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The Right to Freedom of Religion

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posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 03:59 PM
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I am curious as to something very important and intrinsic to Freedom in the United States.

It is the unalienable Right to Freedom of Religion, which in principle supports the Freedom of any individual, in public or private, to manifest Religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance, or their Right not to follow any Religion

This issue was addressed by Thomas Paine in his pamphlet, Common Sense (1776):


"As to religion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of all government, to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith…

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson, proclaimed:


"[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."

This Right to Freedom of Religion was so important that it was given in both the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.



"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


This was further reinforced in the Fourteenth Amendment, granting Religious Civil Rights specifically (since there were those who didn't find the first two clauses of the First Amendment to be clear enough).


"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."


I know that I take these edicts as the highest Law in our Nation. If ever a group of people attempted to take these rights away from any individual, be they Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, Muslim, Jewish, Hermeticist, Scientologist, Voudon, Satanist, or whatever...even Atheists, Cthonians, and Pastafarians...then I would fight tooth and nail to protect the Rights of those groups, even if I do not share their religious beliefs. I believe so strongly in these unalienable Freedoms that I would fight for those Religions which I find personally reprehensible.

So, my question is, how many are just as willing to die for their neighbor's unalienable Right to Freedom of Religion as they are willing to die for their own beliefs?

Would any Protestants be willing to die for my Right to be a Thelemic/Gnostic/Hermetic/Pythagorean/Platonist/Kabbalistic/Kemetic/Theurgist as I am willing to die for their Right to their Religion?

And if you aren't willing to die to protect the unalienable Right to Freedom of Religion of another who follows a different Religion as you, then how can you consider yourself Free, let alone a Patriot?

I ask this because I routinely see a lot of Religious Intolerance here on ATS and find myself often wondering if I am alone in being willing to die for another and their Right to Freedom of Religion, even if it isn't my Religion.




posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:08 PM
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You're not alone on that.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:16 PM
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Isn't freedom from religion just as important as freedom for it?

Theres quite a disturbing video here showing just how blatantly intolerant some cult/sect members can actualy be..

www.youtube.com...

..and this video showing the indoctrination and conditioning of young children is just sickening:

www.youtube.com...



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:32 PM
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You just raised an interesting question. Well, here's a Christian to try and give her answer.

I will defend everyone's rights equally. I just finished posting in another thread mentioning how horrible America was for not allowing a film about Darwin into their theaters. I agreed. Just because I or you may not agree with a certain issue does not mean that the right to that issue should not be defended every bit as passionately as the issues you hold near and dear.

Know why? Because the path away from freedom is a VERY slippery slope. If you don't defend the right for every issue to be presented... soon we will have no options - no choice at all. Just look at how fast Russia lost her Religious freedom.

All rights - even the ones you might find offensive should be defended or you might find yourself with no rights at all.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:35 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12
Isn't freedom from religion just as important as freedom for it?

Theres quite a disturbing video here showing just how blatantly intolerant some cult/sect members can actualy be..

www.youtube.com...

..and this video showing the indoctrination and conditioning of young children is just sickening:

www.youtube.com...


*sigh* And I am sure, if I looked hard enough, I could find someone indoctrinating and conditioning children to believe what you think is correct.
The only fair way is to present all issues, side-by-side with no favors to any side.
But creation in schools!? That would be horrible! *sarcasm, sarcasm*



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12
Isn't freedom from religion just as important as freedom for it?


Agreed! I think that's why Thomas Jefferson's quote in the OP was so important to include because the way he phrased it included Freedom from Religion as well as Freedom of Religion.

Atheism may not be a religious belief, but it is certainly an idea about religion. Freedom of Religion has never been defined as protecting only "beliefs." One doesn’t need to be religious to have opinions about religion, and it is these opinions that Freedom of Religion protects.

Atheism has already been found to be a "religion" as far as the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment is concerned, and extends thereby to the Fourteenth Amendment as Constitutionally protected.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:49 PM
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Originally posted by sisgood
You just raised an interesting question. Well, here's a Christian to try and give her answer.

I will defend everyone's rights equally. I just finished posting in another thread mentioning how horrible America was for not allowing a film about Darwin into their theaters. I agreed. Just because I or you may not agree with a certain issue does not mean that the right to that issue should not be defended every bit as passionately as the issues you hold near and dear.

Know why? Because the path away from freedom is a VERY slippery slope. If you don't defend the right for every issue to be presented... soon we will have no options - no choice at all. Just look at how fast Russia lost her Religious freedom.

All rights - even the ones you might find offensive should be defended or you might find yourself with no rights at all.


Thank you sisgood! I was beginning to think that most Christians enjoyed their Freedom of Religion in America but weren't willing to allow others in America the same right, but you have redeemed my faith in the equality and good of Christians.

Now, if only we can get the non-gun owners or gun-opponents to feel the same way about the Second Amendment!
Even if you don't personally exercise a Right doesn't mean that one shouldn't fight to protect that Right for those that may choose to exercise it.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:53 PM
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Only so far as your religion doesn't contravene Human Rights.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 04:56 PM
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Favourite quote of mine is
'I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to death your right to say it'
This has been attributed to Voltaire, although written my Evelyn Beatrice as a summation of Voltaire's beliefs on freedom of thought and expression .
To live in a democracy surely means we should all have freedom of belief, speech and the written word as long as it is not intended as incitement to hurt others.

A Book of French Quotations," who noted a letter to M. le Riche (February 6, 1770) in which Voltaire is quoted as saying: "Monsieur l'abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.

Don't most indoctrinate children to a certain degree? the religious or the athiest, the right wing or the left will have a huge influence on their childrens lives, through their own beliefs and values.
Guess the agnostics and those who have no political allegiance will have less of an influence on their kids.



.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:00 PM
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Originally posted by Aeons
Only so far as your religion doesn't contravene Human Rights.


Although it is generally assumed as intending such, I always wondered why such a clause was noticeably absent from the Constitution of the United States...that you have these Rights so long as they do not infringe upon the Rights of another.

You have the Right to Freedom of (or from) Religion, so long as your Religious practices don't include Human Sacrifice, say for instance. You can believe in Human Sacrifice, but the moment you violate the Liberty of another by actually practicing Human Sacrifice then your Rights to Freedom of Religion have been exceeded by infringing upon the Rights of another.

Although one could argue that was why Thomas Jefferson believed so strongly in the Wall of Separation. With most Rights it is rather cut-and-dried clear when the protected Rights of one infringe upon another, but with Freedom of (or from) Religion those lines can easily get blurred. I think the arguments on both sides of the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design fall into that category to the point where only the Wall of Separation can keep one side from infringing upon the rights of the other side.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:03 PM
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Children are born atheists, it's only some who believe it's "right" to sell them otherwise. This is the worst brainwashing I could fear for my children.

If your "religion" says in any way, shape, or form that I should be murdered or face eternal damnation for non-compliance, why the **** should I fight and/or die for the thought of dying by anothers hand?


Edit for spelling.

[edit on 28/9/09 by Rodeen]



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by fraterormus
So, my question is, how many are just as willing to die for their neighbor's unalienable Right to Freedom of Religion as they are willing to die for their own beliefs?


I am willing to die for our rights. I'm atheist and my neighbor is Christian. Our beliefs are very different, but the RIGHT is the same.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Rodeen
Children are born atheists, it's only some who believe it's "right" to sell them otherwise.


They are also born unable to walk, speak and use the bathroom. ALL education is "brainwashing" of a sort. That's why it's left up to the parents.


This is the worst brainwashing I could fear for my children.


Same here. Fortunately, we don't have to teach them any religion if we don't want to.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 


Hi Frat,

I have long said Our individual Liberties originate in Nature. The "Founding Fathers" back me up on this in fact. However, I've seen a scary trend as of late, and that is to label this mindset against the Countries principles; labeled something along the lines of an "illuminated" mindset.

The funny thing with that is the "Founding Fathers" were involved with Secret Societies, and most were evil "illuminated", at least according by default of what a lot of the modern scholars are saying. I am no Luciferian, and I belong to no organization, but I can see my Rights, and those around as outlined in Nature. With this line of view my viewpoint is "Live, and let Live".

I will defend my neighbors, and country People along those pretexts. The reason being is that should People not stand up for each other in the face of tyranny, then tyranny will slowly gain strength to win. I am standing up for my Fellow People because it is ensuring my Rights.

That being said, any Person so disillusioned into trying to control anyone else through laws regarding what they can, or cannot believe, I feel the penalty should be severe.

Their plight borders on usurping others beliefs in order to further their own. It is the reasoning of "popularity". I must be right as I was able to FORCE others into my edict by means that are superficial, and usurping of others rights, but they let me.

Yes, I say for these People the punishment should be unending.
S&F



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Why can't we present all issues equally and let the individual choose? Yeah, it would take some time but it really would be the fairest way.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:23 PM
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Originally posted by karl 12
Isn't freedom from religion just as important as freedom for it?

Theres quite a disturbing video here showing just how blatantly intolerant some cult/sect members can actualy be...


Too bad texas with their "constitutional toutin' patriots" can't understand that freedom given their ruling for public schools 3 years ago..... compulsory learning in one type of religion... which evidently was a ploy given that the vast majority of texans are of christian faith.

Our foreign policy with Israel is an exact example of religion being dumped on the state against the will of the founding fathers.

[edit on 28-9-2009 by Southern Guardian]



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:24 PM
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Originally posted by sisgood
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 


Why can't we present all issues equally and let the individual choose? Yeah, it would take some time but it really would be the fairest way.


When you look at religion logically, with reason and evidence, teaching anyone a falsehood is the most morally bankrupt thing you could do to your children.
EVER fighting for someones "right" to practice it is not right, considering almost all the major religions promote some form of (often drastic) punishment for non-compliance.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:25 PM
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There must be stopping points.

Your religion might require you to kill me.

Your religion may require my oppression.

Your religion may say that I am to do XYZ.

Your religion may contend that I am an animal, or a subhuman.

Your religion can say and require a million things.

From me.

Your religion. Me. Your religion. Your treatment of other humans.

See this is where the freedom to religion fails. Your religion may require that I wear a scarlet letter. But I won't. Your religion may say you are allowed to own me as a slave. But I won't fight for your "right" to do so. Your religion may require that you assign me a place and proscribe my activities. I won't fight for your right to do that.

[edit on 2009/9/28 by Aeons]



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:28 PM
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Even if the parent doesn't teach their child what to think, the prevailing culture will. For example, evolution is so embedded in geology and biology that it seems to be impossible for any other *thing* to be possible... (critical vocabulary failure...) Other sciences avoid that but the world-view is so prevailent that... it counts as indoctrination. (critical vocabulary failure #2)



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by sisgood
Why can't we present all issues equally and let the individual choose?


Do you mean to your children? You can. You can teach them anything you want.

I don't believe teaching religion has any place in public schools except as an objective study of different religious beliefs of the world. And that should include atheism, which is a religious belief - a belief about religion - but not a religion.



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