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Rachael Gay, Fargo, Published May 05 2012

North Dakota June 12 ballot includes Measure 3, a wolf in sheep’s clothing

Measure 3 is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Measure 3, or the “Religious Freedom Amendment,” is a proposed amendment that aims to be passed through the use of deceptive language and vague explanations while simultaneously stomping on the national separation of church and state.

When I first heard of Measure 3, I looked up the wording of the amendment, which makes the vague statement about how the government should not burden a person’s religious beliefs. This seems an admirable proposition until one continues reading. It goes on to say that “to act or refuse to act in a manner motivated by a sincerely held religious belief cannot be obstructed by the government.” This is when the real nature of Measure 3 became clear to me.

This is not an amendment aimed at strengthening religious liberty. This is an amendment aimed at “fighting” the imagined war on religion that the Christian right has decided is apparently taking place in this country. Because, of course, having employers have to add birth control to their provided insurance if their employees request it and having people say “Happy Holidays” to you is akin to being publicly stoned or imprisoned for your religious beliefs.

If this measure were to pass, the broadly worded terminology would give people the right to trample on the rights of others in the name of their religious beliefs. Openly harass a gay couple because you don’t believe that homosexuality is moral? Well that’s OK, because it’s your religious belief. Bomb a women’s health clinic because you don’t believe abortion should be legal? Perfectly fine. It’s only your religious belief.

It’s a shame that something like will be wasting ink on the ballot this June. Vote “no” on Measure 3.