Parkinson on Accommodating Religious Practice

Patrick Parkinson (University of Sydney Law School) has written an interesting piece, Accommodating Religious Beliefs in a Secular Age: The Issue of Conscientious Objection in the Workplace,  that shows that disputes about conscience protections  are occurring around the world.  He  considers two English cases.  The abstract follows.  — MLM

This article explores the scope for freedom of conscience in the workplace when people of faith dissent from the values of the majority. In particular, it examines the issues in two English cases, Ladele v London Borough of Islington and McFarlane v Relate Avon Ltd, in which professionals lost their jobs because they had a conscientious, and faith-based, objection to providing a particular kind of service to gay and lesbian couples. Read more

And I Don’t Care What It Is

I’m sure most readers recognize this quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower.   “Our government,” Ike famously remarked, “makes no sense unless it is founded on a deeply felt religious faith – and I don’t care what it is.”  Scholars often use this quote to illustrate religion’s place in American society.  Americans respect religiosity (unlike Western Europeans, for example) and see it as a mark of good character.  We think our politicians should express spiritual commitments.   We like religion.

On the other hand, we don’t much care for sectarianism, something Tocqueville recognized long ago.  America tends to flatten differences among religions.  As Robert Putnam and David Campbell demonstrate in their recent study, American Grace, Americans have an expansive view of religious truth and are Read more