Religious liberty is a core value that belongs to all Americans and serves to ensure that one group cannot impose its beliefs or practices on another.
Religious liberty should exist in a balanced relationship with the other freedoms that are afforded to all Americans. It should not be interpreted to permit harm to others or limit civil rights.
Religious liberty protections should be enforced for all Americans and not only for those of a specific religious faith.
As easy as it is to appreciate the wisdom of that observation, it's still quite clear that the Right, now under the spell of mankind's most awful human being, hasn't given up the fight to make sure its fears and paranoia are given succor by means of narrow-minded, discriminatory legislation. That the Right now derives ancillary power through its dangerous and delusional benefactor in the White House is cause for even greater concern and vigilance.
Insecurities as to whether one's spiritual mandates are in fact legitimate is no justification for coercing others into abiding by those same edicts in order to add legitimacy to them. Belief without introspection does cut down on the risks of realizing that one's identity and value system have been assembled with beach sand as the foundation, but the harm extends beyond one's own psychic dissonance.
Religious liberty is not far-Right Christian liberty, much as the ardent believers would either have us believe or are trying to persuade us by any and all means necessary. If facts and honesty won't do the trick, well then ... ya gotta do what ya gotta do, Right?
Couldn't they at least suspend the prohibition against reasoned introspection long enough to consider just how unwise [at a minimum] it is to impose their tenuous beliefs on others and instead reflect on the nature, origin, and continuing promotion of the fears driving them?
Shouldn't their God be offering up a Celestial Heavy Sigh right about now and making it ever-so-obvious to even the most fervent and loyal that there actually isn't a One and Only Deity with Very Clear Rules about the Do's and Don't's? Instead, we're constantly treated to an endless parade of crazy by the most prominent voices on the Right, each determined to out-do the others in full-out loony to validate their fears
Even a passing glance at the insanity [highlighted by, for example, Right Wing Watch--a recent sampler: "Illuminati Tricked Americans Into Watching Lady Gaga's 'Celebration Of Satan' At The Super Bowl"] ought to more than ample evidence that the various Deity's competing for space and attention have commissioned some decidedly insane and/or mean-spirited spokespeople to pass along their various messages about who and what to condemn or discriminate against--or worse. And if these various Deities vying for attention are so determined to create endless havoc here on on Planet Earth, shouldn't Their various loyal followers be wondering right about now just what they hell is going on? www.rightwingwatch.org/
We've been blessed with this magnificent planet in a truly great nation with almost limitless possibilities to do go and to enjoy and share in so much abundance, and a much-too large segment of the population continues to be apoplectic over the thought that Marie might marry Diane or that the local schools are actually teaching facts to the community's children about how our world works. Can someone/anyone explain the benefits of dumbing down our future generations so that in a world ever-more complex and interconnected by the day, our children will be even less equipped to properly deal with and adapt to their world than the current crop of adults are demonstrating?
How have we evolved to the point where large clusters of presumably capable and reasonably intelligent adults have decided that magical thinking about unverifiable nonsense is the go-to set of rules for living? There are no better rules to live by than to condemn others about matters which are no one's business but those others? Facts and reality are now suddenly opinions because they interfere with the radio waves being transmitted by Cosmic Crazies to the earth-bound leaders of Crazy World?
Spirituality and religion could and should be avenues available to those seeking solace or guidance or wisdom on how to better themselves. But instead, there has been a collective decision that perpetuating conflict serves a Higher Purpose. Seriously?
The policies which help support, guide, sustain, and enable each of us--along with our communities and businesses--to thrive and prosper are now targets for a fanciful set of guidelines designed primarily to appease crazies? Imagine if the loyal followers targeting school boards and businesses and local governments to adopt their set of unjustifiable and unverifiable demands--affecting all of us, it should be noted--actually paused for a moment in their headlong dash to suppress their cognitive dissonance to ponder Why, Exactly, Are We Doing This? and What Happens Later?
Legislation passed or vetoed all have consequences. Shouldn't we make certain that the foundations upon which we build the rules and regulations and requirements to allow our society to function are based on those fact-things? Instead, we're all treated to a steady onslaught of fear-driven, more-than-a-bit-crazy, high-octane hypocritical, and confusing set of manufactured orders. That the marching orders were first assembled by less-informed forebears who understood almost nothing about anything, and now perpetuated by a current crop of "leaders" clearly incapable of separating nonsense from fact, isn't helping any of them.
It sure as hell isn't going much for the rest of us, either.
Adapted from a blog post of mine