For centuries, the mystics of spirit had existed by running a protection racket – by making life on earth unbearable, then charging you for consolation and relief, by forbidding all the virtues that make existence possible, then riding on the shoulders of your guilt, by declaring production and joy to be sins, then collecting blackmail from the sinners. [Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual]
As a teenager, I caught grief in the Bible Belt because I refused to conform to the accepted standards of short hair, clean shave, and no earrings/body jewelry for males. Over the years, these types of expectations have dwindled, and it has gotten much better since the 1980’s. Where I live in the US, there seems to be a growing problem with people wanting to mix religion with politics again. It is scary to think what would happen if America became a realistic image of the myth that America was founded on Christianity. I am not writing this blog to debate religion; therefore I will not allow debates about religion to overload this thread. What I will discuss is how this ideology of establishing a god-fearing nation based upon Christianity is dangerous. True Christianity in itself is not the problem or the issue at hand, therefore my complaint is not with the practice of Christianity. The problems creep in when Christians want to use their beliefs as a foundation for law. When this occurs, it opens a Pandora’s box with dire consequences. Our Constitution forbids these types of laws (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. source), and the Bill of Rights guarantees us the right to be free from religious oppression.
The last thing we need is for our liberty movement to be hijacked by religious zealots whose desire is to establish a nation based upon their interpretations of their faith. If this occurs, then the obvious question is whose Christianity will be in charge? Which group will be the sole authority to interpret God’s laws for the rest of us? By what means will these laws be enforced? Since there are many sects within the realm of Christianity, how would this be decided? It’s easy to say you want to restore America back to her Christian roots, but it’s totally different when it is tried because the fact is America was never founded upon the Christian faith. To create an America based upon Christianity is to destroy the America our founding fathers gave us.
There is a lot of misinformation about our country’s origins pushed forth by those who want a theocracy. I have debated Christians who claim the Tenth Amendment (The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. source) gives the states the right to setup Christian-based laws. This logic blows my mind! The Bill of Rights and our US Constitution do give the states the power to pass laws and enact laws not delegated to the federal government, BUT it does not give the states the right to overpower the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States. Such a gross misunderstanding of our laws is a foundation for disaster waiting to happen.
I think the best thing to do is to focus on restoring the republic back to the people and repealing all laws that hinder our liberties and pursuit of happiness. Religion does have a place in America regardless of what some people may think. The Founding Fathers thought enough of religion to give us freedom of religion and freedom from religion. The Founding Fathers thought enough of the individual to place safe guards in our laws so that a religious tyranny would not be allowed to flourish as it did in Europe.
I am sure glad this guy does not have the power to create and enact laws!
I disagree with atheists who seek to repeal religion from America. We cannot forbid the free exercise of faith, nor can religion be used to opress those who reject religion. Just like atheism, religion is a personal conviction that must be done on an individual level without being forced into it via the government and/or laws designed to promote faith or the lack there of.
My personal faith in god(s), goddess(es), or lack of belief in a divine power(s) is irrelevant in our pursuit of restoring our nation back to it’s roots which is a government for the people and by the people. All that matters is that we all work together for a common goal. We can disagree over religion; we can debate religion; but let’s respect each other’s right to freely pray, practice faith, protest religion, deny religion, and be free of oppression because of religion. Let’s keep religion and atheism out of our laws and stop seeking to force people to observe one or the other.
No one is forcing him to eat here. Private business has a right to offer these types of deals. It’s no different than AARP discounts, employee discounts, etc.
1. Laws like Blue Laws are based on religious interpretation. The foundation of these types of laws are to force non-believers and businesses to adhere to the church’s rules concerning the sale of alchohol and/or business hours on Sunday. These laws are a violation of our rights and should be abolished. Every Sunday in my state, I am reminded of religious oppression when I am forced to observe Blue Laws in respect to the first day of the week. In the past, when I have challenged these laws, those who support these laws evade these simple question,”What is the basis of not being able to buy alcohol on Sunday? Why Sunday?” But then again, if a business decides to sale a banned Sunday product or open before the alloted time on Sunday, these zealots will use the threat of force to mandate their laws be obeyed without question. Sounds a lot like what the Marxists do, doesn’t it?
2. Laws and lawsuits that target the free exercise of religion and the right of business to celebrate any religious holiday it sees fit are also a violation of our rights. Just because one denies the existence of God and/or disagrees with an opposing belief, does not give them the right to mandate through law that these beliefs must be concealed in public. Those who seek to destoy the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right of private property are just as bad as the religious zealots passing Blue Laws.
In the two examples above, both sides are wrong. We have no moral right to force an individual to observe religious rules, nor do we have the right to deny individuals the right to freely express their faith or lack of belief in public and/or publicly funded events. Individuals have the right to accept or deny religion in thier homes, their property, and in their private business. Our rights do not include the right of not being offended. It’s one thing to pass laws based on faith which should be repealed, but its completly different when an individual or group is lawfully practing their faith (or lack of faith) in the public’s view and/or on public property. Public property belongs to the people; therefore the people have the right to publicly display their faith or lack of faith. Those who seek to pass laws trampling our rights are wrong not matter what the reason. Those who are in your face with religion or lack there of are just annoying and/or ignorant in my opinion. I disgree and fight against laws designed to enforce religion or atheism, but I defend the rights of these people to speak in public, protest in public, etc.
I personally abhor theocracy because it is the worst form of government ever created by mankind. Not only does it set out to control our everyday lives, but it seeks to control our thoughts and destroy reason. I do not fight the right to practice one’s faith, and I do not fight one’s right to deny faith. I do not condemn businesses who openly practice thier faith or businesses that do not allow the practice of faith. I do speak out agianst anyone who seeks to use law to establish obedience to religion and those who seek to use law to silence the freedom of religion.
People should be able to live their lives as they see fit as long as they are obeying common sense laws and not hurting anyone else in the process. We all have the freedom to walk away from those with whom we disagree. We can debate, and we can boycott any business with whom we disagree for whatever reason. We do not have the right to use the courts to undermine our core rights and civil liberties as citizens because we disagree. Using the threat of force is immoral regardless if it is done in the name of reason or in the name of God/god(s).
My view of religion would no doubt offend many people, but that is my right. My view is my business, and I will fully exercise my rights to express how I feel when challenged or when I want to speak. I try to be as passive as possible with both sides. I just try to bring the debate to a common sense approach aligned with our rights as US citizens. I try to be a voice of reason and hope that all sides can coexist even though we all disagree and will never agree.
It is for these reasons, I cannot and will not support parties like The Constitution Party (Click here for their beliefs about restoring America to a theocracy) who want to create a theocratic nightmare!
This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been and are afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.
The goal of the Constitution Party is to restore American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations and to limit the federal government to its Constitutional boundaries.(source)