Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Question of Religious Freedom

Author and publisher Theresa Chaze has written a thought provoking article on the subject of religious freedom. This article makes one stop and think about what is religious freedom and the law that separates church from state, especially as it applies to the public school system. Her article can be found here: http://theresachaze.blogspot.com/

My comment on this topic varies from some and it is simply that I do not believe one set of religious principles should be emboldened as primary within any governmentally funded program or institution. I do, however, find nothing wrong with anyplace, including a school giving a few moments for students to commune with their God, Goddess or any other deity for guidance or reflection.

To carry this further I feel very strongly that Pagans, especially students, should be able to wear their pentacle without fear of reprisal which has sadly happened to students in schools in a number of districts. After all, it is no different than a Star of David or a cross from a spiritual point of view. On the other hand I feel Christian students who choose to meet during lunch to do Bible study should be able to do so and that Muslim students should be able to bow to Mecca during school if it is the time to do so. If students during a free period choose to read religious materials or other spiritual literature, they should be able to do so.

Frankly I believe the law of the land is largely influenced by the Ten Commandments and honestly have no objection to it being displayed in a courthouse or any other public building alongside with the Code of Hammurabi which was the very first code of laws from which all others sprang. In other words, there are many inspired sources that have dictated what is just and fair and they too should be acknowledged.

When one group insists that their way is the only way there will always be problems with mutual respect and acceptance. As I see it, the focus of religious freedom has been on how it affects Christians but the truth of the matter it is a matter of religious "expression" concerning all belief systems. There are a diverse number of belief systems in this country and until all of them can become somewhat familiar to all of us, fear will continue to pervade and invade our society.

1 comment:

Theresa Chaze, Wiccan Writer said...

I agree for the most part. When it comes to religion in government, it should be all or none. Either all faiths are not only welcome but have a place or none of them do.