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Posts tagged ‘Freedom of Religion’

Link farm – seed planting edition

In no particular order:


The real problem

I have no problem with homeschooling. It may well be the best choice for certain people, and since I cannot possibly know everyone’s circumstances or situation, I cannot decide that for them. The majority of them, I’m sure, have nothing but the interests of their children’s education at heart and lack any sort of ulterior or ideologically–driven indoctrinination/brainwashing motive. Indeed, some people homeschool specifically to get away from fundamentalism plaguing public schools in some areas, such as creationism and abstinence ignorance–only sex education.

What I do have a problem with is people who homeschool under the guise of “freedom of religion” to abuse their children and deny girls their rights (via Denialism) (my emphasis):

[Erika Diegel Martin] recounts notable educational gaps in her own family, where there was little academic encouragement. One of her brothers decided to quit school at 16 and faced no parental opposition. The youngest, Diegel Martin says, ceased his formal education at the age of 12, when she left home and was no longer available to teach him herself. And though she was fortunate enough to receive sex education before leaving public school, her siblings were not so lucky. Their parents never taught the three other children about sex, and Diegel Martin remembers giving her 21-year-old sister “the talk” the week before she got married. She also had to intervene to ensure that her younger brothers learned about sex.

As for herself, when she completed her schooling, she says her parents did not allow her to obtain her GED as proof of high school graduation. Their reason? “The girls weren’t allowed to get a GED because we were told we wouldn’t need it. It would open up opportunities that were forbidden to us. We would work in the family business until we got married, and then become homemakers.

“When I talked about wanting to go to college, my parents said, ‘Well, you’re a girl. You don’t go to college.'”

In other words, they’re breeding dependent doormats.

Quiverfull is one of the worst offenders when it comes to using “freedom of religion” and the parental rights (to abuse, to deny healthcare, and to deny education) movement to oppress women. Here what one of the biggest proponents of this movement, Doug Phillips, said (via Libby Anne) (again, my emphasis):

“Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope 
of their father. As long as they’re under the authority of their fathers, fathers have the ability to nullify or not the oaths and the vows. Daughters can’t just go out 
independently and say, ‘I’m going to marry whoever I want.’ No. The father has 
the ability to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, that has to be approved by me.'”

Very rarely do these people make it more clear that it’s about ownership of women.

Freedom of religion shouldn’t be “freedom” to oppress women. If there is a conflict between women’s rights and religion, women’s rights ought to win 100 times out of 100.

On the Saskatchewan decision

Recently, a court in Saskatchewan ruled that marriage commissioners there are not allowed to refuse to marry same–sex couples due to religious objections.

This is the correct decision. No one forced you to become a marriage commissioner. You knew going into it that you might have to marry same–sex couples. Since you chose to enter it you should face the consequences of your actions. To do otherwise is disrespectful as it tell you that you are not a rational person who is responsible for their actions. To insist that you should not be forced to do your job goes against the principle of personal responsibility. Why do conservatives hate personal responsibility?

Religion is a choice. Absolutely no one is forcing you to follow a religion that requires bigotry against gays and lesbians. And if you truly believed that marrying a same–sex couple would send you to hell, well guess what. There is no way that losing your job could possibly be worse than that. To act otherwise is to betray a serious lack of conviction. Why do conservatives have such weak convictions?

There is no way that grandfathering in bigots who were marriage commissioners before same–sex marriage was approved is a good move. Suppose that at one time, the age of consent was fourteen. Suppose further that it is raised to sixteen. The idea that we should allow those who previously had sex with fifteen–year–olds continue having sex with fifteen–year–olds is an idea that ain’t gonna fly.

If you can’t be forced to do your job, other people should not be forced to employ you. To insist otherwise, you are forcing the government to hire extra marriage commissioners, thereby wasting taxpayers’ money. Why are conservatives in favour of big government?

If you think that you shouldn’t be forced to do the job you signed up for if you are a marriage commissioner, you undoubtedly take the same view of a Friend or Jain (these are Pacifist faiths) joining the military but refusing to fight, claiming freedom of religion. Any argument that would apply to marriage commissioners would also apply to military deserters. Why do conservatives hate the troops so much?

Why the separation of church and state matters

It’s events like these two that show why the separation of church and state is important.

First, a Palestinian barber is facing imprisonment or execution for advocating atheism (via):

A mysterious blogger who set off an uproar in the Arab world by claiming he was God and hurling insults at the Prophet Muhammad is now behind bars — caught in a sting that used Facebook to track him down.

The case of the unlikely apostate, a shy barber from this backwater West Bank town, is highlighting the limits of tolerance in the Western-backed Palestinian Authority — and illustrating a new trend by authorities in the Arab world to mine social media for evidence.

Residents of Qalqiliya say they had no idea that Walid Husayin — the 26-year-old son of a Muslim scholar — was leading a double life.

Known as a quiet man who prayed with his family each Friday and spent his evenings working in his father’s barbershop, Husayin was secretly posting anti-religion rants on the Internet during his free time.

Now, he faces a potential life prison sentence on heresy charges for “insulting the divine essence.” Many in this conservative Muslim town say he should be killed for renouncing Islam, and even family members say he should remain behind bars for life.

The rest is after the jump.


Missouri funeral anti–protesting law struck down

A United States federal court has ruled a Missouri law prohibiting protesting at funerals is unconstitutional (via). It was targeted against Fred Phelps and his ilk. As much as a vile, despicable human being Phelps is, this is the correct decision. If Westboro Baptist Church does not have freedom of expression, no one does.

The Homosexual Agenda’s War on Christmas

I have extremely important and exclusive information. It involves the War on Christmas. Did you know that the Homosexual Agenda is targeting it? The information is after the jump and, before you go there, make sure to pray to end this persecution.


They have to be allowed to do this

Fred “God Hates Just About Everybody” Phelps is an offensive man with deeply hateful beliefs. Rest assured that when he finally passes I’ll have a good riddance just for him. Recently, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a judgement against Phelps and Westboro Baptist Church. The original judgement awarded $5 million in punitive and compensatory damages, but this was thrown out. And I think that this was the correct decision. As much as I think that Phelps is a vile person, it is absolutely essential for a free society that he and his church be allowed to do what they are doing.

Why? Here are four reasons:

  1. Being offended is part of life. I am often offended by things I see, but I have no right not to be offended. And neither do you. Get over it.
  2. As Fred Clark at the Slacktivist shows, they have freedom of religion. The fact that they have freedom of religion shows that same-sex marriage is not going to infringe on anyone else’s freedom of religion. They therefore serve a useful purpose, allowing the debunking of the argument that marriage equality infringes on religious freedom.
  3. They may make opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT rights so toxic that people switch sides. After all, who the hell would possibly want to emulate Fred Phelps?
  4. A society’s respect for freedom of expression is demonstrated by its protection for speech that people disagree with. People have to be allowed to express vile and hateful opinions, people have to be allowed to burn flags, the worst opinions by the worst sorts of people have to be protected.  That is how a society measures it commitment to freedom of expression. Speech you agree with is always going to be protected. If you disagree with this claim, then don’t complain when your political opponents win an election and use all that censorship power you gave the government against you.

Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

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