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.
NONSENSE VS CLEAR INTENT
The ‘liberty’ part [of ‘religious liberty’ debates] is intended to protect minority NON-believers to ensure that they have the liberty to maintain their own independent beliefs without suffering any disadvantages imposed upon them by the dominant believers.
But no one is limiting what your [Christian Right] belief can be. You are free to hate contraception or gay people all you want. The limitation that chafes here is other people—more importantly, other people’s right to their own beliefs.
It’s just not that difficult to understand. Fear that they might not have quite as sturdy a foundation upon which their Christian beliefs are based is certainly a prime motivation for the ongoing efforts of those on the Christian Right to legislate their specific beliefs into law—the beliefs/non-beliefs of others being irrelevant or otherwise easily dismissed. That’s certainly convenient, but imagine the squawking should those of other faiths [or no faiths]—who have their own legitimate commercial establishments—suddenly decide that those who believe in the Christian God are not allowed to patronize those businesses because their religious beliefs are inconsistent with the narrow-minded, bigoted ones of those activist Christians. Fair is fair, Right? Right?
Religious freedom questions are complicated in the way tolerance is complicated: How tolerant should we be of intolerance? What if one person’s religion dictates that he should impose his beliefs on others who may have conflicting spiritual priorities? What if religious claims or entitlements undermine public safety, public health, or national security? Religious freedom had to be balanced against other parts of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ It also has to be balanced against the demands of a coherent civil society.
And that’s a problem because…?
After all these years and all manner of efforts by a wide variety of spokespeople on Its behalf, we’re not one step closer to a consensus on what Life is all about and if/Who/What we’re supposed to abide and honor. Time out?
I’ll circle around the same type of inquiry as I’ve raised here and in my other two blogs: if one must rely on either manufactured “facts” [or less] in an attempt to validate or substantiate a position or belief on an issue of cultural or political significance, then just how valid is that point to begin with? We certainly saw enough of that from Donald Trump’s campaign: an avalanche of lies to gain support gained him support but also revealed his gigantic and ugly underbelly and the farce that would have been his tenure in the Oval Office.
Instead of focusing our efforts and advanced intellectual capabilities on questions whose intent is to seek more and better for more among us, we’re treated to the paranoia and nonsense of an apparently deranged Deity who has commissioned Its own army of lunatics to act on Its behalf. [Trying to decide which professional sports team It wants to bless with a win in tonight’s game is very time-consuming; and waiting for the faithful to give thanks for having been rescued from some near-tragedy—which this same Deity allowed to happen—does require some degree of mental gymnastic abilities to give cover to what is otherwise a completely inane assessment about life’s happenings.]
Still, considering the nonsense and too often vicious directives and observations offered by Its spokespeople, it begs the question as to what kind of nonsense and vicious directives emanate from the One of the Several One and Onlys. How God-like are Gods completely okay with intolerance, discrimination, and anger directed at the less fortunate? Doesn’t that suggest some serious Self-esteem issues are at work for these various Deities if they need constant reassurances about their place at the very crowded top of the God Hierarchy?
~ My Photo: le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City © 09.18.09
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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.
Are we really to believe that we’re all commanded or obliged to above all else obey and honor and worship one Supreme Being [among many]? How stultifying! This Magnificence is so needy and weak that It needs us to do things to satisfy It? Hello!? How did It manage to survive all those billions of years without us?!
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.
Re-establishing this blog is my own contribution to wiser problem-solving than what seems to be the norm. Too many are in position where their delusions carry heavy and needless consequences to all of us.