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Why We Ought to Do Away with the "Free Exercise" Clause: Conclusion

This section wraps up this particular topic, giving a brief overview of the ground covered so far and showing how they all support the idea that the "Free Exercise" clause in effect arbitrarily deprives certain groups of rights that others are granted.

continued from The Arbitrariness of the "Religion" Label

Since state recognition of free exercise of religion as a fundamental right leads to an arbitrary and unjust distribution of special rights, the state should not recognize free exercise as a fundamental right. Not only that, but a state should not need to recognize free exercise as a fundamental right. I am of the opinion that any law the state cannot give a compelling justification for is probably an unjust law to begin with. Any time we are inclined to alter a law to prevent burdening a religious group's practices, we ought to be inclined to get rid of the law altogether to prevent burdening people who might simply want to act contrary to the law. Simply wanting to be exempted from a law should be, as far as the state is concerned, just as good a reason as that of a religious group whose rituals or practice would violate the law - the state should not be in the business as judging the worthiness of our motivations. If a law is important enough that it should stand even though people do not want to follow it for personal reasons, it is probably important enough that people should have to follow it even if doing so interferes with their religious practice. The right to free exercise should be considered no more than a derived right. We should be free to practice religion not for the sake of practicing religion but for the sake of our general freedom to do as we will. Any law justified despite its interference with personal freedom is justified despite its interference with religion practice.


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