The Atlantic: Opinion: Jonathan Rauch: The Great Secession
This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
I'm not an Atheist or a believer, but an Agnostic who is also a Liberal Constitutionalist who believes in the United States Constitution which is what my liberalism is based on and what liberalism in general at least in the classical sense and I would argue today's sense as well is based on. So even if I as an individual don't exercise every single individual right given to me as an individual, I still believe that rights that others practice should be enforced just as strongly and equally with the rights that I take advantage of.
Freedom of Religion under the the First Amendment in the United States Constitution is a perfect example of that. I do not practice religion myself, but for those who do they clearly have that right in the United States as they should and I support their right to practice their religion whatever religion that is. I also support Atheists free speech rights to speak out against religion and other Agnostics right to be neutral when it comes to religion. And these rights should be enforced equally with the Freedom of Religion.
So if a conservative Christian lets say which is different from a political Conservative, but if conservative Christians believe that homosexuality is a threat to the country and everything good that we stand for and everything else, they obviously have that right to believe that and speak out against homosexuality under the First Amendment. And Christian preachers obviously have the right to tell their followers about what they think about homosexuality as well.
But speech and beliefs are different than actions especially when you are in public. You want to believe Gays are fags and Lesbians are dykes and call them those things, you have that right. But to deny them access to things you offer the rest of the public because of your religious beliefs is where Freedom of Religion stops. And where equal access and protection comes in once you declare you are open for the public. You don't want to have involvement with homosexuals, that is your right. As long as you do not declare open to business to the public. And you can live in your own private world with people who look at things just the way you do.
Christians at least the people I have come across and dealt with are as good and decent Americans as Americans and people come. And really do live under the Ten Commandments like treating people the way you want to be treated and live and let live. And are generally the first people to treat the needy and volunteer their time and and money to good charitable causes. It is in the fringe in their community the bigots that give Christianity a bad name especially with the non-fundamentalists among us whether they are religious or not. But Christianity itself shouldn't be seen a religion of hate and discrimination when most Christians are good decent tolerant people.