Religious liberty is the freedom to practice one’s religion as dictated by that religion. However, the Constitution was not written by religious pluralists or modern secularists who were ignorant of the massive and insurmountable differences between non-Christian faiths and the idea of a free republic grounded on natural rights given by God. Hence Joseph Story, one of the greatest constitutional scholars in American history, and associate justice of the Supreme Court, wrote:
The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian denominations and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government.
That’s politically incorrect, even if historically accurate, so what would a modern person say in response? Probably something close to this mess of poor thinking:
“Your liberties are being violated if…”
- “… you are not allowed to attend a religious service of your choosing”. This in practice would prevent Christian churches from practicing church discipline, since it could be argued that anyone removed from the church for their unrepentant acts is having their “religious liberty violated”.
- “… you are not allowed to legally marry the person you love.” For the past fifty years, marriage has been stripped of its meaning to the point that this line is considered profound by a contemporary person in America. “All you need is love”. Nothing intrinsic to this definition prevents group marriages. A whole county could get married! And it certainly doesn’t prevent siblings from marrying or a father from marrying his son or daughter. Families love each other; why not have the whole family “marry”?
- “… you are not allowed to teach your children creation stories of your faith, in your own home.” As long as you realize you are an idiot who hates science, you bigot. Which, when taken with the right half of the image, is exactly what’s being said. How dare you not be a philosophical naturalist? Don’t worry. The public schools that have your children captive for 6-8 hours a day will fix the problem and teach them that all your beliefs are ignorant and backward. Because Science!
“Your liberties are not being violated if…”
- “… someone else is allowed to marry the person they love no matter what your religion says.” Like a parent marrying their child, or a group getting married. And God help you if you deny them a wedding cake. That would be equivalent to denying them the right to get married, you bigot. There is clearly no difference between denying a person on account of how they get their sexual kicks and denying a particular service because you disagree with it – like maybe a cake for a man marrying his daughter or a woman marrying herself.
- ” … you are unable to prevent others from using birth control.” In the strictest sense this is true. Your liberties are not violated because the woman who lives across the street from you is using birth control. However, some forms of birth control are abortion-inducing, and ending someone’s life certainly seems to be a violation of that person’s liberty. I suppose that’s why the euphemism “fetus” (which just means child in another language) is used instead. Makes it less obvious what you’re doing, and it’s only wrong if you feel it is, right? But what happens if you are, say, a Christian or anyone in America who lived before the 1960’s, and you believe abortion and drugs that induce it is murder, yet you owned a business and had to provide health care? Doubtless, the author of this image would find you contemptible for thinking your religious beliefs are violated just because you are certain on scientific and philosophical grounds that you are paying to murder children. Bigot.
- “… public school science classes are teaching children science.” And by “science”, it means philosophical naturalism. But “science” just sounds so much more… scientific.
The image fails to mention a few things though. Here are some other ways that your religious liberties could be violated:
- You are forced, under threat of bankruptcy, to provide services for events you do not support. Like a cake for a same-sex “marriage” (something everyone agreed was a contradiction five short years ago). Or posters for a neo-Nazi rally. Or fliers for a pedophile club. There is a difference between denying a service on account of what the service itself is, and denying a service on the basis that you don’t like the person you are serving. Don’t expect modern people to grasp this distinction over their frothing-at-the-mouth rage.
- You are forced to provide abortion services through your tax dollars via Planned Parenthood, that beacon of eugenics and murderer of more people than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao combined.
- You are told that you must keep your religious beliefs in the closet and that politics cannot involve your worldview. Only naturalistic atheists can keep their most fundamental beliefs with them to inform political decisions. Christians must abandon their most fundamental beliefs and become naturalistic atheists when writing law.