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Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination By John Corvino (Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan)

Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination by John Corvino (Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan)

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This book explores emerging conflicts about religious liberty and discrimination. In point-counterpoint format, it brings together longtime LGBT rights advocate John Corvino and rising conservative thinkers Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis to debate Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRAs), anti-discrimination law, and age-old questions about identity, morality, and society.

Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination Summary

Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination by John Corvino (Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan)

Virtually everyone supports religious liberty, and virtually everyone opposes discrimination. But how do we handle the hard questions that arise when exercises of religious liberty seem to discriminate unjustly? How do we promote the common good while respecting conscience in a diverse society? This point-counterpoint book brings together leading voices in the culture wars to debate such questions: John Corvino, a longtime LGBT-rights advocate, opposite Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis, prominent young social conservatives. Many such questions have arisen in response to same-sex marriage: How should we treat county clerks who do not wish to authorize such marriages, for example; or bakers, florists, and photographers who do not wish to provide same-sex wedding services? But the conflicts extend well beyond the LGBT rights arena. How should we treat hospitals, schools, and adoption agencies that can't in conscience follow antidiscrimination laws, healthcare mandates, and other regulations? Should corporations ever get exemptions? Should public officials? Should we keep controversial laws like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or pass new ones like the First Amendment Defense Act? Should the law give religion and conscience special protection at all, and if so, why? What counts as discrimination, and when is it unjust? What kinds of material and dignitary harms should the law try to fightand what is dignitary harm, anyway? Beyond the law, how should we treat religious beliefs and practices we find mistaken or even oppressive? Should we tolerate them or actively discourage them? In point-counterpoint format, Corvino, Anderson and Girgis explore these questions and more. Although their differences run deep, they tackle them with civility, clarity, and flair. Their debate is an essential contribution to contemporary discussions about why religious liberty matters and what respecting it requires.

Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination Reviews

Overall, this book is a thought-provoking endeavour, and it is commendable that the authors have tried to challenge one another and to find areas of agreement. Their willingness to reach out and engage in reasoned debate is valuable in and of itself. * Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
...the U.S. remains a large country with citizens of many religions, diametrically opposed opinions, and lifestyles that will inevitably clash. Given that conflict is unavoidable, the authors agree that we ought to foster a culture in which we can seek common ground and conduct debate on the plane of ideas and policy, rather than descend into endless painful lawsuits or bitter social-media feuds with our ideological opponents. Corvino, Anderson, and Girgis illustrate in this compelling book that such a judicious debate can take place and can generate fruitful conversation, as well as delineate areas of authentic agreement and practical compromise. And, perhaps even better than that, they give us the tools we can use to find those agreements and compromises ourselves. * National Review *
Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination ... raises the plausibility of living with greater diversity of thought on fundamental issues in civil society. Learning to tolerate religious disagreement has been a signal achievement of liberal societies, and if we can live together with mutually exclusive but also reciprocally respectful religious systems thriving in civil society, why can't we expand the scope of that tolerance to include other moral and social issues that divide us? * LA Review of Books *
... all three authors deserve praise for tackling this subject in this way. They disagree civilly and engage with one another substantively and thoughtfully. In an age when discussions of religious liberty often devolve into cheap political point-scoring, the fact that elevated debate occurred with both charity and clarity is perhaps the ultimate value of this book. May it be a model to disputants on this and other heated subjects, for years to come. * The Weekly Standard *
In our deeply divided nation, Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination is a refreshing and hope-inspiring book. Provocative, clear, careful in argument, searching in coverage, it shows that people who strongly disagree can both find much common ground and also articulate their differences with respect and care, fostering a community of reason. It will be a wonderful book for undergraduate teaching, but it is also challenging for people well-versed in the subject, whether they agree or disagree. * Martha C. Nussbaum, School of Law and Department of Philosophy, The University of Chicago *
Though the authors test the boundaries, they remain within the assumptions of American constitutional discourse and achieve a well-organized, clear, and civil exploration of the issues. * Sotirios A. Barber, The Review of Politics *

About John Corvino (Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan)

John Corvino is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He is the co-author (with Maggie Gallagher) of Debating Same-Sex Marriage (June 2012) and the author of What's Wrong with Homosexuality? (January 2013), both from Oxford University Press. Ryan T. Anderson is the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow in American Principles and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, and the founder and editor of Public Discourse, the online journal of the Witherspoon Institute of Princeton, New Jersey. Sherif Girgis is a political theorist and a leading academic critic of same-sex marriage.

Table of Contents

Section I. Introduction: New Challenges, Old Questions Ryan T. Anderson, John Corvino, and Sherif Girgis Section II. Religious Liberty, Not Religious Privilege John Corvino 1. Religious Liberty and Religious Privilege: Some Context 2. The Trouble with Today's Religious Exemptions 3. Why Religious Exemptions? 4. Discrimination and the Law 5. Bigotry and Social Pressure 6. Conclusion Section III. Against the New Puritanism: Empowering All, Encumbering None Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis 1. Public Policy after Same-Sex Marriage 2. Ethics and Politics 3. Religion and Conscience, Civil Society and Pluralism 4. Our First Freedom at Work 5. Dignity, Discrimination, and Coercion 6. Antidiscrimination Laws 7. Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Laws: A Challenge to Supporters Section IV. Reply to Anderson and Girgis John Corvino 1. Moral and Religious Integrity 2. Limited Government versus Exemptions from Laws 3. Sexual-Orientation and Gender-Identity Discrimination Section V. Reply to Corvino Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis 1. Legislation and Exemptions 2. Discrimination 3. Integrity Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index About the Authors

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Debating Religious Liberty and Discrimination by John Corvino (Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan)
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Oxford University Press Inc
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