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Government restrictions on religion increasing worldwide

8 Comments
By DAVID CRARY

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8 Comments
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I'm proud I live in the US, where the first Amendment to our Constitution enshrines religious liberty.

People can believe however our conscience dictates, and the government is prohibited from making any law respecting the establishment of religion.

That, along with the other part of the first, Amendment, the right to free speech. Very nice things. And a free society is impossible without them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

And a free society is impossible without them.

As you say, religious liberty and free speech are essential to a free society. I'm also glad that I live in Australia, where such rights are more or less taken for granted. However, we do have to be on guard against any erosion of those rights, even the rights of minorities we might not like or approve of. The report also says:

Another category in the report was religious harassment by individuals and social groups. The United States ranked among the worst-scoring countries in this category in 2017, in part because of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white supremacist protesters displayed swastika flags and chanted anti-Semitic slogans.

That means holding accountable any politicians, authority figures, or any other groups or individuals (including rival religious groups) who tacitly encourage or legitimize such harassment. I can certainly think of one or two in Australia - and in the US - who fit into that category.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Atheists are persecuted around the world too through blasphemy laws.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

As with the cases of Muslims in Myanmar and China. Both being punished and exiled.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As Islam is an exclusionary religion, especially in secular societies then any government has the right to pass and enforce any laws that are needed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Atheists are persecuted around the world too through blasphemy laws.

There are thirteen countries, all Islamic, where atheism is an offence punishable by death. And many more where saying you're an atheist will get you beaten up or worse. We atheists are a persecuted group.

Real freedom of religion also translates to freedom of non-religion. That's one of the reasons why I support it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Think it again, if your children were attracted by the "Unification movement church" run by 'Sun Myung Moon", you will believe the restrictions used to protect naïve people is reasonable!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I find religion fascinating and abhorrent at the same time. But I wouldn't wish to see people's religions restricted.

That said, freedom of religion is "hey, that's against my religion, so I can't do that" not "hey, that's against my religion so YOU can't do that".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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