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.

Singing vs. Free Speech?

Courtesy of

It’s just off the top of my head, you understand, but I tend to think singing in church is a WHOLE lot different than the “right to free speech.”

Anyone agree with me?

I recently read about some church leaders that don’t …

Churches Sue California Governor for Banning Singing in Church 

Yup! Three EVANGELICAL church leaders are very unhappy with Governor Newsom because they contend his closure ban violates their First Amendment rights and that it’s an “unprecedented attack” on the freedom of worship. In their view, singing and praying aloud as a body of Christ is a biblical mandate. 

Question: Does a biblical mandate override a State Governor’s mandate?

It’s been well-documented by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that singing is a proven way to spread the COVID-19 virus. Yet it seems these pastors (along with scores of other people) prefer to ignore medical advice and instead follow the instructions put forth in a book that is several thousand years old.

Further, what these individuals seem to overlook is the governor also mandated that all bars across the state must close and that restaurants, wineries, tasting rooms, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums and card rooms must suspend indoor activities.

Contrary to their objections, they are not being singled out. The governor’s action is not discriminatory, nor is it persecution. It is a desperate attempt to reduce the number of cases and deaths that are occurring everyday in his state from the spread of the coronavirus.

And finally … a few absurd words from Jordan Sekulow (one of the plaintiffs) whose father is Jay Sekulow, a member of President Trump’s legal team: “Banning singing in California churches is an unconstitutional abuse of power, and to do it in the name of a pandemic is despicable. This ban is clearly targeted at religion.”

A quote from Isaac Asimov seems an appropriate closing for this post:

There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.

“Dear Donald … I Am Scared”


This letter, written by a sophomore at UC San Diego, may never reach the chosen recipient, but the message is powerful — and I so wish he would read it. While it’s extremely doubtful it would do any good, maybe, just maybe, it would strike a chord.

One of the core comments:

… no matter whether or not I choose to wear a hijab or to pray five times a day and to fast in the month of Ramadan, this country is built on allowing me to make those decisions without interference from the government or other citizens.
(emphasis mine)

One can’t help but wonder if, in all his scholarly learning, the Donald missed the study of the U.S. Constitution. Could it really be that he has no knowledge of the First Amendment? It would seem so … and, sad to say, many who listen to and support him are also in the dark.

I know my blog is just one of a plethora of others related to the issue of “The Donald.” But perhaps if we keep yammering away, someone, somewhere, will read it and recognize the “solutions” he offers to solve the problems of this U.S. of A. are not only creating divisions among people, but are extremely dangerous. There is already an existing “us vs. them” mentality in many parts of this country. To constantly reinforce it will do nothing but stir the pot and eventually cause the malcontent to attack the object of their prejudices and phobias.

Terrorists don’t originate only in mid-eastern countries.

Contraception Should Be A Personal Choice

Some states (mostly led by Republican governors) are all up-in-arms because church-affiliated businesses (hospitals, schools, outreach programs) may be required to provide contraception coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act that was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The objection centers around the fact that the rule, according to an AP news article, “violates the rights of employers that object to the use of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.”

Supposedly, such a law is a violation of First Amendment rights. But what is really at the heart of the matter is that many feel it is an attack on religious liberty.

I am aware that some religious organizations object to birth control, but what I don’t understand is why they feel threatened by this law. If they teach against contraception, then their followers wouldn’t take advantage of this coverage anyway. Right?

Perhaps what they are worried about is that they don’t have enough control and some people will actually use contraceptives if they were covered by insurance. Whoops!

IMO, to deny this coverage violates the rights of the individual — which are far more important than the rights of any organization.