Religious Freedom

I’m on a roll! 😄

Here’s an article suggesting an action that I think many of my readers will endorse. 

It’s Time To Fix An Important Religious Freedom Law

(As far as I can tell, the article is not behind a paywall.)

The writer is referencing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that was signed into law by President Clinton in 1993, and points out that …

The law was never meant to confer second-class status on anyone or allow religion to be used as a license to discriminate.

However, over time the law has gone far off course and been interpreted (and acted upon) in ways that many of the original backers would never have supported.

To counteract this, the Do No Harm bill is now pending in Congress and is intended to “preserve protections for religious freedom while making it clear that RFRA can’t be used to trump laws that protect us.”

Although I know many of my readers are atheists/non-believers, laws that address religious matters (unfortunately) do affect all of us. Perhaps someday in the far-off future, laws and matters pertaining to “religion” will be relics of the past. Regrettably, most of us won’t be around to enjoy their passing.

21 thoughts on “Religious Freedom

  1. Yes, Nan, you are on a roll.

    RFRA. If ever a bill has been misnamed, there it is. What freedoms has religion ever lost? Yeah. Well, there was that burning-at-the-stake thing and the rolling heads. Thanks to Alito and Brown the white Christian Nationalists have used it to practically disable the constitution. Taxpayers are now supporting the church.

    Now the Christian Nationalists are guilty of supporting white supremacists. They adhere to Q-Anon. They were present at the insurrectionist attack on the capital building. I think this brings into question their allegiance. It is not in God’s service to take part in the overthrow of the government. It is time to call the church to account for its actions and support of sedition.

    insurrection: an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government
    Other
    An assault on the seat of government, the home of democracy, nullifies any rights they may have claimed were due to them. They would not allow the same behavior from any other sectarian or secular group.

    Sedition: conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

    Bring in the usual suspects.

    Liked by 6 people

    • What freedoms has religion ever lost?

      The freedom of Christian business people to discriminate against gay customers. That’s the entire issue. They use big words to make it sound like something more general, but that’s the entire issue. They want to be able to provide services for straight couples but turn away gay ones, especially wedding services, now that marriage has been opened up to gay people as well. They’ve apparently decided that the practice of shunning gay people is the most important feature of Christianity and it’s the end of the world if they can’t do it any more in certain circumstances.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The problem is, too many Americans have no history & no knowledge of the wars of religion that ruined lives, especially after the Protestant Reformation. Our laws protecting separation of church & state are the direct result of these many wars, especially the ones in England, but it is telling that the bills brought before Congress have the names like “Religions Freedom” … nobody remembers these wars or the influence they had on the thinking of our Founding Fathers.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanks for this article, Nan! I fully agree with every word. While I am not a religionist, do not believe in religion at all, I DO respect others rights to believe and worship as they wish. What I do NOT support is any religion trying to shove their beliefs down the throats of others or trying to force their beliefs into the fabric of the laws that govern the nation. I wasn’t aware of the ‘Do No Harm’ bill, but now that I am, I will be following its progress. No doubt it will have an uphill battle in Congress, for many of the large republican donors are all for changing the laws and even the Constitution to favour their religion. Thanks again!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. To us outsiders, the United States is more religion oriented than most democracies, despite the supposed separation of church and state. The left hand is completely handcuffed by the right. Minorities (religious, not race or culture) have control over majorities. You may as well be living in 15th Century Spain during the Inquisition.
    All this bargaining added to every bill that comes before Congress, by the time it tries to get through the Senate, is politicking at its worst. Bills should be one-issue pieces of legislation, and passed or not passed by a one-vote majority. Anything else is garbage.
    Unfortunately, you present Repuglycan Party revels in garbage, and nothing worthwhile often gets done.
    With my views on politics, I could never survive there. Canada is not great, but I am sure glad I am Canadian, as opposed to being American.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hello Nan. Sometimes faith can be used as a guideline to help better a person, and other times religion is used as a cudgel to bash other people in line. I think in the US it is time to end the tax exemptions of churches. They have gotten overly broad and the reason for them long gone while the rules behind those laws are completely violated. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nan, at the heart of this issue is a belief by too many that “my rights are more important than others.” It matters not when discussing religion or civil rights. The subtlety of the difference in the BLM movement which emphasizes equal rights runs against the view of white supremacists who say their rights trump the rights of non-whites.

    As for religion, there is a subtle, but key difference in protecting the rights of someone versus protecting the rights of someone to unfairly discriminate based on religion. It also is hypocritical when religious people cherry pick language to discriminate with. Former president Jimmy Carter knows the Christian bible better than many and notes often how certain text from the Christian bible is used out of context to put women in a second class status.

    I have worked and worshiped with different kinds of religious people. I have noticed when religions are inclusive (welcoming, open), they are at their finest. Yet, when they exclude, they are at their absolute worst. Those who parrot discriminatory actions are not only at odds with our constitution, they are often at odds with their own religion.

    WWJD is more than a bracelet or a bumper sticker. It means emulate what Jesus would do, not belittle his teachings. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • IMO, many “belittle his teachings” because they have no clue what the teachings are. They’re too busy assuming a holier-than-thou attitude and pointing the finger at “sinners.”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You Stated — “Perhaps someday in the far-off future, laws and matters pertaining to “religion” will be relics of the past.”

    My Response — The laws are not the problem, the people are. Even if you get rid of the small percentage of religious laws, the tidal wave of secular laws will still be oppressing the minorities of the land.

    Case in point:
    https://realitydecoded.blog/2021/03/07/why-did-this-happen-in-america-3-of-10-killed-for-jaywalking/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Laws are descendents of Sin (doing w/o God). He created us to love him, that is, listen to him in our natural environment. We don’t want that so we use our ‘knowledge of good and evil’ to make laws.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Arnold. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      Most of my readers reject Christianity, so for them, there is no need for any connection to “God” when making laws. In fact, considering the multiple interpretations of “God,” I think one would be hard pressed to come up with laws that everyone felt were just.

      Like

      • You’re welcome Nan. There’ll be no need for laws when Christ is King. His word is law. So I don’t blame your readers for rejecting today’s Christianity; question is, do they reject Christ?

        Like

        • I would tend to suggest most of my regular readers would say yes, but of course, they would have to speak for themselves.

          You see, many of them discount the existence of a “Christ” — primarily because the stories surrounding such a being are all based in a single book that was written several thousand years ago by a plethora of unknown individuals. Add to that, the stories of this person are not consistent … and many border on fantasy.

          Of course the point of my post is not related to your “Christ.” Rather, it’s about why non-believers reject laws that allow one group of individuals to force their ideas and beliefs upon others.

          Like

  9. Indeed, and my comments address the silliness of man-made laws. The law of Christ is, ‘Bear one another’s burdens- love one another.’ Human nature looks out for number 1.

    Like

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