I couldn't resist mentioning these diaries from yesterday: Metalnun wrote an excellent diary on atheism and believing in God, Letting God Out of the Box. ExpatGirl wrote a very thoughtful diary, I Happen To Like Religion. Today's news around Kos: Frederick Clarkson wrote a new diary, Seize the Day (Religious Freedom Day) on Social Media. He tells us more about today's efforts on the Intertubes and the history of the day if you're not familiar with it yet. Kittycheshire wrote a diary, National Religious Freedom Day, telling of her experiences with religion and making some excellent points. Brahman Colorado wrote an enlightening diary, National Religious Freedom Day of Meditation and Contemplative Science, in which he discusses Buddhism and atheism. Betty Clermont wrote a diary, Religious Freedom Day: Catholic Right Still Tied to Big Money Republicans, illuminating how this ties into anti-equality policies. Aaraujo wrote a diary, Liberal Saudi Blogger Faces 1000 Lashes. He hasn't flagged it as a religious freedom diary but it fits right in, as the blogger is accused of apostasy, supposedly insulting Islam. J Edward wrote a diary, Our Founders Basis for Religious Freedom, exploring more of the history of the concept. Ruby red shoes wrote a diary, For Religious Freedom Day: The Gospel of Wealth. This was written in the early morning, but somehow I missed it. Apologies, ruby red shoes! Two of my favorite subjects too, religion and wealth inequality. Give it a look if you haven't yet. Wee Mama wrote a diary, Centuries Of Freedom, telling some of the tale of her own ancestors' religious freedom. Subir wrote a diary, Israel plans to build West Bank settlements to house Jewish immigrants from France. Very concerning for the future of Israelis, Palestinians, and French Jews. Fauxrs wrote a diary, Religious freedom day: People are People, from an atheist perspective. Great quote: "Religious freedom should be ubiquitous as socks". Shaun King wrote a diary, How Duke University was pressured into bigotry against Islam and its 700 Muslim students. Denise has added contact information in the comments. Let's contact them and insist they stop discriminating! Enhydra lutris wrote a diary, Pope Notes: Boo Contraception, Yay Father Serra, tongue firmly in cheek. I thought you were serious for a minute there, enhydra! War on Error wrote a diary on the error of some right-wing nuttery, Ben Carson: Founding Fathers, ISIS Both 'Willing to Die For What They Believed In'. Frederick Clarkson passed along the President's proclamation for Religious Freedom Day this year in Obama Proclaims Religious Freedom Day! Always a good read. NCTim has awesomely provided us with music for today in Music - Religious Freedom Day. Thank you, NCTim! Now we can start the party. If you have songs of your own to add, just go to comments! Thinkingblue wrote a diary, With One Full Sweep of the Tongue, Pope Francis Punches Us Back to the Dark Ages, another visit to the disturbing things the Pope has been saying lately. Let's secularsplain one more time: No matter how much you disagree, it is never okay to meet free speech with anything other than more free speech. If you have faith in your God who obviously still loves the free thinker and free speaker, then do likewise. If they cross a line, God will send them plagues. He doesn't need or want us to fight with each other. Enhydra lutis wrote a second diary, Religious Freedom is External Only. Busy person, enhydra! Mopshell wrote a diary, Jefferson and the Baptists: an Extraordinary Alliance in the Fight for Religious Freedom. Some different interesting history here. Marko the Werelynx wrote this diary, Religious Freedom Day Doom: Street Prophets Open Thread, having heard about the day just in time, apparently. Glad you heard the word, Marko! SeaTurtle wrote this diary, Pope Condemns Birth Control; just don't criticize him for it, revisiting the topics noted above and noting that after saying something so criticism-worthy, he then says it's not right to criticize. Well, that'll cut off dissent. Except we have religious freedom, so fortunately it won't. New Kos diaries from 6:46 PM to midnight: Please note the previous new diaries were moved up; the below are the newest new diaries: Tmservo433 wrote a diary, Missouri Republicans Propose Subsidizing Anti-Gay Religious Groups on College Campuses. Because somehow... I can't explain it, Republican logic escapes me. Zera Lee wrote a diary, Happy Religious Freedom Day and points out, among other things, that those who object to Sharia law should also be objecting to imposition of any government-sponsored Christian law. MiAtheistGal wrote a diary, Boy Admits Heaven Story False; Book Pulled From Shelves. Well duh, that seems self evident. I still don't understand why they didn't just slap a fiction sticker on it. Jon Perr wrote a diary, Conservatives learn an important lesson for Religious Freedom Day, in which he makes several good points in our discussion about religious freedom. Homer177 gets the last word on RFD on Kos with his diary, National Religious Freedom Day.... Okay, I'll Bite. As many have said or implied today, maintain separation of church and state, and we'll all get along fine. Today's news beyond Kos: Elena Carlena has an op-ed in the local Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, Celebrate Nation's Commitment to Allow Freedom from Religion. Reaching out into the real world. Yikes! Frederick Clarkson has an op-ed in The Hill, the blog for the United States Congress. There's some serious influence! It's called Stand in the bright light of history on Religious Freedom Day. A history lesson as to why the Christian Right is Wrong. Now if the Christian Right will only read it. J. Brent Walker has written at HuffPost Religion, Jefferson's Religious Freedom Statute: Setting the Groundwork for the Separation of Church and State. Don Byrd has written a followup to that piece at bjconline.org (that's the Baptist Joint Committee for religious liberty), Happy Religious Freedom Day!. Sally Steenland has written at americanprogress.org (a blog for the progressive Center for American Progress), 3 Ways to Celebrate Religious Freedom Day. The tweet storm was quite successful! Such as can be seen here, #religiousfreedomis. Updated news beyond Kos: Please note that as above, the old new news was moved up and below here is the newest news: Shocking news: Republican Representative James Lankford has written Religious Freedom Day 2015: What our Founders understood about freedom of faith at Fox News of all places, and I almost agree with every word! You probably will too. The only area of disagreement was what the Hobby Lobby decision represented. He was correct on the history, on the lack of governmental coercion, etc. Is it possible there is one halfway intelligent Republican associated with Faux yet? Terrific news: Utah House Democratic Minority Leader Brian King held a press conference today announcing that he will introduce a bill for a state Religious Freedom Day. There are two articles (so far) on this subject: Lee Davidson, Salt Lake Tribune, Dem leader says focus on religious liberty could hurt civil rights. And Dennis Romboy, Deseret News, State lawmaker wants Utah to recognize Religious Freedom Day. Representative King stated that he has concerns about gay marriage bills that have been introduced into the state Congress and wants to make sure that they do not result in government favoring religion. He seems very reasonable; he is Mormon himself so presumably knows how to talk the talk. Good luck, Rep. King! FINAL Update on Religious Freedom Day Activities: Serendipityisabitch wrote a Religious Freedom diary today, January 17, Hunting for the Blind Men: A different approach to the invisible. We saw you even the day after, SIAB! Thank you for the tip, officebss. Aaron Weaver wrote a diary yesterday for the CBF (Cooperative Baptist Fellowship) blog, Celebrating Religious Freedom Day with Charles the Baptist. He writes about some of the early history, including this:
To the Anabaptists, the most scorned of sects, belongs the imperishable honor of declaring and persistently urging the fundamental doctrine that rulers of States should not intervene in affairs of conscience and that civil disability should not be predicated upon religious belief. Said they, “The magistrate is not to meddle with religion or matters of conscience, nor compel men to this or that form of religion, because Christ is the King and lawgiver of the church and conscience.”
Today's article by Eric Ethington in the Utah Political Capitol, Democrats and Religious Leaders Announce Bill Creating "Religious Freedom Day" in Utah, contains the complete text of the new proposed resolution that will be introduced by Representative Brian King to the state House. Dixie Dawg wrote a letter to his south Georgia newspaper for Religious Freedom Day. Great job, Dixie Dawg! Since the newspaper has no Web site, here's the text:
Dear Editor: In 1991, President George H. W. Bush signed the first proclamation recognizing Religious Freedom Day to be January 16th of each year. When I heard this, I thought “Religious Freedom Day”? Why was this an issue? After a little research, this is what I learned. President Bush’s proclamation was designed to recognize the first part of the First Amendment to the Constitution. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” After thumbing through some American history, it was clear that the First Amendment was not in response to what the state was doing with religion, but what the church wanted to do with the power of the state. History shows us that the church tends to grow impatient with the will and way of the God it proclaims. The church can and has become so convinced of its position, that it will seek the power of the state to enforce its will on the population. The Founding Fathers led by Jefferson and Madison recognized this situation; and, with the adoption of the First Amendment in 1791, saved us from a state church. We owe President George H. W. Bush a debt of gratitude for his foresight in recognizing the separation of Church and State by establishing The Freedom of Religion day. Sincerely,
And finally, saving the best for last, Frederick Clarkson was interviewed for Religious Freedom Day by David Pakman, now on YouTube!YouTube Video Thank you to those who showed me how to make links open in a new window so readers don't lose this page!
Sun Feb 01, 2015 at 9:27 AM PT: Frederick Clarkson has a review of RFD activities at LGBTQ Nation. I was happy to help out in the RFD effort. People of good conscience disagree about religious practices all the time. If there were an attempt to elevate one "brand" of religion over all others in our governments, none of us would be happy, for it would assume inappropriate dominance and be corrupted in the attempt. Or as Jefferson wrote:
The impious presumption of legislators..., setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible..., hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time
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