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Writing at The Atlantic about the ongoing debate involving gay rights and religious freedom, Alan Noble says governments should allow Christian colleges to maintain their standards and schools should be more empathetic toward those who disagree.
Religious schools are critical, he writes, because they “teach students about the diversity of belief in America while supporting students in their study of religion. That’s preparation for living out pluralism later in life: These are communities of robust faith practicing their beliefs, which can be good training for living at peace with neighbors who do not share those beliefs and may even find them offensive.”
Noble says instead of litigating religious freedom disagreements, a better option “would be to work out a way for Christian schools and their surrounding communities to live with each other with respect and dignity.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has promoted a similar “fairness for all” message the past several years, acknowledging that such an approach involves heavy lifting and “requires trust and good will from both sides. It is simply a fact that we live in a pluralistic society, and different viewpoints must find a way to contend without defeating one another. These two goods — protecting the conscience of religious people and affirming the right of LGBT people to lead a dignified life — can be compatible. Security lies in reciprocity.”