By Paul Fidalgo
In recent days, Pope Francis has talked a lot about tolerance and freedom of conscience. But he has failed to distinguish between those who truly suffer from persecution and discrimination and those who claim to be persecuted when told they may not discriminate.
True prisoners of conscience are even now suffering punishments grotesque and medieval for exercising their right to criticize religion. But during his visit to the United States last week, the Pope chose instead to focus his attention and sympathies on a government employee who decided that her faith trumped her legal obligations and the constitutional rights of others.
Pope Francis met secretly with Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who refused to sign off on marriage documents for same-sex couples, citing religious objections. Speaking to journalists on the plane back to Europe, Francis explicitly endorsed this kind of discrimination, calling it “conscientious objection” and a “duty.”
But what does the Pope have to say about atheists and secularists who have been jailed, attacked or killed for expressing their own conscientious objections to religion?
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