One man testifying before the House State Affairs Committee in support of the bill that would “protect businesses from being forced to serve customers whose lifestyles offend their faith traditions” asked, “Where are the cases of child abuse in the name of religious liberty?” Answer? Read the Jan. 17 issue of the Statesman concerning a bill that would limit the faith healing exemption for child abuse. Among the cases cited is one in which a 15-year-old girl died when her esophagus ruptured after three days of vomiting as a result of food poisoning. Based on their “faith tradition,” her parents had declined to seek standard medical treatment. Several similar cases are recounted in the article. In Idaho, such mistreatment of children is not currently illegal. But most Idaho citizens recognize that dangerous and misguided religious beliefs can and do result in discrimination, pain, and even death.
Also, what examples are there of customers, other than gays and lesbians, who businesses want to be protected from being forced to serve? Do they want protection from fornicators? Adulterers? Racists? Liars? Gluttons? Or in reality is there exactly one “offensive lifestyle” against which they wish to be free to discriminate on religious grounds?
KEVIN DENNIS, Nampa