Religion and The Rest of Us

The following statement was recently made by Scott Morrison. Australia’s Prime Minister and a devout Pentecostal Christian:

“People should not be cancelled or persecuted or vilified because their beliefs are different from someone else’s.”  

When taken at face value, it’s a good declaration. But this is NOT the way Mr. Morrison intended. Rather, his actual intent is that people of faith (Christianity) should be “protected against cancel culture.”

Apparently his statement comes amid concerns that individuals from churches, schools, and workplaces are unable to express their religious beliefs. According to the article, proposed legislation will protect Australians who make “statements of belief” from action under existing discrimination laws. (It also will allow faith-based organizations to prioritize the hiring and enrollment of people from their faith.)

On a broad scale, one would assume such legislation would protect individuals from ALL religions. In other words, Muslims, Wiccans, Druids, Hindus, Satanists, etc. would each have the same protection. Yet rarely is this the case in legislative decisions related to religion.

Many of us who live in the States are not surprised by Mr. Morrison’s actions. Since the horrendous four years of the Trump reign, the Christian Nationalism movement (“Taking America Back for God”) has slowly but surely permeated American civic life. Thus, it would not be surprising if similar laws were proposed by certain members of Congress in the not-too-distant future.

It’s important to those reading this post to consider that U.S. laws relating to religious freedoms in the U.S. are … complicated. Yes, we have the First Amendment that addresses guarantees and precautions related to religion and its practice, but this doesn’t stop individuals and groups from searching for “loopholes” in order to challenge the provisions. In fact, it is not uncommon to read of people and churches using the words of the Amendment in such a way as to support their own theology. (If interested, further reading can be found here.)

As a general rule, the broad-minded and more rational individuals among the U.S. populace are often willing to allow a certain amount of leeway to practicing Christians. However, far too many theists try to push the envelope. Naturally, non-believers and atheists would prefer that they just “go away” or, at the very least, keep their prayers and admonishments to themselves. 

In any event, there is little doubt that believers like Mr. Morrison will continue to assert their doctrines and practices into society as a whole. Hopefully, the “rest of us” will not allow them to succeed.

26 thoughts on “Religion and The Rest of Us

  1. As for atheists, I heard a remark some time ago that God does not believe in atheists. When you think about that it must surely bring a smile to you.
    Having said that, I don’t understand why non-believers need to impose their belief on those who do. Just do your thing and move on
    It’s elsewhere in my blog but if all religions are correct, then we are all going to hell.
    I wish everyone would be a good person but frankly I don’t really care what you do to prepare for your day of judgement; I am looking out for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “As a general rule, the broad-minded and more rational individuals among the U.S. populace are often willing to allow a certain amount of leeway to practicing Christians. However, far too many theists try to push the envelope.”

      I have heard of no Atheist calling for the murder of Christians. I know of no Atheists who are in the least concerned with a day of judgment.

      Those who try to explain to atheists what kind of people we should be, make the mistake of assuming we are subject to their beliefs and their super-unnatural god.

      I was doing well with my natural liberal inclusive attitude for a long time. But when Christianity announced that its intent was to rule the world, just like ISIS, when they began to demand that they alone should be in charge of education, when they demanded legislators pass laws that agree with the laws of their god when they took part in the insurrection against our republic, When they began to call for my murder because I am either a liberal, I did not vote for Trump, they think my sexual orientation is wrong, my skin color shows some degree of pigmentation, I am the wrong kind of Christian, or that I associate freely with the aforementioned riff-raff, then I think we have come to the point that I may freely push back against this obscenity that identifies as Christianity.

      Christianity has chosen to turn from religion to politics and world dominion, therefore, being in the arena by design, they have no more protection under the law than any other contender. They declare their victimhood and their prosecution from the roofs of their ivory towers, and they don’t wait to be asked. They are eager to share their plight with the world.

      We now see clearly the intent of religion. Dominion. Power. Prestige. Wealth.

      Liked by 10 people

      • Spot on! Of all the things I dislike about these god fearing Christians, is their supreme arrogance and smug self righteousness. Not to mention the danger they pose to a cooperative society which tries to look out for each other and the not so fortunate and who strives to improve life for others and not just themselves. Their in your face arrogance and bigotry disgusts me.

        Liked by 3 people

      • I have heard of no Atheist calling for the murder of Christians

        It never is. Dâ’ish (ISIL) and the Taliban have slaughtered Shiite Muslims with grim fanaticism for having the wrong kind of Islam, fairly recently Protestant terrorists were killing Catholics (and vice versa) in Northern Ireland, and the same happened between Buddhists and Hindus in the Sri Lankan civil war. Atheists, as such, would have had no interest in killing any of those people. Go back a few centuries to when religion had the kind of firm dominion over society that the modern fundies seem to want, and we had the Inquisition and the Thirty Years War and the Crusades.

        That’s why the founders of the US were determined to keep religion out of government in the first place. They knew very well what happens when that separation is not maintained.

        Liked by 6 people

      • Yeah, but as a cannibalistic, atheist infidel I can tell you this about Christians: they’re babies make for a DEEELICIOUS BBQ! Yummy, yum, yum yum!! Oh, BTW, I’m selling nuclear weapons on my blog to help us “infidel nonbelievers” attack and destroy Christmas once and for all this year!!!! Down with Christmas!!! Up with Christian baby BBQ’s for 2022!!! $Amen$ (Yours was a superb comment, btw.)

        Liked by 3 people

      • Yes so true and I will celebrate when these multimillion ministries pay their share in taxes.

        Morrison was an early Trump supporter but had to pull his head in when he realised he was looking like a bigger dick head than he has proved to be.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Christ never intended us to rule the world–we’re here to tell you that HE rules the world. We aren’t immune to wrong attitudes (see the early church). We’re to blame for allowing them (Trumpism) to continue.

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        • Arnold, you just don’t give up, do you?

          Quite simply, there is no “Christ.” Rather, there was a Hebrew fellow who came along and made a name for himself among the Jews through some street preaching. After he died, PAUL turned him into a “special guy” for the Gentiles (of which you are one) — and attached the title of “Christ” because the Gentiles were familiar with that designation.

          Sad (for you), but true … the “Christ” you keep blathering about does not exist and thus has NO control over you … or any individual.

          There are the facts, but I know you won’t accept them.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Like I said … you won’t accept what I wrote.

          P.S. It has nothing to do with “Christ” being “universally recognized.” People accept all sorts of stories that have no basis in fact. Political proclamations are an excellent example.

          Like

    • Let me tell you then since there is NO “belief” that we are trying to impose on anyone: It is simply just not good for people to believe in things – supernatural things, that is – without a spread of evidence. Personally, I don’t care what you believe in however the religious are the ones that fell compelled to spread their bullshit to the masses as an act of “god”. This has been going on for millennia, believing those that would not adhere must be silenced, expulsed from society or, much worse, executed, tortured, burned, etc. all while acting in “god’s” name, whatever the hell that means. (I always find it funny how often “man” knows what “god” has in mind.)

      Man made all this nonsense up; cut out of whole clothe, right out of his highly gullible mind, and has been selling this crap ever since and making good dough doing it. All the while harassing those of us that have maintained some semblance of reason and rationale for NOT buying into the philosophical insanity that is religion.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The rest of us. Well, the rest of us know I don’t speak for everybody. I’m not an authority on anything I can think of, and I have no particular area of expertise. (I know that will surprise some.) When Christians demand these exceptions to laws, rules, and regulations under the guise of religious freedom, let me inform you that it does not pertain to any other religion. The legislators and the Supreme Court know this. They know that we know this, and they don’t give a damn because they know that under the present circumstance we can do nothing about it.

    The rest of us, in another election or two, may be identified as enemies of the state. Not because we are some armed invasion force but because we choose freedom. All other races, creeds, cultures, religions, sexes, are the rest of us. Recall the hearings to seat SC Justices. “Religion has nothing to do with the selection of Judges.” Lying bastards. It has everything to do with religion and politics. For decades to come, we will be subject to the whims of a Christian-driven Supreme Court.

    We say “it couldn’t happen in our lifetimes,” but here it is. Things do not look good for the rest of us.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Even Christians should be concerned about this, because Christianity isn’t homogenous. Some of the most hard-core fundies consider Catholicism to be Satanic, and some of the hard-core Catholics look upon Protestants as heretics. Both are disdainful of more liberal Christians — moderate Catholics and what used to be called “mainline” Protestants. Rules giving Christianity special status and enforcing its taboos as law would immediately raise the question of which form of Christianity would get the privilege. For example, contraception is taboo in Catholicism but not in most forms of Protestantism. If the hard-core Catholics got the upper hand, even fundies might find themselves chafing under laws they found too repressive.

    Morrison sounds like he’s just talking about protecting expression of opinion, and this may even be a good thing if that’s as far as it goes (religious people have as much right to express their opinions as anyone else). In the US, though the First Amendment already does that. Fundies constantly claim they’re being persecuted, but they’re usually talking about things like refusing to bake cakes for gay people — that is, just being subject to the same anti-discrimination laws that apply to everybody. If we start making special carve-outs to law to privilege religious prejudice, it would set an ominous precedent. I’ve already heard of proposals for laws that would allow health-workers to refuse to treat gay people, for example, if they are prejudiced against them on religious grounds. And of course we’re already seeing the Christian taboo on abortion being imposed on everyone through the secular laws all over the place.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Devil’s advocate, not meaning Satan: When your founding fathers were writing about religious freedom, they were not at that time thinking of anyone but Christians. Christianity was THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN. What they were talking about was freedom to be Lutheran, Catholic, or Presbyterian. ALL of the colonists believed some form of Christianity, and religious freedom simply meant the freedom to be whatever Christian faith you chose. But through evolution of thought, it was fortunate they never mentioned Christianity in the Bill of Rights, or whatever piece of paper the tenants of religious freedom were written on. That was taken for granted, and now the present interpretation of religious freedom can be talked about in more esoteric ways.
    How do I know they were only talking about Christianity? My indigenous ancestors were not allowed to practise “our indigenous religion” because the founding fathers did not recognize it as a religion. It was beaten out of us, and Christianity was burned into us. We were not allowed to have our own religion! There was no religious freedom except Christianity!
    Morrison’s proposed laws still maintain Christianity is the only acceptable religion. Not that much has really changed in some minds.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Except that most of the Founders were Deists, not Christians — except for Paine, who was an outright atheist, and Franklin, who was involved in a Satanist group during his younger days in England.

      Quite early on (1797), the treaty of Tripoli included the much-quoted statement “the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion”. Even though Islam was not a factor in the Americas at that time, it loomed very large over Europe in the form of the Barbary pirates and the Ottoman Empire. The Founders were pretty educated guys and were certainly well aware of this, so Christianity would not have been the only thing that came to mind when they spoke of religion.

      Thomas Jefferson also said, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god.” Anyone who believed in twenty gods would be a pagan, and anyone who believed in no god would be an atheist, so Jefferson was explicitly declaring those beliefs harmless and acceptable.

      The suppression of the indigenous religions was probably less to do with rejection of them as religions and more part-and-parcel of the general policy of destruction of their culture and eventually physical expulsion or annihilation. It’s analogous to the enslavement of black people despite the rhetoric about “all men are created equal”. The system failed to live up to its own principles in the case of people who were felt, on grounds of race, not to have human rights at all.

      Liked by 5 people

      • I stand corrected, maybe. To have it said most of the writers were not Christians in a time when Christianity reigned supreme in all white societies seems very much a stretch.

        Like

  5. Maybe there will come a ‘tipping point’ involving some sort of Christian militancy within a democratic secular set up, but in all honesty, I don’t see it.

    The US has always been an outlier when it comes to religion, as it has been when it jumps up and down using terms like ‘The World Series’.

    Nobody outside the States is that interested in Gridiron, or Rounders Baseball. And I’ll wager the same applies with the apparent demented way the US approaches Christianity.

    Islam on the other hand … hmm. There may be a little cause for concern. Then again, the way technology is going give it a couple of hundred years and all this religious nonsense may be a footnote in … Ha …I almost wrote history book !

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nan, good post with a lot of good comments. To me, when I see stances like that of Mr. Morrison, the best test of what he or she says is if we flip the switch. If the person talking was Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, etc. and said the same things, would the same stance hold true? If a Jewish or Muslim bakery in America denied service to a wedding of non-Jews or non-Muslims, would that be acceptable? There is a subtle, but important distinction between protecting a person’s liberties and denying another person’s liberties. It is a very slippery slope and one we need to avoid sliding down. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

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