Should Freedom of Religion include Freedom from Religion?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Goldtop, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Actually, both my children had such a class in their schools. I don't remember the name of the class, but it covered world religions.
     
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  3. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Hey, that kid was me!
     
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  5. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    We said the words without giving them much thought, you know, because we were kids. It would have been useful had one of our teachers actually discussed the meaning and purpose of the pledge.
     
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  7. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I would be even better not to put words into kids mouths.
     
  8. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    A person cannot freely practice their religion unless they are free from everyone else's religion. Freedom of religion and freedom from religion go hand in hand.
     
  9. Goldtop Registered Member

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    Not really, theists around the world practice their religions in their respective countries, few countries prohibit them from doing so.
     
  10. Goldtop Registered Member

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    No problem, they're buddies.
     
  11. Goldtop Registered Member

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    That's a tough one. I think just focusing on the rights vs. no rights aspect is what I'm trying to get at.
     
  12. Goldtop Registered Member

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    Thank you, that's what I thought, but these theists didn't see it that way.
     
  13. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Granted, it's generally impossible to be entirely free of religion since most of my family and friends participate in some form or another. (As is their right.) Not to mention various private businesses that decorate for Christmas or whatever. (As is their right.) But I don't want or expect to see my tax dollars (aka - Government) used to teach, honor or promote it in anyway. They waste enough of my money as it is - I sure don't want them to spend it on nativity scenes and reindeer.
     
  14. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Okay, to address the statement, I think it depends on what they meant. In our society there will always be religion: I can't drive down the street without seeing a church. There is no way to sterilize religion from society absolutely. If absolute freedom from religion means you are never exposed to it, then I think that is an impossibility.
     
  15. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    And I am sure everyone realizes that. But I should never see a cross, a nativity scene, a star of David, or any other religious symbol on the courthouse lawn. Nor should I see the 10 commandments, Bible, Torah or Koran. And I should never hear a prayer in any public (aka - paid for by taxpayers) establishment.
     
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    I assume you mean 'sponsored by the establishment'.

    It is as much a Christian's or Muslim's public space as it is yours. If an individual wishes to stop and pray in a public space, of course it's his right.

    I think the issue is a very grey one. When does one person's right to express themselves actually overlap another person's personal space?
    How close does one have to be - and how loud or intrusive - before another can say they're being interfered with?
     
  17. Goldtop Registered Member

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    I'm not sure it is his right to stop and pray in a public place, that might be considered loitering. I'm sure there are probably a lot of things we can't do in a public place that would constitute violating some other bylaw.
     
  18. Goldtop Registered Member

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    Maybe we can at the very least get them to pay some taxes. I'm getting fed up having to subsidize them with my property taxes.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    No.
    1] If he were loitering, he could be charged with loitering. But stopping to pray in a public place does not, itself, constitute loitering.
    2] The same exaggeration can apply to anyone else, say an atheist, who stops to check his phone.
     
  20. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not certain what you mean by subsidize. Your taxes don't build the churches. Most religious organizations are supported by their congregation. I think it is consider a charitable organization in the broadest sense, though some do appear to be milking the system, I do agree.
     
  21. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Well, that is a hard one to approach. On one hand we have the separation of church and state, on the other we have a diversity of people and their beliefs. If the government doesn't represent the people, what use is it?
     
  22. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    This is not how the law works. Public spaces can be made available for religious displays, as long as they are available for the same from all religions (US law).
     
  23. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    But they do build the street and the sidewalk in front of it; often the parking lot, as well. Churches don't pay taxes, so all their infrastructure - sewer, water main, snow clearance, street-lights - have to be covered by other people's taxes.
    Best of all, from their point of view, they don't pay on any tax on property or investment income, either.
    The government doesn't represent every aspect of every person. You can belong to all kinds of organizations, clubs, sports team, professional guilds and fraternities, and still cast only your one single political vote as a citizen. The government's job is to administer public safety, foreign relations, currency; the allocation of resources and management of land and its use; the regulation of commerce and the movement of persons and goods in and out of the country.
    Its mandate does not extend to tending your spiritual needs or catering to your superstitions, or interceding with your god, any more than it should organize your love-life or your weight-loss regimen.
     

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