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                                          ©World Magazine of Ideas and the Arts™ — Winter 2017 Volume XVII,  Issue 1

 

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Editorials

Perverting the Concept of Religious Freedom

For hundreds of years, Europe was racked with horrendous attempts at thought control by priests who had no compunction about inflicting torture and murder upon a populace whose beliefs they were obsessed with enchaining. This devolved to a level of gendercide which led to the extermination of all women in some villages, and to devastating religious wars.  Cognizant of the devastation caused by religiosity, our founders wrote into our prime governing documents the requirement of separation of church and state. The government was to have no control over who believed what or what belief system prevailed.

Remarkably, Ted Cruz and associates are attempting to use the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to force their beliefs on others. Under the guise of protecting religious freedom, he is assuring his followers that he will ensure that the freedom he protects is to entrench the beliefs that follow his own concisely. This is exactly what our Founders worked to prevent by writing religious freedom into the Constitution.

Religions have done more damage and more evil than any other construct, and yet most people need religion in order to deal with the challenges of mortality and morality. Jane Goodall records an incident in which a chimpanzee infant was murdered in its mother’s arms. After knowing that her infant was killed despite her efforts to prevent that, she looked up at the sky. Possibly, even animals need to feel a higher power in the face of grief and injustice.

Nonetheless, government and religion must be kept separate in order to keep the truths that “We hold…to be self-evident” free from egregious corruption. We’ve seen an epidemic of priests who are  charged with the well being of children attack them in the most horrible ways, and those responsible for preventing that simply enabling it.

Those who feel that religious people are good regardless of the religion enable vicious sociopaths such as Jim Jones who led 900 followers into the jungle where he murdered them, men, women, children, and babies [this has been called suicide, but it’s not suicide when someone has the choice of drinking poison or being shot].

The remarkable cultures of the Aztecs and Mayans devolved to quagmires of murder and torture as did Spain during the years of their inquisition. In our own time, Afghanistan sank from an enlightened culture to a country that enslaves half of their population, and being female means a life of imprisonment.

In America, people who call themselves “pro-life” support policies that are anything but that. A number of atavistic “Christian” sects thrust forward concepts that are contrary to everything Jesus preached, and they attempt at every chance to turn those ideas into law.

If we are to remain the strongest country on earth, we must ensure that we don’t allow extremists to set our course using their view of God to force their misguided concepts on the entire populace and into our law.

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