Jan 27, 2013

If I'm Not Free to Control You...

Crossposted from Reflections Journal.

"Religion is a FREEDOM. Let's keep it that way." No duh, huh?

My mother was fond of saying, "Your freedom stops where the next person's begins." It was her paraphrase of an aphorism of uncertain origin. It always stuck with me as a statement of one of the most obvious elements of a free society. So, I have been brought up short by the roiling debate over freedom of religion in this country. Last year Catholic Bishops threw down the gauntlet over President Obama's access to birth control mandate, taking the position that anything that infringes on their right to impose their beliefs on people who do not share them is a violation of the First Amendment. It is a thoroughly nonsensical position.

Now comes survey data that shows that evangelical Christians, in large numbers, view any erosion of Judeo-Christian dominance of the country as a threat to religious freedom. (???) Oh... and it's all because of "the gays."

While these Christians are particularly concerned that religious freedoms are being eroded in this country, "they also want Judeo-Christians to dominate the culture," said Kinnamon.

"They cannot have it both ways," he said. "This does not mean putting Judeo-Christian values aside, but it will require a renegotiation of those values in the public square as America increasingly becomes a multi-faith nation."

. . .

Asked for their opinion as to why religious freedom is threatened, 97 percent of evangelicals agreed that "some groups have actively tried to move society away from traditional Christian values."

And 72 percent of evangelicals also agreed that gays and lesbians were the group "most active in trying to remove Christian values from the country." That compares to 31 percent of all adults who held this belief.

The whole thing just makes my brain hurt.

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