Quantcast


Twitter icon


Facebook icon

About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Is this your first visit?
Contact us
External links

Recommended books

Visitors' essays
Our forum
New essays
Other features
Buy a CD of this site
Vital notes

World religions
BUDDHISM
CHRISTIANITY
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Persons
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
 Denominations
HINDUISM
ISLAM
JUDAISM
WICCA / WITCHCRAFT
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs
Atheism
Agnosticism
Humanism
Other

About all religions
Main topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handling change
Doubt & security
Quotes
Movies
Confusing terms
Glossary
End of the World?
True religion?
Seasonal events
Science vs. Religion
More information

Spiritual/ethics
Spirituality
Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

Peace/conflict
Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious freedom
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten Commandments
Abortion access
Assisted suicide
Cloning
Death penalty
Environment

Same-sex marriage

Homosexuality
Human rights
Gays in the military
Nudism
Origins
Sex & gender
Sin
Spanking
Stem cells
Transexuality
Women-rights
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news

Sponsored links

 

 

 

!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

An essay donated by Susan Humphreys

Religious rights, persecution and discrimination

horizontal rule
Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Religious rights, persecution and discrimination:

Societies have always had problems balancing the rights of one individual when they conflict with the rights of other individuals and especially when they conflict with the needs of (what is best for) the collective, the group as a whole.

Recently some Christians in this area have been crying that their rights are being violated over the Chic-fil-A incident. Any condemnation of what the CEO said or his beliefs, any calls for boycotts -- or as in our local case calls for the University to refuse to renew a contract with the company, -- is called by some a violation of religious freedom and free speech, it is seen as an all out attack on Christianity and invokes self-righteous moral outrage.

The right of freedom of speech and freedom of religion means (in some folks mind) that they (or folks they support):

  1. Can say anything they want and no one has the right to contradict them, or present a different point of view.

  2. Have the right to point to Biblical passages to support their opinions and beliefs but others do not have the right to point to Biblical passages that contradict their opinions, or point out the errors, contradictions, and mistranslations in the Bible that show why someone thinks their opinions are wrong. If you are going to use the Bible to support your opinions you have no choice but to accept that others (non-Christians and Christians) have the right to use the Bible to support a different point of view.

  3. Have the right to practice their religion and that includes telling others what they can and can not do (including passing laws that force compliance with their beliefs) but others do not have the right to practice their religion (live their values, or pass laws that support their beliefs) if those values and beliefs are different.

Many are tired of the double standards and hypocrisy that imply a group/person has the right to make choices based on their values but others don't have the right to make choices based on their values, or what might be in the best interest of the collective, the group as a whole, when those values are different from their own. One example: many support the rights of Roman Catholic organizations to overrule their Christian and non-Christian employees' wish to have access to birth control as part of their insurance package. But they object to groups refusing to renew a contract with an organization where the CEO supports hate groups.

Many folks are tired of Christians crying wolf, crying that ALL of Christianity and God himself is being attacked when people voice their disagreement and disapproval of any Christian belief or policy. Yet many Christians support the rights of the folks that made the recent anti-Islamic video and the rights of the one pastor that has burned the Koran to voice their hate.

Freedom of religion and speech in this country means you won’t be imprisoned or condemned to death for speaking  (or writing) your mind, or for practicing your religion, or  for living your own life in compliance with your beliefs, or for attending the church/synagogue/mosque of your choice OR for  not attending any church.

Freedom of Religion never implies that your religious freedom takes precedence over the rights and freedoms, religious or otherwise of other people.

Freedom of Speech never implies that people won’t have to face the consequences of their publicly stated opinions or ill chosen words or immoral actions. Having the right to say something doesn’t mean that it is the right thing to say. Nor does it mean that you aren’t a fool for saying it!

In the Bible we read “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” 1 I take this to mean that there are times and a place to speak up and voice your opinions and times to keep your mouth shut and keep your opinions to yourself! Perhaps the Chick-fil-A owner (and a few others) should spend a little time contemplating the wisdom of Ecclesiastes.

If  the owner of Chic-fil-A  hadn’t voiced his opinion in a public forum it is possible that the majority of folks would never have found out that he uses his money to support anti gay/lesbian groups and would never have called for sanctions against his company!

Economic sanctions (not renewing a contract, boycotts) have long been approved (non-violent) methods of Capitalistic systems (free markets) to bring companies/governments in line with corporate/public values, policies and goals.

Ostracism, shunning, public condemnation have also been approved as methods in civilized societies of showing disapproval and disagreement.

I personally think that it is a moral obligation of civilized people to speak up and voice their disapproval of those that persecute/bully others, or deny others their rights through laws and public policies or discriminatory practices, even if that means voicing objections to something some consider their religious right. Religious Freedom doesn’t grant someone the right to persecute others because their religious/moral opinions, values or actions are different from your own. BUT it does give you the right to speak up and object when others rights are being violated. Silence is complicity.

One of the hardest thing for some folks to accept is the reality that the rights and privileges they demand as their due must also be granted to others as their due.  Finding the balance between the rights of one when they conflict with the rights of others and determining what is best for the collective, the group as a whole is never easy.

horizontal rule

Footnote:

  1. Ecclesiastes 3:1: To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  (King James Version)

horizontal rule

Originally posted: 2012-SEP-28
Author: Susan Humphreys

line.gif (538 bytes)
Sponsored link

Go to the previous page, or return to the "visitors' essays" menu, or  choose:

Google
Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.

 
Sponsored links