Religious Accommodations

Accommodations such as medical, religious, physical and mental are important in our society as long as it isn’t a distraction and provides a pathway towards equality based on the conditions. But what if religious accommodations begin to reshape let’s say the typical American driver license? Today I read where a man in Maine will be allowed to wear his goat horns, yes horns, on his official driver license photo. Okay, it’s safe for me to throw out the yellow flag on this one and ask “why?”


It is bad enough to wait in anguish at a driver license office. It is true, there are some that take an immense amount of pride in that driver photo as if Glamor Shots or Hollywood will somehow beg you to star in a feature film. But some want to defy the entire process completely in the name of god or whatever they refer to as a higher power. It is as if we are destined to abuse certain systems for our own benefit.

To be candid, I strongly feel that there should not be any religious accommodations when it comes to a driver license photo. My reason is simple; religious rights are not an issue of the state nor motor vehicles. Religion is and should continue to be a private matter. Sure, I’m sympathetic towards reasonable religious accommodations. But I fear that we are stretching the elasticity of public good towards a select few. What is next? Will football helmets require an extension for religious accommodation? Basically, when we extend the far reaches of accommodations we end up dumping more money to resolve additional issues. My fear is that such accommodations will only create a system based on biometrics and DNA. Sure it will be fair but perhaps more intrusive than meeting religious accommodations.


I don’t want to sound insensitive about this issue. Naturally, I am curious as to what others think. I am only voicing my observation and potential outcomes. It may be true that a healthy democracy always changes and evolves. I have a concern that we may be running in circles chasing a wagging tail. While we should be mindful at accommodations, we must adhere to best practices by identifying those that intend to abuse the system.

Author: Dwayne Daughtry

“You’re punching, and you’re kicking, ​and you’re shouting at me / I’m relying on your common decency?" I tried to become vegan (it was the worst 6 hours of my life), Executive Director - NCRSOL, State Representative (NC) - NARSOL, Legislative Consultant, Blogging Columnist, Army veteran, Arizona State alum | B.A. Organizational Leadership | M.S. Political Science | Ph.D. student Criminal Justice

One thought on “Religious Accommodations”

  1. Goat horns guy… lol. Yes I read that story too.

    I’m not sure what I think about the tendency yet… I think it’s quite possibly a knee-jerk response… by those that suffer from islamophobia, or at least the facetious islama-well-I-can-do-it-too… or perhaps it’s an innate, subconscious, compassionate response to the plight of Muslim women that are required to remove headscarves, etc. for drivers license photos… some places have made accommodations for those women.

    We have been swept up in a progressive wave of boundary testing… that’s a fact.

    How else do you explain Trump’s popularity with the old-world conservatives? They have been stockpiling food and weapons since 2008 when Obama won the presidency. But, I’m losing my point… *sigh*

    Look, for the people of the book, I say: Exodus says “Follow the laws of the land” (no I don’t remember the chapter).

    For the goat horn guy, Pastafarians, and any other fringe religious group I say, “Dudes, it’s a freaking driver’s license photo, not a statement of faith. (Just wait though, I’m sure Trump will have that system set up for you REAL soon though!) Besides, I’m pretty sure, unless you have a specially built vehicle, those antlers will not be on you when you get pulled over by a police officer.”

    The drivers license is just that, a drivers license – for identity purposes ONLY. It is to identify you when you are missing, exploited, or, heaven-forbid, break the law. Use that energy to, well, let’s see, prevent someone from creating an actual religious registry?

    Okay, I guess I did have an opinion…

    The only fact that I would add is that the founding fathers wanted a secure and well-defined SEPARATION of CHURCH, and STATE… not just the federal state, but the STATE, state. We really do not want to blur those lines any more than they already are…

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