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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    The whole point is to keep the government's fingers out of religion, to reduce its influence in such things. Freedom of Religion is sacred. Many who have settled here did so for that one purpose. But if you feel cheated, I suppose you could write a letter to Wyden or Merkley, Blumenauer or DeFazio, whoever might be your representative.
     
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  3. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I don't know anything about Australian politics, so I won't hazard a guess. Here in the U.S. we've been swapping sides for decades, yet it's still business as usual. And I'm actually fine with that as long as we preserve our individual liberties along the way.
     
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  5. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    There is no Constitutional right for churches to be tax exempt. Freedom of Religion has nothing to do with taxes.
     
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  7. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I believe it is the responsibility of congress to write tax law. Again, write your representatives. They are an email distance away.
     
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    I'm not asking for advice or permission here on what to do. Maybe you are confused?
     
  9. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    I'm offering it nonetheless. Write them a letter. I have in the past, and they do respond. Possibly they have a perspective on this issue that we have yet to uncover in this thread.

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/OR

    As it stands, I don't have a problem with the current taxless status of religious org's, but you do. I don't see the conversation progressing any further.
     
  10. Michael 345 Looking for Bali in Nov Valued Senior Member

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    We swap sides fairly frequently and our politicians are not so overt religious
    Here is a NT News letter published today 14/12/2017
    The writer is fairly prolific and frequently published

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  11. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    That is a safe assumption on my part. An individual does have the right to pray. I would prefer if they did it discretely. And, if I remember my Sunday school lessons correctly, so would Jesus. But that's a different argument for another day.
     
  12. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe if the wise men brought a plate of spaghetti and meatballs to baby Jesus, we could let it slide.

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  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Of course it does. So does the law. So does the existence of other people. So does nature.
    It may sometimes be a shame, but not necessarily or always.
    It's not an altogether bad thing that safety regulations prevent the burning of witches in libraries, or the the throwing of sacrificial babies off high towers.
    If you consider having a harbour or highway or fire department punishments, then, yes. The government needs to collect revenues for all those services we take for granted and bitch about when they're not delivered to our satisfaction, just as we bitch about having to pay for them.
    It was the state religion of the dominant settlers; the one whose persecution many of them had fled.
    It's still the official state religion of England, though most of its teeth have been pulled.
    Having a state religion has caused any number of civil wars and very unhappy marriages.
    Eh? What's the difference between a church and a religion?

    Neither. The intention was to keep religion out of government, so that democratic laws could be enacted, instead of imposing the morality of ancient Jews or medieval Catholics on a new, heterogeneous republic. Government fingers must necessarily intercede against any ritual or practice that harms the citizenry - even if it's just the honour killing of, or exorcism of devils from, or refusal of medical treatment to, one's own child.

    In that case, Catholics, Seventh Day Adventists, Muslims, wiccans and atheists should all be taxed the same, on their capital gains, investment property, house frontage, gasoline, liquor, gun and cigarette purchases - everything - rather than some groups being given a financial advantage over their fellow voters.
    That's not about religious freedom; that's a whole different problem: anarchism is not a registered religion afaik.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  14. Goldtop Registered Member

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    I think there are two separate things to look at, freedom of religion and separation of religion and state, and I don't think one is the same as the other.

    Freedom of religion primarily means that folks can practice their religion without being persecuted, that's about it, while separation of church and state means no state influence and vice versa. Unfortunately, theists often violate that right and do indeed influence government, the Republican party is a good example of that, they're pushing through Religious Liberty laws that protect their beliefs. Not only do theists deny us freedom from religion, now they want to make sure we don't criticize their beliefs, taking away our right to free speech.
     
  15. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    In the ideal world a Christian entering politics would lose their religious beliefs before entering office?


    You need to be more specific before I can reply to that statement.

    I don't believe they can deny you your First Amendment right to Free Speech, but if you have an example, I'm listening.
     
  16. Goldtop Registered Member

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    Christians don't have to lose their beliefs, just don't bring them to work.

    Here's an example of losing our freedoms to theocracy.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/religious-freedom-executive-order/525354/
     
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    And even that, only up to the point where religious practice contravenes the law of of the land.

    It may imply that, but I'm not sure it means that - not explicitly, anyway. There is always influence on government by organized bodies: trade unions, economic interest blocs, lobbies, etc. because they represent either a large number of voters or a large contributor to a politician's success.
    And government does need to limit the power of religious and other groups if it is to defend those whom they persecute, exploit or victimize .

    They do, indeed, have undue influence, amounting to coercion or even co-optation of secular government powers - that is, violating the separation principle - to protect their special status, while pleading that same principle to force their prejudice on other groups.

    Consider this statement by Bowser:
    If it were intended seriously rather than ironically, this is worse than an oxymoron.
    It is precisely the same presumption of special status as the one claimed by white supremacists.
    Secular law, and even more importantly, democracy, means that there is no legal classification of sanctity. While principles of governance, administrative organization and judicial process are set down in the constitution, even the constitution itself is open to question, legal interpretation and amendment.
    Nothing is sacred.
     
  18. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    No, I wouldn't think so. A person can't help but make decisions based on their personal beliefs - religious or otherwise. However, if your religion says that you can't perform the duties of your government job (i.e. - if you are a county clerk and claim that you can't issue a marriage license to a gay couple because you believe homosexuality is a sin.) then you need to find another job.
     
  19. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    An ideal Christian never enters politics in the first place: he cannot serve two masters, rendering onto Caesar that which is Caesar's and onto his god that which is God's. Only a hypocrite and liar would ever swear to do both of those things.
    If your beliefs are in conflict with the constitution, nobody forces you to seek an office where you have to uphold the constitution. Do what you advise those who would change the taxation system: write letters, join an advocacy or lobby that seeks to change it.
     
  20. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    But our beliefs color who we are. Even a secularist will enter office with an internalized sense of right and wrong. Also, if the majority of the voters are secularist, they more than likely will vote for a secularist candidate, because they are gambling on his/her principles.

    Shall we play catch with this hot potato? Your link didn't work with my browser because it blocks ads; however, I did find another site with much the same story. My personal opinion is that the EO reestablishes liberty, giving people the right to choose. It doesn't deny anyone their cake, but does release others from having to bake that cake.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  21. Bowser Life is Fatal. Valued Senior Member

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    Jeeves and gmilam, I understand you want to participate in this conversation. I'm just no good at multitasking with multiple users. Let me have a dialogue with Goldtop, and when we are finished I will have time for you.

    My apologies. I know from experience that it's impossible to have a meaningful interaction while trying to juggle numerous individuals at the same time.
     
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Fine. I think i've already stated the situation as clearly as i could.
     
  23. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    And true atheists could never work in the US, or indeed participate in the economy at all. He could not take money emblazoned with "In God We Trust" since he would then be accepting God by accepting or using the money. Only a hypocrite and a liar would ever claim to be an atheist and use money.
     

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