Freedom of Religion = defending Christianity?

We have freedom of religion here in America, no one knows that better than us. However, my brain, which is constantly going through thoughts came up with something I felt I needed to ask here. There's a group out there that I was active with when I was a fundie called Voice of the Martyrs. I remember loving reading the stories and hearing of the testimonies of the people who were persecuted and killed for Christ and even wishing I was secure enough in my faith to do something like that. As a freethinker now, I thought on that, and at first questioned why they would put up with such pain for mere faith in an intangible being, however, my head pointed out to me that not only Christians were being killed and jailed and persecuted, but my fellow freethinkers as well. That got me thinking. We desire freedom of religion, including the freedom to say, "I don't believe in God." I definitely wish for it on a global scale. My question is; is what we want to defend those who feel we shouldn't have the right to believe that there is no god in our own country but are being persecuted for the same damn thing in another? I, personally, think we should. Progress takes steps, and if Christianity is one day accepted by the 10/40 window, then maybe freethought will be as well.

Your thoughts?

PS. If I didn't make my point clear, please tell me. I tend to ramble and make people miss the point entirely.

Views: 29

Comment by Apple on May 27, 2010 at 9:15am
I'm not really sure what you mean. Typically we talk about how freedom of religion means freedom from religion. So that means that rights go both ways.

One interesting thing that I picked out of your message was how that when you were a fundie you wished that you could be strong enough in your faith to be a martyr for christ. This is the exact kind of thinking that inspires suicide bombers. Their conditioning and training is even more extreme than that of fundamentalist christians, but the thought process is the same. The stories of god's love and redemption, and of paradise in heaven are used to manipulate people to the the point where they are willing to give large amounts of money or in extreme cases even their lives for the church. Unfortuantely, this only serves to advance their political and social agendas.

I am glad that you escaped from that line of thinking. Now if you could just clear up your last two sentences a bit, that would probably help me understand your point better. From where I'm standing, christians see neutrality as hostility when it comes to government and religion. By staying neutral and not letting religion interfere with government that then allows freedom for everyone, without any group being marginalized. Many christians seem to feel that if the governemnt isn't supporting christianity on money, with prayer, with the bible in courts, etc then they are somehow being persecuted which is simply not the case and they need to get over it.
Comment by Beefaice on May 27, 2010 at 1:09pm
I meant, in a horribly round about way, whether we should stand up for Christians in the 10/40 window, thus not only fighting for our freedom from religion here, but their freedom of religion in those countries, where they're killed/tortured for being anything but Islamic or wtfever, in hopes that if those countries grant them religious freedoms, they might also give freethinkers the same thing one day.

I completely agree with you on the subject of Christianity in the US though.
Comment by Jānis Ķimsis on May 27, 2010 at 5:48pm
I'd like to alter what you said a bit - while fighting for freedom from religion in USA (which is actually hard for me, not being American), we should also fight for freedom of and from religion all over the world. As soon as a specific religion is named, trouble starts.


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