Freedom Of Religion?

As we all know, the Constitution Of The Unites States has an amendment to it regarding freedom of religion. While this is a good thing, does cyberworld out there think that perhaps the bad side is the flourishing of the myriads of crackpot “religions”, all set up under the guise of religous freedom but in reality are nothing more than a con job?

Now, I don’t want to be sectarian here, and of course all the major faiths which pre-date the amendment, the Constitution or the United States itself wouldn’t qualify for my criticism. Please be nice when posting! :slight_smile:

If I understand your question correctly and I’m not sure I do. You are questioning the first amendment to our Constitution. I agree that there are a lot of questionable “religions” out there but who is going to the judge? Who will determine what is a valid religion and is not? This amendment was in response to the abuses associated with a government sponsored religion, in this case The Church of England.

I’m not sure I would be comforable with some committe making the decision about what is or is not a religion.

[quote=dfb1105]If I understand your question correctly and I’m not sure I do. You are questioning the first amendment to our Constitution.
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Sorry, I didn’t phrase the question well. I’m not saying the first amendment is wrong. I’m posing a (hopefully hypothetical) question of: Is all the good work the first amendment does in American society outweighed by those who would abuse the privelige by setting themselves up as a self-promoted “prophet”?

Please understand that being Australian, I do not have a full understanding of what the USA does with the rights invoked in your constitution. I was just thinking of the history of quasi-religous groups and all their excesses. For example, the KKK used their own interpretation of the bible to justify burning black churches.

Our “esteemed” government also has a strange interpretation of that amendment. It says freedome of religion, yet the christian religion has been taken out of schools. It’s ok to teach about Islam, and to give the children of that faith a place to pray. Yet students aren’t allowed to have christian prayer due to “seperation of church and state.” Even stranger is the fact that that term in nowhere in the constitution.

Oh, yeah, satanism can also be taught in school, along with homosexuality as a viable lifestyle option. But nothing about christianity or what christians believe can be taught. Students aren’t even allowed to wear shirts with religious emblems on them. That is, if the emblems of a christian nature. Other than that, it’s a free for all.

It’s ridiculous actually. Freedom of religion, but only if that religion isn’t christianity. ESPECIALLY anything catholic.

If the constitution of any Nation State is not founded on the Christian revelation, it’s founded on something else. What is that something else? Freedom of Religion sounds great but in reality it is a Masonic/Indifferentist idea that states one religion is as good, or as bad, as another, and therefore the Nation State has to proceed on the basis of practical atheism.

Christ is the Master of men and nations. Therefore the Christian nation’s constitution must be founded on this reality, the details of which we can all argue about.

[quote=catholicbudgie]As we all know, the Constitution Of The Unites States has an amendment to it regarding freedom of religion. While this is a good thing, does cyberworld out there think that perhaps the bad side is the flourishing of the myriads of crackpot “religions”, all set up under the guise of religous freedom but in reality are nothing more than a con job?
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This is why you teach critical thinking skills

[quote=Christy Beth]Our “esteemed” government also has a strange interpretation of that amendment. It says freedome of religion, yet the christian religion has been taken out of schools. It’s ok to teach about Islam, and to give the children of that faith a place to pray. Yet students aren’t allowed to have christian prayer due to “seperation of church and state.” Even stranger is the fact that that term in nowhere in the constitution.
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Niether are the terms “Fair Trial” or “Religious Liberty”. Do you think they are unconstitutional?

Oh, yeah, satanism can also be taught in school, along with homosexuality as a viable lifestyle option. But nothing about christianity or what christians believe can be taught. Students aren’t even allowed to wear shirts with religious emblems on them. That is, if the emblems of a christian nature. Other than that, it’s a free for all.

Please show proof or withdraw the claim

It’s ridiculous actually. Freedom of religion, but only if that religion isn’t christianity. ESPECIALLY anything catholic.

see above.

[quote=Jim ov Cov]If the constitution of any Nation State is not founded on the Christian revelation, it’s founded on something else. What is that something else? Freedom of Religion sounds great but in reality it is a Masonic/Indifferentist idea that states one religion is as good, or as bad, as another, and therefore the Nation State has to proceed on the basis of practical atheism.
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Do you want to do away with your freedom of religion? Because you certainly sound like you do. In the interest of all peoples rights the Government should be religiously neutral. What if catholisim is banned because the Evangelical Christians are in charge?

Christ is the Master of men and nations.

So you Claim. Please provide proof.

Therefore the Christian nation’s constitution must be founded on this reality, the details of which we can all argue about.

(Bold, Italic, and underline by me)
So you Claim. Please provide proof.

We all must pay a price for freedoms. We travel freely and are protected form government intrusiveness (search seizure etc). However, one price we pay is that we are more vulnerable to crime terrorists etc.

The freedom of religious practice has the price tag of having to put up with wacky religions and scams. It would be very dangerous to try to limit the freedom by excluding self proclaimed religions that are wacky. (In whose opinion?)

However, I do think that there is a place for restricting the practice of religion through law to the protection of the citizens. Such laws might outlaw polygamy, require vaccinations of children etc. This of course leads to the difficult decisions of must, should or can be restricted. This is where we get into the issues of requiring catholic organizations insurance to cover artificial birth control. The reality is we cannot allow complete freedom (license) under the aegis of religious freedom (human sacrifice?). And the other reality is that the rules are made by the dominant culture. Hence the battle of cultural supremacy going on now. (secularism vs. Judeo Christian). If we were predominantly Muslim we might not have laws against polygamy and have prohibition even with the 1st amendment.

Actually I think that you are quite wrong in most of your statements. Yes, there is no group prayer allowed in schools, but that is of any religion. I have seen people wearing religious shirts of ALL kinds (including Christian) without being given a problem. People can wear cross and saint medals, etc. without a problem. I’m not sure where you went to school but their definitely wasn’t any place for Muslims to pray in any of my schools (or anyone of any religion for that matter). I was never taught Satanism, or any other religion at my schools. Religions may have been briefly mentioned as they related to history, but we weren’t taught the philosophy and beliefs of the religion. There is a World Religion class at my college, but that includes Christianity. So try not to make such broad statements.

I think it is childish and pathetic when any religion cries “poor us” or claims that they are being “persecuted” unless there is actual proof. Granted, there is discrimination here and there, but certainly not any religion as a whole. Grow up.

Freedom of religion?!? I say, “bah, heretics all…”

:wink:

[quote=Christy Beth]Our “esteemed” government also has a strange interpretation of that amendment. It says freedome of religion, yet the christian religion has been taken out of schools. It’s ok to teach about Islam, and to give the children of that faith a place to pray. Yet students aren’t allowed to have christian prayer due to “seperation of church and state.” Even stranger is the fact that that term in nowhere in the constitution.

Oh, yeah, satanism can also be taught in school, along with homosexuality as a viable lifestyle option. But nothing about christianity or what christians believe can be taught. Students aren’t even allowed to wear shirts with religious emblems on them. That is, if the emblems of a christian nature. Other than that, it’s a free for all.

It’s ridiculous actually. Freedom of religion, but only if that religion isn’t christianity. ESPECIALLY anything catholic.
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I agree that it is difficult to shine your religion in school or work place, but I work in a public school, and it isn’t against the rules to wear religious clothes. Being catholic is difficult, though, and I think protestants have an easier time expressing thier faith publicly…mostly because of the controversial stances the Church takes on some issues…it isn’t socially accepted in most places.

[quote=StephiePea]I agree that it is difficult to shine your religion in school or work place, but I work in a public school, and it isn’t against the rules to wear religious clothes. Being catholic is difficult, though, and I think protestants have an easier time expressing thier faith publicly**…mostly because of the controversial stances the Church takes on some issues…it isn’t socially accepted in most places**.
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Jesus was quite controversial, you know. Jesus wasn’t exactly “socially acceptable,” either. Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow Him… are you willing to do what He asks of you?

It takes courage to stand up for the truth.

[quote=The Barrister]Jesus was quite controversial, you know. Jesus wasn’t exactly “socially acceptable,” either. Kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?

Jesus calls us to take up our cross and follow Him… are you willing to do what He asks of you?

It takes courage to stand up for the truth.
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I think you misunderstood me…I wasn’t saying that I discredit anything the Catholic Church says. I’m simply saying that because the Church is unwaivering…They meet more oposition when talking about thier faith…
I say “bring it on!”

Our government seems to interpret it more as freedom FROM religion than anything else.

There are many spurious “religions” out there. One that comes to mind is the Church of Marijuana which was formed with the intent to allow prisoners to smoke pot and used some of the freedoms given to Native Americans who use Peyote in their rituals. Clearly such a church is not really a religion but an excuse for previously illegal activity. But such is life in these United States.

While I tend to groan about these sorts of things myself, we have to remember that it isn’t just the Constitution that gives them this right. It’s their God-given dignity as human beings made in the image of God. As Pope Paul VI made clear:

This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatis-humanae_en.html

If public order is at stake, then the government can step in, but as a general rule, they should be left to their own religious beliefs, however goofy they may be.

[quote=Christy Beth]Our “esteemed” government also has a strange interpretation of that amendment. It says freedome of religion, yet the christian religion has been taken out of schools. It’s ok to teach about Islam, and to give the children of that faith a place to pray. Yet students aren’t allowed to have christian prayer due to “seperation of church and state.” Even stranger is the fact that that term in nowhere in the constitution.

Oh, yeah, satanism can also be taught in school, along with homosexuality as a viable lifestyle option. But nothing about christianity or what christians believe can be taught. Students aren’t even allowed to wear shirts with religious emblems on them. That is, if the emblems of a christian nature. Other than that, it’s a free for all.

It’s ridiculous actually. Freedom of religion, but only if that religion isn’t christianity. ESPECIALLY anything catholic.
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about Islam. We can talk about origins, customs, history, etc. It is also okay (legal) to teach about Christianity. I’m unfamiliar with any place that allows Muslim students a place to pray, but I suppose it’s possible, since they have to pray 5 times a day. If that’s the case, every Catholic parent should establish the habit of praying the noontide Angelus with their children, then insist the school provide a place for them to pray that prayer as well. In my district, we have 30 seconds of silence to accom. everyone. We don’t have prayer as such and I’m glad. I wouldn’t want my children, if I had them, exposed to non-Christian prayer and there are some Protestant “prayers” that I think are a little iffy. I’m sure Protestants and and others wouldn’t wish to hear my child say the “Hail, Mary.” I also don’t want some generic prayer that’s supposed to be non-offensive. I pray to God the Father, to-through-in-the-Name-of God the Son, helped, hopefully, by the intercession of God the Holy Spirt. I wouldn’t want a “To-Whom-It-May-Concern” type of affair. Religious symbols on t-shirts are freedom of speech and have consistently been found to be so, unless they are inciteful (I suppose something like a picture of our Crucified Lord with the slogan “Jews did this!” or something else equally offensive). Sep. of Church and State isn’t found in the Constitution, but it is a part of OUR common law. Common law is a legal concept we inherited from England. Please tell me where you found Satanism taught.
God bless!

[font=Arial][size=1]As I see it, one of the biggest hurdles facing all the churches and all vested-interest ideological institutions nowadays is the information highway, which is inexorably democratic and ungovernable. In this sense, both democracy and an albeit reluctant nod to the principle of free inquiry have already infiltrated organized religion in a very serious way and in a real sense have begun to dismantle their pulpits out from under them. [/size][/font]

[font=Arial][size=1]For just as the printing press was an indispensable part of the engine that powered the Reformation 500 years ago, electronic communications are changing the way people see themselves and the world, and at least as fast. Information that once took hours or days to find in a library is now available in seconds. Even the Vatican has a website, and as Marshall McLuhan had it almost half a century ago, the medium is the message here. Rome is now just another purveyor of its goods in the open marketplace of ideas. There is no hierarchy in cyberspace, and precepts that were once carved in stone now appear and vanish with a click of the mouse.

I believe this represents a change not only in the ready availability of information, but also a watering down of the prestige, influence and exclusive teaching authority that these institutions once enjoyed. It means that everyman is now the curriculum director in the development of his own Weltanschauung because the materials are free and easy to get. In other words, the epistemological ground is rumbling under our feet even as we type our blurbs here. [/size][/font]

[quote=Cherubino]As I see it, one of the biggest hurdles facing all the churches and all vested-interest ideological institutions nowadays is the information highway, which is inexorably democratic and ungovernable… For just as the printing press was an indispensable part of the engine that powered the Reformation 500 years ago, electronic communications are changing the way people see themselves and the world, and at least as fast. Information that once took hours or days to find in a library is now available in seconds.
[/quote]

It is not obvious to me that this is quite altogether a “hurdle,” especially for Catholics. Given the enormous amount of misinformation about us that has been circulating in the Anglophone world for centuries now, the information age offers us a quick and easy means to set the record straight (or at least get our side of the story out there). Besides, “ungovernable” means that there is no one to stop us from spreading disinformation about our detractors. :wink:

Even the Vatican has a website, and as Marshall McLuhan had it almost half a century ago, the medium is the message here. Rome is now just another purveyor of its goods in the open marketplace of ideas. There is no hierarchy in cyberspace, and precepts that were once carved in stone now appear and vanish with a click of the mouse.

Wait a second, how is this new? Folks have always been able to print whatever they darn well pleased on the subject of Catholicism or anything else. That said, the “imprimatur” has long existed in the book-publishing world to let the Catholic reader know that this-work-is-peer-reviewed, and the same is true of the web. I fail to see how the internet is any different than the status quo with regard to this point.

I believe this represents a change not only in the ready availability of information, but also a watering down of the prestige, influence and exclusive teaching authority that these institutions once enjoyed. It means that everyman is now the curriculum director in the development of his own Weltanschauung because the materials are free and easy to get. In other words, the epistemological ground is rumbling under our feet even as we type our blurbs here.

Once again, the conclusions proferred do not derive obviously from the premises cited, to my mind at least. In any case, what does any of this have to do with the question of when does a given sect’s freedoms begin to trespass against community order (which I believe was the original question at the head of this thread)?

Greg,

Last week I did a Google search on the term “Catholic apologetics.” In less than a second I had a list of 165,000 websites to peruse, all of which I was able to open up in only a few seconds more. Therein I found a truly diverse array of ad hoc platforms, each declaring the webmaster’s beliefs as official Church teaching. Upon closer inspection, I found that a number of these sites had been created specifically to rebut information and opinions expressed on similar websites. Even your own favorite blog site was among them.

What I’m saying here is that Catholics are communicating with each other with heretofore unthinkable speed and ease, and apparently in greater numbers than ever. And thanks to the anonymity of the internet, they can state their case without fear of ecclesiastical censure. I think the latent message being proclaimed in this phenom is that Catholic teaching really is unstructured and unsupervised. Any layman with a copy of the Catechism and a laptop can become a very official-looking spokesman for the Church, and no other academic credentials or Magisterial certification are required.

Some denounce other Catholics and each other with exactly the same pioneering insouciance that Martin Luther displayed when he nailed his theses to that famous door. If what we’re seeing isn’t the (at least attempted) governance of the people of the Church* by* the people of the Church, then what else might you call it?

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