Thursday, January 16, 2014

Any Way You Look At It, It's Still Bigotry

A news report tells us of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) objected to Bibles being placed in the guest rooms of a university.

The interesting thing is the fact that the FFRF objects to the presence of religion in the public sphere, and believe that nobody should have to be exposed to it... so to prevent exposure, they take a stand when religion makes a public appearance.

Some people may think it is reasonable, but consider this.  Would anyone consider it acceptable if somebody decided that because they thought someone's political beliefs were offensive and dangerous, it should have no presence in the public sphere? (A Freedom From Liberalism Foundation could close most of the universities in America).

No, the FFRF behavior is not about religious neutrality as they claim. It's based on the intolerance of beliefs other than their own.

People of good will should consider whether groups that want to block religion in the public sphere are any better than any other groups which try to hinder the public activity of those they dislike.


  1. But under your position, isn't it possible that witches may want to put their books in those guest rooms...or Muslims might put the Koran. That's why religion free zones might be wise.

  2. This is my take. I would not be offended to find a Koran in a place where Islam was the majority religion. I would be offended however, if someone either tried to force, by the courts, in a text accepted by a small minority instead of or along side the religious text recognized by the majority, or if a group tried to bar the existence of any religious text.

    I don't accept the Koran as a valid text, but if the university guest rooms had enough Muslim visitors to make the placing of a Koran a reasonable courtesy, I wouldn't object.

  3. I see and that is reasonable. But the constitutional legal level is not concerned with majorities; and witches then would be next in pushing their books theoretically though they have too few donators to fund such largesse.

  4. Well law has had an emphasis on protecting the rights of a minority from the tyranny of the majority. This is a good concept when properly understood. We recognize it is unjust to mistreat a minority and restrict them from practicing the rights all people possess.

    Unfortunately, the judiciary seems to take a view that if we can't give all religions the same weight, we can't allow any of them to have a public presence. It ignores the fact that the majority of Americans do have a shared religious culture and heritage and tries to pretend it doesn't exist.

    America tends to get bizarre here by forgetting a sense of proportion. You mentioned Wicca for example. The number of adult practitioners seems to be about 35,000 (with such a huge variety of estimates to make them all questionable). The number of Christians in America is about 246 million.

    Now of course it is wrong for 246 million Christians to deny the human rights of 35,000 Wiccans. But it isn't wrong for the public expression of 246 million Christians to carry more weight than that of 35,000 Wiccans.

    In terms of the case my article discussed, I can see a reasonable case to be made for providing an alternate religious text if a large religious minority made use of the facilities. But saying that we either have to allow all or none strikes me as an action of intolerance.