Should freedom of religion include freedom to hate?

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  1. Pcunix profile image93
    Pcunixposted 10 years ago

    I am not in favor of restricting freedom of religion, but it bothers me greatly that some extremely religious groups actively teach hatred.

    I suppose we have to put up with it, but why is there so much fear to show outrage at least?  When someone says that homosexuals or atheists or Catholics or whatever are doomed to be tormented in hell, isn't that hate speech?  Would we not react strongly if they said Asians or Muslims or Negroes?

    If someone says that sort of thing on HP forums, the reaction that first comes to mind would get me banned, but it really IS the right reaction. 

    We need to be very careful about our freedoms.  Wikipedia says

    "In law, hate speech is any speech, gesture or conduct, writing, or display which is forbidden because it may incite violence or prejudicial action against or by a protected individual or group, or because it disparages or intimidates a protected individual or group. The law may identify a protected individual or a protected group by race, gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity,[3] or other characteristic.[4]"

    We certainly know that homosexuals and atheists have experienced violence and prejudicial action.  Was that incited by religious belief?  I think the only possible answer is "yes".

    So why do we allow it?  Even I, a solid atheist, am reluctant to interfere with religion.  I hate to see children taught this garbage, but I find impossible to recommend interference.  If I feel that way, would think that those with religious belief might find it even harder.

    But the ugliness is real and the hate is real.   

    As you can see, I'm conflicted.

    1. A Troubled Man profile image57
      A Troubled Manposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Because we must allow it. But, we don't have to like it.

      The only thing that will counter hate speech is MORE speech. Censorship does not work and only tends to reinforce it. If those who are spewing hate speech are never able to come to terms with their hatred will never learn to be tolerant.

      Considering that religious myth and superstition has ruled our world, formed our societies and cultures for many centuries it's going to take a lot of time and a lot of speech to change that.

      The great thing about speech is that it's working. We are in a position today like never before, which is having the capacity to observe almost instantly any speech in the world through the camera lens of a cell phone over the internet, and the more speech we hear, the more we learn.

    2. profile image50
      paarsurreyposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Religion does not teach to hate people; if somebody hates it clearly means he has not understood religion correctly.

  2. Cagsil profile image83
    Cagsilposted 10 years ago

    If someone says that I'm going to be tormented in hell for the way I live my life, it is not considered "hate speech". I don't get angry because someone wants to remain ignorant about understanding their own life. Having them tell me what might occur to me if I don't listen to them is only speech and nothing more.

    1. Pcunix profile image93
      Pcunixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Then why do we have any hate speech laws?  Would it be your opinion that we should not?

  3. MelissaBarrett profile image58
    MelissaBarrettposted 10 years ago

    I think "Hate Speech" kinda follows the civil law system... in a way.

    If there is a reasonable chance that the speech will lead to immediate physical or financial harm to a group, or if the speaker is attempting to convince others to band together to cause harm then it is hate speech.

    Telling someone they are going to hell for being gay or teaching your children that really doesn't qualify as it doesn't lead to imminent harm.

    Being a bigot isn't, nor should it be, illegal.  Teaching your children to be bigots is repugnant, but it also shouldn't be illegal.  Telling a group of people that all gays should die crosses a line.

  4. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 10 years ago

    Feeling hate is a right, even teaching it--it is causing or directly inciting harm that is not because it infringes on the rights of others.

  5. Pcunix profile image93
    Pcunixposted 10 years ago

    Yes, I understand what the law IS.  I'm questioning whether it SHOULD be.

    Questioning - I am extremely ambivalent on this myself.

  6. calpol25 profile image58
    calpol25posted 10 years ago

    Its good that we question these things, just hope you get the answers you want smile

    1. Pcunix profile image93
      Pcunixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Which answers do i want?

      1. calpol25 profile image58
        calpol25posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        who is for? and who is against?

        Personally you can have freedom to hate as long as you keep it to yourself, but inciting hatred and forcingyour views on another is wrong,  if you even just say your gonna burn in hell to someone because they are LGBT, Athiest etc it may not look serious but if you say that to someone often enough they will believe you and if you get a bunch of bigots in a crowd then they could take it literally, like many do with the bible, and cause harm and even death to some one..

        1. Pcunix profile image93
          Pcunixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          Yes, I believe that is true.  That's why I particularly don't like seeing this hate taught to children.

          But freedom of speech is precious.

          1. calpol25 profile image58
            calpol25posted 10 years agoin reply to this

            I disagree with the indoctrination of children let them be children and innocent and make their own decision when they are ready.. smile

            1. Pcunix profile image93
              Pcunixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

              But we can't tell the parents "Don't teach them your religion", right?

              I could never vote for that (and I'm sure I'd never have to in this country).

              I don't like home schooling because I think it is often used to avoid any secular subjects, but again, I can't see prohibiting that as much as I hate it.

              It's difficult stuff!

              1. calpol25 profile image58
                calpol25posted 10 years agoin reply to this

                Its very a tricky subject because you can neither be one or the other...

              2. MelissaBarrett profile image58
                MelissaBarrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                *Grins* Has it occurred to you that their are secular homeschoolers that keep their children out of school to avoid religious influence... Especially those who live in less enlightened areas of the U.S.?

                Or those of us who believe ourselves to be better able to teach our children than the "cookie cutter" "I know what's best for your child because I took 100 hours of education theory in a podunk college" teachers?

                I know for a fact that I am better educated AND more intelligent than most of the teachers in the local school system.  I am also more well-versed in childhood development (especially for special needs children-of which my youngest two are/were)

                1. Pcunix profile image93
                  Pcunixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

                  Sure - that's the other side.  There's a lot more danger from the ones that get taught nothing but religion, though :-)

                  And yes, I recognize that schools are often ill-prepared to deal with any children, never mind those with special needs.

  7. paradigmsearch profile image61
    paradigmsearchposted 10 years ago

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Right to Be Perturbed (just don't tell anyone).

  8. psycheskinner profile image82
    psycheskinnerposted 10 years ago

    I think it should be what it is.  Think what you want; don't hurt people.

  9. EyesStraightAhead profile image76
    EyesStraightAheadposted 10 years ago

    I believe in freedom of religion. I do not believe in hating one another under the guise of religion. I have heard it said by certain religious groups that other religious groups have it written in their books to hate certain groups or people; however, I have read most religious teachings and have never found such comments in the actual books that the common man from that religious group reads. Instead, the comments are within translations that are read by the extremists.

    In every group, religious or not, there are extremists who make the rest of the group look bad. It is sad. I am a Christian woman who believes in Jesus and heaven and hell. Yet I would NEVER hate someone or judge someone whose lifestyle is different from my own. I do not spend my days trying to change the world and bring people to salvation by bumping them over the head. Instead, I live my life and choose friends based upon their integrity and how they are to overall mankind, including the friends I have who are from other religions, lifestyle choices, and economic statuses. At the end of the day, none of that stuff affects me. I only need to know that you are my friend and you know I am here, not what you do in the bedroom, what you believe, or what you think will happen after we die. Specifically, I feel that if God is God and so powerful, He will be the one to changes minds, not me anyway! So why waste my time trying to change someone when I may be the one in need of change in their mind! By just being friends and living my life, I am able to share my thoughts and opinions in a respectable way and provide the example I believe we are called to lead.

    Thanks for asking a great question and I am sorry if you are being surrounded with people who are ignorantly professing what is right or wrong. Usually the very people carrying the flags the highest are later found out to have their own skeletons or to be afraid of the unknown. Just continue to love them despite ignorance and you will be the one who smiles wider when you realize you loved the unlovable!

  10. livelonger profile image88
    livelongerposted 10 years ago

    I wish people wouldn't instill the threat of death or eternal punishment on their children according to certain beliefs. I think it's a form of psychological abuse. Look at the way the Phelps children turned out...

    1. Pcunix profile image93
      Pcunixposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I so agree with that.

      And yet I still feel reluctant to interfere!

      1. livelonger profile image88
        livelongerposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Me, too. I guess because any potential solution could end up backfiring.

        I find solace in the fact that some will always break away from the mold fashioned for them by their zealous parents. Several of the Phelps descendants have broken free and speak out against their tyrannical father & grandfather.

  11. Druid Dude profile image60
    Druid Dudeposted 10 years ago

    Only when it is coupled with Freedom of Speech.

  12. profile image0
    Emile Rposted 10 years ago

    I don't get the freedom of speech for religious bigots and/or idiots either. If they are allowed that freedom, I think it only fair that I have the freedom to jerk the bible out of their hands and knock them up side their heads with it. Online, I should be allowed to tell them exactly what they are, with whatever language I deem appropriate.

  13. profile image0
    Onusonusposted 10 years ago

    It is interesting to me that John Adams said; "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

    When the very precepts of virtue and morality that are required for our constitution to be effective are cast aside by society, then those rights become undermined by law makers. The liberal dominated media teaches the exact opposite of virtue and morality, and drives into the soft pallets of every American that being in favor of basic moral decency is intolerant and hateful.

    Tell me where virtue exists in today's liberal dominated media that advocates co-habitation, divorce, sexual deviance, abortion, drug and alcohol consumption, and all the other progressive "Freedoms" that every American should tolerate.

    The fact is the same people who litigate and protest in the streets to have manger scenes removed from Town squares, yet are not offended by hundreds of naked Santa Clauses parading down the streets of San Francisco, posses the same mentality as the West Boro Baptists, the Muslim brotherhood, the KKK, the black panthers and every other hate based group in America.


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