This question is for Americans. Undeniably, despite the vast differences between atheists and agnostics on the one hand and the more exotic brands of Christianity that believe in snake handling and faith healing on the other, don't we have this in common: that we both depend upon respect for the Freedom of Religion guaranteed by The Bill of Rights? And thus shouldn't we step to their defense when the government wants to make an exception and prosecute them for their practices?


Remember, the mainstream religious community views us as pretty much in the same "religious weirdo" bag with the more wacko religious sects.

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i get what you're trying to say but to defend people who teach children and other adults lies is never right in my book.

if they can be convinced, then yes i'd agree with you but you know most of them will shove away any facts contradicting their religion. there's a point where you have to draw the line and say this is wrong.


the fact is no matter how many times you tell them they will not listen. and we shouldn't just let them do and say whatever they want because it's politically correct to do so.

the fact is no matter how many times you tell them they will not listen.and we shouldn't just let them do and say whatever they want because it's politically correct to do so.

You wanna toss out Freedom of Speech as well then?  A democratic government can't mandate how it's citizens should live, think, speak, and what they should value.  Citizens have the right not to listen, to wallow or revel in their religious ignorance--it's self-determination.  People who know better can provide a light for those in doubt and support for those who do leave.  We should be building stronger public education systems, not trying to close down the conversation entirely by driving fanatics underground.

no why would i want that? i was merely talking about if we should defend them. no i don't think they should be prosecuted.

but the idea of we should protect someone who promotes violence against a particular race or belief is wrong. and it's not difficult to find in the bible or qu'ran the promotion of violence against people who don't accept their god.


read through the bible explain why we should defend a book(that billions of people follow) that says slavery and honour killing is okay, women can be sold like any other properties, etc etc.


yes i understand that most of these people who call themselves "christians" or muslims or jews reject these actions but that doesn't change the fact that their holy book promotes these shit.

I think an amendment is needed.  


It isn't just 'lies' they are 'telling them'.  It is indoctrination, lies days in and days out, with FEAR to back it up and to make the 'lies' unquestionable.  


This is child abuse.  It isn't so simple as a parent telling their child one time that the Earth is the center of the Universe.  It just simply isn't the same thing.  

See, this exposes the problem or dilemma. Once we infringe upon their right to indoctrinate, we expose ourselves to the possibility that we might also become subject to what the majority believes is "right thinking."


I, too, think it's time to call a Constitutional Convention to update the U.S. Constitution, but I would want our freedoms (and those of other citizens) expanded, if anything, not limited.


People are surprised that I am uncomfortable with trials of faith healers, but it is in the interest of having freedom of as well as from religion preserved.


Good. We have the two poles laid out for us here.

The pot is properly stirred. 

No one is prosecuting believers for practicing their religion. They simply can't use public funds to promote it or engage in political campaigning (at least in theory)

Things like faith healing should be forbidden because it directly endangers people's lives. You can't justify causing physical harm with freedom of religion. Any freedom has its limits where it infringes on other people's rights or their well being. I don't know where some people got this absurd notion that some freedoms are absolute (usually speech and religion)

@Steve   We can't forbid everything that endangers people's lives. Consider selling cigarettes or fatty foods. Endangering people's lives is built into automobiles by the compromises that need to be made between safety and having a product people can afford. No, you don't get away with that argument.

*yawn* Are you deliberately using such hyperbole to troll for a more energetic debate? It just makes you look silly

People who drive fast usually know the dangers on some level. Faith healing also (or maybe mainly) affects children. If an adult chooses to not seek medical attention and dies as a result, that's unfortunate, but at least it's an adult. But parents who don't take their children to the doctor and they develop severe medical problems or even die as a result, belong in prison. The child never had a say in the matter

There is also an astronomical difference between the abstract and potential dangers of certain activities like driving or extreme sports and the direct dangers of not treating illnesses

I'm asking where we draw the line. I know most of us would be happy to stamp out all religion, especially the theistic kind, but in so doing we need to be careful not to be assisting those who would erode the protections we enjoy.


Most people would cite protecting children from the religious freedom of their parents, for example. Just remember what Bill Maher once said: "When they come to take your rights away, they will do so in the name of protecting the children."


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