Saturday, April 24, 2010

Defining Religious Freedom

"On 24 April 2020 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel printed three essentially anti-religious or atheistic (However, atheism was declared a religion by the US 7th Circuit Court Of Appeals) letters from readers. Those writers all appear to be supporters of the "negative view of religious freedom".

"Negative Religious Liberty" means, in today's world, that no one should be harmed for what they believe (Including "moral" imperatives") or rituals practiced and statements made as to Faith---As long as such are kept out of public forums and NOT considered in voting for candidates or making public policies. This is the "liberal" or "secular humanist" position or standard which, of course, excludes religion-based "moral" choices (eg As to politics, abortion, war and other like and "hot" topics) as are likely to be in opposition to those held by "liberals" or "humanists" from even being considered by the general pubic, law makers, judges, ETC.. (This is, of course, the current and perverted interpretation of the first part of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the so-called "separation clause"!)

"Positive Religious Liberty" supports the full "free exercise of religion" (The second clause of the First Amendment) by allowing, if not encouraging, "Believers" to proclaim the tenets and practices of their religions in ALL forums; But, also and more importantly for this discussion, to have the ethical, moral and faith-based aspects of religions be accounted as valid issues and frameworks for voting and other public decision making.

Those letter writers should remember that Western Christianity was basic to: The founding of all real universities (The well sources of the science they tout); "Natural Law" as the basic guide to human dignity and freedom; The battles against enslavement of humans as specially demonstrated by the British and USA in the 1800s; The development of art and music; And, most of which is humane in humans. Even in war it was Western Christians who developed the "just war theories", Geneva Conventions and other laws-of-war which "make the best of a bad thing". It has been and is a traditional Christian sense of charity in which our government, agencies and individuals who have given so much to the poor and distressed in the world in wealth AND blood, limbs and lives.

Without Western Christianity and the American exceptionalism which has been in place, your writers would be living in: The deadness of a 1984 socialist tyranny; Or, in mud huts fearful of failing crops or barbarian raids.

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