Monday, July 13, 2015
Present Day Religious Tyranny
The religious right is trying to force Christianity on the rest of the country. How are they doing this? The Religious Freedom Restoration Act for starters. This is not a freedom of religion act. This is an act of discrimination and bigotry disguised as a freedom of religion act. There was only one reason this was put in place: so business owned by Christians could deny services to the LGBT community.
And now republicans in Idaho and trying to get the Bible into schools as a text of History and Science. Complete and utter bullshit! Not everyone believes in the same god. Not everyone, even some Christians believe that the bible is to be taken literally. A book that no one can verify is factual has no place in our school system. A book based on religion has no place being anything more than a study in literature like Siddhartha or Paradise Lost.
The Pilgrims and Puritans left Europe to be free of religious tyranny. These are the people that founded our country. Do you think they would force their religion on us as the Church of England did to them?
And what about the Revolutionary War? Sure, it wasn't solely based on religion or religious freedoms, but it played a part. People were moved to fight for their freedoms, including their religious freedoms. Thomas Paine had a hand in this when he published Common Sense. He blasted the monarchy as taking on a sovereign authority that should only belong to God. He suggested that Americans follow the lead of Jews in the Old Testament and reject a monarchical government. He urged the colonists to take up arms to protect freedom of religion for dissenters and declared the colonies as an asylum of religious liberty. Let me repeat that. Asylum of religious liberty.
Liberty's definition is: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.
No one's religion should be forced upon us. It's right there in the Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;
This means no national or state mandated religion. It says we are free to exercise religion. It does not specify Christianity as that religion. So, what do you think you're doing when you place a book based on Christianity in our schools and treat it as fact. Hey, private schools can do what they want. But public schools, schools run by our government should not impose Christian beliefs on those who attend.
As for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act - it's original purpose was "ensuring that interests in religious freedom are protected." It applies to all religions, but is mostly was put in place for Native American religions and their sacred grounds that have been victim to the expansion of government projects.
The Indiana RFRA allows individuals and companies to assert that their exercise of religion. Really? The Constitution protects our religious freedoms. Why do we need this? Oh that's right, so companies and individuals in your state can turn away people they don't deem "worthy" of their Christian value services. Governor Mike Pence says it's all a big “misunderstanding.” And, “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination I would have vetoed it.”
In response companies have halted expansion to Indiana. It's also been criticized by the likes of the NCAA, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, Gen Con, Disciples of Christ, and Subaru.
All of this, as I stated before, is nothing more than religious tyranny. Something many of our ancestors fled from and fought against. Our country is not a Theocracy. We cannot let the ball keep rolling in this direction. If they force this on us, what of our rights will be in jeopardy next?
My Dad. He's awesome.
John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney