Episode 10: Does the Religious Right Have a Right to Debate?

Standing Holding the Bible in a FieldThis week on the podcast I take a look at free speech rights of the religious. Do the religious have a right to engage in political debate? Or should they keep their opinion to themselves?

Lately on social media I keep getting into debates where I hear comments like this:

  • Religious people can be individually religious. They can NOT impose their ridiculous personal belief systems on others.
  • No one is calling for those people who MUST have the psychological crutch of religion to maintain their cowardly existence in a sane, civilized manner to leave that religion. Simply keep your delusional beliefs to yourself. Exercise your civil rights only to the extent of where other people’s civil rights begin. Do not attempt to force your delusional beliefs on others who do not need your superstition to maintain sanity.
  • I have a big problem with words like “MORAL” ,because individual rights should never be restricted by other people’s moral beliefs.

 

These sort of comments seemed to be based on the following assumptions.

  • Religion should be kept private and has no place in the public sphere.
  • Secular life therefore excludes religion
  • Religious people are somewhat suspect and dangerous
  • Any exercise or religious rights in the public sphere infringes on the rights of others.
  • Laws should not be based on MORAL considerations

 

To properly address these accusations I think it is important to take a close look at the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

In this podcast I discuss how the First Amendment protects the rights of the religious to speak out freely and advocate for laws they believe in.

I also discuss why supporting a law BECAUSE of your religious beliefs is not the same thing as IMPOSING YOUR RELIGION, and the fact that all laws impose on others by definition.

Has this happened to you?  Leave a comment below with your experience on trying to discuss your positions that involved religion or morals.

SHOW LINKS

Family Action Council of Tennessee:  FACTN.ORG

I recorded this episode on a live Google+ Hangout On Air:  If you want to see the sausage being made, click below, but I will warn you it is not pretty.

Thanks for listening.

  • 3 years ago
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