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There’s a simple, fundamental idea at the heart of the right to freedom of religion. It’s so simple that it is often forgotten.

It is the right to freedom from religion.

If you’re a religious person – a person of faith – clearly you don’t want the values of another faith being imposed on you.

You don’t want to be denied the particular personal practices and observances of your faith.

You don’t want the government or anyone else to tell you what you should and should not believe, how you should or should not pray, how you should or should not have a personal relationship with god, or that your personal life should be conducted according to the values of another faith.

Oddly enough, that’s exactly what atheists and agnostics want too.

Freedom of religion more or less requires a secular government, or one that operates in a secular fashion, because a non-secular government means that freedom of religion no longer truly exists, and that’s as true for you, if another faith takes that lead, as it is for them if yours does.

Freedom of religion allows you to believe what you want to believe, without prejudice, and without criticism, so long as you do not practice that religion upon others – for their freedom is as important as yours. Unless everyone has the right to be free from the religion of others, nobody truly has the right of freedom of religion and what freedom there is will always be at risk.

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Categories: Culture, Opinion.

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