Our Constitution granted each and every one of us the freedom to believe or not believe as we decide. That protection applies to all of us. When one group has decided by some form of spiritual osmosis that their version of the unverifiable and occasionally insane has been decreed to be the new Law, and thus their political mission is to ensure that is so, then it is up to the rest of us to put that crazy back where it belongs: away from public influence.
GENUINE RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
Religious liberty is a core value that belongs to all Americans and serves to ensure that one group cannot impose its beliefs or practices on another.
Religious liberty should exist in a balanced relationship with the other freedoms that are afforded to all Americans. It should not be interpreted to permit harm to others or limit civil rights.
Religious liberty protections should be enforced for all Americans and not only for those of a specific religious faith.
Insecurities as to whether one’s spiritual mandates are in fact legitimate is no justification for coercing others into abiding by those same edicts in order to add legitimacy to them. Belief without introspection does cut down on the risks of realizing that one’s identity and value system have been assembled with beach sand as the foundation, but the harm extends beyond one’s own psychic dissonance.
Religious liberty is not far-Right Christian liberty, much as the ardent believers would either have us believe or are trying to persuade us by any and all means necessary. If facts and honesty won’t do the trick, well then … ya gotta do what ya gotta do, Right?
If the Christian Right is so convinced that their God’s marching orders are The Official Rules, shouldn’t their validity be founded on something more than hypocrisy, magic, misrepresentations, condemnations, deceit, and the “wisdom” of ancient ancestors whose collective wisdom is suspect at best? We’ve had no improvements or modifications to those Rules after all these centuries?
Shouldn’t their God be offering up a Celestial Heavy Sigh right about now and making it ever-so-obvious to even the most disbelieving among us that there actually is a One and Only Deity with Very Clear Rules about the Do’s and Don’t’s? Instead, we’re constantly treated to an endless parade of crazy by the most prominent voices on the Right, each determined to out-do the others in full-out loony.
Even a passing glance at Steve Benen’s wonderful This Week in God website ought to more than ample evidence that the various Deity’s competing for space and attention have commissioned some decidedly insane and/or mean-spirited spokespeople to pass along their various messages about who and what to condemn or discriminate against—or worse. And if these various Deities vying for attention are so determined to create endless havoc here on on Planet Earth, shouldn’t Their various loyal followers be wondering right about now just what they hell is going on?
We’ve been blessed with this magnificent planet in a truly great nation with almost limitless possibilities to do go and to enjoy and share in so much abundance, and a much-too large segment of the population continues to be apoplectic over the thought that Marie might marry Diane or that the local schools are actually teaching facts to the community’s children about how our world works. Can someone/anyone explain the benefits of dumbing down our future generations so that in a world ever-more complex and interconnected by the day, our children will be even less equipped to properly deal with and adapt to their world than the current crop of adults are demonstrating?
How have we evolved to the point where large clusters of presumably capable and reasonably intelligent adults have decided that magical thinking about unverifiable nonsense is the go-to set of rules for living? There are no better rules to live by than to condemn others about matters which are no one’s business but those others? Facts and reality are now suddenly opinions because they interfere with the radio waves being transmitted by Cosmic Crazies to the earth-bound leaders of Crazy World?
Spirituality and religion could and should be avenues available to those seeking solace or guidance or wisdom on how to better themselves. But instead, there has been a collective decision that perpetuating conflict serves a Higher Purpose? Seriously?
The policies which help support, guide, sustain, and enable each of us—along with our communities and businesses—to thrive and prosper are now targets for a fanciful set of guidelines designed primarily to appease crazies? Imagine if the loyal followers targeting school boards and businesses and local governments to adopt their set of unjustifiable and unverifiable demands—affecting all of us, it should be noted—actually paused for a moment in their headlong dash to suppress their cognitive dissonance and pondered Why, Exactly, Are We Doing This? and What Happens Later?
Legislation passed or vetoed all have consequences. Shouldn’t we make certain that the foundations upon which we build the rules and regulations and requirements to allow our society to function are based on those fact-things rather than fear-driven, insoluble, hyper-contrary, and confusing set of manufactured orders assembled by less-informed forebears who understood almost nothing about anything, and now perpetuated by a current crop of “leaders” clearly incapable of separating nonsense from fact?
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Note to readers: In addition to my other blogs and writings here [see the Links above] and at Peak Oil Matters, I invite you to enjoy some brief excepts from my eBook political thriller:
The Tretiak Agenda
They began [here] on June 15, and conclude this week
~ My Photo: Wellfleet, Cape Cod, MA – 08.20.04 ©
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Concerted efforts by Christian Right extremists to weave their highly questionable beliefs into the fabric of public policy must be challenged–vigorously so. The routine demonstrations of hypocrisy which serves to pervert the commonly understood tenets of that faith, and fact-averse denunciations of science or other evidence clearly at odds with the nonsense, imposed anxieties, and promoted fears, have no place in the problem-solving arena of the 21st Century.
Magical thinking is not a shield to the inevitable harm which results when irrational and mindless behaviors collide with reason and fact. We have some choices to make, and a future to concern ourselves with.
I was raised as a Catholic. For eight years in elementary school, and four more in high school, I learned what [mostly] priests and nuns taught me. Several decades ago, I fell madly, deeply in love with a wondrous and dazzling born-again Christian who ultimately broke my heart into a million little pieces. The magic, and sorrow, of youthful thinking. That didn’t prevent me from future relationships with devout but less extreme Catholic women. [Not that I am complaining or offering regrets, since I am married to the best person I’ve ever known!]
So I come to this later stage of my life having had a full dosage of less overt but still impactful indoctrination into the ways of God as defined by more overt Christians. My departure from those experiences has come by way of many life events and a great deal of study and introspection.
In 2014, I published an eBook entitled Life Will Answer. It’s an exploration of life, religion, and the tenuous connection one has with the other—at least as has been defined to date by the various theologies of past and present-day believers.
I don’t pretend to be a religious scholar. I am at best a casual observer of some religion-based behaviors, but given that I have also authored a book discussing those matters, perhaps that makes me more than a casual observer.
A fundamental point of the book is that Life has been established to honor and answer the choices each and all of us make—whatever they are and however they may be judged by the standards and guidelines we as a society have established. I do not accept the notion that there is a God or another Deity of choice offering wildly arbitrary thumbs-ups and thumbs-downs, or that this Deity has edicts we’re free to abide by or not (although if we don’t there will be hell to pay).
I wrote that book on the premise that there is more to this life than the narrow-minded, conflicting, and occasionally dangerous notions various religions offer. Given the large number of them each claiming passionate followers, it’s absurd for any collection of humans to insist that their Deity assures them It is the One and Only. Countless Peers and their own loyal adherents take issue with that.
Every day we are witness to the absurdities—and too often, the atrocities—committed in the name of some Deity or another by adherents convinced that they and they alone are privy to the guidance and dictates of that One and Only. There is little room, if any, for reason, logic, or rational thought. The absence of an intelligent component guiding their beliefs and conduct—replaced as it as by fears and justifications untethered from reality—carries its own set of consequences.