Sunday, November 04, 2012

Religious Freedom

"Religious Freedom" is a phrase often bandied about these days. As best I can tell it refers to the idea that people will not able to practice their religion as they wish if some unknown, unnamed, and highly unlikely event occurs. This nebulous events seems to be most often connected to a politician people believe to have far more power than I've ever witnessed from any politician of any party at any time.

The only way this is an actual problem is if your "religious freedom" prevents other people from exercising the freedom to live their lives as they wish. No one is trying to keep you from attending the religious community of your choice, at the time of your choosing, and doing as you wish within the confines of it. Now, if you happen to be sexually abusing altar boys then, no, the fact that you're doing it within the walls of a church does not make it okay. It's still illegal. But you are welcome to gather, pray and worship as you wish, outside of these rather major issues.

However, you are not welcome to try and impose your religious beliefs on others. That is where the difficulty seems to come in. Those who are constantly worried about "religious freedom" are mostly concerned about how they will force others to share their viewpoints. Much like yelling "fire" in a crowed theater, this is over the line.

Nothing has really changed in the last few decades along these lines, except that fewer people believe in God. I can't help but think it's from watching His professed followers exercise their "religious freedom" to spread their personal hatreds in His name.

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