What is Meant by Religious Freedom?

The Catholic hierarchy has joined with conservative branches of Protestantism to promote something called Religious Freedom Restoration.  We voted on it in North Dakota and it’s talked about across the U. S. and Canada.  But, what does it mean?

I’d say there are two ways of interpreting the ultimate in religious freedom.  One is a person would be able to live and work in such a way he/she never has to violate his/her beliefs.  This would mean the time spent on a job and work done there would be dictated by his/her religion.  The employer’s needs would be irrelevant.

Furthermore, both at work and away from work, governments would conform to his/her religious beliefs.  That is, none of the taxes collected from an individual could be used for purposes that violate his/her faith.  The teaching in schools, government rules on health care, military decisions, government declared holidays and so on must conform as well.

In the other approach, religious freedom means a person is never affected by the religion of others.  In this world, a person would be free to practice religion, or, not practice it without ever knowing or encountering the religion of others.  Religion is practiced outside the public realm.

The first approach will have an unhappy ending because it will crash head on into other religions.  The second will be hard to achieve because religions are designed to dominate and meddle into the lives of others.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/commentary/religious-freedom-sends-the-wrong-message-to-the-wrong-people/article4591927/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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31 Responses to What is Meant by Religious Freedom?

  1. Michael Ross says:

    ” The second will be hard to achieve because religions are designed to dominate and meddle into the lives of others.”
    And secular governments don’t meddle in and dominate our lives?
    What planet are you living on?

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 2:06 “And secular governments don’t meddle in and dominate our lives? What planet are you living on?”

      I agree secular governments have plenty of rules, just like religious ones. But, in the U. S., secular priniples do not have the clout religions have. For example, does our pledge say, “…one nations, under no god, with liberty…..”? Does our currency say, “In no god do we trust”?

      • Michael Ross says:

        “I agree secular governments have plenty of rules”
        plenty indeed!

        Federal Register 82,419 pages
        Federal Tax code 73,608 pages
        Holy Bible 1,291 pages

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Michael 3:58 And, if our Christians in Congress continue, we’ll have more pages of laws–anti gay marriage, more god laws.

          • Michael Ross says:

            The Anti-gay Laws have long since been written and passed. They are contained in that 1,291 page document.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael 2:20 “They are contained in that 1,291 page document.”

            That’s the problem. Things from the Bible become laws–that’s why we have so many pages of Fed. laws.

      • Ross says:

        This is a secular nation from its very foundation.
        Let us not forget; “In god we trust” was not placed on our money and “under god…” tacked onto the pledge until the 1950′s. I HIGHLY suggest that everyone looks up “forefathers’ quotes religion” to see the truth about the US. There is a reason why George Washington said (in the Treaty of Tripoli) that the USA is “…by no means, founded on Christianity…”
        Nearly all of our forefathers LOATHED Christianity, although not Benedict Arnold, I’ll grant you that one. However, most were deists, agnostics, and atheists, repeatedly stating their negative views on Christianity.
        There has been a hijacking going on in our nation in an attempt to make it seem like Christians founded it and giving them a higher status then the rest of us. However, there is a valid reason why our First Amendment says what it does and why one finds no promotional content and laws anywhere by our forefathers which promotes it. They wanted separation of church and state.
        We must have laws; however, they must exist for all equally. I’d say I’ll be called a “commie” for that one, but I’m wondering at what point equality became a bad thing in the eyes of religion. Oh yeah, since ITS foundation.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Ross 8:12 “Nearly all of our forefathers LOATHED Christianity…”

          There were plenty of loathers, that’s for sure. State consitiutions of the time had Christian declarations in them. It would have been easy to just roll those references over into the national Constitution. But, they didn’t do it. They obviously had negative opinions about a Christian government.

        • Michael Ross says:

          ” There is a reason why George Washington said (in the Treaty of Tripoli) that the USA is “…by no means, founded on Christianity…”
          Washington had nothing to do with the Treaty of Tripoli

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael 2:16 “Washington had nothing to do with the Treaty of Tripoli.”

            Many believe Washington actually wrote the words that are in the Treaty of Tripoli. This is because of the timing–it seems unlikely it could have been both written and passed by the Adams administraiton.

          • Stan says:

            Rewritting history AGAIN. Have you no shame? Could you explain whya treaty cannot be written AND passed by the same administration? IN fact during the early years the creation and then reversal of laws from administration to administration was common. Cooperation from one party to the party of the next government was almost non-existent.

      • Stan says:

        Clout is the ability to use guns and prisons to reward those who do not follow the hundreds of thousands of rules and regulations the government creates. Many which have never been voted on but are mandated by bureaucrats who are NOT elected and transcend any political party.

  2. entech says:

    Freedom of anything in too many peoples eyes simply means “do it my way”.

    • Michael Ross says:

      I agree entech. That’s why we need a fixed standard. God has provided it for us. Check Exodus 20.

      • Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

        I don’t think there’s a house of worship in the entire country that conforms to verses 24 and 25.

        “24 An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you. 25 And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it.”

      • entech says:

        Unfortunately we only have the word(s) of Gods self appointed emissaries and/or messengers on earth to verify that. Many of these arrogate to themselves plenipotentiary powers.

        While we may not agree with the authority of the British Crown to give such power to Lord Mountbatten over the division of the subcontinent into Pakistan and India (I disagree with Britain assuming colonial power over the country in the first place), or, with President George Washington appointing his old colleague David Humphreys as Commissioner Plenipotentiary on March 30, 1795, in order to negotiate a treaty with the Barbary powers (Ross 8:12 am). The dispensers of such powers were available for confirmation.

  3. Michael Ross says:

    I am not a Constitution worshiper. I believe it has at least two fatal flaws. The first you will most certainly disagree with. The second you will, I’m sure, agree with.

    1. It does not name Jesus Christ as sovereign Lord and that His Word, the Holy Scriptures, are the final authority in all the affairs of humankind.

    2. It does not specifically condemn and forbid chattel slavery.

    • Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

      Presumably neither of those things made it into a document that is the essence of compromise because not enough people agreed with them at the time.

      Your second concern has been alleviated. Granted, it took most of a century and a civil war. But it’s quite likely that if they’d tried to end slavery in 1776 the United States wouldn’t exist today.

      As to your first concern, I don’t understand why you’d need the Constitution to state that. Believers don’t need to be told and non-believers don’t agree. Seems like a recipe for unending conflict to me. Conflict that many in the colonies came to North America to escape.

      Fortunately, you’re not required to worship the constitution. Merely abide by it.

      • Michael Ross says:

        “Fortunately, you’re not required to worship the constitution. Merely abide by it.”
        Yes I am, and so are you, but not politicians and bankers, apparently.
        “Your second concern has been alleviated”

        Not quite. We are all slaves now, tax and debt slaves, because the constitution had failed us for the two reasons I have noted.
        The Constitution’s preamble begins with “We the People”.
        God’s Constitution in Exodus 20 Begins with “I am the Lord thy God”
        Our Constitution declares man is his own sovereign.
        God declares Himself the sovereign. Who is correct. I think Ben Franklin answered that the best: “Men will be governed by God or ruled by tyrants. There is no in between.

        • Avatar of seaofstories seaofstories says:

          “Our Constitution declares man is his own sovereign. God declares Himself the sovereign. Who is correct?”

          The Constitution.

          Who is God? Substitute “Napoleon” or “Hank” or “George Washington” for God in that statement and the superiority of the Constitution’s approach becomes self evident.

          People can be redeemed. Their mistakes corrected. God is a hopeless case. Omnipotence is incapable of self correction.

  4. pk says:

    ok, for some reason i can’t post on the new world order page so i’ll put it here.

  5. pk says:

    Entech: Would you prefer to do your banking without pesky cash or plastic and remembering pins? According to a poll many Australians would like a cashless/biometric economy.

    http://www.infowars.com/survey-finds-most-australians-welcome-cashless-society-retinal-scans-for-banking/

    I think i brought up the coming cashless society not too long ago in a post. Jon denied this as another crazy conspiracy theory. Well there’s a press release from a bank saying they’re going to invest $1.5 billion into the initial infrastructure.

    “Cash could be on the way out and it’s realistic to imagine a world in which we carry no
    notes or coins, or even credit or debit cards,” Mr Dawson said.

    This guy is a crazy conspiracy theorist.

    • entech says:

      Not a good idea, but I do not trust the people who say they are out to protect me from all the nasties.
      Qui custodiet ipsos custodes.

      • pk says:

        That’s a good quote. How do you like the firearms laws there in Australia? The government gets to have whatever they want and you can’t have a semi auto, or even a pump shotgun? All firearms need to be registered, so you need permission in other words. Correct me if i’m wrong on these laws. Would you consider yourself a freeman?

        • entech says:

          Quite frankly I trust the the civilians with guns even less than the guardians.

          • pk says:

            I thought you knew history. You’re much more likely to be killed by your government than by any other non-natural reason. Last century alone, over 100 million, possibly pushing 200, of mainly disarmed citizens were murdered by their own government.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            pk 2:25 “Last century…mainly disarmed citizens were murdered by their own government.”
            Last century..how about today. For most citizens in any country, how are they likely to be killed? By automobiles. It a lot safer to wear a seat belt, slow down and wear a helmet in your car than it is to own a gun.

          • pk says:

            “It a lot safer to wear a seat belt, slow down and wear a helmet in your car than it is to own a gun.”

            That doesn’t even make sense. Cars didn’t kill hundreds of millions of people last century! They’ve been around for a long time. There have been millions killed on the road, but how does that even relate to what i’m saying? What do you think about the whole cashless society story i posted? Isn’t that worth a comment?

          • pk says:

            By the way Jon, high fatalities on the road is desired by the social engineers. They’re going to convert everything over to autonomous cars. It will be illegal to drive yourself anywhere eventually. It’s all part of the control grid we’re heading into.

          • pk says:

            If the government was serious about saving lives they would mandate helmets. Helmets would reduce fatalities by easily 90%. That’s not what they want.

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