Why are Christians permitted by law to prosyletize on the streets? Shouldn't it be made illegal?
Religious organizations do not pay taxes so they should not be permitted the use of the streets for their 'work.' In addition, as much as there is freedom of speech, there is also the freedom to not hear what one does not choose to hear. If people want to hear religious talk, they can approach churches. That says, freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to force one's opinions on others. Public streets and spaces should be kept free of unwelcome opinions.
Jesus said "Render under Ceasar what is Ceasars." The streets are Ceasars, paid for by taxes.
I think it all depends on what you allow in a general sense and what you don't. Technically, I don't think Christian proselytizers should receive any favor or disfavor over other protesters and the like.
Which leads to the conclusion. For free speech enthusiasts, yes. Christians should be able to do whatever they want, as it's part of their freedom. But the same should be applied to Muslims, Scientologists or even Atheists.
For those who disfavor the freedom of speech, if you ban one group, you have to consider banning all the others. There are vague definitions of hate speech, offensive protests and the like, and right now it's up to the local authorities to decide whether a protest or march is 'against the law' or 'totally cool'.
And in a sense, many Christian protests traverse the borders of hate speech. The picture attached to your question depicts one such.
A rule of thumb, I think, would be to ask yourself whether you'd be arrested for the same thing, taken that you protest much alike but with no relation to religion at all. Say you walk the streets carrying the sign on the right, with 'Garry' written on top instead of God.
You said, "But the same should be applied to Muslims, Scientologists or even Atheists." Where do you see Muslims, Scientologist or Atheists preach in the streets? That said, you're right. Nobody should preach in the streets.
I live in Clearwater, Florida, and I tell you that Scientologists do indeed "preach on the streets". I don't like what they have to say, I believe they're lies, but I believe in their right to say it - on the streets.
Of course I have only been around "religions" for 5 decades plus but I don't ever remember knowing a Christian that did not have to pay taxes. It is not a church building out on the street it is individuals doing what they perceive is their calling. In my neighborhood it is a group that I do not much care for. I question whether or not they may be more cult than Christian. Oh well they have a right just like I do and you do.
I would love to be the boss of "free speech" so only speech that I like could be made -- hey and that would go for music also.
Tessa, I think you missed Eric's point-- yes, Churches, if they abide by strict laws, do not pay taxes, but Christian individuals DO, and the proselytizing is done by individuals who choose to do so.
I don't agree. People have a right to do this. If these were Muslims or the LGBT, would you still have a problem with it? Be honest.
I only mentioned Christianity because they were the most profuse in western society. All religion applies that preach in the streets. However, you won't find other religions preaching in the streets.
Tessa - not sure if you know this, but Muslims preach in the streets, every single day except they do it with an AK-47 and a nice sharp sword for beheading people just like you. Have you seen what is going on with Muslims in Europe?
John Ceccon, I never saw a Muslim preach in San Diego, Houston, Spain, Scotland or London. In London, I saw Muslims handing out defamatory literature, but that was about it. However, even if they were preaching in the streets, the same applies.
"Humanist, atheist, and progressive who writes specifically for that audience and is not interested in debate."
Yet you publish a question in the Christianity, bible and Jesus section. (lol)
I'll give you no debate but I will say some of those tax payers are in fact Christians and they have the same rights as all other protesters that pay taxes. With the taxes paid come certain rights, just the way it works today in America.
Tess has a right to ask any question she chooses.
Sorry that you fail to see the ironic humor in my statement.
The church pays no taxes. There is a vast difference between protesters who march/protest (for which they have gained permission from the city authorities) and religious people who force their voice on others.
I suspect I misunderstand your question/objection. You don't like the street preaching if I'm now understanding correctly. Well I don't either.
Rich Kelley, I don't like any preaching on the street, regardless of which religion.
And I do not like tank tops on fat women or baggy pants on young men. I don't like homeless either and I can't stand ads for cellphones. Really?
Eric Dierker;. Big difference between someone wearing something you don't like and being forced to listen to street preaching that prevents one from enjoying one's functions, e..g. San Diego comic com,. etc, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjYpXKLoVy
Free speech, yes even in public areas, might mean having to hear something you don't like to hear. I walk by people talking in the streets all the time and hear things I don't want to hear - they're not directed at me, but I hear them. Free speech.
I think there is a difference between free speech and disruption. We do have laws preventing public nuisance. Preach whatever cause in the public arena, but don't block the effort to walk away. There is a line that can be crossed.
Agreed Taopi, restraining people so they have to hear you is being disruptive. But for the government to say that one can't talk about this or that in a public area cuts directly against 1st Amendment rights.
I agree, Hxprof. No interference on 1st amendment rights. The question by Tessa is undoubtedly posed out of sincere frustration of feeling deluged by a rallied pov. To walk, even run, away is the only rational course in situations like those.
You don't have to listen. Just push your earplugs in.
Unfortunately, such comes under the First Amendment in relation to freedom of speech. However, such proselytizing is highly annoying, even intrusive to those who don't wish to hear so-called religious propagation. People should keep their religious beliefs and opinions to themselves. They don't have the right to force others to believe as they do. These religionists refuse to believe that others have the right to their own ethical, moral, and spiritual perspectives.
Of course, such religious proselytizing should be made illegal. It is extremely intrusive, not to mention selfish. There is no religious faith, belief, or perspective that is superior to other ethical, moral, or spiritual perspective or belief. It is about time that these religionists realize this. I remember about 4 years ago, some religionists rang my bell-wanting to discuss their beliefs with me. I slammed the door and reported them to the management office. Since then, no problem.
"religious proselytizing should be made illegal" You have my vote as long as all proselytizing is illegal, even the kind you like.
This only makes sense in communist or dictatorship regimes. for 200+years we have protected speech we do not like. Under this logic for sure democrats and republicans should be locked up for violating my sensibilities.
Eric Dierker You need to get an education in differences between freedom of speech, freedom to enjoy peace and quiet in public places, and democracy and communism.
The public arena is subject to free speech laws. Public areas are free to all. You have the right to listen or not listen. The problem is that people feel the need to proselytize and pray in PRIVATE places too. That is a place such as a seemingly public area like an office or business. That is not allowed as some people would be forced to participate against their will. But in public places, one is free to walk away.
The 'free speech' law has nothing to do with being able to say what one likes when one likes where one likes. It meant that that the king/government couldn't imprison or execute someone for speaking against the church or the king.
Tess, 'free speech' absolutely does have to do with being able to say what one likes when one likes and where one likes - at least as far a legality goes. The other side of the coin is that we need to be aware that there may be repercussions.
What part of the constitution do you not understand? Last time I checked, this is the United States. If you are at a public gathering and there are Christians, or Muslims, or gun nuts, or the "Occupy Whatever" movement knuckleheads, or any other group engaging in an act that annoys you, here's what you do - leave. Walk away, problem solved. Just as they have the freedom to engage in freedom of speech and/or religion, you have the freedom to leave. This approach works for TV, radio, and film. Why do people constantly allow themselves to be sucked into situations that is annoying to them? All they are doing is expressing themselves as the constitution allows. Look it on the bright side, at least they are NOT beheading people if they do not convert. They are NOT throwing people off of roofs if they do not convert. They are NOT issuing a "convert of die" ultimatum.
No, extremist Christians simply bomb businesses, harass funerals, trespass on private property to solicit converts, murder homosexuals, et al. Freedom of speech is one thing, but harassment is quite another. It's all part of the same hypocrisy.
Unfortunately, these FAKE Christians have assumed the banner of Christianity under false pretenses. They are no different than the crowds of well-meaning environmental protesters that drive their SUVs to the daily road block or occupy-whatever.
That they are medieval or reptilian in their own thinking, I'd say there is little doubt in that; however, if you asked any one of them, they'd swear their sincerity. Extremists exist everywhere, true, and again, are part of the same hypocrisy.
Freedom of speech is just that: the freedom to speak freely. If you don't like it, you can walk away. I don't see how they're any different from politicians being on TV; I can change the channel.
I'm not a Christian, but I do believe in freedom and liberty. In fact, that's the founding basis of the USA.
There are Too Many Pointless Laws in the US and the world. Many of these laws are controlling and take away the freedoms of all for the gripes of a few. It's disappointing that because someone doesn't like something, they want to enact laws. "Just walk away" and get over it!
One is free to speak in one's home or where it's relevant, not in the street when preaching is causing disruption.
Christians do not cause disruption in the streets. That is in your mind, sort of like how you think "important" people take you seriously. Also, Christians don't use megaphones on the street either. That's something you made up. Get a life.
Why the bitter, ugly comment, savvydating? You don't think extremism exists in the Christian community? Google Christian extremism in America just for a start. Just because YOU haven't seen it, does not mean it doesn't exist.
Religion organization like the one you see in this picture, they are really no different from the Taliban minus the suicide bombers and if they come into power, to a great extent they would be enforcing religion law, just like the Taliban. prior to 1980 Ireland have the Catholic Church Home for Unwed Mothers, which is really a private prison run by the Catholic Church, authorized by the government to arrest women for been unwed mothers and throw them in jail, because been an unwed mother is a sin, police would be call in to assist the priests in their arrest, if felt necessary.these women's baby would be confiscate by the church and be put up for adoption, if not adopted, the church would let the baby starve to death. There were actually some of these women who became refugees and gain political asylum oversea, but most are not so lucky.
It is unknown why these Christian groups have not yet gone full Taliban style, some could be they are not so extreme they would go full Taliban style, some could be they don't believe they are yet able to do it and true right now, if any Christian group choose to go Taliban style, on US soil, they would be crushed before they have a chance to become an effective force. An interesting fact, while the bible claim Christian have traditionally been suppressed and murder by the Romans, it is a lie, in reality, during those days there was Christian groups that go full Taliban style terrorist attack and the Roman government suppressed them, afterwards like in Roman fashion, criminals are been thrown into the arena, including these holy war Christians, base on these later during the dark ages, the church write up fake history saying Roman persecute Christians
The reason why Christians have not gone Taliban style is because they don't think like that. They follow the teachings of Jesus and he did not act Taliban,
Actually the bible teaches that if u see a non believer, in ur home town u should stone him to death, there are at least 3 passage teach killing non believer I know of.
And if you don't like someone, you can stand in the street and proclaim them to be a witch, which means that all Christians must come forth and stone that person, so preaching in the streets is like starting a riot, I suppose.
According to the bible, science is also a sin, because it contradict the bible, in fact, there are number of passages in the bible that express an opinion saying "scientist are the anti christ thus scientists are evil" the bible is full of crap
Get real, Lolita. Extremist Christians have gone Taliban on homosexuals & women's clinics or don't those count? Jesus said it was ok to beat your servants, too. Christianity doesn't hold the patent on moral choices and some do choose to go Tali
Peter, I have to doubt that you have actually read the Testamony of Jesus Christ (known as the New Testament). Can you show the 3 places where Jesus or his followers instructed his followers to stone anyone?
I think Peter's referring to the entire book. There are at least 13 citations for stoning in the OT. Jesus prevents one in the NT. By not condemning brutality against servants (Luke 12:47-48), he as much as condoned it.
You are correct Taopi, I am referring to the book in general. I am not too clear about what Jesus said in particular, but whether good or bad, bible is not just Jesus, otherwise it would be call book of Jesus
I think we are taking religionists too seriously, giving them too much credit as a social activity worth attention. What you are describing is nothing more significant than a Santa Claus parade. Their religion doesn't bother me, even though I would never join. It's like coming to a store and verbally attacking the storekeeper for advertising an item that we would never buy.
There are many "appearances" in the street that are not exactly a tourist attraction, and we just pass by not looking twice. There are mothers of small children at shopping malls allowing their toddlers to scream - well, why wouldn't you have some of that what she has to put up with every day.
There are people yelling out their cell phone conversations while standing in a lineup.
We can't have a library atmosphere in the streets and in the stores. Who really cares about the "legal side" of it? The simple and familiar truth is that there is an intolerance between religionists and non-religionists, whatever category they opt to be in.
Stemming from that intolerance is every beef pertaining to their having to come in a close encounter with one another. Just look at all these Q.& A.. I find them amusing, and I even pulled the religionists' leg with a question or two - but I couldn't really care less.
So, it's not a point how they publicly advertise their religion. I can very easily recognize a Jewish dude, or a Moslem one, as their attire is also an advertisement - if you care to see it that way. I don't, because people's choices don't concern me as long as they don't interfere with my private life in any way. What's happening on the street is not a part of my private life.
We are turning into some excessive form of collectivists, "breathing" the life of a nation, instead of just minding our own business - and having something like a life. We vote, we pay taxes, we even get sucked in to a war that's not a defensive one where we lose our dear ones - so how far goes our patriotic and collectivistic involvement?
Plus the point that we should not allow our nerves to be so trigger happy to jump on everything that's not exactly to our taste. I am not asking you to agree with me, you have a right to think what you want, but since you expressed your opinion, I expressed mine.
Vladimir Karas You have obviously never been to an event where Christians have used mega-phones to disrupt proceedings and ruin the enjoyment of people. I have -- over and over again.
Tessa...No, I have no such experience, and I hope it won't repeat itself for you either.
I think best way to deal with religion extremists group in the US right now, is education, Suppressing, mean, they will become Christian version of Taliban, first chance they got. But do suppress then, when they threaten the state.
Agreed Peter565 but how do you educate people when religious fundamentalists are insisting that creationism be treated as science. Morons.
It's freedom of speech, so they should be allowed. But a while back I was waiting on the street to be picked up by a relative and some idiot with a loudspeaker was preaching. He was so loud I could barely talk to the person I was with. We were wondering if we had the grounds to call the police because a loudspeaker is disruptive and creating a noise problem on a public street. I would hope something like that wouldn't be legal. The funny thing though is that people were mocking the guy. Annoying people with a loudspeaker isn't going to win anyone over to your point of view.
Then why should any other people, religious or not, be able to protest in the street, by your logic?
Yes, they should be allowed to proselytize, as annoying as it may be. It's their First Amendment right. Unfortunately, no one has a right to quiet in a public space. Take away rights from one group, and you've effectively taken them from everyone else. I hate the slippery slope argument, but if it ever applied, this is the case.
For what it's worth, a far more effective way of quieting someone who is harassing you is to start asking questions about their beliefs. In my experience, the bigger the proselytizer, the less knowledge they actually have about their own faith. A few well-educated questions and they're not so eager to talk to you anymore!
As for tax breaks, I don't think any religious organization that isn't operating primarily as a charity should receive tax breaks. That's just government funding religion.
I am far more concerned with crimes against women like:
1) Female genital mutilation
2) Punishing rape victims
3) Honor killing
4) Strapping bombs to children
5) Sexually enslaving women
6) Punishing homosexuals
7) Murdering homosexuals
8) Child marriage, Child Brides, and Forced Marriage
9) Domestic Violence
10) Disciplining or Punishing Wives
11) Beating Wives
12) Violence Against Women
Also, the belief that flogging, stoning, beheading are appropriate punishments for adultery, apostasy, witchcraft and blasphemy.
People that I can and do safely ignore while they try to sell me something on the street, even God, are number 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
on my top 10 list of things to worry about.
OK, yes, that makes sense. I guess I could see making street preaching illegal. But then, we should also outlaw ...
sexy or violent movie posters ...
materialistic advertisements ...
and provocative "art" ...
because all these violate my right-not-to-be-presented-with-anything-I-don't-want-to-see-or-hear.
I guess political speech will have to go too, considering how many people hate politics.
Henceforth, the only speech that is protected will be speech that is universally popular.
I suppose that people preaching in the street can be annoying ... But
I'm a little more concerned about hate mongers like the KKK who are allowed to do and say whatever they please. I'm also concerned about human trafficking and little kids being gunned down in Chicago and rape and poverty and hunger and ISIS and thousands of children being slaughtered overseas and the lack of media coverage on such acts vs the intense media coverage of Kim, Khloe and any version of Kardashian/Jenner ... And I don't particularly care for the way some networks have snatched off The Cosby Show, but 7th Heaven is still ... Let me see, what else ...? I'll get back to you.
I say to everyone "God Bless America" As stamped on our money "In God we Trust" Oh oh can I say that ? Yes I can it's a free market and free capitalist society. Open your mind let freedom ring.
It is a belief system. So are political views.
If you want to make proselytizing of Christianity illegal, you must equally ban spreading Islam and atheist belief systems.
Ditto Republican versus Democrat outreach.
And now free speech has died, but isn't it nice everyone gets along because no one is allowed to question or discuss the politically tolerated, official reality?
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