Saturday, October 18

Secular religious freedom does not equal 'respect'

A great entry:
Much has been made in the media about 'respecting' a person's religion. This is especially occurring as of late in the United Kingdom where Muslim immigrants are demanding accommodation and respect for their religious beliefs, which are many times at conflict with existing law and regulation. Though, not to pick on Muslims, there have been cases involving nearly every religion conceived by man, where a belief system is expected by its followers to be held in esteem by all, follower or not.

A circumstance of birth, which many times dictates what particular religion one adheres to, is not a factor that demands respect. Nor is a 'choice' to follow centuries old mythology a means to earn respect. If a religion holds to certain tenets, it is not the obligation of all humans on the globe to treat these beliefs with reverence. Religious beliefs are a personal matter that do not require all to pay heed, only the believers, and trying to impose your beliefs on others only indicates a level of insecurity with knowing there are those who think differently than you. A secular society endorses no religion, or lack of religion, it is neutral in the area of faith leaving open the choice of beliefs to the individual... not the state.

Respect your own faith and show it reverence by keeping it a private matter, doing so will illustrate you are confident and secure in your beliefs without the insecure need to ask others to conform as well. If you follow a religious text that requires your government to adhere to certain tenets, it would follow that moving to a secular country where all are free to choose a personal creed is not going to provide the established theocratic rule required for your beliefs. A better option would be to seek out and reside in a country that would provide the rule of law that conforms to the scripture of your faith.

In a converse situation the theocracy will not bend for the immigrated secularist, nor should it. It is not the role of any government to capitulate to every new citizen by altering law and regulation to conform to individual creed.
As a matter of public policy, I of course respect everyone's right to believe as they wish.

This is the essence of secularism.

On a personal level I don't necessarily respect their beliefs, just their rights to have them, as long as they respect the rights of others.

When my religious friends speak to me of secularism as being bad, yet that they don't want a theocracy, it's incoherent. You can only have one or the other. There is by definition no middle ground.

"Positive secularism" is an oxymoron, as would be "negative secularism".

Secularism is an absence of judgment, not a judgment.

Now it is certainly possible for misguided, self-professed "secularists" to be against the free expression of religious beliefs. But to call this secularism is false.

Please correct their terminology instead of attacking true secularism, unless you're actually trying to advocate theocracy.

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