Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Freedom of Religion

Or, Can a Non-Christian really be an American Citizen? Michael Medved's latest article would seem to imply that no, non-Christians really don't belong here. He notes that the founders intended Christianity to be the dominate religion (a dubious theory as we've discussed). Then he brings it back to Christmas.
For more than two centuries, government at every level followed this approach, making no "attempt to level all religions" and recognizing the privileged position of Christianity as the faith embraced by the vast majority of the nation's citizens. If municipalities or other public entities authorized Hanukkah displays to accompany the Christmas trees that became common everywhere, they did so because the Christian majority supported these gracious concessions to a tiny Jewish minority, not because the Constitution required them.
So basically Michael Medved is clearly arguing that other religions should be treated as legally and politically inferior to Christianity. I'm pretty sure I disagree with that.

Another minor point; Medved does pretend that the big threat to Christians celebrating Christmas comes from Festivus and the Flying Spaghetti monster; I suppose this protects him from the implications of his opinions to the millions of Jewish, Muslim, Hindi, Bhuddhist, Atheist, and Agnostic Americans.

7 comments:

Random Goblin said...

For more than two centuries, government at every level followed this approach, making no "attempt to level all religions" and recognizing the privileged position of Christianity as the faith embraced by the vast majority of the nation's citizens.

This is just false as a matter of Constitutional Law. And not recently false either.

Roland Hulme said...

Don't worry, I agree with you that Medved's an idiot - but isn't he Jewish?

I hate how these right-wing conservatives embrace the 'Christianity is king' rubbish even if they're not Christian themselves.

Susan said...

Yes, he is Jewish. And he is stating a fact: The reason Christianity seems to "rule" in America is because the majority of religious Americans are Christians. That's it. Stop trying to make Medved sounds like a bigot. It's simply not true.

Bryant said...

When you place Christianity above other faiths, that is problematic in my opinion.

Susan said...

I did no such thing and I resent you accusing me of that. Are you going to deny that the majority of Americans are Christians? That is all I am saying. Of course everybody has freedom of religion and all religions should be respected. But use common sense: If a store owner is Christian he has every right to put up a cross. A Muslim store owner can put up the crescent. There's more Christians here hence more crosses. Aside from false accusations of bigotry, can you give me a rational reason why this is wrong?

Bryant said...

Yes but you are defending Michael Medved who is giving Christianity a special place. Not just by virtue of there being a lot of Christians around but a special place seemingly before the law.

There is nothing wrong with the scenario you present. It also has nothing to do with the question.

Susan said...

Christianity does have a special place because America was founded by Christians. Our Constitution ensures, however, that every individual is free to practice whatever religion they wish without persecution.

How is Christianity above the law? The church does not receive federal money or anything like that.