The insistence on following principles applies to all religions. Consider a ba’al teshuvah who dies and whose non-observant family wants an autopsy, which the Orthodox rabbi prevents, even though the grieving family wants to know how their loved one died. A couple wishes to marry, but it turns out that a kohen can’t marry a divorcee. They plead to the rabbi, but it violates halacha. When Jewish courts had power, there were Jews sentenced to lashes. How would a mother or wife feel watching her son get lashes? I’m not aware that halacha takes that into account.
None of this is to excuse the disgusting headline in the New York Post. It is though, I think, useful to understand why such headlines and stories get written.