Suddenly there is a real concern with the loss of religious freedom in America. This emerged when the government came up with a health care plan that required certain religious institutions to offer contraceptive practices. The cry emerged that religious freedom was being attacked. Is religious freedom the freedom to practice certain preferences or is it the freedom to believe as one prefers?
If religious freedom means a church and its followers should not be beholden to legal requirements the polygamist branch of the Church of Latter Day Saints would certainly cry foul as they have not been able to practice their belief legally. That is not what religious freedom has meant nor should it mean that now. Religious freedom as outlined in the Constitution means there shall be no interference by the government in the establishment of a religion. In other words you can believe as you wish but if you translate those beliefs into action they had better be accordance with the law. Honor killings do not and should not fall under the umbrella of religious freedom and any church or claimed belief that acts contrary to this is way out of line.
Religious freedom is being skewed to mean that one can believe and practice what church dogma prescribes and if the law contradicts this, religious “freedom ‘ is being jeopardized. This is a dangerous misconception of religious freedom. All the past religious practices outlawed would become legal. There would be no justification for legality if religious belief was being supreme in the fame of religious freedom. If you translate the meaning of religious freedom as it was offered in the contraceptive case it would reveal itself as,” We believe contraception is immoral and all of our flock who practice this and get government assistance are being deprived of religious freedom”.
The culmination of this “thinking” is the beginnings of a theocracy. If the beliefs of any and all religions are to supersede the law, the law will become a hodgepodge of various beliefs that cannot be enforced by the government. This is a stage of anarchy. The disappearance of freedom as such will occur. There can be no exceptions to the rule of law in the name of any group who disagrees or law becomes something subservient to the whims of the ones who do not agree. The rule of law and not men is only effective if some men are not above the law.
Why do you suppose the issue of religious freedom was raised? Surely our history and understanding of religious freedom is well grounded. There are many religions that thrive in America and it is religious freedom that allows this to occur. There is no state religion and this freedom from coercion is what makes this possible. Many fly by night religions have come and gone as there is no restriction on their establishment. Many religions exist simply to avoid taxes. Yet no religion can claim their actions that are contrary to law are acceptable. Those who have tested this have found they are not exempt. Yet this attempt to expand religious freedom to mean the beliefs of our congregation must be allowed to be practiced in spite of the law is being introduced under the banner of religious freedom. To date that notion has not been challenged. Islam is notorious for advocating the supremacy of the religion over the laws of the land.
The health care law infringes on far more than just religious freedom which is a misnomer. The health care law infringes on the rights of all citizens and destroys the ability to choose. It is the Post Office of health care where a legal monopoly is created and destroys the private health care industry by regulation, taxation and eventual rationing, debt and incompetence. Fighting the health care law in the name of religious freedom is a poor argument. The issue should be the freedom of the citizens to choose the providers of their choice, the insurance of their choice and the freedom to avoid health care altogether if desired. Those of independent means who can be self insured don’t need a government system to tell them what they can have and for how much. Those who don’t want the provisions of the health care law should be free to buy what they want and not pay for what they don’t want. This is what freedom means. It does not mean that everybody has to pay because some can’t or won’t pay. Only a politician pandering to the motives of the altruists and those who think the government can provide something for nothing keep pushing for what has proven to not work in every country it has been tried. Politicians don’t care about what can or can’t work, they are interested only in will it lead to their election and retention of power. Voters who don’t know or don’t want to believe this are the ones gullible enough to swallow the impossible promises time and time again.
If we are not going to speak out against the health care mandates in the name of pure freedom we will only end up with a loss of our freedom and the religious element will have shown they are only interested in an exception for their sake.Tags: freedom healthcare religion