- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Is Religion under attack?
Is religion under attack is a question which can be easily answered yes. The number of groups and sometimes individuals want to impose their beliefs or non-beliefs on others who do not agree with their perspective. I have no problem with individuals or groups disagreeing with my principles and/or beliefs but I do have a problem with someone or groups trying to impose their will on others who disagree with their perspective.
The latest attack on religion is associated with a statue of Jesus in a national park which has been there since 1953. The name of the group bringing this lawsuit does not matter it is the philosophy that it and others like it have. The display of Jesus was granted through a renewal of a park permit which takes place every ten years. The fact that it has been in place for decades did not seem to matter to individuals in this group. I agree there is a principle of separation of church and state which by the way is not written into the Constitution which many of these groups cite in their lawsuits as being violated. In this respect the lawsuit is not based on the Constitution or any law identifying the principle of separation of church and state.
Another point to make is the fact that a statue of Jesus is associated with Christianity but simply displaying such a statue is not an endorsement of Christianity. Another point to make involves our freedom of religion which is guaranteed in the Constitution and freedom of speech gives us the right to express our beliefs. To discuss the point further endorsing a specific religion requires an act by an individual, group or government identifying a specific religion to be the religion of choice. This has not occurred in this situation.
There have been a number of lawsuits in recent years involving the principle of separation of church and state and there will probably be more in the future. What these individuals, groups or organizations do not realize you are not going to change the beliefs and expressions of religious principles/beliefs by their actions. In our country you are free to express your opinion and free to express your religious beliefs but it does not mean others are required to agree with you and you are not required to agree with them. The organization from my understanding that was granted another renewal of their park permit was a Catholic entity.
I strongly believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion as identified in the Constitution. The problem in recent years has been the interpretation that has been applied to these principles. Everyone has the right to their opinion whether it is as an individual or part of an organization. In the case of the lawsuits against what they feel is an endorsement of religion our courts need to step up to the plate and end these attacks on the principles in the Constitution not just the 1st Amendment.
To make another point every citizen has rights granted to them under the Constitution and these rights need to be protected. This involves our freedom of expression, freedom of religion and other principles. When organizations impede or disrupt our freedom of expression or freedom of religion in particular they need to handed decisions through our judicial system. One example involves the actions of groups which whose purpose is to disrupt proceedings such as military funerals are wrong. It is putting forth the principle the wishes of friends and families at military funerals do not matter and is disrespectful to those who give their lives so that they may have the freedoms they enjoy.