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Friday, 27 July 2012

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Mannie Sherberg
If I understand the DOJ's gibberish correctly -- Hercules Industries is a secular institution, not a religious institution, and therefore cannot claim any rights under the First Amendment. I suppose there's a vast legal literature on this topic that I know nothing about, but I find no mention in the First Amendment of either secular or religious institutions or the distinction between the two. What seems pertinent to me -- in my admitted ignorance of the legal subtleties -- is that it isn't Hercules Industries that is claiming its rights -- it's the Newlands as American citizens who are claiming their rights. The DOJ assertion that "By definition, a secular employer does not engage in any 'exercise of religion'" is utterly specious. I ran a small secular business for many years and -- at the same time -- exercised my religion; it wasn't my business that exercised my religion -- it was ME. I know many other people who can say the same thing. What we're seeing here, I believe, is government obfuscation -- a blatant attempt to becloud an otherwise clear issue. Warning: Never accept at face value any sentence beginning with the words "by definition." Always ask: "By WHOSE definition?"

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