Is this right?

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“Growing up in this country where the Bill of Rights guarantees freedom of religion, I felt let down,” Khan, now a college student studying political science, said at a news conference.

Abercrombie & Fitch may be being arseholes about it, especially as she says she was wearing the thing when they hired her and told her it was fine as long as it was in company colours before firing her four months later, but I’m not sure that the Bill of Rights guarantee of religious freedom means what she thinks it means (my bold).

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Looks to me like what’s been guaranteed is that the government won’t establish an official state religion or prevent anyone believing in whatever they want to, but since it doesn’t say a single thing about forcing individuals and private businesses to do likewise it seems you might not be free to practise Religion A on the property of someone who practises Religion B or is determinedly secular. Perhaps I’m reading it wrong and perhaps someone who does actually know something about the US Bill of Rights might correct me, but surely if she’s right then wouldn’t it also allow foam-mouthed Christian lunatics like Pastor Terry Jones, he of Koran burning fame, to walk into his nearest mosque to preach his particular brand of intolerance? It would seem strange to grant that constitutional protection.

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Posted on July 3, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Is this right?.

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