I expanded my thoughts on the LDS Church and gay rights from a blog post into a piece that First Things liked enough to run with. Couple of quick notes. First, that article has even more typos than my usual posts. The “heard of Jesus’s message”? I can only hang my head in shame and try to do better next time. Second, I’ve been talking with a law professor about religious liberty to make sure I’m not too far off-base. The one thing he says I was missing from my analysis was that liberals don’t believe religious liberty is confined to only the liberties that you get via secular civil rights (like freedom of speech or privacy). They also tend to suggest that religion ought to be treated as a suspect classification like race or gender. This means that any law which explicitly targeted a religious group would be subject to strict scrutiny.
Practically speaking, however, that doesn’t change much. Most of the rules that would constitute a real burden on a person’s free expression of religion are not going to be crafted as explicitly anti-religious, so we’re still talking about a huge gulf between what conservatives have in mind when they talk about religious liberty (and also what the First Amendment strongly implies about religious liberty by mentioning it explicitly) and what liberals have in mind when they talk about religious liberty.