Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Freedom to say...Part 3

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. 


  1. Religion is a very personal thing. I say nobody has the right to question your faith

    This blog made me THINK

  2. Thank you for you reply. I worry one of the problems people have these days is they don't stop and think. They just go along with what others do or say.