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Re: Religion is antithetical to life as a human.

Reader comment on item: Cartoons and Islamic Imperialism
in response to reader comment: Religion is antithetical to life as a human.

Submitted by Steve (United States), Feb 7, 2006 at 16:56

Dr Whaley

We are mostly in agreement here but ....

As you probably know, the word religion is confusing - not even the courts want to touch it (defining it). But there is sits in our First Amendment. What definition did our Founders have in mind? Well, first let's recognize that they worked very hard to make the Constitution fit together like pieces of a puzzle, without contradictions. For over 100 years, our nation maintained that standard pretty well. Some would argue the slavery issue an exception.

OK, whatever. But one thing seems clear: If "religion" should require the faithful to break the law, then it isn't religion at all. So, you are right to say "those who demand your submission on threat of death" are not religious people -- they are murderers who live by contradictions.

Real religion does not leave innocents fearing for their lives. (and I would also argue that Roe v Wade is not even close to being constitutional because it undermines every other right ... even if those small voices cannot be heard.)

Persuasion vs. force. The former respects one's right to make the choice, but force does not. The biblical faiths NEVER prescribe forced conversions. It's a non-starter because that would violate ones conscience, and a boatload of major tenets ... and the Bible warns against causing one to sear his conscience. It is a sin to even make the attempt.

You say " .... Force is the ultimate method of all religious proselytizing..."

Some - not all. For Islam, perhaps, but not the biblical faiths. There is no such thing as a forced Christian conversion. It is impossible. Such "conversions" went out of style before 1800. They never were real, but I suppose there were some ignorant people who were confused about their theology. And remember, religion labels are often used to distinguish cultures but it is a lazy distinction. The Northern Ireland conflict, for example, has little to do with religion, per se.

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