Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Freedom of Religion

Ted Cruz vs. Ellen Page and Jimmy Carter

Ted Cruz has had a busy week. First the Texan senator and republican presidential candidate got in an argument about LGBT rights and religious freedom with actress Ellen Page. Then he launched an awkwardly timed attack on the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I’m not here to scold Cruz for being impolite. What I would like to do is talk about the substantive arguments Cruz makes and the way he makes them. So consider this post something of a doubleheader. Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s Repeal All the Religious Freedom Restoration Acts

In my previous post, I wrote about Indiana’s recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and how it differs from other versions of the law passed by other states and at the federal level. Today, I want to make larger and more provocative argument that all Religious Freedom Restoration Acts–even those written tighter than the Indiana law–should be repealed. This may sound like a radical point of view to you, but hear me out.

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Why Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law is a Big Deal

There’s a lot being said about Indiana’s recently passed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Some people believe the law is innocuous–many other states (and the federal government) have religious freedom laws with seemingly similar language. Others claim the law is a naked endorsement of discrimination against LGBTs. I’ve spent much of my life in Indiana, and even I was not initially sure what the law actually does. So I’ve done some research, and I’m now prepared to share it with you. Read the rest of this entry »

Benjamin Netanyahu is Wrong about Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his long-anticipated speech before congress on Iran. If you’re interested, here’s the transcript. Netanyahu argues that the deal the Obama administration is trying to work out with Iran would endanger the security of Israel and the United States. His argument is remarkably weak. Here’s why.

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Is Pluralism a Legitimate Defense of Arizona’s Anti-Gay Bill?

Recently, Arizona governor Jan Brewer (R) vetoed a controversial piece of legislation that would have allowed businesses in Arizona to refuse service to homosexuals on the grounds that to do otherwise would infringe upon their religious freedom. The bill was widely condemned, and I had no wish to pile on, but I’ve read a piece that offers an interesting defense of the bill. While I don’t think the argument ultimately holds up, it’s an argument that needs to be taken seriously and picked apart.

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