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.