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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Freedom Of Religion - How Far Should It Extend?

by ddrapayo (writer), Poughkeepsie, July 12, 2008

We've all heard of what happened in Utah and Texas due to people's religion. So, how far should the right of freedom of religion extend?

We've all heard of the polygamist religious sects in Utah and Texas. They claimed freedom of religion. So, one wonders how far freedom of religion should extend. If nobody gets hurt, physically or emotionally, then what's the problem? Clearly the girls in Utah and Texas were being emotionally hurt, so that should not be allowed, however if they were having multiple adult, consenting, wives, it should have been left alone. If you are a ward of the state (which is a nice way of saying you're in jail) and you are Jewish, you are entitled to Kosher meals. If you are Muslim, you are entitled to pork-free meals. One wonders what would happen if an Orthodox Jew refused to work on Saturday and was punished as a result. Clearly this is wrong. Now, what if a non-religious Jew did the same and was punished. Does freedom of religion apply here? Clearly they have the right to be Jewish, but it does reek of rat that they would suddenly become Orthodox. These raise interesting cases. I am entitled to display a Jewish Star outside my house to express my religion, but what if I "founded" a religion whose symbol was an anatomically correct picture of two people having sex? Could I display that symbol outside my house? Surely not. So, we could say that it only includes "real" religions. But then what do we define as real? If Scientology considered real? Returning to the prison example, what if I found a religion that requires me to go to a five-star restaurant every day. This should not be allowed. Now suppose I get prisoners across the state to "convert" and I have several thousand followers. Should this be considered a real religion due to the large amount of followers? Probably not. This raises another interesting question- should religions with only a few followers be considered a religion? If we say the only requirement for freedom of religion is that nobody gets physically or emotionally hurt, than the prisoners who require five-star dining every day should have that right. Clearly this is ridiculous. But then how do we define "real"? The number of followers? In that case, the five-star dining converted convicts should have their rights. That would be ridiculous? If we include only sensible religions, how do we define sensible? Where do we draw the line? Keeping Kosher is one thing, but being required to have fine dining every day is another. If I steal something from a convencience store, can I claim my religion compelled me to do so? No! But where do we draw the line? That is something that we need to figure out, before things get out of control.



About the Writer

ddrapayo is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Freedom Of Religion - How Far Should It Extend?

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By Betty B. on December 05, 2011 at 07:13 am

The way and the only way, Jesus is the way to the Father its through him we all will be saved..good writer you are.

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