Freedom of Religion

With over a dozen distinct religious groups in town, each confident their interpretation is correct and proper, they continue to socialize with the members of those other versions as if there were no differences.

Ordinarily, they go about their religious business quietly, with two or three exceptions.

Some people do not follow any specific group, have their own specialized belief not involving deities, or have decided on ‘none of the above’.

In this country, all are acceptable choices, no matter what the other groups feel; that’s freedom of religion, pure and simple.

What clouds this idea and foments divisiveness? When a group decides its version is the only one which matters- and not only demands it to be told to everyone, it has to be infused into everyone’s daily lives, our schools, our government.

And there is the problem: believing people who are living outside of your groupthink’s vision of life must conform to its beliefs.

How arrogant must a belief, and its members, be to decide their way is compulsory for all, to dismiss the life path of fellow citizens, disregarding their own closely held beliefs?

To force your religious views into our secular government is particularly objectionable; members of other religions have stepped forward, demanding religion be kept out of government.

Requiring others, especially in a civil setting, to listen to an expression of personal religious beliefs is simply … wrong, demonstrating conceit and a lack of respect.

I respect your right to have your own belief. No one is required to respect that belief, or should anyone tolerate a doctrine which demeans another’s life path. Nor should we look kindly upon those who wish to force such articles of faith upon their neighbor.

That is unacceptable.

Dave Youngberg