Religious Freedom Or Persecution?

Religious freedom … now there’s a term that has almost unlimited definitions.  My own, and one that I believe is in synch with that of the Founding Fathers back in 1787, is that each person has the freedom to believe in and practice his/her religion without interference from the government.  But today, there are those who define it as having the freedom to declare that their beliefs are the only correct ones and that every person should be forced to follow their religion and believe as they do.  Well, that ain’t how it works, and if you study history, you will see that this line of thinking has led to many of the wars that have been fought throughout past centuries. 

The United States is a secular nation.  This means that government and laws are not based on any religion and do not favour any one religion over others.  Many today seem to want to call this a “Christian nation”, but that is so wrong it makes my teeth hurt.  This is not a Christian nation, for we have a most diverse population that includes Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Jains, atheists, agnostics, and more.  Each person, regardless of religious beliefs, has the exact same rights and responsibilities under the U.S. Constitution.

Religious freedom means the right to practice and believe any or no religion.  It does NOT mean one religion has the right to impose their views on others.  Period.  Every religion on earth has its biases, and in the U.S. those biases have led to discrimination against others such as the LGBT community and women.  Today, there is a bill working its way through Congress called the Do No Harm Act.  Our friend Nan has written an excellent post about this bill, so rather than re-invent the wheel, I will let her tell you about it … thank you, Nan!

Nan’s Notebook: Religious Freedom

This bill, if passed, would not take away anyone’s rights to observe their religion as they wish, but rather it would restore the civil rights of all, would make it illegal to discriminate based on religious beliefs.  It’s really so simple.

24 thoughts on “Religious Freedom Or Persecution?

  1. It’s a worthy idea.
    There’s a paradox, you might need folk like me running around locking folk up for the crimes of Intolerance and Hate Propagation and subjecting them to re-education.
    Err……I should have stopped writing an hour ago, I guess.

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  2. Sorry to disagree with your assertion about the Founding Fathers, but the way they worded your constitution made the evolution to what you believe today possible.
    In the 1700s, all religions were Christian religions, possible tolerating Judaism, but not necessarily. Religion did not include First Nations spirituality, using the Canadian label for the non-whites who inhabited these lands before white men ever came along. Not only were First Nations people not allowed to retain their own spirituality, they were basically forced to, on the surface at least, adhere to xian methods of worship.
    Anyone who thinks or argues differently can do 108 Hail Marys.
    Freedom of religion meant Catholic or Protestant; Puritan, Lutheran, Methodist, or Evangelical (if they were around yet). People of colour, read slaves, were beat if they sang African spirituals. Even Mormons, once they appeared, we’re rejected and persecuted, because people refused to accept they were an xian offshoot.
    So, Jill, the Founding Fathers did not believe in anything goes, it was anything xian goes.
    But as I said, their wording of religious freedom was fortunate, because as more and more people came to America with non-xian religions, and as agnosticism and atheism gained strength, the words took on a new meaning. But it was not the Founding Fathers intention, not by a long shot.

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    • Even if Mitchie has gone to his grave by then, it will face steep challenges, for the biggest portion of the republican’s base is the evangelicals. Sigh. However, they are still the minority … we just need to keep reminding them of that!

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    • It is one of the top five most important issues facing this nation today, my friend, and your post was great, particularly the link to the article in The Hill. I will not live in a “Christian” nation … if such becomes of the U.S., I would rather live in Mozambique! Thanks for enlightening us … if I, who troll the news constantly, wasn’t aware of the Do No Harm Act, how many others aren’t? It’s important to help bring awareness, and that’s what you’ve done.

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  3. Yes, we have to fight for equality, all over. This is only possible when everyone is free to choose a religion or simply to live under the law itself. Making religion a principle of human coexistence will never work. Michael

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    • I fully agree, Michael. And if you analyze the tenets of 100 religions, you’ll get 100 different views. I find it to be supreme arrogance that any one religion thinks theirs is the only ‘right’ way of seeing the world. Sigh. You’ll notice that it is only humans who find a need for religion … they seem to need to believe there is someone in charge, someone to blame when things go wrong. Sigh. I swear I’m not returning to earth as a human … I’d prefer to come back as a wolf, but even a spider would be preferable to being human!


  4. “..the right to practice and believe any or no religion. It does NOT mean one religion has the right to impose their views on others.”

    Exactly, thank you, Jill.

    Going to look into the details of Nan’s post, now, as I hope that my educational and critical thinking posts are of some use?

    Stay safe,


    Liked by 4 people

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