Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Repeal the 1st Amendment's "Freedom of Religion" Provision?
Catholic Magazine has called for the repeal of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution, the one that guarantees the right to own guns. Seems times have changed from when the founding fathers penned that amendment thus it is obsolete and has outlived its usefulness. They never foresaw semi-auto firearms (or bolt , lever, or pump action firearms for that matter), nor the scale of poverty, drug epidemic, social inequity, cultural decline, and erosion in mental health facilities that has lead to the horrific criminal use of guns by some 1% of the population.
As long as the Church has thrown its weight behind revamping our Constitution why stop there? Let’s repeal the 1st amendment’s implied "freedom of religion." Let's outlaw all religious practice.
After all, when it comes to pain, anguish and counter productivity it's hard to find anything as abusive to children, detrimental to scientific and social advancement, and more of a contributing factor to the suppression of freedom for women, gays and freethinkers than religion, especially Christianity, especially Catholics. Islam runs a close second, along with Orthodox Judaism in the US.
Our Founding Fathers could never have foreseen what free religious practice would wrought on our nation: The sexual molestations by clergy and the institutionalized cover ups by their churches; the virulent attempts by fundamentalists to tear down the Wall of Separation, and to install a Christian theocracy; the amassing of church wealth and its use to influence government, the legislative process, and promote a divine agenda that would impede the freedom of “the others”; the invoking of religious babble to obstruct medical advancement, and truncate some peoples’ right to the “pursuit of happiness,” because their definition of happiness is offensive to the religionists’ god.
The Founding Fathers never contemplated the rise of 19th and 20th century money making mega-cults like the Mormons or Scientology that pander to the gullible and use their immense wealth and power to persecute, harass, and delude; or televangelists who spew lies and suck the money from the pockets of those who are most susceptible and can least afford it.
The Founding Fathers never anticipated the likes of Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist nutters, never expected such virulent hate to be heaped upon those we should console and protect in their most vulnerable state.
Yes, religious freedom has outlived its usefulness. Repeal the tax exempt status for these purveyors of ignorance, superstition and abuse. Disband their organizations, and ban its practices. To borrow from a well worn platitude from the anti-gun folks: “Let’s get religion off our streets. If it saves only one mind it would be well worth it.”
(Note: of course this was just a thought exercise. In truth I respect the Constitution way too much to actually endorse repeal of any of the amendments or freedom guarentees…regardless of how some percentage of our citizens misuse or abuse those rights.)