Indiana REligious Freedom Law used as defence in child abuse case


This was inevitable. Religion isn’t an excuse to ignore any law you see fit!


The article just says she is planning on using it for her defense. Since her trial is a couple of months away, time will tell if the court buys it and lets her go; I doubt it.


Just because she is using the RFRA as a defense doesn’t mean the abusive mother would necessarily win. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act says that government can’t substantially burden someone’s faith unless the government has a compelling interest, and if the government has a compelling interest, the government has to do so in the least restrictive way possible.

In this scenario, I don’t think the mother would win the case. The government has a compelling interest in defending children from abusive parents, and the government can enforce this compelling interest in a nonrestrictive way by commanding the mother to discipline her kid in a less violent manner. Spare the rod, spoil the child is not a license to scourge your child. There are more humane manners of corporal punishment.


It is not, and the people of Indiana are not dumb enough to let her do it.

BTW, the headline of the article you posted is not the title you used for the thread. The rule for this forum is to use the title, partly for copyright reasons and partly so you cannot manipulate the meaning of the article. As much as I dislike the Huffington Post, they do know how to spell “defense”. Just copy and paste the title next time.


It is hard to do all that copying and pasting on an iPod; I think he just got the title mixed up and used the UK spelling he accustomed to.

ETA: oops, thought from the name he was from the UK, but apparently not :o


So now we are ok with the compelling interest standard? Because the courts have held that preventing discrimination is a compelling interest.


Siri did it.


Well, I think everyone was always okay with the compelling interest standard. Otherwise, society would be accepting of religions that promoted human sacrifice.

Yes, there is a compelling interest in preventing discrimination, but that’s different from asking people to violate their deeply held religious beliefs to affirm by their actions that a gay marriage took place.


This law has been around in lots of other states for a long time. The democrats and LBGT lobby just chose to make a big show in Indiana, wanting to prove they were more powerful than the Christian lobby. They used the big lie technique, and it worked great!

There was a letter signed by numerous law professors across the country, many pro LBGT pushing for the law. They cited a woman who died because her religion wouldn’t let her have a blood transfusion, and the only treatment paid for by that state was with a blood transfusion, but she could have used a treatment in another state. By the time the court agreed with her, she died.

It does not give a get-out-of-jail-free card. This law allows for a quicker decision of whether her religious rights were violated.

Otherwise, the normal routine takes years of going up thru the courts until you get to the one with the power to make the religious rights determination.

It keeps courts and lawyers and legal groups from abusing a person, ignoring their religious rights protections and hoping they run out of money or time before the case gets thrown out at the higher level.


Huh, I never realized Siri was British. Always assumed Siri was American. Moral of the story: Never make hasty assumptions :slight_smile:


I had my settings set to UK English because I wanted to see if Siri would have a British accent. I forgot to change it.


This law would allow companies to fire someone for being gay (if Indiana ever passed a law providing employment protections). It doesn’t specify beliefs on marriage. It is essentially a blanket defense for not obeying the law if you have a religious justification for doing so.


That’s not true. It’s the same law that lots of other states have had for a long time. You have been fed a line, and you’ve swallowed it. Of course, it was reported in the press that way so you have a good excuse.

This did not affect gays at all.

But as an aside, why do gays need special protection? They make more money than the average person. Maybe Ls, Bs and Ts, but statistical information is not discussed when they are added to the civil rights laws, only anecdotal stories and emotions.


As long as discrimination is not invidious, discrimination is constitutional.


They need special protection because there is a history of discrimination. It is still legal to fire someone based on sexual orientation in a majority of the states, and it happens. It is legal to refuse service to gay people in many states. there are groups actively lobbying to have anti gay laws passed. That’s like asking why race needs to be protected under the Civil Rights Act. Read the law, it clearly would allow someone to claim exemption from any future law that would be passed providing for the civil rights of gay people. Or any other law for that matter. In fact, their law goes further than other state RFRAs. In most other states the law only applies to government action, however the Indiana law applies even if the government is not a party to the dispute.

Oh, and I got that info from reading the entire text of the law, not from the way the news reported it… It’s been one of my biggest complaints against the law since this all started.


The type of discrimination we are talking about here is invidious. It is damaging to an entire class.


My guess is there are a lot of Open Society Foundations employees posting on this forum. Thoughts?



So… does Siri have a British accent? How could you leave that out?


It is not a blanket defense. The US constitution especially with the interpretation of the 14th amendment already provides protection for religious beliefs, acts or failures to act. But neither the law or constitutional right has ever been conceived as to absolutely remove state authority by mere proclamation of a religious belief.


So all those law professors across the country, many pro-LBGT, who read it and endorsed it, had better be ashamed because their interpretation is not as good as your read?:shrug:

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