November 17, 2022•238 words
We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
H. L. MENCKEN
This quote sums up quite well how religion should be treated in the public sphere. People are free to have their beliefs that others should be respectful of. But those with religious beliefs don't have the right to try to impose those beliefs on others.
When people talk these days of the dangers to freedom of religion what they really mean is their ability to impose their religious beliefs on others. In the United States people are free to have their beliefs and can practice so long as it doesn't impact on someone else's rights.
When major religious groups say religion is under attack that can translate as our ability to discriminate against others based on who they are is being threatened.
Just as I choose not to believe, I support the right of others to have a religious belief. But I also support the rights of the LGBTQ to marry, for women to decide their healthcare, and for none of us to live under a theocracy.
I wrote a post over on Medium that goes into a specific issue of a group trying to oppose marriage equality in the name of religion which goes into this topic in a bit more detail.