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April 10th, 2008

Islam and the First Amendment…

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

The statement above is one of my favorites of all time. Most of you know it as the “First Amendment.” Some atheists, idiots, and assholes also quote it as evidence of constitutional separation of church and state. I, for one, do not want congress passing laws regarding religion either pro or con, but the point is that this amendment protects the right of the people to practice their religion free from the government’s intervention. In other words, it protects religion from the government, not government from religion.

Either way, it’s not all about religion. The freedom of speech and of the press are also widely loved by the American people (even the non-assholes). The other freedoms guaranteed in this amendment are good too, but I’m focusing on the first three. These three freedoms are paramount to the continuation of a free society. They lead to the natural deduction that if people are free to worship as they will, and say what the want, then they must be free to think and believe in any way that they see fit.

However, if you listen to Saudi Cleric Muhammad al-Munajid, freedom of thought and freedom of belief are dangerous.
 
He specifically challenges the right of people to diverge on religious beliefs. Freedom of thought when applied to religion might make someone convert to Christianity, Buddhism, or turn to some other form of apostasy. Now, as a Christian American, I have a hard time understanding this dude’s logic. If Islam is so right, why would anyone choose to be wrong? If a Muslim is one who “submits to Allah”, then what good is there in Islam if the man doesn’t have a choice? In my opinion, a true Muslim would be one who submits to Allah in spite of his freedom or ability to choose something else. Of course, this leads to the whole “nothing happens without Allah willing it” mentality that is so pervasive in Arabic society. In Sha’ Allah, if they are correct in that assumption, then why are they so pissed off about everything that we infidels keep doing?

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6 comments to Islam and the First Amendment…

  • Since you probably qualify me as one of the atheist assholes (even though I am not) I should point out that free will should play an important role in ALL religions. It should also be one of the points eluded to by the First Amendment.

    You say that the government should not be protected from religion, but you seem to forget that some people do not want religion of any kind forced upon them. And whether or not you choose to acknowledge it, the greatest majority of the scientific community is either atheist or undecided. (I find it hard to use the word agnostic when applied to the minds of critical thinkers.)

    If the government isn’t (at least to some small degree) kept free of the crap that the religious leaders would love to inject them with, then that crap gets injected into the lives of everyone.

    Space exploration, Artificial Intelligence, Stem Cell Research, Alternative Energy Sciences, and as a whole higher scientific educations have often paid the [high] price for the religious interferences offered by governments that were not protected from religion. (Kansas Schools, I’m talking to the likes of you, you backwood redneck pieces of shit! May the Flying Spaghetti Monster curse you!)

    On the other hand, ALL religions should be offered protection. No matter how great or small. I’m not a religious person by far. I don’t even really specifically subscribe to the Existence (or Non-Existence) of God(TM). But when God (or Goddess) speaks to me in a dream (which has happened) it usually doesn’t matter to me if the dream is the result of a supernatural power or my unconscious mind wandering as a result of chemical replenishment and long term memory management. Normally the advice or insight I’ve been given has been pretty damned good, and it is both my will and my right to listen to God (even if she is a figment of my imagination).

    Some people would choose to have me locked up. Others would call me an infidel. Yet another group would call me some kind of seer, sage, prophet, or chosen one. Instead I choose to consider myself an artist, poet, lover, writer, and above all, a dreamer.

    Why should the government be protected from (too strong of) an influence from religion? To protect people like me.

    Everyone is free to disagree with that for their own reasons. Isn’t free will and free speech great?

  • Jace: “You say that the government should not be protected from religion”

    No, I said, “In other words, it protects religion from the government, not government from religion.” So, I did not say it “should not”, I said it DOES NOT. The bill of rights is not designed to protect the government, it’s designed to protect the PEOPLE…and to a lesser degree the States. So let me clarify…the amendment protects religion from the government, and it also protects people from Religion.

    You said, “If the government isn’t (at least to some small degree) kept free of the crap that the religious leaders would love to inject them with, then that crap gets injected into the lives of everyone.”

    This was exactly my point. The government should not be injecting crap into the lives of others, and therefore, the law is to PROTECT us. The world doesn’t need another Taliban-like regime, but we don’t need a totally religious-free society either. Using the example of the Taliban, it wasn’t the government who suffered…it was the people…the government isn’t a living thing, it’s a conduit to express the will of the people (or at least it should be).

    However, regarding science, technology, etc…there are certain issues that transcend religion and cross into the realm of protecting our humanity….and I’ll just leave it at that.

  • Speaking of all that is spiritual – I met the devil today out biking…this demonstrative being was in the form of 40mph winds. Just had to share.

  • Andy: I hear the devil is a real bitch.

  • Andy

    Funny thing how easy it is to slip a ring on that devil….errrr i mean a ring onto that real……..

  • “In other words, it protects religion from the government, not government from religion.” Amen.

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