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Conservatives insist that the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, and argue against strict separation of church and state. Too often, though, conservatives seem to have a flawed understanding of what freedom from religion really entails and fail to realize that freedom from religion is crucial to religious liberty in general.

 

Read Article: Freedom of Religion Requires Freedom From Religion

Comments
November 16, 2007 at 4:46 pm
(1) Katie Molnar says:

It’s also worth noting that freedom of religion cannot exist without freedom from religion.

I.e., suppose you had Religion A and Religion B, and they are mutually incompatible. A person who worships A must be free from B in order to do so, and a person who worships B must be free from A in order to do so, thus, freedom for both A and B are guaranteed.

Since denying rights to certain individuals is unconstitutional (a major point in the gay marriage hubbub, by the by) it must be legal for everyone to not believe in both A and B, and thus freedom from religion is a simple inescapable part of freedom of religion.

As for gay marriage, my logic for the argument from the constitution is that you cannot define rights in terms of who may exercise them, so dropping the subject from a sentence is sufficient to generate a right:

It is okay for a man to marry a woman.
Thus, it is okay to marry a woman.

It is okay for a woman to marry a man.
Thus, it is okay to marry a man.

To say that it’s wrong for a man to marry a man would deny him a right afforded to women, which is unconstitutional. The reverse also holds true.

Suppose by some massive scientific undertaking, a man were able to become pregnant. Would he then have to have different abortion laws from a woman? Of course not.

just some food for thought =)

November 16, 2007 at 5:47 pm
(2) Ron says:

It is okay for a man to marry a woman.
Thus, it is okay to marry a woman.

It is okay for a woman to marry a man.
Thus, it is okay to marry a man.

To say that itís wrong for a man to marry a man would deny him a right afforded to women, which is unconstitutional. The reverse also holds true…………
After all the hypothetical considerations, consider:
Re: Amendment to constitution. Bottom line: DO NOT give the federal government the POWER to discriminate against any minority group. To do otherwise is un-american. My opinion.

November 16, 2007 at 6:00 pm
(3) nal says:

It is okay for a woman to enter a woman’s bathroom.

To say that itís wrong for a man to enter a women’s bathroom would deny him a right afforded to women, which is unconstitutional.

November 16, 2007 at 11:33 pm
(4) Matthew says:

“To say that itís wrong for a man to enter a womenís bathroom would deny him a right afforded to women, which is unconstitutional”

Apples and oranges. When a man enters a bathroom for women, he infringes on a woman’s right to her privacy. When 2 men marry, they do no such thing.

November 18, 2007 at 8:43 am
(5) Child of Thorns says:

“Apples and oranges. When a man enters a bathroom for women, he infringes on a womanís right to her privacy. When 2 men marry, they do no such thing. ”

Also, when another woman enters a woman’s cubicle, it infringes on her right to privacy.
Rights to marry deal with things that do not change from woman to man, or no not change enough to be relevant, wheras different bathrooms for different sexes does.

November 19, 2007 at 10:11 am
(6) tracieh says:

I find Katie’s argument to be interesting. I’ll have to consider it further. I’ve always viewed the issue as relating to sexual preference: If people who prefer opposite sex partners can marry the unmarried person of there choice–is there any reason that people who prefer same sex partners should be denied that same legal right?

But Katie makes it, almost, a gender issue. I’ve just never considered it from that angle before. But it’s interesting.

November 19, 2007 at 12:21 pm
(7) Chopvac says:

There is another key point about the US constitution’s First Amendment which you failed to mention:

Amendment 1: Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In the first amendment, the word respecting means reference, not reverance. To word in 21st century English, it would begin:

Congress shall make no law with regard to an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….

Translation: The congress will make no laws about what people practice or don’t practice.

November 19, 2007 at 3:02 pm
(8) Ron says:

What part of the first amendment is it that the Christian right don’t understand?

March 31, 2010 at 11:38 am
(9) tracieh says:

An interesting twist was when a theist noted that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” was, in his head, not a wall of separation. I asked what sort of decree the government could pass that would not “respect an esablishment of religion”? In other words: OK, you’re into government and religion mingling–give me some exmaples of government involvment in religion you want to see exercised. In what way should the government be inserting itself into religion and how would it do this without creating headaches?

He didn’t have an answer. And that didn’t surprise me. Why would religious people WANT government tinkering in religion? Somehow they think you can get chocolate on the peanut butter without getting peanut butter on the chocolate. They have this idea of inserting religion into government, and seem oblivious to the reality that this inherently means you’re inserting government into religion. Is that REALLY what they want? I wish more of them would ask themselves is they really want the government legislating religion in his country. And how that could possibly translate to “religious freedom”?

February 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm
(10) Cousin Ricky says:

I contend that having separate bathrooms for men and women in the first place is a religious artifact–although the world probably isn’t ready to hear that. Why else would the status of someone’s privacy depend on whether or not the next person over has the same sexual equipment?

February 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm
(11) Homer says:

It is said by many that there is no God, .With all the reasons men have for believing there is no God: I submit that there IS a God and ALL men KNOW this, yet the problem is whether they will or will not accept what HISTORY and Geography and Archeology and mans minds KNOW! Here are some other facts: 1, when a man is in danger w/NO way out, what does he do? He says, , OH my God..and if it gets really bad, men always make deals with God, If you’ll just do this or do that , I’ll do this or that!! 2 When men get really mad or some even less mad, they always CURSE, and they do so IN who’s Name? You Guessed it, “Jesus Christ or God dam this or that etc..3 IF There is NO God, Jesus Christ then why are men still having this conversation over a mythological character that does not exist? Men do NOT argue over a NON-existance man or material etc No need to! So…. 4. Do men rememeber other men from days gone by, after they are famous and after they fade from memory? How come, after over 2000 years His Name is still on all mans lips! Man has a UNIVERSAL belief in God! Lastly can I tell you or convince you or anyone that He/God exists if you really don’t want to believe? No, the same as i could NOT convince my children that it was not right to run around naked at 2 years old, or that the stove was HOT, and yet when they touched it, and got burnt or got spanked because of what they did then they saw what I was talking about. the same as you can NOT tell a man who has never seen what the color red is: he just can’t understand! Neither can an atheist..Lastly, , As for me…I prefer to believe that there is a creator and a designer of all that we are and possess, His Name is Jesus Christ, and I did NOT have to see Him face to face to KNOW that that is FACT!! Psa 14:1/53:1 / 1 pETER 3:18 KJV

February 8, 2013 at 7:29 pm
(12) Austin Cline says:

I submit that there IS a God and ALL men KNOW this,

OK, prove it.

1, when a man is in danger w/NO way out, what does he do? He says, , OH my God..and if it gets really bad, men always make deals with God

Prove it.

3 IF There is NO God, Jesus Christ then why are men still having this conversation over a mythological character that does not exist?

Because of stupid people who keep pushing their beliefs.

Men do NOT argue over a NON-existance man or material etc

Therefore, Islam must be true because people argue over it.

How come, after over 2000 years His Name is still on all mans lips!

You mean, like Apollo. So, Apollo is real.

Man has a UNIVERSAL belief in God!

Except for all the people who don’t believe. And have never believed.

I prefer to believe that there is a creator and a designer of all

And that’s the key. You believe what appeals to you; I believe based on the evidence, regardless of personal preferences.

I am convinced that my comments will never get added on here

Because you’re a bigot.

February 3, 2013 at 3:45 pm
(13) Homer says:

Any man/woman KNOWs that there is a God and that He is “The Creator” of the Universe: he just refuses to believe what nature and the universe say is fact! The world itself says that there is a GOD, and His name is Jesus Christ! Why have a discussion about someone or anyone that is a myth? Thats why there is still this discussion…because there is a GOD, and again HIS name is: Jesus Christ! I feel sorry for anyone who will trust in his own vile and desperatly wicked heart!!

February 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm
(14) Homer says:

I am convinced that my comments will never get added on here: because I do NOT agree w/your lies and deceits and agree on the perversness of a marriage of two men or two women, which is not a marriage in Gods eyes (Duet 18:22.Romans 1:26-27 KJV) So, continue to edit me out, but remember, the TRUTH (John 17:17 KJV) will NEVER Change and can never be covered up! We will all be accountable for what we believe and accept as TRUTH. John 1:1 KJV So, what is the TRUTH and wat do you base this upon? facts or your thoughts! Hebrews 13:8 KJV!!!

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