HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Religious exemptions under the law

Religion looks for exemptions in the secular state for certain things.

Often what it asks for is a violation of the equality of all people and all organisations under the law.

How could religious exemptions be applied?

There are a number of things to be considered.

1   A religion has the right to offer religious benefits to those who adhere to it and not give the benefits to anybody else.  Eg the Catholic Church has the right to refuse to let an atheist child have first communion.

2  A religion that owns a corporation or a hospital or whatever has no automatic right to treat this entity as a part of itself.  Thus if the religion has the right to discriminate against people it only has it as a religion but has no right to treat its companies and businesses and social services as a religion.  I may have the right as a religious person to ban women from my clergy thinking they are less competent than men but I don't have the right to start a counselling company and ban women.  What applies to a religious service does not apply to a non-religious service even when provided by the religion.

3   Is the entity a religion or a private organisation?  If the answer is yes then it has no right to exemptions under the law even if it calls itself a religion.  A system of religious doctrine may not really be about doctrine at all but a cover for being a social entity.  The law is not about theology so it is not its place to decide if a religion is a religion but as a working hypothesis it has to treat it just as a social entity.

4  If anything be it religious or not offers its services to the world at large it is forfeiting any right to get exemptions. 

5  Secularism has to respect freedom of conscience as much as possible for it is impossible to give it full freedom for there are many rights and many complexities to be considered.  Freedom of conscience is more important than freedom of religion.  In fact freedom to be religious or not to be is a part of freedom of conscience but only a part.  The part is never greater than the whole.  For a religion to be allowed to ban a teacher from a school for he does not agree with the religious ethos is putting one conscience before another.  Freedom of religion inevitably leads to favouring one religions conscience and enabling discrimination against those who fall foul of the religion.  It is selective. The only fair thing to do is to put the informed conscience first but that implies that the religiously neutral conscience comes first.  That will be the conscience seen as good from both the religious and non-religious perspective.  Remember the conscience a faith has is not the same as that which the adherents have.  Faith having a conscience is a metaphor but the point is that we must not confuse its conscience with that of the adherent.  The adherent's conscience matters.  The conscience of faith does not.  A thing or set of ideas has no rights.  It is people that have rights.

6  Religion is often seen as an actual or potential source of violence by those who understand that a person might follow what is presented as an order from God to kill or hurt others in the name of a necessary evil that cannot be avoided and understand why.  But that can lead to secularism being too soft on religion for it is afraid of provoking it.  Religious exemptions do not necessarily imply respect for religion.  The religion could lose the exemptions as soon as the state feels it can steal them away.  The state may be gentle on religion in the hope that it will go away.  If people do not understand that people do kill for religious revelations tell them to, that is strange for we obey the vile Hitlers of this will and usually with complete freedom.  The danger with religious liberals and secularists is that they do not understand what it is like to be religious and willing to obey "God" in some big harmful thing.

Things that Religion Should be Legally Banned from Doing

Human sacrifice

Animal sacrifice

Public sex acts

Polygamy (Some forms of Mormonism, Islam)

Child marriage (Catholicism allows it for 14 year olds)

Religious rites involving drugs or magic mushrooms

Making money with fake relics of saints and gods

Apocalypse related religions should be forcably disbanded (Christianity started off as an end of days cult)

Deliberately mistranslating scriptures and ancient texts and selling such as the real thing (Mormons, Traditionalist Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses)

Presenting prophets who talk rubbish and dangerous rubbish at that as sane when they should be certified as mentally ill.  Because of religion there is nothing you can do if a President of the United States or whoever starts to say nuclear war will wipe out the wicked for the saviour will preserve his people.

Any religion that preaches such things should be dealt with by the law regardless of whether members obey it or not