Freedom of Religion

True freedom of religion must include an individuals right to "no religion." If we are to say that in our country we maintain freedom of religion than we must also respect those who do not wish to believe in any religion at all. Whereas our Constitutional Rights include these freedoms rarely in our country are Atheists really accepted in our communities. Recently I discussed this with a gentleman at a coffee shop and he was of no religion and whenever the subject came up, a religious person gave him dirty looks or an attitude of disgust. Several have told him that their religion did not allow them to talk with him or associate with him in anyway. In fact one lady had even told him in there is a verse in the Bible, which she quoted, but he did not remember; telling her she must not listen to him and she left his company.

If one thinks about it a bit we have a real problem if society wishes to outcast Atheists and any Agnostic unwilling to discuss conversion. In the Christianity faith we are told to spread the word and convert such folks, however if they are not ready yet or do not wish to covert, rather than taking them on as a personal challenge, perhaps we might respect their views and leave them alone. After all they do have the same rights as us of Freedom of Religion or Freedom of "NO" religion. Recently I tried this out and when asked what my faith was as an experiment, I proclaimed; "I am an Atheist" and I was immediately met with as shocked look on the face of my newly found conversationalist who had in his hand a Bible with versus underlined. "Wow;" I thought, it is true, the actual atheist I talked to had told me of this problematic issue? Well then if we are so quick to tell others to have religious tolerance, yet we ourselves are have none for those who believe different or believe in none we are living in hypocrisy and that is wrong.

After seeing the look of horror on the man with the Bible, he said "let me ask you a question?" I thought well surely friend. He said "well if you do not believe in a higher power, then how do you remain a moral person?" After this question I was shocked? I thought how arrogant that you would have to believe in his particular religion I think Baptist to be a moral person? After all are those of the Jewish Faith, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu somehow amoral? I told explained this concept to him and said that in fact I was moral than him for I did not judge a man's morality by his beliefs. Although I tried to explain this to him, he did not understand. I personally do not know many atheists, as there are not very many true atheists, but the one's I do know I think are completely trustworthy and even brilliant and I would trust them before most others I know who claim to be good Christian Folks. In fact as a percentage goes, I completely trust 40% of the atheists I know, would trust about 30% of the others and semi trust 20% and only 10% I do not trust. Yet when taking this to those who I know in the Christian Faith, there are only 25% I completely trust and the rest completely question. Have you looked into these percentages with those you know? If we in our country are going to preach religious tolerance and follow our religious doctrines shouldn't we dump the hypocrisy and live our own demands? What do you think about such thoughts?

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs

In The News:

Religion and household makeup around the world | Pew Research Center  Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project
Religion often anti-feminist  Cowichan Valley Citizen
Americans' Views on Religion in Society, Politics | Pew Research Center  Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project

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