A response to the political argument against religious conscience


  • Barry W. Bussey


accommodation, marriage commissioners, religious freedom, secularization


In response to scholars who argue that religious conscience should not be accommodated if it is deemed “political,” this paper argues that individuals who seek accommodation are in fact adopting a personal, deeply moral stance rather than a political one. To reject the conscientiously held positions of individuals such as civil marriage commissioners is to run counter to what we have long understood liberal democracy to affirm with regard to accommodating conscientious objectors. Such a rejection excludes these persons from full participation and represents a failure to treat them as dignified citizens with equal value in society.

Author Biography

Barry W. Bussey

Barry W. Bussey (1965) is President and CEO, First Freedoms Foundation and Adjunct Associate Pro- fessor at the University of Notre Dame Australia (Sydney).