“Religious liberty”

Laurie Goodstein writes for the Times:

The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops opened a new front in their fight against abortion and same-sex marriage on Monday, recasting their opposition as a struggle for “religious liberty” against a government and a culture that are infringing on the church’s rights.

Your challenge: give a definition of the phrase “religious liberty” that meets the following requirements:

  • it can be be held by a church, rather than by individuals;
  • it can be held against a culture and a legitimate, democratic government; and
  • it is consistent with any commonly-held definition of the word “liberty”.

Update: originally I had titled this post “Sometimes all you need to read is the first sentence”.  But I was wrong!  Down a few paragraphs you can also find “[Archbishop Dolan] said that the accusations against a former university football coach were a reminder that sexual abuse is a universal problem that affects most institutions.”  (Though in fact the only quote from Dolan on this point is much less offensive, so perhaps this is reporter spin.)

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