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Examining basic freedoms and a how to protect them from radicals

Updated on February 11, 2018

Recognition when due

This article was inspired by a question asked by a fellow hubber.

It is printed below in its original form to understand why this hub was created.

The question asked:

"Which is more important, freedom of faith or freedom of speech?
asked by stuff4kids 5 hours ago 06/21/04
Many religious folks are decent, good people. Some of my best friends subscribe to institutionalised superstition - and are good humored enough to let me say that without taking offense. But most religions per se enshrine some deeply offensive and discriminatory views and practices (against women, gays, people of other faiths, animals, freedom of thought etc.). Isn't it weird that such faith systems seek to exempt themselves from rational criticism on the grounds that they are being discriminated against? So which is more important, freedom of faith or freedom of speech?"

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of speech as addressed in our original constitution was meant to allow citizens the right to voice their opinions about the government without fear of persecution.

This was a simple problem that needed to be expressed in our basic constitution.

The reason for this need was obvious since the continent from which our forefathers came had governments that suppressed people from criticizing their respective governments.

As it is with everything else in life in today's world, the extremists carry those rights too far and test the limits of the law to the point of absurdity.

The original "freedom of speech" declaration was never meant to be used to ridicule, harass, or shout obscenities at people attending funerals, marriages, or any other private (or public) functions.

I am sure our forefathers never envisioned that this simple need being addressed in their constitution, could be so twisted, convoluted, and corrupted as it is today.

We have become a society of cynicism at its worst.

And that corruption is being justified and permitted by a corrupted supreme court that would turn the original intent back onto the people in such a perverse manner.

Nor could they ever have imagined their society turning into one that excuses this atrocious behavior as an individual's right to do so.

An apathetic society that turns their backs on people being harassed and abused because extremist have been given the right to vent and direct their hatred and ignorance at anyone they so desire.

Decency has been abandoned by this government and the people themselves.

Freedom of Religion

Religious freedom addressed in our constitution was meant to allow people the freedom to choose their religious beliefs (which in itself is another tragic story) without the fear of persecution as well.

And also to assure the public that religions do not have the right to influence government to make any laws that promote any religion or to mandate any religion's particular points of view.

And as with the extremists that ruined the freedom of speech by pushing limits beyond the point of common sense; religions have managed to corrupt government and society with their narrow minded points of view as well.

Those we elect to government offices bring their own brand of religious beliefs with them and allow laws to be made that gives religions the right to influence laws that effect everyone whether they are of their particular 'faith', or not.

This is counter to the premise of "freedom of religion". There is no freedom of religion if there are laws mandating morality imposed by religious belief systems.

This is not to be confused with making laws to address crimes against society, or crimes against humanity.

"Moral issues" based on religious beliefs are not, or should not be, in the realm of governmental interference or regulation.

The right to bear arms

We cannot have a discussion on freedoms and rights without examining the right to bear arms and how it is affecting society as a whole.

The original intent of this "right" was to allow people to own a gun for protection - not only against outside threats from other people with bad intentions and wild life, but also to be able to defend themselves against the government in the event that the government turned on the people without cause to try and establish the old ways of dictatorship, censurship, or undue restraints on personal freedoms.

Again, the extremist with hidden agendas are promulgating unfounded fears in the minds of the general public that somehow our government is trying to take all guns away from the people.

This fear has led to a catastrophic social condition that we see being played out all over the U.S.A. with mass shootings of innocent people for idiotic, or ideological reasons.

The NRA is in the business of making money from the sale of guns and ammunition and have the express desire of continuing to further their greed at the expense of innocent people in order to continue doing so.

Rights and Responsibilities

It is imperative to treat our god given rights with a sensible responsibility that does not harm even one individual by exercising those rights.
It is imperative to treat our god given rights with a sensible responsibility that does not harm even one individual by exercising those rights. | Source

Corrupting our basic rights

We must preserve our rights as intended by our founding forefathers as written in our constitution.

We cannot afford to have extremists re-write our very important set of basic principles and laws of our nation to serve the special interests of the few

These "freedoms" and "equal rights" are all important issues that should not be regulated, limited, or diminished in any way by the government itself, religion (of any brand), or the NRA.

It is the extremes in our societies that pose the greatest problems, and create the greatest social unrest in our world today.

Although some people will argue that those who go too far with our constitutional freedoms are also victims themselves.

These extremists may be victims of the beliefs they had unwittingly inflicted on their minds as children, but that does not excuse those behaviors, nor should it be an excuse to allow them to continue.

Every law must have it's limitations to prevent extreme crackpots from pushing those laws to the point of destroying our society; as is evidenced by the ineffective laws about gun control, religious interference in lives of those who do not belong to their particular cults, and the spewers of hatred that harms people in a multitude of ways.

We set limits on our children to teach them what is right and what is wrong, then we allow extremist adults to do anything they want no matter whose lives they ruin, by giving them a "constitutional" right to do so.

We stand by idly while such entities as Wall Street, Corporate America, The Supreme Court, the NRA, Monsanto (and others like them) turn our laws into farcical mutations that only protect their personal interests, and promote their own brand of ideology, while casting reality, logic, public safety, our economy, and the preservation of our planet, to the winds of destruction.

The first steps for religions to exercise their hatred of those they deem unworthy of God's laws - heading down a slippery path to bring back discrimination, ha

Making a choice

And now to logically answer the question posed by "stuff4kids" that prompted this article:

"Which is more important, freedom of faith or freedom of speech?"

If one must choose either "freedom of speech" or "freedom of religion" the answer would have to be one that best serves the global society.

Therefore the "freedom of speech" would win as the most important to the world as a whole.

People must have the freedom to express themselves without persecution by those who oppose any different point of view in every aspect of life. We must never be limited to any single narrow visioned points of view.

This leads to a healthy debate and opens up the mind to creative and innovative thinking.

All things must be tempered (moderated) with logic and based in reality without temerity (foolhardiness).

Our "freedom of speech" must never be compromised to allow the extremists to corrupt the process to the point of allowing any physical or psychological bullies to force their extreme ideas on the rest of society.

The farther reaching implications and impact of the constitutional rights of fundamental freedoms was to never allow any majority to make laws that diminished the rights of any minority.

"Freedom of religion", on the other hand, can be easily removed from the world without devastating consequences on the global society, with the exception of the enterprises that profit from selling their superstitious beliefs to others for profit.

They actually contribute nothing of any economic value to any society.

They, in fact, are actually harmful to society when their "freedoms" allow and promote social unrest and genocide as our global history can certainly attest to.

by: Independent Mind June 22, 2014

Let's take a poll about religious freedom

Is it ever OK for religions to discriminate, spread hatred, violence, and divisiveness in the name of their "GODS"?

See results

© 2014 IndependentMind

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    • IndependentMind profile image
      Author

      IndependentMind 3 years ago

      thelma:

      thanks for reading and leaving your thoughtful comments. And you are correct, that we tend to take our basic freedoms for granted. We should always be vigilant in following what our government is doing so those basic rights are not infringed upon in any way, shape, or form.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany

      Excellent point of view. I believe that freedom of speech and freedom of religion should go hand in hand but some people don´t appreciate much of the freedom that they have in life. Thanks for sharing

    • IndependentMind profile image
      Author

      IndependentMind 3 years ago

      DDE

      thanks for visiting and leaving you comments. I truly appreciate it.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting hub! Sometimes people don't understand the meaning of freedom. I found freedom when I came to live in Croatia. Freedom came from within and from my society. The insight here has true meaning.

    • IndependentMind profile image
      Author

      IndependentMind 3 years ago

      stuff4kids

      And too, freedom of religion does not make one a good person. Or freedom to own guns and carry them in public does not make this world a safer place.

      I guess my whole point is that having freedoms of any kind without limitations is not necessarily the best solution for a totally effectual society that must consider every last person as important as all others.

      Sparing the rod and spoiling the child only makes for a bunch of grown up spoiled brats trying to run our society in their own images. (L.O.L.)

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi IndependentMind,

      Yes, I get that. And I agree. Maybe I didn't make myself clear. Having freedom of speech doesn't necessarily make me a good speaker! :)

    • IndependentMind profile image
      Author

      IndependentMind 3 years ago

      Marie Flint:

      Thank you for reading and leaving your comments that only add to the spirit of this article.

      If a person has never been a position in which they live in constant fear for their lives because of public opinion and judgmental-ism they can never understand the importance of that secure 'feeling' of true independence and acceptance.

      And unfortunately, in this country there are far too many people whose "freedoms" are being denied for ideological reasons (women's rights to decide their own medical treatments, doctors who assist women in their personal decisions, 'illegal' aliens who are torn from their families and deported without any government or social conscience, and of course the rights of the gay community - to name a few).

      American politics and people in general still have a lot of growing up to do before we can evolve into a society that encompasses, and embraces, 'freedoms' for every person.

    • IndependentMind profile image
      Author

      IndependentMind 3 years ago

      stuff4kids:

      thanks for reading and your thoughtful comments. You are correct, of course, but my intent was to say that if we had to actually make that choice, the most far reaching would be the freedom of speech, as this would include everything else where speech is necessary for the common good.

      If we chose the NRA or religious freedoms then the freedoms of anything else would sort of be negated, if that makes any sense. I appreciate your reading and taking time to leave a comment.

    • Marie Flint profile image

      Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida USA

      I think many Americans have forgotten what "freedom" really is; many have taken it for granted.

      I read a wonderful children's story when I was reading for Dial-A-Story in Michigan. The picture book is called NEVER FORGOTTEN and it's about the slave trade to America from Africa during the 17th century. What is so beautiful about the story is that when the young blacksmith is told that his master is going to him free, the young man responds, "I have always been free."

      In other words, freedom is a feeling you have to hold within yourself. It is a joyous feeling, life itself. As beautifully written as our Constitution is, it cannot guarantee freedom of any kind to all its citizens or non-citizens of our land. We have to do that ourselves through respect and understanding of one another's differences. And, yes, when the spirit of freedom is grossly compromised, we must "stand our ground."

      Great topic. Voted Interesting.

    • stuff4kids profile image

      Amanda Littlejohn 3 years ago

      Hi IndependentMind!

      That is a very thoughtful and interesting response to my question and I am delighted that you made it into an article.

      There may be some little details that we could quibble about if we wanted to on the journey to your conclusion but my current thinking is very much in alignment with yours. I think if what is truly intended by 'freedom of speech' is properly respected and applied, then 'freedom of faith' will end up being included in that without being a threat to it, which is the real danger the other way around.

      Thank you for this. :)

    • IndependentMind profile image
      Author

      IndependentMind 3 years ago

      Thanks HSchneider for reading and your positive comments. I do agree that both freedoms are essential to keep some sort of balance in our society, but the loss of religious influence would not be as traumatic as the loss of the freedom of speech assuming one had to actually make that choice. Obviously this was a hypothetical question in the first place, so advocates for either one would not be entirely wrong. It all depends on one's personal point of view of the world, and our global society.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Excellent analysis, IndependentMind. I also believe that freedom of speech is the most primary and important right. Still I consider both to be essential. Without freedom of religion, a fundamentalist sector could come to power and impose its religion on the country. Freedom of speech would certainly put up a significant barrier to it. Fortunately both were included at our inception. Great Hub.

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