22 January 2015

Religious Freedom

Religious Freedom is the most important human right. Forcing religious views on anyone is a grave violation of a person’s dignity. In truth, the imposition of religious views does not inspire devotion and love, but either resentment and hatred or fanaticism and hatred. Even the rejection of all religions is itself a religious belief that all must be given the freedom to believe. Only when all have such freedom and this freedom of others is respected, true dialogue and friendship can exists between those of different religious beliefs.

Many religions require public expression and evangelization. If such public expression and evangelization is done in a way that is respectful of other religions, such public expression and evangelization must be protected as a human right. This does not negate the possibility of debate, even heated debate in public, but regardless of the amount of “heat,” respect must be maintained for the religious beliefs of others. While one person believes his religion is the True Religion and the religion of the other person is a false religion, they must each realize and respect that the other person believes the exact opposite. To deny that the other person’s perspective is what the other person truly believes is not only completely illogical and unreasonable, but extremely arrogant and incredibly stupid. In truth, such stupidity has little hope of winning any debates based on logic and reason.

There are some religious beliefs that restrict or deny the religious freedom of others. It seems reasonable and logical to suggest that such religious beliefs are not capable of withstanding debate against opposing views. If they are, perhaps such religions should put some trust in themselves and remove such restrictions and denials of the religious freedom of others. This would include secular governments that restrict religious freedom in the name of protecting religious freedom, which includes the rejection of all religions. This is often in regard to morality, particularly sexual morality.

Such religious freedom must be extended to children regardless of age. Of course, parents must be given the freedom to form their children in whatever religious beliefs they choose. Secular schools must not impose any religious beliefs on nor restrict any religious practices from students, even public expression and evangelization, which may include respectful debate. Religious schools must be given the freedom to promote the religious beliefs of their particular religion and restrict any actions that violate their moral beliefs. The fact that parents chose to send their children to such a school implies that they accept such religious beliefs and morality.

Of course, parents must accept that if their children choose to accept religious beliefs other than that of their parents, all that is written above is applicable. Parents cannot force their religious beliefs on even their own children. Such force will only result in either resentment and hatred or fanaticism and hatred.

One religious belief concerns the morality of abortion. Parents must be free to teach their children whatever moral beliefs the parents chose without the imposition of schools and governments, but in the end, the children must be free to make their own decision regarding this question. The parents cannot force their religious beliefs on their children, even concerning the moral question of abortion.

Obviously, in performing an abortion, the moral beliefs concerning abortion are being forced on the child. To ensure the religious beliefs of this child, the child must be allowed to live in the same religious freedom his or her parents have. If the child does accept the religious beliefs of his or her parents and consents to being killed, this raises a very different religious debate.

While one may question the sanity of a government that would allow parents to convince their children to kill themselves, with true religious freedom protected by any such government, anyone belonging to a sane religion would have the freedom to convince these children otherwise.

True religious freedom is very scary, but only for those of false religious beliefs (remember that the rejection of all religions is a religious belief itself), particularly those that promote immorality, such as abortion.