Freedom of religion? Conservatives, where do you really stand

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  1. Credence2 profile image78
    Credence2posted 10 years ago

    Oh yes, boys and girls, I am back, like a bad penny. I wonder what are conservative poster's positions on this topic is; are they really for freedom of religion or should children be hogtied and forced to participate in loyalty tests? I have studied with Jehovah's Witnesses and I say that their view on this matter is correct.

    What do you think about the events explained in the article link below. Are you reactionary or just very conservative? … 20504.html

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, but the Witnesses are grasping at straws here.  Their entire stance is one of control, not God.

      No one in the country worships the flag.  No one worships the country, the president (I should hope not!) nor anything else about our society.  If anyone every knelt and prayed to the Washington Monument we'd cart them off to a mental institution.

      We do give our (limited) obeisance, we give our appreciation, and we give our loyalty (after family and God) but we do not worship any of it.  The witnesses use the religion loophole to help set their people apart, to take them from within mainstream USA and thus maintain better control over them.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Wilderness, regardless of how you feel about the religion, pro or con, no one should be compelled to recite the "Pledge of Alligiance" in a public school setting. Can we agree on this or are conservatives just interested in 'imposing' again? The teacher should be appropriatly disciplined

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Freedom of speech should preclude forcing anyone to do that.  But freedom of speech has nothing to do with religion or being conservative.  It is part of our laws.

          So I don't know about discipline.  Certainly some appropriate training (school wide?), but when a child insists he is taking a religious exception to rules where no such thing exists I don't know about disciplining the teacher for disallowing it.

          1. Credence2 profile image78
            Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            This is a strong test of the idea of freedom of speech and religious tolerance is a big part of that.  Discipline: Nothing draconian, Wilderness, this is not about reading, writing and arithmetic. Nationalism is a religion in its own form, and there are many of us that do not subscribe to it.  If the child and more importantly the parents say that the position the child took is correct, who has the right to say otherwise?

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              Society has the right to say otherwise.

              While the US guarantees religious freedom, that does give unlimited rights to any religion to ignore any or all of the US laws they wish to.  That freedom is sharply limited - in general there must be a valid reasoning behind refusal to obey any law.  "Valid" to be determined by society, not the religion.

              While the Witnesses may attempt to declare that saluting the flag, or "the nation for which it stands" is to worship those things it is not so.  And that, more than anything else, means that they do not have the right to ignore that requirement, at least not for that reason.  The Witnesses are trying to use a lie as part of their religious freedom; it won't work.

              1. Credence2 profile image78
                Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                Wildernerss, I am not talking about  religions who practices break the law such as using peyote or hashish.

                Who says that it is law to recite the pledge of allegiance, Surely being compelled to recite a loyalty oath  should not be considered a law, this is still America, right?

                1. profile image0
                  Beth37posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  Do as you please. What does it matter?
                  When I place my hand on my heart I think about all the men and women over the years who have laid their lives down as a sacrifice for everything that flag stands for.... freedom, family, the melting pot that is America... the place that took my daughter, a Chinese orphan, in without batting an eye and said, "You my dear, are an American now. You will be taken care of the rest of your life, you wont work in a factory at the age of 10 and you wont have to abandon your children on some park steps if you get pregnant. You have rights now, you matter... you are ours." This country is flawed like all others, but in general, it's a good place and it's my great privileged to live here. Did that teacher do something wrong? Did she cross a line... let her pay for her mistake, we are also held accountable in America. Stand there with your hands behind your back... this is America... you can do that here.

                  1. Credence2 profile image78
                    Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                    My point exactly, thanks

                2. profile image55
                  Education Answerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  It's Arizona law.  We also do the first part of the Declaration of Independence, by law, in grades 4-6.

                  1. Credence2 profile image78
                    Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                    Well, EA, that is a oppressive law. What bothers me about conservatives is that many do not have a problem compelling people  to take oaths. They talk about the heavy hand of government but what could be more important than the right to believe and give fealty to whatever I choose. You got a gunslinger culture in Arizona, but it is a crime to opt out  of the Pledge of Allegiance, where are my rights now?

                3. wilderness profile image95
                  wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  Who says reciting the pledge is a law?  Certainly not I: I specifically said I felt that freedom of speech would prohibit such a thing.

                  I DID say, though, that claim a religious exemption from anything at all, based on the idea that anyone is worshipping the flag or nation during the pledge, is ridiculous and not a part of religious freedom.

                  1. Credence2 profile image78
                    Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                    Wilderness, I do not want to come off as strident on this point. We talk about being united, it sounds good in rhetoric and on paper, but our reality is that 'being divided' is the norm. You make your case and I will hear you out. There is still quite a bit of racism and sexism in our society, so you can't stir up something that is part and parcel of American society already. There has been improvements overtime and our society is to be congratulated for that progress. I remember the attack that Michelle Obama received for some reference to 'pride in her country'. Well from her experience and mine, it has not been a bed of roses. From the point of view of conservatives, she was ungrateful. From the point of view of us who have shared her experience with the nations history, the statement was not particularly offensive.

                    So whose point of view is correct? It depends on from what direction you are looking at things.

    2. tirelesstraveler profile image59
      tirelesstravelerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      This isn't a conservative v. liberal story. It was a  confusing article.  It said the kid made up the whole thing to get the teacher in trouble.

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        So, tireless, do you want some government bureaucrat forcing you to take the pledge? If the kid was not making it up, where do you stand? These kinds of issues are not isolated by any means and should be a ever present part of our discourse.

    3. FitnezzJim profile image77
      FitnezzJimposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      There is an article here on HubPages that helps to bring a historical perspective to the Pledge of Allegiance.  The pledge did not always include the phrase ‘under God’.
      Christian churches also have a similar distinction when it comes to the Lord’s prayer.  Some versions include the word ‘forever’, others do not.  They coexist without a need to impose their own values on each other.

      What a shame that the student had to experience that.  While it would be nice if all who live in America also respect American values, those values should not be forced upon an individual.  Consider the consequences.  In some ways it would be counterproductive to force those who disagree with American values into a way of life where they have to hide those feelings and feign loyalty to a system of values that they do not agree with, when their true loyalty lies elsewhere.  They might go so far as to organize and infiltrate our government for the sole purpose of redefining our values and way of life.

      Fortunately, that is unlikely to happen.  We are far too strong as a nation.

      Or are we?

      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Hi, Jim, I think that we are too strong and our fundamental tenets too enduring  to be shaken to its foundations  by dissent here and there. If we are not prepared to accomodate dissent than the entire American experience is subject to question  Conformity in most aspects of life is weakness and fear.

        nice to hear from you!

    4. GA Anderson profile image89
      GA Andersonposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Greetings Cred, alas once again your bias is showing.

      Are you proposing that this teacher represents all conservatives?

      Would you then agree that Bill Ayers represents all liberals? Or that Charles Manson represents all hippies?

      Or how about  John Allen Muhammad, and Lee Boyd Malvo, representing all black men?

      Or are you implying that liberals have no patriotism? That no liberals believe in the essence of the Pledge?

      The women was wrong. But maybe her actions mean that all women are conservative idiots.

      Another curious thought is, why aren't you interested in what liberals think of her action? Are there no idiots in their ranks?

      That sure is a pretty broad brush you have there.


      1. Credence2 profile image78
        Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        No, GA, that is not what this is about, I want to know how many conservative posters believe that allowing this student to opt out of the pledge was appropriate or not. How many agreed with the teacher's actions? While this may be an isolated instance, it speaks to an important broad theme. What was the right was advocating in that town in Tenn; no mosques allowed.... Always trying to get a better definition of what constitutes red vs what is blue....I don't have to be bias to see where most of this controversy comes from and it is not the left.  The left has no issue here and in the tradition of religious freedom supports her right to participate in the pledge or not, This is not an issue that has the left concerned, only the right, if I correctly understand the conservative mindset?

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          "if I correctly understand the conservative mindset?"

          Unfortunately, you do not.  You are taking the loud screams from the far radical right, the radical Christians, and applying it to anyone with a conservative bent. 

          You would be far better off to figure out that few people actually fit in the boxes you assign them.

          1. Credence2 profile image78
            Credence2posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            So how much of this radical, reactionary right is part of the 'mainstream', how much of this do you subscribe to? After all, you did pause regarding your attitude about people who choose not to go through patriotic ritual as ungrateful Americans. Which faction, the radicals (far right) or moderates rule sway over the GOP? Did not mean to ruffle feathers....

  2. stclairjack profile image73
    stclairjackposted 10 years ago

    saying the pledge in class was standard practice when i was in school,.... it fell out of fasion for a while simply because many didnt want to take the time,.... it suddenly came back into fashion when some politicians realized they could build steam off of it,.... and it was also the custom back in the day to understand the jevhovas whitness children were not required to recite it,... they DID stand, but did not place thier hand on thier heart and did not recite the pledge,.... in our part of the country this was how we delt with the jehovas whitness question re; the pledge of allegience,.....

    it might interest you to know that we did not single our classmates out for teasing,.. most of us felt sorry for them,... they also couldnt enjoy class halloween parties or christmas gift exchanges, they couldnt attend the christmas or easter concerts,.... and they couldnt attend the church youth events of thier fellow classmates, because they werent allowed to set foot in a church building that was not jehovas whitness,.... they couldnt even bring treats to class on thier birthdays like so many of us got to,......

    a great many of us went out of our way to include them in ways that we could,..... "here's a cupcake for no reason".... on christmas or halloween or valentines day,....

    we see an awfull lot of "funny" facebook posts re; how kids make messes for moms/dads to clean up,.... but when it comes to things like this,.... it seems the other way around..... the ADULTS are the ones who have ruined something children understand with ease,.... brotherhood.

    i'm more offended by the way crowds SCREAM the phrase "under god" thse days, like they were on a heaven sent political mission at the football game, sitting next to thier cooler of beer and not knowing where thier kids are.

  3. profile image55
    Education Answerposted 10 years ago

    I support saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning but would not force a student who wants to opt our for religious reasons.  In all my years, I've never had a single parent or child ask to opt out of it.  Support for the pledge is overwhelming, but freedom of speech/religion must also be preserved. 

    I do know of a retired teacher, one of my good friends, who opted out of putting his hand on his heart and saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  His class made the pledge every morning, but he merely stood there listening.  His reason wasn't religious though.  He said that our country doesn't have liberty and justice for all, so he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  Administration never came down on him, after thirty years of teaching.

    1. Dee aka Nonna profile image62
      Dee aka Nonnaposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      My response here has nothing to do with who may be right, or who may be wrong.  I just want to tell you about something that happened when I was a child, and again as a young adult that really help to shape my attitude about respect for others and their beliefs.

      This was, of course, way back in the "dark ages".  Teachers were allowed to teach and schools didn't have to follow all the "mandatory" rules of today.  I was about 4th grade and a little girl in my class was a Jehovah's Witness.  Every morning we dutifully stood to say the Pledge of
      Alliegiance and the Lord Prayer.  (This was Louisiana and very much part of the Bible Belt).  Our teacher would assign a different person each day to lead the class in each.  She would walk over to the little girl, take her by the hand and they would go stand outside the door.  The teacher would stand with her every morning....and as I found out later....hold her hand and talk with her the whole time.  When the recitation was over they would walk back into the room.  Say what you will but I grew up to both understand and respect others and their beliefs.....beginning at that point.

      Later, as an adult, I belonged to an organization (still in the South) that began every assembly with a prayer.  Because people of all religions could, and did, belong a different religious leader was asked to give the opening prayer.  All of us learn religious tolerance, as well as, key points about a number of different religions.   Again,say what you will, but I feel more free as a result of those experiences than most people who have rigid beliefs.

      1. tirelesstraveler profile image59
        tirelesstravelerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Compassion conquers rules any day. Compassion builds character, rules alone develop nastiness.  We have way too much nastiness in this world to want to develop bad  character..


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