A brief comment on religious equality

I find it highly offensive and distinctly un-American when fundamentalist Christian bigots lobby elected officials to legislate in favor of prejudicial restrictions on personal conduct required by scripture while simultaneously complaining that socially liberal policies infringe upon their right to hold independent religious beliefs. The first responsibility of government is to defend civil liberty; the authority to govern derives from the consent of the governed and absolute equality is essential to free democratic rule.

Marriage equality, fair insurance practices and a woman’s right to choose in no way restrict individual freedom vis-à-vis religious practice. I would argue that such policies effectively defend the freedom of religion for they prevent misguided individuals from persecuting others who do not share their particular religious beliefs.

In my opinion, one who advocates the use of government as a means of forcing the general population into compliance with Christian scripture is the western equivalent of those enforcing Sharia law under theocratic rule in the Middle East. I would further add that perceived violations of a moral covenant with God are not sufficient to justify summary judgment or discriminatory action; the assessment of one’s heart and the judgment of one’s soul is the province of God alone. The importance of separating church and state is paramount.

If advocates for the far religious right are truly Christian, the indwelt grace of Christ should guide them toward a position of love and forgiveness. Their continual barrage of hatred and judgment against their neighbors is indeed terrible; I am stymied by their apparent inability to apply even a basic understanding of their own scripture in day to day life. At the very least, I suggest such people return to the Bible and re-read Matthew 10:14, shake the dust off their shoes and leave the rest of the world to our own beliefs.

About William Knox

Rev. William Knox is the founder and current Chancellor of the Contemporary Pagan Alliance. Ordained in 1995 as an interfaith minister, he serves as senior priest at the Sanctuary of Light in Ravenswood,WV. and is an invested brother in the Shanddite Order of Pagan Secular Monks.
This entry was posted in Abortion, Equality, Gay Rights, Morality, Politics, Religion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A brief comment on religious equality

  1. davidtenn says:

    You’ve hit it William. Most do not have that basic understanding of their own scripture! Love David

  2. volkwitch says:

    Brilliant. I could only hope to express such a powerful defense of democracy with such brevity and power.

  3. Todd Lemire says:

    Here Here William! I was listening to NPR today and they were discussing how many Christians are hypocritical practitioners in regards to the tenets of their own claimed religion, especially in the arena of sexual identity and the Christian judgement thereof.

  4. Primalnights says:

    About this statement. “The importance of separating church and state is paramount.” Upon what code do you rely to base laws if you reject the morality of religion. The whole of American law is based on Christianity from the Magna Carta to the Mayflower Compact to the Constitution.

    • William Knox says:

      We rely upon the code of freedom, of equality and fairness, that pure vision so eloquently put forth by Thomas Jefferson, that provides the very foundation of traditional American values: “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 pursuit of Happiness.” You will notice that Jefferson references the Creator, not Jesus. He was a deist and would disagree with every single Christian fundamentalist of the modern era.

      We then rely on the Constitution as a guide, allowing the hallowed words of the second amendment to be our compass on this issue: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This freedom applies to all religions and also protects those who choose to disavow the existence of any God. American law is based upon unwritten English common law, this is true, but it also contains elements of the Pagan rule of law inherited from Rome and Greece. This country, for better or worse, is not a nation of Christians but rather remains a nation of Americans and our laws must deal fairly and justly with every citizen without regard to their religion, race or gender. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, these are the most important concepts; the Bible itself is utterly irrelevant.

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