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Kent Greenawalt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756162

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756162.001.0001

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Religious Toleration and Claims of Conscience*

Religious Toleration and Claims of Conscience*

(p.437) Chapter 21 Religious Toleration and Claims of Conscience*
From the Bottom Up

Kent Greenawalt

Oxford University Press

The final essay, “Religious Toleration and Claims of Conscience,” explores an issue that is now highly controversial, especially after Hobby Lobby: when should those with religious convictions be exempted from legal duties, particularly if those performing those duties promote the rights of others or basic rights of equality? The essay explores various reasons to recognize rights of conscience. In contrast to those who claim that it is always or never appropriate to single out religious claims, it urges that much depends on the particular subject. For a draft law nonreligious pacifists should be treated like religious ones; for an exemption regarding how to kill animals for consumption, limiting exemptions from requirements to religious claims for special treatment is appropriate. The essay explores concern about religious exemptions and contraceptive use and same-sex marriage. The latter issue has been heightened by the Supreme Court’s establishment of a constitutional right to such marriage.

Keywords:   Exemptions, Claims of Conscience, Religious Convictions, Pacifists, Same-sex Marriage, Contraceptive Insurance

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