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There's been a lot of noise and thunder - mostly significant of nothing - about "religious freedom" in the mediasphere lately.

This diary got started on Facebook. I don't want to go off on a rant here, but ya'll made me do it. So I'm going there.

Here's a principle about how religious freedom is supposed to work. You create a framework of high personal religious liberty, with a progressive social structure, allowing each individual to choose for themselves whatever personal spiritual pathway that suits their convictions. You do NOT legislate specific restrictive religious doctrine and restrictions into the laws of the land for ALL citizens regardless of what faith they are, or whether or not they are religious persons.

But of course if your tradition is missionary or evangelical, apparently you do exactly that.

If your religious or spiritual path conjoins you from doing this, that or the other thing... the approach is simple. Do not partake. No one commands that you do as some others may, or are permitted to do. Is your moral fiber so thin, so weak that it must be enforced by the press of the Law? If you have freedom, and individual liberty, you have the choice to personally disdain abortion, keep kosher, be abstinent except for procreation, face east to pray, crawl into a sweat lodge... A person's relationship with the universe and the great mysteries is a damn personal thing and ought to be left that way.

So do your thing and I'll thank you to keep your finger out of my eye; and your nose, not to mention your Senators, the hell out of my bedroom. The payback of the First Amendment suggests that you be left alone to do your holy thing, but also requires you to allow others the same respect and courtesy. So many forget, and distort the intentions of the Founding Fathers to further their social or political ends. But ten of the original thirteen Colonies were a patchwork of different religious sects, the other three being two mercantile and one penal colony. To hold the fragile Republic together, the new Federal government, beyond overriding public safety and security considerations, pledged to leave the new States' affairs of worship the heck alone.

It was why a good chunk of the Colonial population (excepting slaves) bailed out of England and Europe in the first place, to escape religious persecution. Remember the whole point of the Pilgrims.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
If you oppose abortion, don't get pregnant, or have and love the child. If you oppose contraception, have children, or don't have sex. If you oppose Sex Education... be willing to raise your grandchildren alongside your own children as they become teenage parents. But they'd probably be much better off actually HAVING some legitimate choices, and enough clear knowledge to make responsible informed ones about their sexual lives and health.

It's been pointed out to me that unwanted — pardon me — "accidental" children can be put up for adoption. But it still carries the flavor of an abdication of responsibility. One of the entire themes of Family Planning in the first place, is that every child be chosen and wanted. If you're really opposed to abortion as primary birth control, then you should be ALL IN for contraception. Access to contraception and Sex Education is the hands-down proven best way to reduce and even eliminate abortion, AND as an extra bonus, contain the spread of STDs including HIV! Sex Ed? I would have to say that sexual responsibility is a lot easier to practice when you know what you're doing. But the opponents of abortion, are surprisingly (or maybe not all that surprisingly) also opposed to contraception, and sex education.

Stop me if you've ever heard the phrase, "barefoot and pregnant."

If you're a politician pandering to the religious Right, you support such religious based restrictive legislation in direct violation of the first Amendment in return for their votes. You do this no matter common sense, the will of the vast majority, the health of the nation, or even whether or not you share their particular morality. You'll proudly proclaim that you do in the lofty name of religious "freedom".

Especially if you're a hypocritical corporatist owned by the lobbies and corporate interests, and willing to pass the most regressive social legislation, in return for PAC money and continuing to vote power, privilege and relief of responsibility to the über-rich and the megacorps.

That's partly another rant, but these plutocrats appear for the most part to not much care about social issues so long as they get obedient, non-union and benefit-free, ever lower wage workers, tax breaks and subsidies, and exceptions from regulations designed to protect the people and the planet. Many of these people, as elites always have, take their wealth and power and elevated positions of privilege as license to do as they please. They will always have the wealth and influence to assure access to health care and contraception for themselves, abortions for their daughters, outside the very laws they have crafted to order for their own economic and political benefit.

So attacking women's rights, and control over their reproductive health in the name of "religious freedom" is truly an abomination in my eyes, and clearly unholy. As for me, I am a real fan of the First Amendment. Please leave me to fill my Pipe to pray to the Great Spirit, sing my songs, and bless you and go to your worship as you see fit. And what my wife an I do to and with each other in the privacy of our bedroom, is none of your, or Congress's God da— ... blessed business.

Okay, rant off. Back to work.

Originally posted to SamuraiArtGuy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 07:39 AM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets and Anglican Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  this blather of religious freedom shows how well (6+ / 0-)

    the logical ju jitsu of the RW has embedded itself into the culture so that the NAACP is a racist organization while white people are an oppressed minority, where Muslims rule supreme while Christians cower in their homes and so on.  The RW has won the battle of the lexicon so today for me to assert a right to freedom of religion which would curtail my neighbor from proselytizing me or even using coercion to force my conversion is intolerance on my part.  Any attempt to prevent his forcing me to convert is a violation of his religious freedom.  In other words, it is my duty as a citizen to not hit him in the fist with my nose  

  •  Yup (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Lorinda Pike, Noddy

    There is a very big difference between "freedom of religion" which is individual and principled, and "entitlement for religions" which is essentially a myth.

  •  Republished to Street Prophets. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Lorinda Pike
  •  Well OK But They're Taking Over Not Making (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    arguments or debating.

    We'd do better to quite obsessing about the things they say and look at the moves they're making to get into leadership power in government, culture and the economy.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 07:59:44 AM PST

  •  Good diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Lorinda Pike

    Just had yet another argument (er, discussion) with my ultra evangelical religious mother.  

    She is adamant that there is "christian persecution" going on right now, but can never cite an example for me to look up on the inner tubes.    

    I can't get through to her, she says all other religions and even atheists are all wrong, wrong, wrong, and all she can do is "pray and hope that they will realize the true faith at the very least on their death beds so they will ascend to the true heaven."   Ack!!!  

    She is essentially saying, in what she thinks is a kind way, that all other religions but hers are the "true religion."   She pities all the others - Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, she has pity and feels bad for them, for they will never know, etc. This is where are discussions, end, there is no reasoning with her.  No matter how much I mention separation of church and state.    

    "Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure." Emma 1816 Check out my blog http://uninsuredinca.blogspot.com

    by ArtemisBSG on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:05:06 AM PST

    •  Are you my long-lost sibling? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, ArtemisBSG

      Because you have described my mother perfectly. Sweetest lady on the planet, but totally delusional when it comes to her (it's the only right one, you know) religion.

      She also watches only Faux Nuz...

      "In other words, if we bust our butts, there's an even chance things will get better; and if we sit on our butts, there's a major chance things will go completely to hell". --- G2geek

      by Lorinda Pike on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:11:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey sis! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lorinda Pike

        Yes, they sound the same.   Sweet, a perfect angel, though mine "says" she doesn't watch Faux news.

        She is quite hypocritical, on one hand saying it's great that we have religous freedom/separation of church and state, but.... my religion is the be all and end all, I will acknowledge "yours" but if you don't believe what I believe (cue the pitying look).  

        She really doesn't quite get that if what she said to me she said to a Muslim, Jew, Buddhist she would be insulting them.  

        "Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure." Emma 1816 Check out my blog http://uninsuredinca.blogspot.com

        by ArtemisBSG on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:20:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Diary repbulished to Anglican Kossacks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lorinda Pike

    I'm right there with you.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. Ren and Stimpy: Dog on Cat equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:08:23 AM PST

  •  I think this 'freedom' has been severely breached (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lorinda Pike

    and for horrible intent. I'm sick of it.

    "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    by roseeriter on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 08:16:51 AM PST

  •  That's always been the problem with religion... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArtemisBSG, roseeriter, pittie70

    they are driven to force people into their believe system.  It's not enough that they believe Jesus loves money or whatever the hell they believe now, they NEED everyone else to believe it, otherwise, what's the point?  

    I personally do not care if other people are religious, but when they encroach on my freedom to be decidedly unreligious, that's a violation of my rights as an American.  I don't believe in Jesus, I don't believe in the Bible, I don't believe a cluster of cells in my uterus has a soul.  I just wish Bible-thumpers would let it go.  If their religion is so fricken great, why do they need to convince force people to abide by it?  It seems so much like a cult gone unchecked, its scary.

  •  Standing Ovation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArtemisBSG, loggersbrat

    As we say in Numenism, if you don't want it, you can't have it, and everyone gets to decide for themselves if they want it.

    All knowledge is worth having.

    by Noddy on Tue Feb 14, 2012 at 09:04:53 AM PST

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