Mudcat Café message #2298997 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109821   Message #2298997
Posted By: freightdawg
27-Mar-08 - 04:16 PM
Thread Name: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
I find it interesting in discussions such as this (and a recent thread on whether a group of doctors in Canada should be allowed to disconnect an elderly gentleman from life support against his Jewish famiy's wishes) that there seems to be a disconnect between those who see religion strictly as a philosophy and those who see it as a philosophy which has a direct impact on life. And, as strong as our constitution is regarding the free exercise of religion, one major weakness in recent interpretation of that constitution is that the state relentlessly invades that protected area of life in the United States.

I know what I am about to say is exteme, and is about as un-American as it can be (at least in the recent PC dominated America), but I find the state to be utterly oppresive against the free exercise of religion in the US. To take just one "extreme" example, I find no justification for the prohibition of polygamy as practiced by the Mormons in the early years of their movement. Yet this is just what the state ultimately attempts to do on a regular basis: determine what is "acceptable" for a religion to teach, and then allow the acceptable and ban the unacceptable.

I disagree with the practice of polygamy. But, if the government says that there will be no laws which prohibit the free exercise of a religious belief, how can the state mandate that such a religious belief is "illegal."

Simply put, I really don't see how our constitution and the pure, unfettered exercise of religion can co-exist. Either the state will act coercively against a particular religious practice, or one (or many) religious practices must be allowed unfettered freedom in spite of and quite possibly against the view of the majority within the state.

Call me nuts, but I just do not see how a secular instrument like the constitution can exist in the same realm as pure religious freedom without there being some major disagreement on one side or the other.