• Henry Chambers

    You write,
    >>>Free and functioning societies require both freedom of and freedom from religion.
    The “freedom from” might be idealized by people without religion who are so oversensitive to be offended by seeing the slightest sign of religion, but it is the opposite for those for whom serving God is the most important thing in their lives. Societies who have been very well functioning have not banned religion from the public square. That would be very intolerant. Meet on the public square. Disagree. Use arguments. But don’t ban freedom of religion and freedom of expression, or your society will become a pretty dark place with enormous numbers of people being pushed out of sight, and much religion robbed from what is essential to it. Any examples of societies with freedom from religion that are functioning very well? Tell me, I want to see them firsthand.

  • Larry

    The problem is you seem to be under the impression that your religious beliefs should belong to everyone. That no other beliefs should be heard. Either that or you just chose to blatantly misrepresent the humanist position to suit your own agenda.

    Freedom from religion means that one does not have to bear insult, marginalization or discrimination because their belief is different from your own. That religion is not entangled with the apparatus of government.

    God’s law may be what you find appropriate for your life but nobody should be under any kind of compulsion under the law to do the same. Government endorsement of religious belief means exclusion of various faiths and sects which do not belong to what is being endorsed. It ALWAYS leads to discriminatory unfree actions.

  • Henry Chambers

    Larry,
    Did you read what I wrote?
    I am strongly in favor of a public square where people of all persuasions meet, speak, discuss, debate.
    Freedom from religion people seem to only want humanists to have that right and to shut up everybody else.
    In a freedom from religion community the only ones who can be themselves are the ones who have no religion. That is treating religious people as acceptable in the public square only if they behave as if they are non-religious people. That is intolerant and wrong. Do you know an example of a society with freedom from religion where you would be better off?

  • Larry

    Yes. I read what you wrote. You are making a strawman point and telling outright fictions.

    You are falsely accusing humanists of banning religion from the public square. The reality is that it is the religious people who do this. In calling for their religious views to be given public acknowledgement they intentionally exclude faiths besides their own. When religion “is kept out of the public” as you accuse, it is because the given expression is exclusionary, offensive to other faiths or gives an impression of government endorsement.

    People like yourself only talk of religion when referring to your own faith and none others. Respect to other views is usually not in the cards when expressing their faith. One cannot respect religious beliefs unless one is willing to respect all of them or those with no belief at all. Humanism and secularism seek to respect all views by not showing favoritism to any. Better to embrace all or embrace none than to be exclusionary.

    “You have confused a war on religion with not getting everything you want.” –Jon Stewart

    “Do you know an example of a society with freedom from religion where you would be better off?”

    The United States. The only country with a constitution which explicitly excludes religion from consideration when making and implementing its laws. Whose public offices are banned from being beholden to any given church, religious group or sect.

  • Pingback: A right not to be offended? Atheists say 'No thanks' | On Freedom()