Pizza and Politics: Freedom of Religion

The most recent Pizza and Politics was held on Wednesday, Sept. 25 and held by the Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics and Public Service at Southern Utah University. This week’s topic was freedom of religion.

The questions up for debate this week covered a plethora of subjects. This ranges from the definition of freedom of religion, taxation of churches, churches lobbying congress, religious exemptions, the idea of release time in public school which allows students to miss school to attend religious classes such as LDS seminary and medical professionals denying certain services.

The students and faculty who attended were extremely passionate about each topic with many comments coming from both sides of the argument.

One of the most contentious topics was whether or not medical professionals should be able to deny certain services on the grounds of freedom of religion. 

Many were in support of it when speaking on services such as abortion and physician asisted suicide. A few wondered how to regulate which services can be denied and which can’t be. 

“I just want to use a different subject other than abortion and assisted suicide,” said Cynthia Hawk, a junior Political Science major. “I want to use the subject of just being actually LGBTQ.  Just existing and going to a doctors office space, if you can even have access to a doctors office space, there is a lot of lack of accessibility there. 

“So, say I go into a doctors office,” she continued, “the doctor finds out that I’m gay and he or she says, ‘I refuse to give service to you because it is against my religion to support homosexuality.’ My question to you is, should a doctor then be able to object to giving me just a normal service, just a physical check up, do I get denied services?”

If you would like to take place in future debates on topics like these, Pizza and Politics is held every Wednesday at 12 p.m. in ST 112.

Story by: Morgan Crookston
Photo courtesy of: Morgan Crookston