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What does "Freedom of Religion" mean?

 
 
RexRed
 
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 07:31 am
Has the meaning of "freedom of religion" changed over the years? Does freedom of religion mean you are free to force your religion on others through cultural laws and corporate financing in our government?

When the founding fathers of the original colonies made the first amendment what did that mean to them?

Well it was an emancipation from religion imposed by the individual states laws.

It was a decree passed down from the government that would guide all states from there on. What did freedom of religion mean to them?

Well the United States was not just a group of protestants like Rick Santorum.

In fact these protestants like Rick Santorum were some of the least respected of all religions. Why? Well it was because of an incident that happened in the United States nearly 100 years earlier.

Excerpt:
"From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft; dozens languished in jail for months without trials until the hysteria that swept through Puritan Massachusetts subsided"

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/salem/SAL_ACCT.HTM

This is not the only reason. We have the colonization of the Americas where the indigenous people were enslaved and slaughtered for their land and subjugated to religious tyrannies: American Indians, Aztec Mexicans, Northern Eskimo, Peruvians, Caribbean Islands inhabitants etc.

Freedom of Religion meant the forced indoctrination of others by any state sponsored religion became forbidden.

Is there any religion that accepts all forms of faith and practice? Not really... Only the freedom of religion. There is religion and then there is freedom of religion. Definitely not all people who believe in religion believe in freedom of religion.

Religion radicalizes people turning them into conquistadors and witch hunters, but, freedom of religion unites people into a nation that respects all others and their beliefs within reason.

Example: When one sees a parade of people dressed as Indians or as Aztec warriors marching down the street, do they whisper under their breath "Oh those pagan devil worshipers are going to hell!" Or does one marvel! And say, What colorful feathers and I hope their rain dance brings the much needed rain for our crops in the fields and our dried up riverbeds... In other words do you accept and admire the diversity or do you revel in fear and hatred toward anyone that does not meet your "religious standards and preference"?

This is not about what we profess on the outside but what we really feel on the inside... Can people not be so serious about their own religion to accept someone else's religion also?

During the revolution there were Amish, Anabaptists, the Pilgrims, Congregationalists, the church of England, Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists, Calvinists, spiritualists of all stripes, Deists, Atheists, free thinkers, Masons, many clubs, scientists, inventors. There were Jews, Muslims, Hindus and people from all lands and religions present here by the time freedom of religion became self evident. There was so much support for this freedom because we would never have been able to stand up to the church of England and its powerful influence in America had we not all banded together as a diverse group of all parties "outside" the Church of England.

So it took the support of the Mexicans and the support of the American Indians and their vote (What Rich Santorum would call "appeasers" and "heathens") all indigenous peoples and the vote of all NON church of England religions to rid the United States of England's state sponsored christian religion ruled by its king. All religions outside the church of England helped in the revolutionary war that was fought under the guise of freeing the United states from, mainly, "Christian tyranny".

So when we hear Rick Santorum talking about "his standards". We are back to Salem and the time before our emancipation from these religious zealots. We see that Rick and his powerful millionaires have forgotten or never understood the lessons of our country's past.

We are Listening to a person who vomits every time he hears the words "separation of church and state". Someone who whispers that people are going to hell under his breath just because they worship a different god than his. Rich Santorum is un-american and non patriotic and stands against the very first amendment that our founding fathers set in our declaration of Independence and bill of rights. In fact the whole republican movement and their rich corporations are the very people who tried to enslave America in the first place (conquistadors and witch hunters) where our founding fathers saw it fit to decree freedom of religion to be the most basic and fundamental right, rule and law of the land.

To say our country is founded on Judeo-Christian (Or Muslim) values is completely false. Judeo-Christian (Muslim) values are religion not freedom of religion.

Jews of the old testament used to kill and "utterly annihilate" those who did not conform to their religion and race. The crusades of both the Muslims and the Christians indicate that neither of these religions have much religious tolerance or acceptance. The Catholics have their own bloody and immoral past. These religions are still killing one another today... It is the secular movement that has ushered in unity of culture, reason, social harmony and peace. So, freedom of religion is, most generally, not a "religious" value... it is our most civilized, humanistic, cultural and fundamental moral and social American value...

Freedom of religion is the mortar that bonds the diverse foundation of the United States towards the goal of our own enlightened path.
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Fido
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 09:02 am
@RexRed,
Freedom of religion is granting a monopoly on fraud...Faiths claim knowledge and glorify ignorance... They advertize love and sell hate... Held above taxation they are able to buy influence equal to the number of voters they can produce and they freely and without consequences propagate misery to recruit and politicize the hopeless... The religions preach morality and practice immorality, and in this they are a prophylactic for property, for the wealth and power they gird is their own...

It is not about God since people have never needed a licence to believe... It is all about the money... It is always about the money... There is not the least part of altruism not touched by it...How about the freedom of the unchurched people to equal taxation for churched people... What ever is charity should be treated as charity in respect to taxes... How much of what any of these churches do can objectively regarded as charity???

When the real object of the religous association is their incorporation, as a tax shelter, as a social club, as a cheap day care, as a refuge to avoid witnessing the results of their actions for which they may well beg forgiveness so they can continue their exploitation with a light heart, as a spiritual haven then let them pay their share of taxes... They want to meddle in the affairs of government, which should be the proper place of the rational and scientific; and to replace these with people who trust in God to cover their neglect of the country's business...

Any one who says they trust in God should trust in God that good hearted people are plentiful, and that while they pray other people need to be getting the job done -which in government is the achievment of Good, and that good is well if not fully listed... No church ought be able to attack another church with impunity over questions of fact or fancy, and no one should trample on their individual rights...The limit of their rights should be the limit of our own... Not even God in heaven has the right to use a privilage, as church liberties are, and power of the press is- to attack the rights of people... A claim of right is always countered by a claim of wrong... When your right does wrong it is done and over as a right... The churches do nothing but wrong... Not a part of the misery they salve would exist if they were to disappear as corporations...It is all those feeding on misery that make life miserable...Otherwise life would always be what it always was: what it is....
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 09:15 am
Santorum scares the hell out of me. I can't believe he got the response he did in Michigan.

Want to get Americans excited? Talk sex and religion.

Fido
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 09:31 am
@RexRed,
There should be a special place in hell for those who use our hard earned, deserved and much fought for rights to destroy in the government our only defense of rights beyond pure power... The fact is that no one has the right to attack our rights, so no corporation of people have that right simply because they say they believe and read the book... We all have to live here and no one should ever have to defend the rights they feel they need from fellow citizens only because their religious doctrine says they can....It is all our duty to defend right and rights. It is the whole people who make the rights of the churches valid, but whether belief now supports their attack on the common right or not, it is not right, so it should not be a right that people should ever have to make an issue of any right they feel they need when the whole business should have long ago been settled by the weight of bodies and blood...It is because of the general inequality of rights which individual people have so few of, that they are so poor, and must give so much of their time, and energy, and lives to have their lives that little time is left for the defense of their remaining rights... If there ever was a good time to argue for the inequality of rights, that time has long past... Inequality of rights is the equal of inequality of wealth, and property, and this is the cause of our general inability to steer government on a good course... The churches do not make the people moral, but churches are made to seem moral by the people; and their immorality and support of immorality adds to the general demoralization of society... Good people cannot fix the evil caused by the inequality of rights against the will of the churches which profit from it...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 09:46 am
@PUNKEY,
PUNKEY wrote:

Santorum scares the hell out of me. I can't believe he got the response he did in Michigan.

Want to get Americans excited? Talk sex and religion.


And sex in church is a big hit too... I wish all of those churches would push for a law that everytime a boy said he loved a girl, that he had to mean it... Think of what it says, Punkey, that a man should say all women should not be allowed contraception, or abortions... Invariably these are men talking who should never reproduce, and perhaps never would without the aid of alcohol and valium making love compliant... And what if one, who awakened to one of him, and said Oh NO!!! How effin drunk was I???- could not end it, then their mission would be complete... No one in their right mind would reproduce a santorum, or a romney, or a gingrinch... That is why God made churches; so all those loser trippers and stumble bums could get a date... They are all the same, and to know one is to know them all... A deaf man could write their script...No one who reads their books ever takes a lesson from it...There is a moral to the story; right???
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 09:51 am
@PUNKEY,
I'll bet Santorum' wife is a lot like mine: Everytime I say Give me a kiss, she says Give me a twenty...

We stole it from Uncle Fester...
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 02:17 pm
If we have freedom of religion, what gives our government the legal grounds to exempt churches from paying taxes? Is this not a form of inequality? Is it because the people don't have religion without an organized and government accredited church? Tax cuts for the churches?

Why would our government discriminate against the people and give privilege to churches? If the churches were truly humanitarian, they would prefer the people got their fair share.

If "the people" choose to give to "the church" it should come from their own freely given contributions and not be just taken from their taxes.

I would prefer my own charity money goes to a cause that is not pushing a religious agenda. A religious agenda other than, "freedom of religion". Let churches fend for themselves like any other person has to do. I agree with bailouts from time to time. As for if the churches and corporations are people too? Maybe they are people, maybe not... but, the churches and corporations should at least not be favored ABOVE the average person's individual rights and duties. Perhaps corporations and churches should carry MORE of a duty to the world than the average person.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 02:35 pm
Churches are exempted from taxes for two reasons. The philosophical reason is that taxing them would constitute an infringement of the "free exercise" clause for those congregations who were relatively poor. At the time that our constitution was adopted, some states still had religious establishments, and required people to pay church taxes to support them. The original interpretation of the constitution was that it applied to the Federal government and not to the states. So, the states themselves, to avoid an accusation of infringing the free exercise clause exempted churches from property taxes.

As tax codes became more complex and "invasive," the pragmatic reason arises. Tax codes allow for organizations which are corporate and which are formed for a purpose other than making a profit to operate free of taxes other than the excise. (Excise is an inland tax on specific goods, similar the the import tax, the customs taxes, on specific goods, but applying to goods produced within the country--if your nonprofit is having a banquet and booze is being served, tough luck, you still pay the excise because the producer pays it and passes along the cost to the customer.)

In that pragmatic sense, churches are not for profit organizations. It would be grossly unfair to make a special category for churches which taxed them, while exempting other non-profits. So, if the Red Cross doesn't have to pay taxes because they are a non-profit, why should churches have to pay those taxes, given that they are non-profits, too? Because of the nature of the tax codes, non profits are not allowed to use that status to shelter them while conducting partisan political activities. Not for profit ogranizations cannot engage in active political campaigning without risking the non-profit tax exemptions. The same thing applies to churches. So a preacher can tell his congregation that abortion is a sin, and anyone who gets an abortion will go staight to hell. He can even tell his congregation that they will go straight to hell if they vote for any candidate who supports or fails to oppose abortion. As soon, however, as he tells his congregation: "Vote for Jones and you're going to hell, so you have to vote for Smith."--he will have crossed the line, and he will be risking his non-profit tax exemption.
RexRed
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 04:32 pm
rexred, god is us.
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Thu 1 Mar, 2012 08:17 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Churches are exempted from taxes for two reasons. The philosophical reason is that taxing them would constitute an infringement of the "free exercise" clause for those congregations who were relatively poor. At the time that our constitution was adopted, some states still had religious establishments, and required people to pay church taxes to support them. The original interpretation of the constitution was that it applied to the Federal government and not to the states. So, the states themselves, to avoid an accusation of infringing the free exercise clause exempted churches from property taxes.

As tax codes became more complex and "invasive," the pragmatic reason arises. Tax codes allow for organizations which are corporate and which are formed for a purpose other than making a profit to operate free of taxes other than the excise. (Excise is an inland tax on specific goods, similar the the import tax, the customs taxes, on specific goods, but applying to goods produced within the country--if your nonprofit is having a banquet and booze is being served, tough luck, you still pay the excise because the producer pays it and passes along the cost to the customer.)

In that pragmatic sense, churches are not for profit organizations. It would be grossly unfair to make a special category for churches which taxed them, while exempting other non-profits. So, if the Red Cross doesn't have to pay taxes because they are a non-profit, why should churches have to pay those taxes, given that they are non-profits, too? Because of the nature of the tax codes, non profits are not allowed to use that status to shelter them while conducting partisan political activities. Not for profit ogranizations cannot engage in active political campaigning without risking the non-profit tax exemptions. The same thing applies to churches. So a preacher can tell his congregation that abortion is a sin, and anyone who gets an abortion will go staight to hell. He can even tell his congregation that they will go straight to hell if they vote for any candidate who supports or fails to oppose abortion. As soon, however, as he tells his congregation: "Vote for Jones and you're going to hell, so you have to vote for Smith."--he will have crossed the line, and he will be risking his non-profit tax exemption.



Setanta

Thanks for replying.

I respect your opinion and welcome your comments.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 10:43 am
@RexRed,
There is reason enough for freedom of religion in Old England... The Church, meaning Catholic Church in England was from Anglos Saxon times considered a part of the English Constitution, and where in the same sense as France use the word, an estate... After Cromwell beat the king with his ironsides and roundheads, the puritans because inflexible and insufferable... When the king was placed back on the throne, it was with the legal fiction of religious liberty in place, and parlementary freedom as well... I think the support of the clergy was essential to the end of the American Confederation and the acceptance of the Constitution... When most people believed in Christianity it was foolish to stand against it, and the accepted religion has always been a bulkhead against change and revolution... If they were only a conservative force they would be easy enough to accept and dismiss... They hold a lot of idea in actual conflict with science and reason, and they stand against the goals for which this nation was constituted... They are the enemy... If they want to hold ideas contrary to the good of the people, and to attack democracy, they should at least pay taxes for the privilage...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Fri 2 Mar, 2012 11:38 am
As usual, Fido doesn't know what the **** he's talking about. No surprise there.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2012 10:31 am
I haven't had the time to study all of this, I will make some sense of it soon, I promise.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Sun 4 Mar, 2012 11:07 am
Diverse people have to coexist and not impinge too greatly upon one another's rights. ...a creed of fairness, balance, justice, equality.
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2012 12:04 am
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:

rexred, god is us.


Slippery slope as I justify my own deification Smile lol
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2012 12:08 am
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:

If we have freedom of religion, what gives our government the legal grounds to exempt churches from paying taxes? Is this not a form of inequality? Is it because the people don't have religion without an organized and government accredited church? Tax cuts for the churches?

Why would our government discriminate against the people and give privilege to churches? If the churches were truly humanitarian, they would prefer the people got their fair share.

If "the people" choose to give to "the church" it should come from their own freely given contributions and not be just taken from their taxes.

I would prefer my own charity money goes to a cause that is not pushing a religious agenda. A religious agenda other than, "freedom of religion". Let churches fend for themselves like any other person has to do. I agree with bailouts from time to time. As for if the churches and corporations are people too? Maybe they are people, maybe not... but, the churches and corporations should at least not be favored ABOVE the average person's

individual rights and duties. Perhaps corporations and churches should carry MORE of a duty to the world than the average person.


I get it, so ordinary persons should pay more than churches and corporations. Thanks for clearing that up for me, err, a2k... (cynical)

So churches (those who try and rule us) claim to help the poor while they rip off the poor though loopholes. So they steal from the poor out of a non fairness to participate equally in our society. They buy and sell in our markets yet they do not pay taxes.

Something about this seem ludicrous...
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2012 12:25 am
Why does our government subsidize churches? Ultimate control? You take the money, now we own you? Do the american people need to pay churches to not be jerks and freaks?
Fido
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Mar, 2012 07:01 am
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:

Why does our government subsidize churches? Ultimate control? You take the money, now we own you? Do the american people need to pay churches to not be jerks and freaks?
If they paid at the going rate they would be more careful of their ideas and their implications... Certainly they should not be taxed for what they spend on charity; but how much is that??? And they are politically, down right uncharitable and impolite... They are often nationalistic, and engage in their own sort of international relations, and push us into conflicts with groups we have no quarrel with...When is the last time anyone heard about the churches getting behind social justice??? Even revolutionary theology was broke in South America in the desire to keep the upper class...And it is because of the class the churches represent that they have their rights... If they were representative of Jesus they would have no rights, nor need more than they possess as human beings and citizens..
0 Replies
 
RexRed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 6 Mar, 2012 11:51 pm
MORE TAXES ON THE POOR YEA!!! Smile
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 7 Mar, 2012 06:51 am
@RexRed,
RexRed wrote:

MORE TAXES ON THE POOR YEA!!! Smile
In England it was the churches that were responsible primarily for social relief for the poor, and one that was taken advantage of so that at times, the more the churches helped the poor the less the poor were paid, and you see the same thing today where Wallmart and the like will encourage their underpaid employees to get on food stamps... It is expected that the churches will take the worst of the sting out of sociatal poverty, and for that they are not taxed... If this were all they do it would be just, but they support the status quo and the economy which results in so many poor, just as the churches supported the power structure in Judea that resulted in so many poor... If they were doing God's work on earth they would not have a cent left for advertizing, or need to... What their true business is, is self service... They meddle in politics and attack the rights of the people, and they do this knowing the result will be more misery and that misery will result in more people at church demanding relief, or thanking God they are spared the suffering they must witness... The churches, like the constitution itself, are a force against democracy... If we could democratically demand justice there would be no reason to pray for it...
 

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