Religious freedom is not high on the President's list as that is one reason
people came to this country. He has not fostered that type of partnership with
America's religious community. He sort of stifles people's religious
behaviors, thoughts, abilities and charity in his foreign and domestic
Religion singlehandedly wipes out all we have in common.
@ HutteriteReligion is merely place holder in your sentence. It is
not the answer that you think it is. You could insert a lot of different large
"group" ideas there. Nations and Nationalism wipe out all we have
in commonPolitical indoctrination wipes out all we have in common etc. Anytime you associate yourself with a group you are in danger of
putting yourself at enmity (separation) with others. Cliches in high
school wipe out all the high schoolers have in common. It's
pride, selfishness, distrust, etc. that wipe it out. Not the group itself.
Religion per say is not the cause. Neither is nationalism, politics, nor the
tendency to associate yourself with friends. It's the members
of the group that do the wiping out. All of us everywhere must learn to respect
and honor what others believe and think. We must learn to be inclusive and not
exclusive as much as possible.
High on the list of things our government should not be doing is the telling
other nations how to run their religions. Our government is restricted from
telling Americans how to run their religion by the Constitution. That notion
should be doubly important in international matters.
When the US subsidizes foreign governments there is more than an assumption that
human rights will be observed. We have given aid to too many countries who have
used that aid to suppress minorities such as the Coptic Christians in Egypt and
Arabs in Israel. We often function under the fantasy that sprinkling no-strings
attached fairy dust (money) over the world will result in a better place.
Here is my list of religious liberty abusers:1. Hollywood2.
The Old Media3. ACLU4. The Democrat Party5. Obama
(Contraceptive and Abortion Mandate)6. US Supreme Courtand not
necessarily in that order"Congress shall make no law respecting
the establishment of religion nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof"If congress were to pass a law prohibiting prayer in school, how would
it not violate the first amendment?Only congress can pass a law. How
in the name of all that is holy did the Supreme Court prohibit prayer in school
when congress could not have done it?
@ Ultra Bob,I don't think anyone suggests the US should try to tell
other nations how to "run their religions." Rather, we encourage other
nations to give their citizens religious liberty.@ Hutterite: I am
friends with many people of many different faiths; religion certainly
hasn't wiped out what we have in common. Maybe in your life it is
different, but please don't speak for others.
“Religious freedom is a core human right, one that is
"intertwined" with all other human rights, "most notably freedom of
expression, association and assembly."______________________________All of that is true but the U.S.
should treat the issue of religious freedom as one aspect of human rights. Keep
the focus on that.
Something is wrong when an organization who is dedicated to call out countries
for lack of religious freedom succumbs to political pressure to leave some
countries off the list. Also, why isn't Israel on the list?
Interesting that China and Saudi Arabia are on the list, but there
"diplomatic" concerns for places like Vietnam and Turkey. I guess the
Saudis and Chinese just laugh it off as no big deal being on some list. Clearly
countries like that will continue to do their own thing regardless of any
criticism by a U.S. commission. In fact I'll bet our State Department
agrees to a deal that there will be no real pressure on those countries, but
just to placate the human rights crowd they accept being on the list. An
obvious game played all the time in world diplomacy.
RG Buena Vista, VAWithin a religion, religious liberty is the
last thing you would find. In countries where religion and government are the
same, you could get killed for proposing religious liberty. As a
young boy in Kansas, I recall that my playmates were prohibited by their
religion to attend any religious service not their own. Later when I got
married, those same friends were not able to come to the church wedding. The problem with religions is their economic impact. When you mess with
some ones gold they don’t like you.
Re: Ultra BobWasn't that just the intolerance of some people
rather than the religion itself? If not, too bad that some other religions
(Christian I presume) would forbid their members from even associating with
those of other faiths. Hopefully that is changing for the better in America.
JWB,"Religious freedom is not high on the President's list
as that is one reason people came to this country. He has not fostered that type
of partnership with America's religious community...."______________________________Nor should he. Government partnering
with religion is antithetical to separation of church and state which is how
Thomas Jefferson interpreted the 1st Amendment. So do I.America’s concept of religious freedom is not ubiquitous throughout the
world. There are countries where religious factions still shoot at each other
with real bullets. Heads of state often have their hands full dealing with that.
America has a moral duty to promote human rights in the world but it has neither
the authority nor the capability to impose its codes of religious freedom on
@rockSo how is my being forced to participate in your religions prayer
that has been elevated above all others as worthy of being endorsed by the
school if I am a school student of a different religion and required to be their
not a violation of my religious rights? I think the current law that allows
students to have private prayers or student run prayers outside the classroom is
much more in keeping with the first amendment than forcing ones religion be
elevated above all others.As to your question about the Supreme Court do
we really need to go back to 7th grade civics and explain the three branches of
The Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life recent
research found that more often than not that religions were the cause of
hostilities towards other religions not secularism. The their research also
found that social hostilities involving religion are 3.5 times higher in
countries with very high government favoritism of religion than in countries
with low levels of favoritism. The study found that some government restrictions
have a stronger association with social hostilities than others. Government
policies or actions that clearly favor one religion over others have the
strongest association with social hostilities involving religion. It is time to
focus on the real problem which is those that spread the idea this expansive
view that their religious rights are only protected when they can force the rest
of society to live by their religious dictates.
George,I think you've misinterpreted the Rock's comment. there
is a difference between you being forced to participate in someone else's
prayer and the SCOTUS banning school prayers.
Nigeria? From my understanding, it's half Christian and half Muslim.
Hamath – “Religion per say is not the cause.”This
is simply not true - no, not the misspelling of “per se” but the
statement itself.Of course group identity and tribalism are
fundamentally divisive, but no ideology gets the free pass religion does. All human interactions ultimately come down to a choice between
conversation or conflict (or war). Religion is the only area of discourse where
all someone has to say is “my faith tells me…” and the
conversation is over. And it is no surprise that all the top
countries on the list are either dictatorships or Muslim. Much of the Islamic
worldview is simply antithetical to the values our country was founded on. We
can bury our heads in the sands of moral & cultural relativism or we can
wake up and recognize it for what it (religion in general, and Islam in
particular) is – inherently totalitarian, divisive, intolerant, adverse to
freedom, etc, etc, etc…The fact that the West has tempered
many of these tendencies is not because of religion but in spite of it (although
Jesus’ message of love admittedly helped).
@lostThe SCOTUS did not ban students from having prayer on their own on
campus(i.e. prayer circles) the SCOTUS banned school endorsed prayers during
class times and at school events which is clearly what I stated in my last post
so maybe rather than pretend I do not understand you should slow down and
understand my comment.
Concerning Prayer in School:The very first paragraph after the
preamble in the constitution states:"All legislative authority
granted herein belongs to a congress consisting of a house of representatives
and a senate."In as much as "All Legislative Authority"
belongs to congress there is no (Nata, zip, zero) legislative authority anywhere
else. The President cannot pass a law. The courts cannot create a law.The order from the SCOTUS is not a law. It was not passed by congress or
signed by the President. If you violated the SCOTUS's order to not pray in
school what would they charge you with? You did not break a law. It does not
exist. They would have to punish you for not violating a law, or for breaking a
"not law".The courts had no authority to prohibit prayer in
@the rockA ruling is not a law a ruling is a finding by the courts that a
law (in this case as the constitution) was violated. The court ruling from the
SCOTUS was due to the schools that were in question violating the students first
amendment rights which being a constitutional (law) question is perfectly within
the jurisdiction of the SCOTUS to rule on (not making a law but enforcing it),
again 7th grade civics. If the congress disagrees with the ruling there is a
process for them to follow to try to change the constitution that’s how
our system works.
@ lost and rock: You are half right - where the Supreme Court cannot make laws,
there is no law prohibiting prayer in school.And no one is claiming
there is.What there is, is a Constitutional Amendment (the First
Amendment) that prohibits Congress from favoring (i.e. "respecting") one
religion over another or interfering with an individual's religious
worship. There is also another Amendment (the Fourteenth) which extended the
protections/prohibitions of the First Amendment to the states. Public schools are funded by the state through taxes. Public schools cannot
favor one religion over another nor can they force students to worship in a
particular manner.This is not a law created by the Supreme Court -
this is the Constitution being upheld by the Supreme Court.Students,
teachers, administrators, random people walking the halls are all more than
welcome to engage in any form of prayer they prefer anytime they would like -
they cannot, however, violate the First Amendment and force others to pray or
worship with them. Oh - and they cannot violate laws about being disruptive or
interfering with the education and work of others, but that is a side note and
is not about religious worship.
Tyler D.Jesus' message of love admittedly helped------Religions do not cause conflict. People cause conflict. Those who truly
follow their religion will practice love. Even Islam teaches love and respect.
It is only when people use religion for selfish purposes that these problems
arise. Since no one is perfect, there will always be conflict until the Messiah
comes again. In the meantime the more people follow His example, the better off
we will be.
@Ksampow – “Those who truly follow their religion will practice
love.”I have no doubt this is true for many millions of
believers, but it is simply naive to think this applies to all. And the truth
not all religions are the same on this score.A religion like Jainism
for example contains zero teachings that would lead someone to hatred or
violence. In fact the more fundamentalist a Jain gets, the more anti-violent
they become, to the point of going to great length to avoid killing bugs.By no account can the same be said regarding Islam. Sadly, the kind of
Islam practiced by Al Qaeda can be found in these books.@Ksampow -
“Since no one is perfect, there will always be conflict until the Messiah
comes again.”What if was misinterpreted or misunderstood? What
if there is no one who will save us from ourselves and the world is what we make
of it?If so, shouldn’t we be terrified that there are millions
of people today who are so eager for the messiah to return that they might bring
up their own prophetic beliefs (i.e., the destruction of civilization)?