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
Christian def'n
 Shared beliefs
 Handling change
 Bible topics
 Bible inerrancy
 Bible harmony
 Interpret the Bible
 Beliefs & creeds
 Da Vinci code
 Revelation 666
Other religions
Cults and NRMs
Comparing Religions

Non-theistic beliefs

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

Morality & ethics
Absolute truth

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

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

Same-sex marriage

Human rights
Gays in the military
Sex & gender
Stem cells
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.

A negative aspect of religious freedom


Transitioning from: "religious freedom of belief"
"religious freedom to control, discriminate
denigrate and/or oppress others
in violation of the Golden Rule.

horizontal rule

Some noteable quotations related to the Golden Rule:

  • Maya Angelou (author, poet, civil rights activist): "... equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air: we all have it, or none of us has it. That is the truth of it."

  • Dana Arcuri (author): "Our job on earth isn't to criticize, reject, or judge. Our purpose is to offer a helping hand, compassion, and mercy. We are to do unto others as we hope they would do unto us."

  • Alexandra Katehakis (therapist): "If your actions were to boomerang back on you instantly, would you still act the same? Doing to others an act you’d rather not have done to you reveals a powerful internal conflict."

  • Brennan Manning (author): "How I treat a brother or sister from day to day, how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike, how I deal with normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day may be a better indication of my reverence for life than the antiabortion sticker on the bumper of my car."

  • Steve Shallenberger (author): "Replacing rudeness and impatience with the Golden Rule may not change the world, but it will change your world and your relationships."

  • Socrates (philosopher): "Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others."

  • George Takei (actor): "If you have to make laws to hurt a group of people just to prove your morals and faith, then you have no true morals of faith to prove."

horizontal rule

image of two elephants opposing each other The transition from religious freedom of belief to religious freedom to hurt others:

While monitoring:

we noticed a radical drift in the definition of "religious freedom" and its near-synonym "religious liberty:"

It changed:

  • FROM the historical meaning: the freedom of religious belief, speech, practice, assembly, and proselytizing by believers. At the time, attacks on personal religious freedom typically:
    • Involved governments or larger faith groups as perpetrators, and

    • Involved faith groups or individuals as victims.

  • TO the new freedom demanded by some faith groups or believers to oppress or denigrate others, to discriminate against them, and/or to mount political campaigns to deny them equal rights. These attacks on religious freedom typically:
    • Involve individual believers, faith groups, for-profit companies, or parachurch organizations as perpetrators, and

    • Involve either women or members of sexual minorities as victims.

Religious freedom once referred mostly to the believers' right to express religious ideas and to engage in religious practices. Now it is becoming mostly about the freedom for individuals and religious groups to take actions that discriminate against others by limiting other people's human rights and freedoms without incurring negative consequences themselves.

People who exercise their religious freedom to discriminate rarely connect their actions to Jesus' commands in two Gospels -- Matthew and Luke -- to obey what is now called the Golden Rule. He requires his followers to treat others as his followers would wish to be treated themselves. This is a fundamental moral precept found in all major religions in the world and in many philosophical writings.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Topics covered in this section:

  • Two contrasting meanings of the term "religious freedom:" The freedom of belief vs. the freedom to discriminate:

Sponsored links: