Can your religion legally excuse you from doing part of your job? This is one of the questions in the Kentucky County Clerk marriage certificate case. But it also arises in lots of other cases — for instance, the Muslim flight attendant who doesn’t want to serve alcohol and who filed a complaint on Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over the airline’s denial of an exemption.
The question has also arisen before with regard to:
- Nurses who had religious objections to being involved in abortions (even just to washing instruments that would be used in abortions);
- Pacifist postal workers who had religious objections to processing draft registration forms;
- A Jehovah’s Witness employee who had religious objections to raising a flag, which was a task assigned to him;
- An IRS employee who had religious objections to working on tax exemption applications for organizations that promote “abortion, … homosexuality, worship of the devil, euthanasia, atheism, legalization of marijuana, immoral sexual experiments, sterilization or vasectomies, artificial contraception, and witchcraft”;
- a philosophically vegetarian bus driver who refused to hand out hamburger coupons as part of an agency’s promotion aimed at boosting ridership;
- and more.
The answer is that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, passed by Democrats some years to protect mescaline-using pagans also protects Christians!