Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Freedom from religion

In the United States, among all the other madness that's going on with regard to Christianity, there's this sentiment going on among some of them that goes like "freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion."

For a long time I was completely puzzled by this, and I'm not the only one. Are they really saying that religion should be forced onto people and that non-religiousness should be banned?

But then I realized what's going on here. Like with so many other things, they are using a different meaning for the concept of "freedom from religion."

You see, when a secularist uses that term, what he means is that religion must not be forced onto anybody. In other words, they must not be forced to belong to nor submit to any church or religious organization, nor forced to attend their events, nor forced to read their literature and so on. They must have the choice of not belonging to nor professing any religion, and that they should be treated equally before the law completely regardless of their religion or lack of, because that's one of the most basic of human rights and freedoms.

However, when these Christians say that "freedom of religion does not mean freedom from religion" they mean something different: They think that "freedom from religion" means that nobody has to see or hear about religion anywhere, at any time, in any context. They think that it means that religion should be banned from public display, from TV and the rest of the media, and that nobody has the right to show any religious affiliation or symbolism publicly. In other words, they think that "freedom from religion" means "I don't have to see religion anywhere".

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