Part 1 Part 2
Eventually everyone makes a decision on what they believe
regarding a divine being. This belief is
a part of who we are and how we live. So
when people disagree on belief systems, they are disagreeing on something more
than just coffee or movie preference.
We say we believe in religious freedom, but it seems when
someone tries to exercise their right other people become offended. Then people want to start putting limitations
on the freedom—“you can say that unless I don’t believe it” or “You can say it in your church or synagogue
but not in the grocery store or in your kids’ schools” Where is the freedom in
that? Does separation of church and
state only apply to church and not the state?
On the surface, The Merry Christmas bill sounds
great. Schools have to give every belief
equal representation. I agree with this.
What bothers me there’s a law about this. That tells me the state thinks it can dictate
my freedom to express my beliefs.
Give the government an inch…they’ll try to control
everything. By making a ruling on what
can or can’t be displayed in public spaces, the government has made a comment
on what belief system it thinks is right and has therefore just infringed on
the rights of its citizens, of which I am one.
How do we define public places? Stores are privately owned, yet states make
nondiscrimination rules. The same thing
for amusement parks or museums. The list
goes on and on. Will it come to the point
where movie houses can’t show movies that mention religion? Libraries won’t be able to loan books that
discuss Islam or Judaism or other religions?
If you really think about it, there can be no true
separation of church and state as long as government at any level thinks it can
pass laws restricting religious expression.
Any time a ruling body chooses to make a law on a belief system—what you
can say, what you can teach, etc…--it makes a comment on which system it thinks
is correct. And, putting it under the heading science instead of religion doesn’t
make it any less a belief that takes faith. Science is not indisputable. So beliefs based on science rather than
religion don’t get a free ride.
As I said in Part 2—making a law against it won’t stop
people from doing it. I know what I
believe. I’d go to jail or worse before
I’d refute it. That’s how much faith I have
in it. I agree that there are people with equal faith in their beliefs. I’m willing to accept that.
These days the buzz word is tolerance. Mere tolerance won’t
cut it. Tolerance doesn’t seek to care or understand. Tolerance treats others like a little child—“oh,
that’s so cute, but they’ll know better when they grow up.” Eventually we get
tired of putting up with it and so want to confine the expression to places we
can’t hear it.
True belief in religious freedom says everyone can express
their views everywhere and I can exercise my freedom not to agree. Acceptance is what we need. Acceptance based on love that sees the individual
for the amazing complicated person they are.
It all comes down to individual response and individual responsibility. If we want to have the freedoms we have to
accept that others have freedom as well.
If we keep crying foul every time we disagree, we’re going to find our
own rights have been regulated away.