End freedom of religion

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Why should we keep freedom of religion? Once, hundreds of years ago, Catholics and Protestants were murdering each other. Catholics were banned in one area, Protestants weren't allowed in the other area. To solve this, people got the idea of just tolerating the other religion. They called this idea freedom of religion, because obviously, 'religion' only means 'Catholicism and Protestantism'.
Freedom of religion meant you wouldn't get killed or locked up by the government if you were a catholic in a protestant area or vice versa. It didn't mean you were entitled to all practices that were considered important or normal by a book deemed 'holy'.

Should we keep freedom of religion, even in 2012? I don't think so. We've got a lot of 'freedoms' and 'rights', and I can't think of one example that isn't protected by freedom of speech, freedom of organization, freedom of thought etcetera but ís protected by freedom of religion.

1. Freedom of religion isn't "heavy". It doesn't legalize any religious practices.

Leviticus 20:

13 "'If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

2. Freedom of religion doesn't increase freedom. I can't think of any example where freedom of religion grants you a freedom that wasn't already established by others rights/freedoms, such as freedom of speech, organization and thought.

Useful link;
http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

EDIT:

Esotera:
The OP reads like gigantic flamebait...would you consider editing some of your more recent points in so there's discussion value without trawling through the whole thread?

Danyal:

I don't think it's "somewhat overlapping", it's more like "completely protected and protected again by human rights, constitutions and international treaties". What aspect of religion or being religious isn't protected by all those regulations? And if you could think up any aspect of religion that indeed has privilege above god-lacking ideologies and organization, why do you think they deserve those extra privileges?

Danyal:

I don't want to not protect religion, I want to protect religion just as much as any other philosophy, ideology or organization. I tried to make this clear in my OP.

Danyal:

2. Freedom of religion doesn't increase freedom. I can't think of any example where freedom of religion grants you a freedom that wasn't already established by others rights/freedoms, such as freedom of speech, organization and thought.

I don't think religion needs special protection; I think it's equal to any other philosophy, ideology or organization, and thus it can be protected the same as any other philosophy, ideology or organization.
Does religion get more protection than any other philosophy, ideology or organization?
If your answer is 'no', why than do you have problems with removing 'freedom of religion'? It doesn't hurt religion, because it still gets protected by all rights and freedoms protecting every philosophy, ideology and organization.
If your answer is 'yes', why do you think religion needs to protected more than any other philosophy, ideology or organization?

Excellent, so what religion are we going to impose on everyone? Going by your previous posts I assume it would mean Maoist state-mandated atheism

Istvan:
Excellent, so what religion are we going to impose on everyone? Going by your previous posts I assume it would mean Maoist state-mandated atheism

In my ideal society, public, state-funded, schools are not allowed to favor any religion. They can (must?) give lessons about all religion, of course, but should just tell about every big religion and it's history. They can't claim to be a Christian/Hindu/Islamic school, and they can't religiously indoctrinate their students. Of course, if people fund their own private school, they can do whatever they want.

Religion is so extremely wrong and irrational, that good education is the only thing we need to end it or at least stop people from literally interpreting it. I haven't got problems with people who adhere to the moral teaching of Jesus; I have got problems with people who think the Bible is the literal word of God, that all other religions are completely wrong and they have the only truth, and God thinks homosexuality is a sin and women should be subordinated to man.

If they said they were taking freedom of religion off the books in the U.S., regardless of the explanation given, there would be a civil war, and an atheist living in the Bible belt would not stand a very good chance, thus my first reaction to the OP is "because I want to live."

Danyal:

In my ideal society, public, state-funded, schools are not allowed to favor any religion. They can (must?) give lessons about all religion, of course, but should just tell about every big religion and it's history.

All religion would take quite a bit of the pupils time, and as for the size of the religions I am not certain that that is the best way to determine it. It seems like whichever religions are more common locally would be the most sensible ones to start with.

I don't see how what way the school handles religious studies justifies involving the government in telling people what their personal beliefs should be via the elimination of freedom of religion however.

Danyal:

They can't claim to be a Christian/Hindu/Islamic school, and they can't religiously indoctrinate their students. Of course, if people fund their own private school, they can do whatever they want.

If we do not allow people to believe what they want to believe then that obviously means that there is a specific set of beliefs which are allowed and no others. I don't see how removing freedom of religion would accomplish your goals here.

Danyal:

Religion is so extremely wrong and irrational, that good education is the only thing we need to end it or at least stop people from literally interpreting it.

There are plenty of educated people who are religious. Historically the best moderator of religion has been prosperity, as humans tend to be far more greedy than what the various religions describe as virtuous.

Danyal:
I haven't got problems with people who adhere to the moral teaching of Jesus; I have got problems with people who think the Bible is the literal word of God, that all other religions are completely wrong and they have the only truth, and God thinks homosexuality is a sin and women should be subordinated to man.

The point of freedom of religion is that they're allowed to believe whatever it is they wish to believe so long as they do not harm others in doing so. If you believe in the dream of the enlightenment age which included freedom of religion then it makes no sense to advocate its abolition.

Of course we need freedom of religion if we want to form free and stable societies. And obviously these freedoms are still limited; you are not free as a believer in Aztec ritualistic human sacrifice to murder people. But you cannot force people to give up on their beliefs, both because it is highly unethical and it is impossible. What you propose would create strife and war. Religion will slowly die on its own. Don't be an idiot who repeats the atrocities of others who thought they'd do their societies good with some societal ideological engineering. What we need is a secular state, i.e. a state that stays out of religious affairs as much as possible. Therefore, a secular state has to come with freedom of religion. And by the way, freedom of religion is somewhat overlapping with other rights, but it is important to codify the free exercise of it nonetheless to prevent various forms of oppression and persecution specifically based around religious ideologies. I'm generally very skeptical of "cutting back" rights, especially when they are part of the friggin' Human Rights.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

For most countries, doing away with the separate freedom of religion law articles is no problem, because their freedom of speech laws already are worded in a way that would include religion.

Then again, I kind of have a double feeling about it, that one would be shooting at the wrong target if one did. The problem is religious privilege, not the existance of a certain law article. If that law could exist without religious people getting special treatment and committing crimes all over the place, the law itself wouldn't have to go.

Istvan:
Not gonna make a Inceptionquote with multiple levels of quotiness

I'm studying history, so I know it's hard to choose subjects, but I think we can find a balance between telling students about historical important religions, globally important religions, and locally important religions.

In the Netherlands, we've got "openbare scholen", that lack a distinct religion, and the "bijzondere onderwijs", special education, that caters to religious people. I would like all public, state-funded schools become 'openbare scholen'.

Maybe the moderator of religion has been prosperity; I think religion is also moderating prosperity.

Also, as stated in the OP, I don't want to remove other freedoms such as freedom of thought, freedom of conscience, freedom of speech and freedom of organization. Religion and religious people are adequately protected by the same laws that protect non-religious forms of organization and thinking.
Having or lacking a god or concept of holiness shouldn't make you more or less government-protected.

Serge A. Storms:
If they said they were taking freedom of religion off the books in the U.S., regardless of the explanation given, there would be a civil war, and an atheist living in the Bible belt would not stand a very good chance, thus my first reaction to the OP is "because I want to live."

Okay, practical considerations and religious violence may not make this a very realistic idea in the still very religious year 2012, but do you agree with the essence of the idea?

Skeleon:
Therefore, a secular state has to come with freedom of religion. And by the way, freedom of religion is somewhat overlapping with other rights, but it is important to codify the free exercise of it nonetheless to prevent various forms of oppression and persecution specifically based around religious ideologies.

I don't think it's "somewhat overlapping", it's more like "completely protected and protected again by human rights, constitutions and international treaties". What aspect of religion or being religious isn't protected by all those regulations? And if you could think up any aspect of religion that indeed has privilege above god-lacking ideologies and organization, why do you think they deserve those extra privileges?

Actually as a Christian I just want to say bring it on. Not in a bad way, in all honesty that would make America so much better. Christianity has always been best under unwelcome circumstances because it weeds out the rats who are just in it for themselves. I would not stop being a Christian if it became illegal, but I would honestly hope that it would get rid of the fake Christians who don't know what they are talking about and give everyone else a bad name, considering those people aren't very devout in the first place...

Serge A. Storms:
If they said they were taking freedom of religion off the books in the U.S., regardless of the explanation given, there would be a civil war, and an atheist living in the Bible belt would not stand a very good chance, thus my first reaction to the OP is "because I want to live."

?You think that a group of Christians would first start a civil war and then kill you? Most of the radically cruel or ridiculously outspoken churches (even by Christians) like WBC aren't in the Bible belt but are in other parts of the country.

Danyal:
I don't think it's "somewhat overlapping", it's more like "completely protected and protected again by human rights, constitutions and international treaties". What aspect of religion or being religious isn't protected by all those regulations? And if you could think up any aspect of religion that indeed has privilege above god-lacking ideologies and organization, why do you think they deserve those extra privileges?

As I said, the freedom of religion is part of the Human Rights, so if you to remove that aspect of them simply because you think there's overlap, I'm going to have to say "don't bother, because nothing is won and something is potentially lost".
As an example for that "something": It's less about specific advantages of religion than it is about the fact that specific religious groups have been persecuted because they were these specific religious groups. People have been murdered specifically for belonging to the wrong religion. You could equally ask why we should have laws specifically protecting people of varying sexual orientations: Because they, too, have been specifically targeted. And in case you didn't know: The same applies to Atheists, who, albeit being non-religious, can be and have been targeted for their status. Freedom of religion is at the same time freedom from religion.
So even if you think they should all be protected by the other Human Rights etc. that are in place, I'd like to be on the safe side and, considering the history of strife, make special mention of people who were being persecuted for particular aspects of their person (and their equivalents).
What's the benefit in removing freedom of religion in your mind? The OP isn't very clear on that. Just so there's less redundancy?

Danyal:

Serge A. Storms:
If they said they were taking freedom of religion off the books in the U.S., regardless of the explanation given, there would be a civil war, and an atheist living in the Bible belt would not stand a very good chance, thus my first reaction to the OP is "because I want to live."

Okay, practical considerations and religious violence may not make this a very realistic idea in the still very religious year 2012, but do you agree with the essence of the idea?

Not really, if there was ever a point in time that no one cared whether or not "freedom of religion" was still on the books, at that point it wouldn't matter if it was or wasn't. I don't anticipate that day ever coming, much less in my lifetime, and while there's many other points that could be argued besides "that would get me killed," they all come after the point that this won't become a good idea while anyone alive today is still alive.

AMMO Kid:
Actually as a Christian I just want to say bring it on. Not in a bad way, in all honesty that would make America so much better. Christianity has always been best under unwelcome circumstances because it weeds out the rats who are just in it for themselves. I would not stop being a Christian if it became illegal, but I would honestly hope that it would get rid of the fake Christians who don't know what they are talking about and give everyone else a bad name, considering those people aren't very devout in the first place...

Serge A. Storms:
If they said they were taking freedom of religion off the books in the U.S., regardless of the explanation given, there would be a civil war, and an atheist living in the Bible belt would not stand a very good chance, thus my first reaction to the OP is "because I want to live."

?You think that a group of Christians would first start a civil war and then kill you? Most of the radically cruel or ridiculously outspoken churches (even by Christians) like WBC aren't in the Bible belt but are in other parts of the country.

I'm not worried about the WBC or the megachurch pussies, I'm worried about country-born gents from south of Macon that never did take kindly to a Muslim president.

AMMO Kid:
Actually as a Christian I just want to say bring it on. Not in a bad way, in all honesty that would make America so much better. Christianity has always been best under unwelcome circumstances because it weeds out the rats who are just in it for themselves. I would not stop being a Christian if it became illegal, but I would honestly hope that it would get rid of the fake Christians who don't know what they are talking about and give everyone else a bad name, considering those people aren't very devout in the first place...

I don't want to make Christianity unwelcome, I just want to make it just as welcome/unwelcome as any other philosophy/organization/ideology that lacks 'god' or the concept of 'holiness'.

Danyal:
I don't want to make Christianity unwelcome, I just want to make it just as welcome/unwelcome as any other philosophy/organization/ideology that lacks 'god' or the concept of 'holiness'.

That's the friggin' definition of secularization and requires freedom of and freedom from religion.

I get the distinct feeling that you labour under a misconception. Are you perhaps from the USA? Do you see a religious overreach there and therefore assume that secular countries, countries with freedom of religion, are too religious politically? Because let me tell you, the USA and their politics are not secular by Western standards. But that's not the fault of the concept of freedom of religion at all.

Skeleon:

As I said, the freedom of religion is part of the Human Rights, so if you to remove that aspect of them simply because you think there's overlap, I'm going to have to say "don't bother, because nothing is won and something is potentially lost".
As an example for that "something": It's less about specific advantages of religion than it is about the fact that specific religious groups have been persecuted because they were these specific religious groups. People have been murdered specifically for belonging to the wrong religion. You could equally ask why we should have laws specifically protecting people of varying sexual orientations: Because they, too, have been specifically targeted. And in case you didn't know: The same applies to Atheists, who, albeit being non-religious, can be and have been targeted for their status. Freedom of religion is at the same time freedom from religion.
So even if you think they should all be protected by the other Human Rights etc. that are in place, I'd like to be on the safe side and, considering the history of strife, make special mention of people who were being persecuted for particular aspects of their person (and their equivalents).
What's the benefit in removing freedom of religion in your mind? The OP isn't very clear on that. Just so there's less redundancy?

In the Netherlands, some people erected the 'Rokerskerk' (Church of Smokers) when the government decided to ban smoking in the horeca. The judge actually had to decide that the 'Rokerskerk' was no 'good' religion and thus was not allowed to carry out it's basic principles. The government actually has to start deciding what religions it's accepts and what religions it doesn't accept, what practices are religious and what practices are not religious. That doesn't sound very much like 'secularism'.

Skeleon:

Danyal:
I don't want to make Christianity unwelcome, I just want to make it just as welcome/unwelcome as any other philosophy/organization/ideology that lacks 'god' or the concept of 'holiness'.

That's the friggin' definition of secularization and requires freedom of and freedom from religion.

I get the distinct feeling that you labour under a misconception. Are you perhaps from the USA? Do you see a religious overreach there and therefore assume that secular countries, countries with freedom of religion, are too religious politically? Because let me tell you, the USA and their politics are not secular by Western standards. But that's not the fault of the concept of freedom of religion at all.

Sorry, I'm Dutch. I just wanted to know if 'freedom of religion' has any use. Does it actually protect religion in a way that isn't covered by other freedoms/rights? If it does, why does religion get more protection than a philosophy/ideology/organization that lacks the concept of god?

The freedom of religion that the religions seek for them selves at this day of age will be the downfall for them.
History shows that restricted access to information and knowledge was always the preferred tool to keep the masses obedient. Along side torture burning and prosecution of course. This is particularly true for the Abrahamic ones.

In a society where information flows free, old dogmas will not stand much chance. Religions will change and adapt until there is little left of the medieval nonsense. At least that is what I hope for the future.

Danyal:
In the Netherlands, some people erected the 'Rokerskerk' (Church of Smokers) when the government decided to ban smoking in the horeca. The judge actually had to decide that the 'Rokerskerk' was no 'good' religion and thus was not allowed to carry out it's basic principles. The government actually has to start deciding what religions it's accepts and what religions it doesn't accept, what practices are religious and what practices are not religious. That doesn't sound very much like 'secularism'.

Okay, but there I would've gone a different direction. As I said above:
"And obviously these freedoms are still limited; you are not free as a believer in Aztec ritualistic human sacrifice to murder people."
In a similar vein, I would argue that particular religious tenets are harmful to other people and therefore not acceptable to be permitted under the idea of freedom of religion. Now, for your given example, what would that entail? It would mean that the members of the smokers church would inflict harm on bartenders and waiters as well as other guests by smoking in public establishments, which is not permissible. But they can of course form a community house or room or whatever where they can indulge in communal smoking all they want.
See, I would've gone a very different direction than the judges in that case and allowed them to consider themselves a church if they want to. Yet clearly religious freedoms end where others' rights (i.e. not to be exposed to second hand smoke) are at risk of being infringed upon. I do not like the idea of judging what can be considered a "real" religion and what cannot because it lends itself especially well to religious discrimination of the worst kinds, I'd rather ensure that people's religion does not harm others but is, within that very wide frame, still as free as possible.

Danyal:
I just wanted to know if 'freedom of religion' has any use. Does it actually protect religion in a way that isn't covered by other freedoms/rights?

I think it does, as it also does non-religious groups. It specifically enshrines that persecution and infringement based around religious ideologies (be that in the role of victim or perpetrator or both or neither) cannot be allowed, because our personal views on religion, be they actually religious or non-religious, are ours to have and live by as we wish. Religious positions are recognized as highly personal and highly important to the people in question in their self-determination.

If it does, why does religion get more protection than a philosophy/ideology/organization that lacks the concept of god?

As I've said numerous times now, the religious are not the only ones protected by freedom of religion, nor is freedom of religion the only kind of specifically enshrined protection in the Human Rights, nor should they be. Re-read my post number 12, you quoted the entire thing but didn't really respond to my points about Atheists and different sexual orientations. And by the way, not all religions have a concept of gods.

Okay, imagine this

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief

was turned into this;

Everyone has the right to his or her sexual orientation and homosexual orientation; this right includes freedom to change his or her homosexual orientation

Wouldn't you think that's quite silly? If you've got a 'right to your sexuality', this would already mean asexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality and homosexuality are 'protected'. Why would you need a specific protection of homosexual orientation and the freedom to change your homosexual orientation?

Sorry, I'm an INTJ.

N - Intuition preferred to sensing: INTJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus their attention on the big picture rather than the details and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.[9]
T - Thinking preferred to feeling: INTJs tend to value objective criteria above personal preference. When making decisions they generally give more weight to logic than to social considerations.

-Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ

Danyal:
Wouldn't you think that's quite silly? If you've got a 'right to your sexuality', this would already mean asexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality and homosexuality are 'protected'. Why would you need a specific protection of homosexual orientation and the freedom to change your homosexual orientation?

You do know there's a declaration regarding that in the making, right? And it certainly wouldn't be phrased like that because you're creating a false equivalence. Religion, conscience and thought are not answers to the same question, they are not two sides of the same coin but different aspects of the minds and personalities of the people affected.

For your above example to be equivalent, the Human Rights would have to read on the issue of religion more like this: "Everyone has the right to his or her religion and non-religion; this right includes freedom to change his or her religion or non-religious status." But it doesn't because it recognizes that religion and non-religion are part of the same issue, the issue of freedom in regards to religious positions. Freedom of thought as well as conscience are not, however, that's why they are listed as three separate aspects within the same sentence.

Regardless, it is not just about sexuality in general. It's also about the idea that hunting down homosexuals because they're homosexual is recognized as a form of harmful persecution. Are heterosexuals at a particularly high risk of being hunted down for being heterosexuals? No, though they hypothetically could be. Doesn't it make sense to take the time and give a line specifically protecting persecuted groups? Isn't it a good idea to specifically say "we don't approve of tying gays to a pickup truck and killing them slowly and torturously" considering that's exactly what has happened in the past? I'd say yes. And yet, when they do, they will almost certainly phrase it in a way that includes all possible sexual orientations.

-Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.-

I'm still trying to figure out what the sense in removing such a protection would be. You're not making sense in my view. What good could come of removing protections that are there to protect persecuted groups, be they sexual or religious or whatever else? What's the benefit here?

Serge A. Storms:

AMMO Kid:
Actually as a Christian I just want to say bring it on. Not in a bad way, in all honesty that would make America so much better. Christianity has always been best under unwelcome circumstances because it weeds out the rats who are just in it for themselves. I would not stop being a Christian if it became illegal, but I would honestly hope that it would get rid of the fake Christians who don't know what they are talking about and give everyone else a bad name, considering those people aren't very devout in the first place...

Serge A. Storms:
If they said they were taking freedom of religion off the books in the U.S., regardless of the explanation given, there would be a civil war, and an atheist living in the Bible belt would not stand a very good chance, thus my first reaction to the OP is "because I want to live."

?You think that a group of Christians would first start a civil war and then kill you? Most of the radically cruel or ridiculously outspoken churches (even by Christians) like WBC aren't in the Bible belt but are in other parts of the country.

I'm not worried about the WBC or the megachurch pussies, I'm worried about country-born gents from south of Macon that never did take kindly to a Muslim president.

I've lived in the Bible belt near Atlanta going on 3 years now and I don't think I've met anyone like that. I must just be living in the wrong part of the Bible belt then. I doubt they are way out of hand though, and even if they were I've never met a devout Christian who would be crazy enough to defy the Bible and kill someone just cause they couldn't worship legally. All over the world Christianity is thriving in countries where it isn't allowed. Are they just redneck traditionalists or something?

Danyal:

Okay, imagine this

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief

was turned into this;

Everyone has the right to his or her sexual orientation and homosexual orientation; this right includes freedom to change his or her homosexual orientation

Wouldn't you think that's quite silly? If you've got a 'right to your sexuality', this would already mean asexuality, bisexuality, heterosexuality and homosexuality are 'protected'. Why would you need a specific protection of homosexual orientation and the freedom to change your homosexual orientation?

Well, one reason for the second half of the statement is because some religions want to kill people who leave that religion. As a society, we would very much like them to not kill people on that basis, so someone thought that we should stick that part in. If straight/gay/asexual/bisexual people started killing people on the basis of them changing sexuality (she's gone bi? STONE HER!), then that statement wouldn't look silly at all.

If I understood you correctly, you're not actually calling for the ending of freedom of religion. You seem to be more in line of pushing for a total adoption of the First Amendment of the US Constitution (which, I must say, Americans are not doing a great job of adhering to). If that's the case, I have no quarrel with you, save the fact that the title of "End Freedom of Religion" is completely incorrect.

Danyal:
Why should we keep freedom of religion?

Well for one thing its a basic human right recognized by UN treaties and the constitutions of most civilized countries in the world.

You don't gain freedom by telling people what they can and can't believe in.

Hmmm...just re-organising the rules? If it ain't broke, don't fix it comes to mind.

As it stands, religious intolerance is still big enough it needs it's own mentiond, I think.

I agree all people should follow the on spiritual belief that i view is right. cause it's not fair that Muslim females are forced to wear burkas while i cant wear my new york yankees ball cap at school. it's not fair that i dont get a secondary set of arbitrary rules to follow everyday. its not fair that heathens can criticize and bash me without me being able to kill them. /sarcasm

seriously danyal without this freedom of religion we wouldn't be discussing these things on this forum. whatever the dominating religion is in an area would be more then likely the one with control of that area, and probably complete silence of smaller groups that aren't part of that religion.

AMMO Kid:

Serge A. Storms:

AMMO Kid:
Actually as a Christian I just want to say bring it on. Not in a bad way, in all honesty that would make America so much better. Christianity has always been best under unwelcome circumstances because it weeds out the rats who are just in it for themselves. I would not stop being a Christian if it became illegal, but I would honestly hope that it would get rid of the fake Christians who don't know what they are talking about and give everyone else a bad name, considering those people aren't very devout in the first place...

?You think that a group of Christians would first start a civil war and then kill you? Most of the radically cruel or ridiculously outspoken churches (even by Christians) like WBC aren't in the Bible belt but are in other parts of the country.

I'm not worried about the WBC or the megachurch pussies, I'm worried about country-born gents from south of Macon that never did take kindly to a Muslim president.

I've lived in the Bible belt near Atlanta going on 3 years now and I don't think I've met anyone like that. I must just be living in the wrong part of the Bible belt then. I doubt they are way out of hand though, and even if they were I've never met a devout Christian who would be crazy enough to defy the Bible and kill someone just cause they couldn't worship legally. All over the world Christianity is thriving in countries where it isn't allowed. Are they just redneck traditionalists or something?

As most people born and raised in Georgia can tell you, there's a vast difference between the 'burbs outside of Atlanta and everything south of 75, although I can assure you you'll find some of the subjects I referred to previously if you know where to look. I suggest the meth houses a few miles past 985 on 20 for some prime examples, I once got up-close and personal with a couple mountain men and a pit bull whose waist was thinner than my wrist.

The Freedom of Religion clauses in most countries constituions or their equivelants aren't there to enact or enable any one particular thing; they're present to prevent a series of events from transpiring.

If a citizen didn't have the Freedom of Religion as granted to them by their country, for example, any one Religion is now able to be openly discriminated against, as the right is no longer protected, and thus doesn't apply to items such as anti-discrimination legislation, because those pieces of legislation are attempting to enforce a right that you no longer have.

Imagine signs at your local grocery store stating in no uncertain terms that "Atheists will not be served." Now, imagine that this is on every building in your town, state and country. You can't buy food. You can't get a job. You can't catch a bus. You can't buy a house. You can't get a credit card.
Sure, you're still legally able to get on the internet and preech your anti-theist message, you're still able to buy, own and write anti-theist books and entertainment. However, society as a whole is now able to reject you, anyone associated with you, and anything you do based on your religion or lack-there-of.

This is but one example.

If you think the Freedom of Religion servers no purpose, than it's because you're so blanketed by it's protection that you're unable to discern between the guided actions of people under the rule of said Freedom, and what you believe the un-guided actions of those without it's protection would be.
If you believe that society can self-regulate, and that this is merely an undated "freedom" that only applied to lesser educated and unintelligent peoples of years gone by, you're both unintelligent and uneducated. This is why you're on the internet making a fool of yourself with your hypocratic opinions and poor rationale, as opposed to creating the freedoms of the most prosperous nations on Earth.

Zeh Don:

If you think the Freedom of Religion servers no purpose, than it's because you're so blanketed by it's protection that you're unable to discern between the guided actions of people under the rule of said Freedom, and what you believe the un-guided actions of those without it's protection would be.

keiskay:

seriously danyal without this freedom of religion we wouldn't be discussing these things on this forum. whatever the dominating religion is in an area would be more then likely the one with control of that area, and probably complete silence of smaller groups that aren't part of that religion.

Kendarik:

You don't gain freedom by telling people what they can and can't believe in.

I don't want to not protect religion, I want to protect religion just as much as any other philosophy, ideology or organization. I tried to make this clear in my OP.

Danyal:

2. Freedom of religion doesn't increase freedom. I can't think of any example where freedom of religion grants you a freedom that wasn't already established by others rights/freedoms, such as freedom of speech, organization and thought.

I don't think religion needs special protection; I think it's equal to any other philosophy, ideology or organization, and thus it can be protected the same as any other philosophy, ideology or organization.
Does religion get more protection than any other philosophy, ideology or organization?
If your answer is 'no', why than do you have problems with removing 'freedom of religion'? It doesn't hurt religion, because it still gets protected by all rights and freedoms protecting every philosophy, ideology and organization.
If your answer is 'yes', why do you think religion needs to protected more than any other philosophy, ideology or organization?

Why does religion bother you so much? Just follow what you believe, ill follow what I believe.

Serge A. Storms:
If they said they were taking freedom of religion off the books in the U.S., regardless of the explanation given, there would be a civil war, and an atheist living in the Bible belt would not stand a very good chance, thus my first reaction to the OP is "because I want to live."

Skeleon:

Danyal:
I don't want to make Christianity unwelcome, I just want to make it just as welcome/unwelcome as any other philosophy/organization/ideology that lacks 'god' or the concept of 'holiness'.

That's the friggin' definition of secularization and requires freedom of and freedom from religion.

I get the distinct feeling that you labour under a misconception. Are you perhaps from the USA? Do you see a religious overreach there and therefore assume that secular countries, countries with freedom of religion, are too religious politically? Because let me tell you, the USA and their politics are not secular by Western standards. But that's not the fault of the concept of freedom of religion at all.

I like to think that we in the US don't limit ourselves by making sure everything we follow is in-line with Western standards. We are a country of many people after all, so why should we only follow what Western Europe does?

Volf99:
I like to think that we in the US don't limit ourselves by making sure everything we follow is in-line with Western standards. We are a country of many people after all, so why should we only follow what Western Europe does?

If you want to be a free country, you should worry about secularization, because theocracies don't remain free. But if you have other priorities, sure. I see nothing but decline for the USA on that path, but if they keep going like they've done the last few decades on not just religion, that decline will come regardless as the gap between poor and rich widens further and further, the infrastructure crumbles and the only thing that remains funded is the military-industrial complex , third world country style. I'm obviously not an objective observer, but that's how I see it.

Skeleon:

Volf99:
I like to think that we in the US don't limit ourselves by making sure everything we follow is in-line with Western standards. We are a country of many people after all, so why should we only follow what Western Europe does?

If you want to be a free country, you should worry about secularization, because theocracies don't remain free. But if you have other priorities, sure. I see nothing but decline for the USA on that path, but if they keep going like they've done the last few decades on not just religion, that decline will come regardless as the gap between poor and rich widens further and further, the infrastructure crumbles and the only thing that remains funded is the military-industrial complex , third world country style. I'm obviously not an objective observer, but that's how I see it.

Before I say anything, if its any consolation I'm half German(ethnicity wise), now then. I typed that because on this site, and from other places in general, I always felt that Europeans(ESPECIALLY West Europeans[and Russia I guess])have always given off this kind of air that they know whats best, and if you don't follow them, then they will talk down to you until you follow their beliefs/think as highly about them as they do themselves. And to that I say, it gets old, really fast. Don't get me wrong, the US has this issue to a degree as well. However the difference is that for us, this attitude seems to have developed after WW2, while Europe has acted this way for hundreds of years. God forbid that a powerful nation doesn't allow you to lead them by the nose by believing in everything that you do, and trying to mimic your society/values in every way. What I really find amusing is that a great deal of the things that Europeans complain about America and its people, are things that we immigrants brought from Europe to America, like being religiously Christian and having "Christian values". I can't help but wonder what we'd be like if cultures like that of China played a bigger role in the founding of our country.

The OP reads like gigantic flamebait...would you consider editing some of your more recent points in so there's discussion value without trawling through the whole thread?

To be honest, I thought we already had this, at least in the UK. Religion is entirely missing in schools, apart from a 1-hour-a-week Religious Education lesson, which deals with most of the major ones. And even then if you object to learning about it, your parents can usually pull you out of the lesson.

It's not in science or anything else, so I don't see the problem.

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