Does freedom of religion mean freedom to discriminate? That’s the wrong question!

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That was, however, the question asked by CBS News  and by other Liberal news organizations.

The Unholy Furor (excuse the pun) surrounding the Indiana Religious-Freedom Law is as inappropriate as the law itself.

The underlying implication of this law (and almost every other law involving “discrimination” issues) is: A business owner does not really own his/her business. The business owner has limited power over who he/she hires or what customer(s) that business serves. If I was a business owner who invested my own “sweat capital” and either my own financial capital or an investor’s capital in my business, I would expect to decide these issues for myself. Actually I would demand these rights but demanding would do no good (unless I had at least one Legislator “in my pocket.”)

Today, creating a business in the “Land of the Free” and actually running that business is a pipe dream — we are living in the ‘Land of Limited Freedom,’ limited by government overreach and by the self-centered morality of the religious lobby.

The Religious-Freedom law does not just protect religious freedom for the religious, it takes away personal freedom from all citizens, religious and non-religious.

The ORIGINAL Religious Freedom legislation, signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993, was only created to allow Native Americans to use Peyote (classified as an illegal drug) in their religious observances. That was a good use of the law, it actually confirmed the First Amendment freedom of religion. Later our legislators (apparently blind to what they were doing) applied this law to every incident involving religion; they effectively  broadened the law to include all religious thought and belief. From that point the simple words of the First Amendment (prohibiting the “making of any law respecting an establishment of religion (or) impeding the free exercise of religion”) went ‘out the window.’ At that point our Legislators stopped PROTECTING religion and began IMPOSING religious thought and belief on every American.

Harvey

Ron Reagan: “Not Afraid of Burning in Hell”

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Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan, in a TV ad produced by the Freedom From Religion Foundation announced:

“I’m Ron Reagan, an unabashed atheist, and I’m alarmed by the intrusions of religion into our secular government. That’s why I’m asking you to support the Freedom From Religion  Foundation, the nation’s largest and most effective association of atheists and agnostics, working to keep state and church separate, just like our Founding Fathers intended. (I’m) Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist, not afraid of burning in hell.”

As an unabashed atheist myself, I’m all in favor of keeping “state and church separate,” but that simple and appealing idea does not justify the hateful,  blatantly egocentric actions of the foundation Mr. Reagan is lending his name to or the actions of the other major atheist group, The American Atheists organization.

It appears that these two Atheist organizations are unable to live comfortably with their beliefs and allow others who believe in religion to live with theirs. These organizations seem to have a deep-seated need to engage in a continual “pissing contest” (forgive the ‘earthy’ language) aimed to prove that they are right and others are wrong. They put up hateful messages on billboards and joyfully, it seems, attempt to interfere in the lives of religious people and break their faith.

To be fair, a similar charge can be made against many Christians, Jews, Moslems, etc., who are apparently so insecure in their beliefs they are constantly denigrating, threatening or (in the case of a faction of radicals) actually killing all others who don’t see the world as they do.

My belief is that religion and atheism (and the human race in general) are better served by adopting these world-views as strictly personal philosophies of life and models for a person’s everyday life. A belief, after all, does not come with a certificate of authenticity like a Rolex.

As distasteful as religion-biased legislation may be to me and other atheists, atheist-biased legislation would be just as distasteful to the majority of non-activist atheists and those religonists who believe in the idiom “live and let live”. (BTW: Live and Let Live combined with the medical professions credo “first do no harm” is the exact formula for societal peace and even, if it is at all possible, world peace.

When you think about it, that belief -based “pissing contest” I mentioned above goes on every day and it is not only ridiculous and hurtful but totally unproductive when you stop to think that neither side can ever be proved right or wrong . . . at least not in this lifetime.

Wikimedia Lawsuit Endangers American Rights

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From NEWSMAX.com, the headline reads: “Wikipedia to File Lawsuit Challenging Mass Surveillance by NSA”

The Newsmax story begins:

—BEGIN QUOTE—————————————————————————
“Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that runs free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, will file a lawsuit against the National Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice, challenging the government’s mass surveillance program.

“The lawsuit, to be filed on Tuesday, alleges that the NSA’s mass surveillance of Internet traffic in the United States – often called Upstream surveillance – violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech and association, and the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

“The NSA’s Upstream surveillance program captures communications with “non-U.S. persons” in order to acquire foreign intelligence information.”
—END QUOTE—————————————————————————-

Based on that last sentence, I disagree with “Wikimedia’s” whining and hope our court system understands the potential danger of this lawsuit, should it pass, to the First and Fourth Amendments.

There seems to be, in this case as in many others, an over-generous attitude about the U.S. Constitution. The assumption, in this case, that Constitutional protections should automatically be extended to “non-us persons” simply because American Citizens are involved seems very dangerous; it blurs the line between Constitutional protections specifically extended to American Citizens by the Constitution and those generously “granted” to other world citizens under special circumstances. And, of course, it clearly presents a challenge to the NSA’s ability to protect American Citizens from foreign threats.

The line was, not long ago seriously crossed when our government first brought a non-citizen terrorist combatant to New York, granted him a trial and gave this self-declared enemy of America all the rights of an American Citizen and all the protections of U.S. Criminal law and the U.S Constitution.  Since then, the U.S. Constitution has been stretched and stretched, in different circumstances and in different parts of the world, until it is now in danger of it’s original intent being completely undermined.

Americans are generous people by nature, that comes from the complacency of freedom, but in the case of this Wikimedia lawsuit, suing the NSA and the Justice Department because “non-US persons” are actually being treated like the non-citizens they are and not being allowed protection by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which they are NOT entitled to), threatens to stretch our generosity and complacency to a dangerous breaking point.

We are making “baby-steps” toward a One-World Government; Americans need to wake up and stop denying the obvious.

Just to be clear: I’m suggesting that, for the sake of National Security, in the case of correspondence between American Citizens and foreign governments or foreign nationals.it is not unreasonable to expect  American Citizens to forfeit some of their privacy rights. This is especially true and critical in this age of  terrorism, recruitment and solicitation. We have, tragically reached the stage where American citizens cannot be automatically assumed to be “loyal” American citizens. That is the cost of many decades of American complacency and “generosity.”

I know that’s a bitter pill to swallow but if we want America to survive we really DO need to  ‘wake up and stop denying the obvious.’

Harvey

Reference:

Newsmax: NSA Sued by Wikimedia, Rights Groups over Mass Surveillance