Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. said, "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." Former Supreme Court Justice Holmes had some curious ideas, but this one was on the mark—as was his disregard for ancient texts and divine revelation—for it is basic to our understanding of justice that we don't have a right to harm others. You can get arrested if you do. Nor do we have a right to limit others' freedom. That's why it's also illegal to keep people in place against their will, or deny people employment based on their ethnicity, gender, and other irrelevant factors. When we're trying to convince people of our position, we can't force them to concur, we can only try and make a persuasive argument. Everyone knows this, right?
Not everyone. The Religious Right regularly tries to force others to comply with their own limited concepts of morality. We've seen these groups railing against contraceptive coverage provisions for employers and opposing same-sex marriage and gender equality, all the while trying to claim that their religious liberty is being limited. It takes tortured logic to see it from their perspective, but the Christian right has played the victim card in their attempts to impose their views on the rest of us. While the Religious Right cries foul, who is really hurt by their sectarian policies?
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