Freedom of Religion

I almost didn’t write this one, but as I said before I’m tired

Once again I saw a post from a friend on Facebook regarding Islam. The last time, it was someone saying the religion should be illegal in the United States. It resulted in me writing about the slippery slope of allowing discrimination against a group with which you disagree. This time, the post was complaining about a tweet from one of our new Muslim Congresspeople. This complaint had multiple people agreeing that people who are Muslim should not be allowed to hold office. People agreed that they should not be allowed in the United States. They all apparently agree that every Muslim should be judged by the actions of other Muslims. There are many, many issues with all of this. I will highlight a few.

The first amendment gives us freedom of religion. Many of the same people who want to take away a Muslim’s first amendment rights also rant quite a bit about their own second amendment rights. Seems to me if the second one is important, the first one, by virtue of being first, should be even more important. People like to scream about how this is a Christian country, but one of the very basic freedoms we have as Americans is the freedom to worship as we want. This includes Muslims. You can’t pick and choose who gets this freedom. We can’t pick and choose which amendments are important.

If we are going to judge all Muslims based on the actions of a few, I guess we can judge all white men who own guns by the actions of the mass shooters? Should we assume all white men with guns will eventually murder multiple people? Should we judge all Christians on the ones who bombed abortion clinics? On the televangelists who take money from gullible old people and spend it on private jets? Again, you can’t pick and choose. You can’t declare all Muslims are terrorists if we can’t declare all white men with guns are mass murderers.

In one post someone said that Islam is not a religion. It is a political ideology. For some, that may be true. It is also true for some Christians. There are plenty of self-proclaimed Christians out there who are political, not religious Christians.  Christians who care about power above all else. Christians who will denounce a Democrat for not being “Christian” enough for office, but will justify electing an adulterer and liar because he promises them political power. Every religion, to some, is more political ideology than a religion.

Generally, I think the problem is the fear of other We don’t like people who aren’t like us. We fear things we don’t understand. It’s easier to want everyone to be just like us, but that’s not America. America is great because we are all free to be who we want to be, worship how we choose to worship, love who we choose to love. I’m tired of people demanding people not like them be declared illegal and unwanted.

The Slippery Slope

Last night a friend on Facebook posted that they want our leaders to make Islam illegal. I posted a comment in response, but small comments are not enough to sum up the problem with this idea. Of course, the main issue with this idea is the fact that this country has freedom of religion as a basic right. It goes against the ideas upon which the country was founded to even consider this. Unfortunately, it appears people don’t care about constitutional rights, so lets look at another reason this is a slippery slope you don’t want to consider.

Let’s say we do make Islam illegal. Those who pushed for it are happy for a while, but then notice there are still people practicing Buddhism, Hinduism and other non-Christian religions. Obviously, making Islam illegal was not enough. We need to rid ourselves of these as well, so we outlaw all non-Christian religions.

But wait. We still have all those pesky atheists in the country who refuse to believe in God. This is also a threat to our dream of a Christian nation. What do we do? I got it. Let’s make that illegal as well. That should take care of it.

Uh oh. There are some religions out there that say they are Christian, but I think they are too out there to really be Christian. We don’t consider Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons to be real Christians. And what about the Amish? I don’t know what to think about them. Better make all of those illegal just to be safe.

Hmm. I’m not sure what I think about Catholics. They have a pope and priests and saints and all this stuff that MY church doesn’t have. That makes me uncomfortable. They may not be real Christians because they don’t do things the way I do. Let’s go ahead and get rid of that as well.

Hmm. There are other denominations out there who do things different from me. Can we just make all churches but mine illegal? I would be much more comfortable if everyone believed exactly as I believe.

Still don’t see a problem? replace yourself in the scenario with someone in charge who believes your particular brand of Christianity isn’t exactly right. Now do you see the problem?