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FUMARE

Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Religious Rights Gone Awry

Many conservatives are strong supporters of the federal (RLUIPA) and state (RFRA) efforts to curb "discrimination" against religious groups. While I do not doubt that there is discrimination against religious groups in parts of the United States, I doubt Stafford, Texas is one of those places - particularly considering that it has 51 churches and religious organizations within its 7 square miles. I think religious rights groups frequently overlook what has traditionally been a check on such abuses - that people lived near their church. In Stafford, however, "As best as we've been able to determine, the overwhelming majority of people who attend here don't even live in Stafford; they're coming from everywhere else."

I think conservatives fighting on the religious rights front need to have a greater appreciation for the proper role of law and local government. It is hard to understand how we can be considered truly conservative if we have such little respect for the integrity of community.

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