Imposing Your Religion on Others Is Not Religious Freedom

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

It is not difficult to respect others' religious freedom. We can all grant others the right to hold whatever religious beliefs they wish. There's a difference between this and respecting the content of what someone believes. I can respect someone's religious freedom while finding much of what they believe to be silly.

But what if someone decides to impose their religious beliefs on others who do not share them? What if they begin to limit others' freedom based on their religious beliefs? That is where my respect ends, for this is not religious freedom. What I have described is the use of religion to subjugate others.


It is Time to Renew Our Commitment to Secular Activism

person drowning
Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

State political parties building Christian extremism into their platform? You betcha! Requiring taxpayers to fund private Christian schools? Yes, please! Reproductive freedom? That's gone. Coerced prayer in public school? It's back! Contraception and same-sex marriage? Stay tuned.

In case you aren't familiar with the references above, you can learn more here:


Shopping for an Atheist? Here Are Some Gift Ideas

birthday gift
Image by Harry Strauss from Pixabay

Some atheists celebrate holidays and other ocassions where gifts might be appropriate. Have you ever been in the situation of looking for a gift for that atheist on your list? You can always get them something that has nothing to do with atheism. But what if you want to express your support for who they are with a gift that has something to do with atheism, humanism, skepticism, or secularism? I have some suggestions below

This may go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: Atheists are just like everyone else except we do not believe in gods. If you are a religious person, you don't believe in most of the gods that have been worshiped throughout the course of history either. You should be able to relate to atheists. We differ from you in that we place your god(s) in the same category as all those gods in which you don't believe. I say this to highlight the fact that most atheists are going to be interested in things that have nothing to do with atheism. Thus, the atheists on your list will appreciate many of the same gifts as the religious believers.


How to Avoid Finding Out What Others Think About Your Religious Beliefs

door knocker
Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

If you do not express a claim based on your religious beliefs, I will not question it. I won't criticize it or argue against it. I won't even share my opinion of it. Without knowing what you believe, I'd have little reason to express skepticism about any of it.

But when you do express what you believe, I assume that you have initiated a conversation. And the thing to know about conversations is that they involve more than talking to oneself.