As I fly through the blogsphere and land in the blogcity of several different views, backgrounds, and beliefs, I venture through many blogs who are approaching this question on religious freedom…when, how, why, if we should stand up for religious freedom.
Do we even know what religious freedom means?
Is religion just something a person does on the side, like say, a hobby, you know, something to do once in awhile but to shelve it when it’s time to eat, play, work, or go outside?
Why should we stand up for freedom of religion?
If it’s a commodity, like say, our car or or house, do we really need to pay that much attention to how we are allowed to express it outside of our home?
What about in our home? If religion is just a product, like say, the latest in men’s clothing, can it wear out, be tossed out, be assigned certain looks to keep up with the current fads, or be taken away from us when we can’t afford the payments?
What does it mean to have freedom of religion?
When is it good to stand up for religious freedom?
Do people not know what the loss of religious freedom means because it is not in their personal realm of experience?
Is it because they trust no one or because they think they know everything?
If the loss of religion is out there, in another country across the world, will they feel it then?
How about if it is in the country next door?
What about when it comes into their national laws?
Maybe when it comes into their state?
How about when it actually starts coming in their town?
What if their neighbor doesn’t like their expression of religion and he sues others or can put them in jail for walking to church?
What if your spouse said he/she wanted to remake your religion, tell you what you should believe, who you should allow into the house, who you should let be with your kids, what your children should be taught about what is good and was is not, what you should do with your body, how you should wear your clothes, what food you should eat?
What if your spouse decided to bring someone else into the marriage and make love with that person in front of you, told you this was the new belief in healthy sexuality, took your children to jail to learn freedom of sexual expression, gave you dishwasher detergent to drink, gave your children the same doses, let you only wear paper clothing, and told you that you can’t eat meat, vegetables, or bread from the local grocery since those are all part of his/her new religious beliefs?
Is that religious freedom?
When did you start to feel the oppression getting too close?
Do you wait for it to come into your home?
Or is it already there?
Isn’t one religion taking over, a religion that wants to tell everyone else what they should and should not believe, isn’t that a loss of religious freedom? But since many people don’t feel the constraints yet, are they just going to let it be? Doesn’t this new religion accept no religion, so it will let no religion be free? Will it be the master of everyone’s religious destiny?
When is a good time to stand up for religious freedom?
Have you ever experienced the loss of religious freedom?
How about the loss of freedom of speech?
How about the loss of the freedom to take care of others?
Do we know what religious freedom means?
“Nobody can be forced to act against his religious convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits.” This right is based on the very nature of the human person, whose dignity enables him to freely assent to the divine truth which transcends the temporal order. For this reason it “continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it.” (CCC 2106, from Dignitatis humanae)
The right to religious liberty is neither a moral license to adhere to error, nor a supposed right to error, but rather a natural right of the human person to civil liberty, i.e., immunity, within just limits, from external constraint in religious matters by political authorities. (2108, also from DH).
Comments as ever will be much appreciated!