at any time demand assistance in ending their own life.

When you read a story about somebody on the cultural left, you may find that it is far less surprising when viewed through the lens of extreme autonomy.

Genocide in the Middle East

See this video from ADF International on genocide in the Middle East:

Religious Freedom Demands True Tolerance

In Switzerland, the case of two Muslim boys made headlines. The two "refused to shake hands with female teachers at a public school," according to NPR. The school board ruled that the boys must shake hands with female teachers, despite their religious objections.

Over at Public Discourse, Jennifer S. Bryson walks through her own experience with that sort of refusal; she had an intern who refused to shake her hand for religious reasons. The whole story is fascinating, but here's her conclusion:

"I can’t say that I genuinely understand why Muhammad won’t shake women’s hands, but having to live without fully understanding is something that I think comes with the territory of genuine diversity. Muhammad allows me the freedom to shake the hands of men who choose to partake of this cultural practice, and I allow him the freedom not to.

"The principle of religious freedom demands that we allow space in our society for difference. Genuine tolerance allows for difference. Of course, this is something quite different from trying to pass off imposition of the cultural norms of those who are in power as 'tolerance' simply by labeling it so. I hope that the Swiss government is able to tell the difference between the two—not only for the sake of those boys and their families, but for the sake of their own society."

Here's the takeaway: Religious freedom necessitates we respect the rights of others to live their faith out, even if we do not fully understand it. This applies broadly to religious conviction and is not limited to our own particular expressions.

On the Blog

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3 Examples of How California is Working to Eliminate Freedom of Conscience

"The freedom to act on your most deeply held convictions—or conversely—the freedom not to be forced to violate those convictions, is an American value. As a nation, we've prioritized the need to protect freedom of conscience, not just because it's constitutional, but because as Americans, we appreciate and accept each other's differences and sincerely held beliefs."

by Marissa Mayer

Freedom Matters Podcast: Remain a Nurse and Commit Abortions - Or Else

"This week on Freedom Matters attorney Noel Sterett joins the show. He represents Sandra Mendoza, a pediatric nurse with the Winnebago County Health Department in Illinois. She is suing the Department after being forced from her job of 18 years after the health administrator combined the pediatric clinic and women’s health services. The merger meant all nurses would have to participate in abortion and abortion related activities. Sandra was denied accommodation for her belief that life is sacred and was forced from her job."

by Bob Trent

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