by Allen CliftonI’ll give wingnuts this much – when they latch onto a piece of propaganda, they sure as heck dedicate themselves to it. For years they’ve been trying to violate our First Amendment by interjecting religion into our laws. And on some levels they’ve been successful. But generally they’ve been defeated because our First Amendment is pretty clear that laws cannot be based on religion.
Though the newest “trick” Republicans have tried to employ is the argument they call “religious freedom.” Essentially it’s their way to try to discriminate against people, or deny others their rights, based on the argument that not allowing them to discriminate against certain individuals based on their religious beliefs is somehow a violation of their “religious freedom.”
Though I find it amazing how these people have deluded themselves that attempting to restrict the freedoms of others is somehow “defending liberty and freedom.”
So I thought I’d give 5 examples showing the differences between how liberals and wingnuts view “religious freedom.”
Liberals: Tend to support the right for a woman to decide for herself whether or not she will have an abortion. Even many christian liberals are pro-choice. Though I’ve rarely met anyone who’s “pro-abortion.” There’s a difference between supporting someone’s right to have control over their own body and liking the decision they make. I’m pro-choice yet anti-abortion. Being pro-choice means that every single American woman has the right to decide for herself what she should do with her own body. If you want to have an abortion, go for it. If you don’t, then you don’t have to. But the point is, liberals support the right for every woman to have the freedom to choose for themselves. If a woman objected to abortions based on her religion she wouldn’t have to have one. But that would be her choice, someone else wouldn’t be making that choice for her.
Wingnuts: Under their system of delusions, abortion would be completely banned. No woman would have the right to have control over her own body. The moment she became pregnant she would lose almost all control she has over what happens to her body over the following 9 months. Under their delusional system, every single American woman would be forced to adhere to the religious delusions of a certain percentage of the population whether they shared those views or not. A woman who didn’t believe in any kind of dog whatsoever would be forced to abide by laws restricting the control she has over her body based on a dog in which she didn’t believe. Where under the liberal pro-choice banner every woman has the right to choose for herself, if wingnuts had their way every woman in the United States would lose the freedom to choose for themselves.
2. Same-sex Marriage
Liberals: Most liberals support same-sex marriage. Under liberal beliefs every American (gay or straight) would have the freedom to marry whomever they love, as long as it was another consenting adult. Americans would have the freedom to choose for themselves who to marry. It’s pretty simple: If you don’t support gay marriage, that’s great, nobody is forcing you to marry someone of the same-sex. But at the end of the day, nobody’s right to marry another consenting adult is restricted – and no church’s right to perform those marriages is restricted either.
Wingnuts: Most wingnuts believe same-sex marriage is against what their false bible does not define marriage as. If wingnuts had their way, millions of gay Americans would lose their right to marry whomever they love based on the religious delusions of other people. Under this situation (as we still see in many states right now) rights of Americans are restricted based on the views of others. So even if a 'christian' cult wants to marry a gay couple, if the state still doesn’t allow gay marriage, that cult’s “religious freedom” is restricted because a few other cults don’t believe that they should have that right. Under wingnut delusions on marriage, millions of gay Americans would be denied their rights to marry the person they loved.
3. Birth Control
Liberals: This kind of ties in with the abortion issue. See, most liberals (as I said earlier) aren’t pro-abortion. And the best way to lower abortion rates is to increase the accessibility and availability of birth control. Even if some liberals might oppose some methods of birth control, they don’t mandate that other people must be restricted from using them. Again, liberals support the right for Americans to choose for themselves. And being that for many women birth control is an actual health issue, not just a way to help prevent unplanned pregnancies, it’s vital that health care plans offer access to these contraceptives. For liberals it’s about people having the choice to choose for themselves. If people want to use them, great, they have the freedom to do so. If some people object to contraceptives, that’s fine too, they don’t have to use them.
Wingnuts: Many wingnuts oppose birth control. They believe it’s against their delusion. If it were up to many of them they’d do as much as they could to limit and restrict access to all forms of contraceptives. Even in the Hobby Lobby case, one business owner argued that their business should have the right to deny thousands of women the choice of birth control methods based on their religious delusions. By winning that case, one person’s religious delusions are now being forced on thousands of women who might not share them.
4. Prayer in School
Liberals: This one is pretty simple – keep religion out of public school. If some students want to personally pray while they’re in class, they’re more than free to do so silently to themselves. I know I did. But guess what, nobody ever knew. Because I kept it to myself. Religion has no place in a place of public education. No one is saying people can’t pray to themselves in class, we’re just saying public schools shouldn’t promote or organize religious prayers or events. That way nobody is forced to observe the religious practices of religions in which they do not believe.
Wingnuts: Many wingnuts believe that public school should include religion. Heck, many believe that creationism should be taught alongside evolution. They also often support organized prayer in school ('christian' of course). If wingnuts had their way millions of American students in public school would be forced to observe religious rituals that they do not follow. The right to freedom from religion for those students (and parents) who don’t want themselves or their children subjected to delusions that they don’t follow or believe in would be violated.
5. Freedom of Religion in General
Liberals: For liberals, it’s pretty simple. If you want to believe in a particular religion, you’re free to do so – privately. People can go to church 7 days a week if they want to and read the Bible every single day. People can believe in whatever religion they want. If people chose to not believe in any kind of religion at all, that’s perfectly alright too. The issue is that every American is free to live their personal lives as religiously, or as detached from religion, as they want. If someone believes that all homosexuals are going against dog, that’s their right to personally feel that way. Just don’t try to tell others they have to share that particular view. In the liberal world, every American gets to choose for themselves. In the liberal world every single religion is viewed equally and not one single American would be forced to follow laws based on a religion in which they do not believe.
Wingnuts: Many believe that this country was founded, and should be based on, christianity. They want laws to be written from scripture. To them our First Amendment only applies to 'christian' Americans and not Americans who follow other religions or don’t follow any religion at all. Many wingnuts believe that denying them their right to impose their delusion on others violates their rights – yet they don’t seem to believe that others who don’t share their same deluded views should be given any kind of religious rights. Under their ideology, one religion would rule over 330 million people.
Notice the difference? When it comes to “religious freedoms” and wingnuts, it’s all about them forcing their views on others. When it comes to liberals, it’s all about keeping religion private and out of government so that not one single American is forced to adhere to laws based on a delusion they don’t follow.
So, while wingnuts go on and on about “religious freedom” what they really mean is their “right” to have one religion ruling over 330 million Americans. When it comes to liberals, it’s about actual freedom. It’s about letting every American decided for themselves what religion (if any) that they’ll follow.
Because true “religious freedom” is about letting every individual decide for themselves whether or not they’ll follow a particular religion. It’s not about telling millions of Americans that they must adhere to the rules set by a certain delusion whether they believe in it or not.