Ibram and Happy Monkey, you speak well. I understand your arguments and analogies. I also agree with your complaints and your conclusions. One way of saying the main reason I'm unhappy with the whole argument about infringing on the religious freedom of .. heh.. an institution? They have freedoms? anyway... it is this.
I feel it is ****** inconsistent for such organizations to claim a religious freedom exemption for one subject and to overlook different subjects that are of comparable importance. Picking and choosing which of your religious sensibilites are offended strikes me as ... insincere.
You gave good examples with marrried versus divorced employees, and with straight versus gay employees. Additionally, claiming to be a religious institution for this topic, but not for other aspects of the law (tax exempt status anyone?) seems just plain opportunistic. It seems insincere.
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. -- Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and writer (121-180)