Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom

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You’re welcome.

Hi Patrick. Its been a long time. How are ya?

First off, there is a huge difference between being religious in the sense of legalistic striving for an identity verses having a relationship w God by grace in Christ. The negative examples in this article are largely fruit of legalism and religiousity, not true Biblical Christianity.

Secondly, if you are going to point your finger at problems created by the religious, remember the 3 fingers pointing back at your chosen perspective of atheism. Atheism paved the path for regimes which have far surpassed the number of atrocities imposed upon bystanders compared to the examples given in the article.

Thirdly, freedom of religious practice in the US Constitution was established to protect people from being stifled from practicing their beliefs and worship. Many secular groups are attempting the exact opposite: they are attempting to quiet the voices of Christians all together. Their interpretation of “freedom of religion” is more akin to “freedom from religion” That is more USSR and less USA.

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No True Scotsmen, eh? And yet your very next claim is about unspecified atheists who are, apparenlty really truly the sort of atheists we mean by the term. Do you see this equivocation as convenient in any way?

Which unspecified secular groups are these? You don’t think that freedom of religion includes freedom from religion?


I was not the one posting an article sighting the 6 or 8 or 10 worst atrocities created by your system of belief, was i? I was responding to an unfair accusation by your camp that accused Christianity and religion in general of foul play. If one is going to call another out here, then i believe it is quite fitting to hand them a mirror.

There is a fine line between proposing regulations that attempt to slap Christians w jail time accusing them of hate crimes for calling certain behaviors “sin” and a system of govt that gives all citizens freedom to worship God or not worship God. Fact is, is that there is a certain faction of politician in America right now who live lives that point to a worldview as fully absorbed atheists who are attempting to eliminate Christian ethics from the fabric of this country. Heaven is my ultimate home, but while i have breath on earth, i sense that it is quite fitting to throw out warnings for such thinking and activity.

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There is much excellent history in the “Daylight Atheism” article—but it also drifts into nonsense at times. This one brought me a chuckle to start my day:

Giordano Bruno was burned in Rome in 1600 for teaching that the universe is infinite, with many stars that might be accompanied by planets.

Rubbish. Bruno was hated for a great many reasons—he perilously managed to offend virtually everyone in power and that got him into huge trouble—but he was burned at the stake after a Roman Inquisition trial that lasted seven years (if my memories are accurate) which combed through his reputedly blasphemous and heretical beliefs concerning the Trinity, the virginity of Mary, transubstantiation, the Mass, the divinity of Jesus Christ, to name just a few. There is a popular myth in our day that Bruno was a martyr for science. Rubbish. While it is true that some of his cosmological beliefs further enraged Roman Catholic authorities, his speculations involving science were so far down the list of theological offenses that it’s downright laughable to pretend that he was martyred for science. Author James Haught needs to do some basic fact-checking before repeating popular atheist propaganda tropes. (And, yes, theists are just as prone to repeating their favorite propaganda tropes without checking the facts of history.)

Oh my. Casual misuse of the “No True Scotsman” charge is high on my list of annoying irritants—but I will avoid the temptation to start a distracting sub-thread which has little to do with the excellent topic of the struggle for religious freedom. (Monday mornings are annoying enough as is.)

'Nuf said.

Touché, Greg! Excellent point and I enjoyed the visual imagery. Fitting indeed. (You made me smile.)

We can all benefit from passing around the mirror, especially when recognizing that we fallen humans are all too prone at times to hypocrisy in our arguments. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Meanwhile, the history of the development of religious freedom concepts in Colonial America is a recent interest of mine. My research has brought me to a much greater empathy for the colonials’ struggles with pluralism and how best to avoid repeating the “religious war” carnage that had plagued Europe for centuries. It is very easy to judge them by twenty-first centuries standards and not appreciate the difficulties and complexities they faced. (Real life can be far more perplexing than easy theory.) Great topic, @Patrick!


Whatever are you talking about?

I’ll not presume to speak for Greg but I wonder if recent events in Canada involving the arrest of various Christian preachers for “hate speech” (mostly involving the quoting of scriptures which some people found offensive) helped inspire his remarks.

Not really. You make a snide attack on my statement while simultaneously disclaiming any attempt to address it.

But isn’t Greg saying that the goose isn’t really a goose while the gander is most certainly a gander?


Pretty much. Glad you noticed. :wink:

Yes, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Mirrors can be very useful, especially when passed around.

Must go now but I hope to return later in the day. I’ll leave it to Greg to build on his arguments.

You are exactly right sir. @Patrick has a bone to pick w religion because i will admit that “religion” has done great harm in this world. And really, secularism today is also a form of belief or religion in itself. The faith i subscribe to says to me in a nutshell-be careful you sinner, because the very things you call out may be true of you too! I am an admitted hypocrite at times who for years has tried to manipulate the terms of the Christian faith in order to make much of me! But the headlines about the Christian faith do not have me or any person on them. Instead, it is He who made the headlines. What a good and gracious God we serve and love and worship. There is nothing evil anywhere in even the smallest recesses of His Being. He is holy and righteous and therefore His wrath can only be fitting towards sinfulness. But He in His great mercy sent His Son to absorb the wrath that we deserve. I as a sinner saved by grace have no grounds for boasting because while i was still dead, He made me alive. And i as a sinner saved by grace have no grounds for prideful sniveling because i was saved by a God who “so loved the world.” There is no greater gift to give to the world than such goodnews!

Not David Lynn?

It seems as if the mirror was in this case passed by Greg so as to avoid claiming it for himself. Very Christian of him?


Correct. Not David Lynn. Anybody who uses a loudspeaker in defiance of municipal ordinances deserves whatever appropriate penalty the law determines. That’s obviously not religious discrimination. (Indeed, I assume that somebody who spent two hours at the same outdoor location pontificating on Keynesian economics or animal husbandry using a similar amplification system would have also been charged with disturbing the peace.)


Any links or anything? I looked briefly but didn’t notice anything. I’ll look some more.

Then, once more, what are you and Greg talking about?

For those interested in Canadian “hate speech” laws and the impact on religious freedoms and freedom of speech, here’s an informative law review article:

(This article is from 2004 but provides some good background on how Canadians are pondering and trying to balance seemingly opposing freedoms.)

About two months ago I had a long chat with a Canadian attorney who is defending two pastors (one in British Columbia and the other in Manitoba) who have been charged under “hate speech” statutes. To my knowledge they have still kept those cases out of the media (though that may have changed by now) because the attorney believes any resulting public hysteria before she has her “ducks in a row” could be counter-productive. Apparently there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what kinds of speech are and aren’t covered by the 2017 legislation. (For example, lots of preachers point out that the Bible condemns homosexual acts but does not condemn sexual orientation or temptation per se. But the law is not clear about the legal boundary which defines when speech concerning homosexuality topics crosses that legal line and becomes “hate speech.”)

I don’t have time today to check Google for current Canadian cases reported in the news media. I don’t expect anyone to consider the anecdotal reports from my phone conversation any sort of decisive say on the matter so I have passed along the law review article which that attorney mentioned to me as a place for me to get educated on the topic.

I’m in the process of moving to a new residence so I’m in and out today. I’ll check in when I can get Internet access.

Ah, so it’s this you’re talking about, from the cited article:

“In a more recent case, Hugh Owens placed an anti-homosexual advertisement in a secular newspaper. Incorporating quotations from the Biblical books Leviticus, Romans, and I Corinthians, Owens’s advertisement also included an encircled picture of two males holding hands with a red line through the circle. The advertisement offered bumper stickers with the same image for sale.”

Well, that does sound rather like hate speech, particularly the bumper stickers. Imagine if that sort of thing had been directed at whatever ethnic group you prefer.

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No. The Hugh Owens case is in Saskatoon, the largest city in Saskatchewan. I don’t know the attorney involved in that case.

It’s in the article you cited when people asked what you were talking about. If not that, what are you talking about? Why won’t you or Greg say what you’re talking about?