Do We Know What Religious Freedom Means?
There are two principles that the US was built on that seem to have lost their meaning: religious freedom and freedom of speech. Masses claim that these rights of theirs are being infringed upon at every turn, but are they, really?
Religious freedom is the notion that no one religion should be enforced or favored and the church and the state should be kept separate. This way, everyone is free to practice whatever religion they choose, or to not practice a religion at all. In fact, the country was founded by Freemasons, who welcomed members who worshiped any deity at all, even polytheistic religions.
Somewhere along the line, Christians began getting the idea that "religious freedom" meant "Christian privilege." Whenever state laws are passed that do not favor Christian law, they shout that their religious freedom is being infringed upon. Whenever they are not blatantly favored, they claim the country is becoming anti-Christian. They cry they are being persecuted and mourn for the fate of the poor, lost souls of the country.
"They cry they are being persecuted and mourn for the fate of the poor, lost souls of the country.
This attitude of Christian entitlement is just like the attitudes of all privileged classes. When they are not given special treatment and the privileges they are accustomed to, they claim their rights are being taken away. In reality, it is they who are trying to take away the rights of others. While preaching religious freedom from one side of their mouths, they are trying to take away the freedom of religion from non-Christians with the other side. Enforcing their beliefs on others, trying to control who should marry and who should get rights based on rules and laws that apply to no one but those who follow Christian teachings, and simultaneously insisting the country is headed toward immorality, is infringing on the religious freedom of everyone else.
Similarly, they claim their freedom of speech is being taken away when they receive backlash for their ideas. Freedom of speech does not mean "freedom to say whatever you like without argument." It means "freedom to say whatever you like without risk of prison." I have yet to hear about a Christian being thrown in prison for preaching Christian teachings. Even the Westboro Baptist Church is allowed to continue making a racket, regardless of how offensive they are. When you exercise freedom of speech, you do not also have the certainty of being liked.
We are not always going to agree with each other in the US, but we do a good job of upholding the basic rights of the people and giving time to both sides. Whatever your beliefs, be glad you live in this country where you can be open with them, even if they do not always make you the most popular kid on the playground.