Welcome to the Street Prophets Coffee Hour. This is an open thread where we can share our thoughts and comments about the day. To get us started today, I thought I’d bring up the topic of religious respect.
In 1990, the United States Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, ruled in Smith v Oregon that it was okay to fire someone because of their participation in a church service. Justice Scalia argued that in a pluralistic society, religious diversity is a “luxury” which the United States cannot afford. In response to this ruling, Congress in 1993 passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments (Public Law 103-344). In signing the Act, President Bill Clinton said:
“Let us respect one another’s faiths, fight to the death to preserve the right of every American to practice whatever convictions he or she has, but bring our values back to the table of American discourse to heal our troubled land.”As religious continues to divide this nation today, with most of the conservative politicians advocating the creation of an American theocracy, it is good for us to reflect on Clinton’s words.
The critical question is: How do we respect someone else’s spirituality/religion/belief system, if they do not respect ours? Any suggestions?
In the meantime, this is an open thread. Feel free to change the topic. As usual, the other important question is—What’s for dinner?