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Please begin with an informative title:

ARE STILL AT IT.

The Right-wing Religious Fringe Continues With Its War on Women.

I'm sorry, but these holier than thou focus groups of the right-wing fringe, make me nauseous. What do they want? & Why are they so hateful? They're pathetic and they're problematic because they wish to turn our nation into a theocracy. They are also ignorant; they presume that their belief system should become STATE LAW. They don't understand that a theocracy will mean that Freedom of Religion will cease to exist and that doesn't mean that their Christianity will then be at the helm. Maybe it will be a theocracy of… (see image)

From this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

Wake-up from your righteous coma will ya! The theocracy you so crave may not be one of Christianity but that of Hinduism, Islam, or maybe even "Juche"... http://en.wikipedia.org/...

"Forgive them for they know not what they do..." We all deserve to have personal beliefs that will help chart our way through this existence and (unlike what the religious right would like to do) we do not have the right to force others to believe or think that our belief system is the only system. One size does NOT fit all. thinkingblue

PS: Oh, yes and one more thing I’d like to say to this misguided '40 days' crew… Why do you believe that being hateful will win you over sympathizers? (picture from facebook below)


IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS, ITS DEADLY!

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Freedom of Religion

Today in America, freedom of religion is slipping away from us. We are losing it because we have not taken care to preserve it. We are losing it because too many Americans do not understand what freedom itself means and how it works. Freedom is a loaded word, a symbol like the American flag. We know it is good and that we should defend it, but how can we be sure we are really defending it if we don't know what it is where it comes from?

Democracy and Freedom

Is it democracy that makes us free? Democracy is an essential feature of the American form of government. Instead of a king making law by edict, we vote on how we are governed, and the will of the majority prevails. It is called majority rule, and is widely felt to be the strength of democracy as a form of government. It was the main idea presented in the American Declaration of Independence. "We, the people..." forms the government, and its ultimate authority is derived "...from the consent of the governed."

Today democracy and majority rule are commonly invoked to justify the mingling of religion with government. The assertion is that if the majority want to mix state and church then that is how it should be. That is "the American way." If the majority of Americans want prayer in the public schools then we should have it. That is majority rule. It does follow from the simple definition of democracy, but American democracy is not that simple.

Democracy alone is not enough. It lacks an essential element, an element that makes this country a free country, an element that is lacking in other democracies of the world. There is a difference, but what is it?

The answer again is the Declaration of Independence. "We hold these truths to be self-evident ..." it states, that all Americans must have "inalienable rights," such as "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." History shows that Americans refused to adopt the Constitution of United States until it contained a "Bill of Rights." That Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution as the first ten amendments.

The Bill of Rights defines the official civil rights of every individual American. This is where the U.S. Constitution provides us with the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence. But just what does "inalienable" mean here?

For the answer to that question, we refer to the U.S. Supreme Court whose function is to interpret the Constitution. In the 1943 case of West Virginia State Board of Education versus Barnette (319 U.S. 624) the Supreme Court ruling contained the following explanation: "The very purpose of a Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials, and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to life, liberty, property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections."

There you have it. Civil rights take precedence over majority rule. That is what an inalienable right means and it is a fundamental principle of American government. In the American brand of democracy the American government guarantees and protects the civil rights of the minorities as defined by the Bill of Rights, even if a majority are not willing to do so. That is what makes America a free country, and distinguishes it from other simple democracies. This is what we must understand about freedom in order to preserve it. A lynch mob is majority rule. Majority rule is not "the American way" when civil rights are at stake.

Freedom of Religion

Our first right guaranteed in the first line of the first article of the Bill of Rights, is the right to freedom of religion. Again, if we as a people do not understand what freedom of religion means, and where it comes from, it can be taken away from us by our own government, and we won't even know it. There are crucial principles to be understood:

Freedom of Conscience
Pluralism
Tolerance
Governmental Neutrality
Separation of State and Church
Freedom From Religion

The basic idea of freedom of religion is that no one, especially the government, is allowed to force religion on anyone else or prohibit anyone from practicing a religion. To force others to support a church or profess belief in a church's tenets is as much a violation of their civil rights as is preventing them from practicing their religion.

One component of freedom of religion is freedom of conscience. This is the freedom to hold and express our ideas sincerely. It s our civil right to accept or reject any religion or religious idea, and to do so openly and honestly without fear or coercion. http://www.humanistsofutah.org/...

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