One of the fundamental rights we have as Americans is the right to our religious beliefs or the freedom to have none at all. But the world, which according to some, is becoming more and more democratic…..meaning that the population has more freedoms than it has in the past….but does that mean their religious preferences are respected?
Then I read an article that had me surprised…..Reuters reported…..
Amid a global decline in religious belief, some governments are stepping up efforts to portray atheists and secularists as a danger to society and even as terrorists, according to a report issued on Wednesday.
The study, by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), pointed to “hate campaigns” launched by public figures against those who renounce the dominant or state religion in Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Egypt.
It said “the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers” as set out in U.N. treaties, adding that 13 states, all of them Muslim, had made apostasy or blasphemy against religion a capital offense.
In some countries – like Russia, where communist ideology has been replaced by Orthodox Christianity which dominated before the 1917 Bolshevik revolution – any public expression of atheist views can be equated with blasphemy and criminalized.
The “Freedom of Thought Report”, which is published annually on International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, said the past year had been marked by a surge in the number of officials and political leaders agitating against non-religious people “in terms that would normally be associated with hate speech”.
None of which is all that surprising…….
That brings me to my state, the lovely state of Mississippi…….years ago I was inclined to run for the state senate…..but since I was a Gnostic I was considered an atheist and was not allowed to participate in the election…..apparently most do not know what a Gnostic is…..(I could go into a diatribe but ….use Google and save me some time….basically because few will give a crap)……..sadly Mississippi is not alone………
If you’re an atheist living in Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Texas, you’re technically not allowed to hold public office. Those states have articles in their constitutions requiring public officials to believe in God—in fact, in Maryland, even jurors and witnesses are technically required to believe in God—and now nonbelievers are trying to get rid of such rules, even though they are rarely invoked. “If it was on the books that Jews couldn’t hold public office, or that African-Americans or women couldn’t vote, that would be a no-brainer. You’d have politicians falling all over themselves to try to get it repealed,” the chairman of the Openly Secular coalition tells the New York Times. “Even if it was still unenforceable, it would still be disgraceful and be removed.”
Article VI of the US Constitution says no “religious test” should be required for federal office, and in 1961, the Supreme Court ruled that states may not have a “religious test” for public office. Yet the bans remain in those seven states, and activists say they’re unconstitutional. So far, though, no politician has made it a goal to get rid of them. Openly Secular plans to lobby legislators in those states (plus Pennsylvania, which has ambiguous wording about religion in its Constitution) to dump the bans—if they can find legislators open to the idea. The latest notable time a ban was enforced was 1992, when an atheist was denied a position as a notary public in South Carolina; he won the case when it went to the state Supreme Court.
Of course these are the same a/holes that always talk about the sanctity of the Constitution but have No problem depriving others of the rights to believe as they see fit……..
So tell me where the democratic part is with all this? Where is the freedom to believe or not? I am weary of so-called “constitutionalists” that are all about the Constitution as the “law of the land”….but only when it confirms their limited knowledge of what the document is really about.
Time for a convention to make things crystal clear. Are you with me?