James Kirk Wall, No Steve Chapman, religious freedom is not worth protecting, secularism is, Chicago Now

I strongly believe in a secular society which means no persecution or privilege based on religious beliefs. I believe in one law of the land where everyone is treated equally. If someone is arrested for smoking marihuana, there isn’t a decision point of a Catholic, Islamist, Hindu, Confucian or Jewish court. There is one court of law. The evidence, decision of innocence or guilt, and any sentence should be independent of religious beliefs.

Everyone should believe in this system of justice as it’s fair and most people want what is fair. Everyone who is of a minority religion or religiously unaffiliated should believe in this system of justice. Even people of the majority religious population should believe in secularism as most have pride and don’t want special handouts. They’re also aware that bigotry against minority faiths could extend to bigotry against minority sects.

This is how justice is supposed to work:
If I can grow a half inch beard in prison, so can you
If you can legally smoke peyote, so can I
If it’s against city ordinance for me to play loud music past 9PM, it’s against city ordinance for you to play loud music past 9PM
If you’re excused from working on Sundays, so am I
If my kid can bring a traditional dagger to school, so can yours
If you’re allowed to keep your children out of school after 8th grade, so am I

And religious affiliation should never be an excuse to discriminate against an entire group of people based on gender, race, sexual orientation, or other religious or non-religious affiliation. We shouldn’t have businesses with signs that say, “No Jews allowed.”

This was the philosophy until the so called Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 which allowed the Native American Church to legally use the narcotic peyote. Now instead of everyone equal under the law, some people are more equal than others. It’s legal for them to use the drug, but not anyone else. And as soon as this happened, a long line formed to get handouts. You gave them special privileges based on religious beliefs, now we want ours.

And now because of our United States Supreme Court which contains five traitors to the foundation of this country, a corporation can gain special privileges by associating itself with a religion.

Every true American should be outraged, but instead there is compliance and excuses. The majority justifies bigotry by saying that those oppressed shouldn’t do business where they’re not wanted anyway. This is something that’s always easy for the majority to say, and has been repeatedly used to discriminate against minorities, and certainly not just the gay population.

Today in the Chicago Tribune, Steve Chapman wrote an article titled, “Religious liberty is worth protecting.” Steve promotes the idea that religion should grant special privileges and bigotry. He even makes an absurd argument that this is what the country was founded on, and yet somehow didn’t happen until 1993. And in promoting religious privilege he brings up a case I’ve seen by other apologists. Isn’t it wonderful that Muslims were granted the right to grow beards in prison?

We are to abandon our secular foundation. We are to abandon one law of the land. We are to abandon the concept of everyone is to be treated equally under the law. Why? Because some Muslims wanted to grow beards and it was against policy. So it’s now OK if Muslims can grow beards and not anyone else? If an inmate wants facial hair, better convert to Islam? Wouldn’t that be an endorsement of one religion over another? I believe after the Supreme Court granted this “right,” the prison system did make it a policy for everyone. But would people like Chapman be fine if it was Muslims only?

If we are not to be secular, why not allow Sharia Law? Why not allow marriage to 9 year old girls because of “religious freedom?” Why not demand that a woman’s testimony in court is only worth half of a man’s? But no, we can’t have that, right? We must pick and choose what falls under “religious freedom.” And this is where further bigotry and hypocrisy comes in. Religious privilege and bigotry is equal, but some is more equal than others. Didn’t the founding fathers warn us about the tyranny of the majority?

 

Full article here: http://www.chicagonow.com/an-agnostic-in-wheaton/2015/04/no-steve-chapman-religious-freedom-is-not-worth-protecting-secularism-is/