Obama Signs New Legislation To Protect Atheists. Religious Freedom Indeed.
Did you have to endure family traditions, masses, visits to religious temples, shrines, and buildings over this past week? Still trying to get through Kwanzaa and it's just not your thing? Well, rejoice all you non-believers. Obama's got your back.
Politicususa.com said it quite well when they stated "Freedom of religion isn't just about the right to practice religion. It's about the right to have your own views about religion including being agnostic and atheistic. "
We know there are many out there that desire to make the United States and other nations more religious. How can you make a nation more religious without overriding the non believers? Bigthink.com reminds us that we have a bumpy road ahead, especially when "Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has stated the educational system is the best place for restoring God’s kingdom." Yeowzah!
President Obama signed into law the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act that, among many other things, “protects atheists, humanists, and other freethinkers around the world [including America] from religious persecution.” The bill is specifically notable for two reasons.
The first is that for the first time ever the term ‘non-theistic’ is included in the language. This is especially important given the heinous and deadly actions taken against secular bloggers in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, Russia, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia in recent years. Robert P. George, former chairman of the commission founded with the 1998 bill, writes,
Persecution of atheists and theists alike is equally reprehensible and must be condemned. Religious freedom is the precious birthright of humanity and must be honored and upheld for believers and skeptics alike.
The amendment also reminds Americans of their First Amendment rights. While we might not have public stonings of atheists, there have been other methods of persecution against nonbelievers.
That said, the second notable aspect of the bill is not as productive. As Hemant Mehta reports, new language in the amendment means if people who defend male infant circumcision or animal slaughter are “persecuted,” the U.S. will consider it a violation of religious freedom. Our government is therefore giving tacit approval to those practices.
That’s a shame. The practice of circumcision has long been debated, its purported benefits contested. Given a plethora of ritualistic slaughters and animal abuse across the planet—ten thousand dogs murdered yearly at a festival in southern China; the killing of countless chickens for Jewish atonement; males having sex with donkeys in Colombia—offering protection for such practices is a giant step backwards. - bigthink.com
I left those links in there so you could go read about that donkey stuff.
So as you are looking at your parents' 3-foot tall Jesus, Mary, and Joseph blow mold nativity set on the front lawn, know that us non-theistic peeps are protected.
And remember religious folk, we aren't so bad. We go to your services and watch you eat flesh and drink blood and don't pass judgment. You can let us not drink blood and be okay with it. Or maybe we will drink blood, but it'll be real.
As Real Time with Bill Maher elaborated in this November 2016 video, 25% of the United States are atheists.
Thanks Obama! And we mean it this time.