October 19, 2012

Religious Freedom

     I understand that the topic of religious freedom is not one of the 'basics' like faith in Christ and repentance. Religious Freedom, however, needs to be focused on more in today's society.Many people feel they understand freedom of religion and sound sympathetic, while at the same time they destroy it. They call this freedom FROM religion. We need to do what we can to understand and support true religious freedom.
     Lets look first at freedom of speech. Its the freedom to express your ideas in public to anyone, for anyone to hear. Many ideas expressed may come off offensive to others. This is the exact reason why free speech was put into law. To protect the speech from those who would silence it just because they were offended. This was for a good reason, without freedom of speech a government could effectively silence the ideas it doesn't want people to know or hear about by force. So this brings up the question, can a religious individual have the same freedom of speech as anyone else?
     I know this question sounds absurd. Of course they should, we are all individuals and all are protected under freedom of speech. There are those who do not share this same idea.
     Many people feel they are entitled to a "freedom from religion". They call it constitutional, the founding fathers meant for it to be this way. This is very true, but not their interpretation. Freedom of religion has given religion a freedom from the government. The government is not to be run by any church. This is what America had to escape from. We escaped from the church of England. It ran the government itself. Everyone had to worship the way they were told to worship.
   This is the key point "Everyone had to worship the way they were told to worship". Freedom of speech was limited because of this.
    Today, many feel that in order to stop this from ever happening again we need a freedom from religion that keeps others religious views and ideas away and out of public. If there is every anything religious that shows up in politics or government it is to be quenched and suppressed. Basically, religion is being told how to be religious. Freedom of speech is limited because of this. Religion never has been able to force others to be religious in America. A republican or a democrat can have free speech to tell everyone why they need to be on board with their parties platform, but it is constitutionally wrong for a religion to tell someone else why they should be on board with their religions views. This is all upside down and backwards.
     Religion does not and can not force. They can speak forcefully, but there is not legal ramifications that can be taken against you for not following what you hear. By freedom of speech they can tell people to have their beliefs with whatever strength of words they wish. Just as it is with anyone who has a theological idea protected by freedom of speech. But again, whether the person follows it or not is up to them, there are no legal actions taken for not participating in religion. There should be no legal actions taken for not participating in religion. But just because you are offended that someone disagrees with your views is no reason to call it an infringement on your rights. Freedom of being able to hear only what you want to hear, is not freedom of speech. Its the other way around. Religion should have the same rights to freedom of speech as anyone else. Whether you are in a public forum, or any other public place. No matter who you are. Just because you are in politics, does not mean that individual must denounce all of their religious views. They are free to believe what they may. And we are all free to choose what we choose. We are all free to be offended. We are all free to speak religiously