If you have lived in a state where the majority of people belong to one religion, and where the politicians of that state appeal to the members of that religion for votes, it becomes plain why the Founding Fathers did not like the idea of a state religion.
If they can't get you to accept their beliefs and join their church by presenting their religion as something attractive, they will get you to follow it by civil legislation. Their religious based laws become a back door conversion with legal penalties for non-adherence.
Right now there are many people who side with Hobby Lobby in its Supreme Court case that would allow it to refuse to follow certain parts of the ACA because, according to the plaintiff’s, those parts dealing with contraception go against their religious beliefs.
They object to abortion, so contraception should be a way to avoid abortions, and you would think they would want contraceptives made available. But by making everything equivalent to abortion even though they know that is not true, the whole thing has been reduced to a question of religious liberty.
And it clearly is not simply about "illicit" sex as there has been no concern about Viagra or penis pumps.
Yet, the very cheerleaders for Hobby Lobby are some of the very people who ignore the religious freedom of those who do not belong to their church.
Since the United States is made up of a diverse population, diverse in race, color, religion, marital status, and so many other ways, our laws need to be secular and neutral, not based on anyone’s religious belief or interpretation.
Imagine if, when the Catholic Church had a great deal of power in Boston in the last century, it became law that everyone had to eat fish on Friday or face civil penalties.
Even if it comes to religious based civil laws, which religious beliefs would get precedence?
I would imagine it would be that of the majority framed in such a way that their religion was predominant and others would face civil penalties if they followed the tenets of their own religions that were in opposition.
Jews, Muslims, and some Christian denominations see the Levitical prohibition of pork as a directive from God and the eating of it an abomination. Try to make it a law of the land that people couldn’t eat pork, and half the majority Baptist states would most likely rebel if you took away their barbeque.
I was perusing the internet the other day during the snow storm, what else was there to do, and came across two stories that struck me as good examples of why religion, especially one particular version should not be the basis of what should be our religion neutral secular laws that are applied to all citizens.
On Monday, Televangelist Pat Robertson explained why atheist women just refuse to accept Jesus as their lord and savior. I actually watch his 700 Club just as I listen to Laura, Rush, and Howie to see what the other side is thinking and being presented as the truth, and I went on the internet to see the clip of his show to verify I had heard what I thought I had.
A viewer was concerned that a coworker, who happened to be an atheist, was “openly hostile at the mere mention of God” whenever she attempted to “bring her to Jesus".
Ignoring the fact that the two women were at work and the atheist woman was trapped in place and may not have wanted to deal with irrelevant topics like religion in the work place, especially as the viewer’s question made it clear that she had spoken of her religion often, and unlike when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to your door on the weekends, at work you do not have the option of pretending you are not home, Pat explained that the coworker was probably under the control of “something that is demonic” or “something that is deep ingrained".
“But to be that openly hostile to the word ‘God,’ it’s something beyond the normal human experience,” he said. “Something has happened. Maybe she had an abusing father, somebody who raped her and acted like he was preaching to her from the Bible”.
She was an atheist because she had been raped.
For Pat, molestation and/or rape are the cause of atheism.
But, then you have Rafael Cruz, Who had told his son, Ted, “You know Ted, you have been gifted above any man that I know and God has destined you for greatness”.
According to Rafael, atheism leads to people sexually abusing children.
“Well, if there is nothing, if there is no God, then we are ruled by our instincts. Of course, this leads us, when there are no moral absolutes, leads us to sexual immorality, leads us to sexual abuse, leads us to perversion”.
So, according to one prominent evangelist, atheism is caused by molestation, while to another, molestation is the result of atheism.
So upon such contradictions we are to base our laws.
And as far as religious freedom, obviously, the lack of religion is not a freedom to be respected, but a belief to be demonized.
“It’s a free country,” Rafael Cruz said. “If these people need to practice their holy rites of atheism, they can do so, as long as they are in clearly-marked encampments far away from the rest of us. While they’re in their Heathen Zones, they’re free to dance naked around the fire, brand the mark of the Devil on their flesh or whatever else they want to do. Of course, if they step one foot outside the electrified fence we shoot them between the eyes. Two or three times, just to be sure".
He also explained that many children spawned in these camps should be removed at birth so they would not be drawn into secular humanism via their birth-mother’s tainted breast milk.
I guess, instead, they should be dragged to church so as not to be forced into anything, and then sent to public schools where religious politicians have demanded and legislated Christian prayers for all kids and creationism in science classes.
And, before anyone dismisses this by asking, “Who pays attention to these people?”, let’s remember the influence Pat Robertson had on the religious right during the Reagan years, and the influence Rafael Cruz has on his son Ted.
If two prominent religious leaders can't even agree with each other about their religious "core beliefs", why would we have our secular laws that apply to all citizens, be based on their confusion.
Yet, the dominant umbrella religion wants our laws based on their beliefs, whatever thy are at any given moment.