A couple of weekends ago, thousands of people assembled in over 130 cities around the country to picket for freedom of religion. Those faithful followers of the more conservative Catholic, and Evangelical strands see religion, particularly, their brand of religion under attack. And according to many of them, the great socialist, satan, Barack Hussein Obama is behind much of this war on the faithful.
“Look at the past 40 years, how our freedoms have been under assault!” lament the pious. and then they produce a litany of losses.
Prayer and Scripture reading removed from the schools in the late 1960’s,
Law suits against the “one nation under God” statement in the Pledge of allegiance,
The teaching of evolution and a dismissal of the creation story of Genesis 1-2,
Replacing the Christmas tree with a Holiday tree and store employees instructed to say “Happy Holidays” rather than the standard Merry Christmas.
This is the proof of a great war on religious freedom. The problem is that this war is a fabrication of the far right, and the politicians that seek to use it to scare people. All this pontificating from political leaders who see themselves as paragons of righteous (a myth in its own regard), is merely a ploy to get a few votes.
So what do these protesters and picketers and righteous ranters want?
They do not want religious freedom for all Americans, they want their brand of faith to trump all other faiths. I am sure that they do not want the prayers and scripture readings of the over 300 religions and denominations in the USA prayed and read in public schools. I am quite sure that they do not want to see employers opt out of paying for blood transfusions, standard medical practices, or any medication that they deem as sinful. I also do not think that they would be too happy if they were wished “Happy Ramadan” or other religious holiday greeting as they purchased their favorite Oscar Meyer cold cuts at the local deli.
This idea, that little Suzy Smith can’t sing Away In A Manger at the holiday music performance at the local middle school or that having insurance companies cover birth control for all the employees of a Catholic Hospital is somehow trampling religious freedom is ridiculous.
We all have the freedom to worship and to believe (or not believe) anything we want, but we cannot force other people to do it with us. That is what freedom in America is all about.