What was it that Cicero said? There is nothing so absurd that Peter Singer hasn’t said it? Something like that.

The Princeton philosophy professor’s latest effusion offers an extraordinarily limited conception of religious freedom. Taking up controversies in the Netherlands over restrictions on kosher and halal butchering, and in the U.S over the contraceptive mandate, Singer tells the pious, in effect, to get over it and subordinate their consciences to the wishes of the majority. If there isn’t an explicit religious requirement that Jews and Muslims must eat meat, that Catholics must operate universities and hospitals, then they can remain free to practice their religion in the privacy of their own homes, temples, mosques, and churches.

It’s that simple, he says. Professor Singer is quite comfortable deciding what the exercise of religion means, what genuine religious obligations are, for all the world’s faiths. We’re free so long as he says we are. In other instances, we should bend our knees before the preferences of the majority.

There’s nothing so absurd . . .

Articles by Joseph Knippenberg

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