July 17, 2010

The Nature of a Freedom

The right to freedom of religion is the right to believe as one chooses, and practice those beliefs. It is not the right to insist that others conform to those beliefs.

On this distinction hangs some of the tension in the DADT Repeal vs. Some Army Chaplains, and much of the pressure from religious groups against same-sex marriage, and in the recent decision of the UK Supreme Court.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
with h/ts to Episcopal Café and Thinking Anglicans


Doorman-Priest said...

I was encouraged by our High Court ruling, I have to say. Christianity, which teaches compassion and equality, isn't always good at either, nor is Islam.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

DP, sad but true. It still astounds me the number of people who seem to think that their rights are trodden on because someone disagrees with them! There is no "right not to be challenged" just as there is no "right to Christian hegemony" (or Islamist hegemony, nor Jewish, nor Buddhist... etc.)

And besides, religion is a lifestyle choice -- no one is "born that way"!

June Butler said...

If Christians in the US were actually persecuted for the faith, we'd all quickly come to know the difference between disagreement and persecution. It's tiresome that so many of our brothers and sisters don't get it. Every time I read another account of Christians concerned about not being allowed to practice their faith, I think, "Oh no! Not again."

Brother David said...

Religion is a lifestyle choice -- no one is "born that way"!

A great bumper sticker.

John-Julian OJN said...

The problem is that there are some religious beliefs which require the "evangelical" impression of those beliefs on another -- indeed, there are some religious belief systems which seem to require even the DEATH of those who do not share that belief system. So it is not "freedom of religion" to allow those destructive religious practices.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thanks, GM. Too true!

Dahveed, feel free to bumper-stick!

Fr J.J., that is it, indeed. That itch to impose what I simply KNOW is True on others is the shadow side of religion. That it is at odds with the Christian teaching on grace and the Islamic teaching on Submission seems to have little impact either on Crusaders or Jihadists! And when this urge to control spills over into things like withdrawing support to adoption agencies because they might place a child in a home of which you disapprove (I wonder if they would have objected to a child being placed with a Muslim married couple?) we have another example of objective disorder.

IT said...

Increasingly, as many churches have moved, or are moving, towards recognition of SSM, the claim that SSM "infringes on religious freedom" rings hollow. Of course in the current witless political discourse of the US, they get away with it, but why are non-Roman Catholics and non-Mormons forced to live as though they WERE RC or LDS?