In U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker's reasoning, religion amounts to a "private moral view," which should not infringe upon the constitutional rights of others. While some legal scholars say Walker's decision to overturn California's Proposition 8 lands on firm legal ground, some religious leaders accuse the judge of trying to scrub faith from the public square.
The First Amendment protection of religious freedom is designed not just to protect the religious traditions that the majority of us like or feel comfortable with. It is meant to protect religious traditions that the majority may find strange or objectionable.
Religious leaders of the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation have urged President Obama to use the purchasing power of the federal government to change the firearms industry. Noting that the federal government is the nation’s top gun buyer, they say it can pressure gun manufacturers to sell only to dealers that sell guns responsibly. The government can also press gun makers on gun safety technology. Smart guns should be manufactured that can be fired only by authorized users. Manufacturers who refuse to cooperate should be denied government contracts (New York Times, July 17).