Blog Against Theocracy
Great, use the comment form below, post on your own blog today, or maybe just to talk to a friend. That's what this little movement is all about. Do visit Freedom First on your way through this exercise as well.
Right out of the gate, I think it's important to note we all take some things on faith. That's everybody! As a race, we do not know our origins, nor do we have enough fundemental known absolute truths to be able to call the shots on beliefs in an authoritative way. In this, we are all equally ignorant. This, for me, is the core justification for our equality under the law, and for our government to be neutral on matters of faith.
If we lack these core truths, we also lack authority, thus placing our various beliefs on par with one another. It's perfectly ok to not share beliefs, advocate for specific ones, and act on our beliefs, provided we do not cause one another harm. This is freedom and it's a very good thing.
The tradeoff for this freedom to believe what we will, make our choices as we will and engage others as we will is tolerance. Without it, we cannot exercise our freedom as we would otherwise. We also then lack the means to have the debates necessary for all of us to benefit from greater truths as they are revealed through frequent and passionate discourse.
I believe this is what the founders wanted. I believe it is the only just and true way to govern because I do not believe living a lie is defensible.
Truth is, our freedom here has made us a very religious people! More Americans believe in a higher power than almost anywhere else! Those without this belief also exist here on par with those that do and all is good right?
Over the years, I've seen a strong movement toward defining what our official belief system should be. Many of the larger religious groups want their beliefs codified into the law --endorsed by government somehow thinking this will validate them, lend them credence, or maybe just suppress competiting ones. All of this is wrong, unless we've got some known truths from which to derive the authority for it --and we just don't right now.
If anything is true, it is that we just don't know where we came from, nor how it all happened.
Again, this demands tolerance, if we are to get along at all, and avoid having to live lives filled with lies.
It does not matter what you believe. When advocating it to others, it should be defensible however. My personal view is that your beliefs should also be consistant with your actions, but that's just me. YMMV.
Take this holiday and consider your beliefs. Better, take some time and consider somebody elses. Find out what drives them, where you might have common ground and let them know you both are able to have the discussion because of the freedom you both have. Think about the difference between conviction and real --absolutely known solid truth! Having more numbers on your side, or a law that favors your beliefs does not make them more true does it?
Why bother then? Why not consider advocacy and live by your beliefs, secure in the freedom to do so? If they are defensible, just and true, others will see this and want to share. If not... no amount of law, advocacy or anything else will change that. These things might make you feel better at the end of the day, but that will come at the cost of somebody else not being able to feel good about themselves too. This cuts both ways, and I see a lot of people not so worried about that, and they really should be, if they have the strength of character to be honest with themselves and others.
Think about your freedom and what it really means, then commit to preserving it for our greater good. Future Americans will thank you for it. Heck, your neighbor might just thank you for it. If nothing else, I thank you for it!