Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Why Don't Christians Believe In Freedom ?
Why don't christians believe in freedom? I don't mean all christians, of course. But there is a significant segment of christians in this country that doesn't seem to appreciate living in a free country. They whine incessantly about the right to freely practice their particular brand of religion, but get very upset when anyone dares to put forward a different point of view.
A few days ago, I showed you a billboard in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The billboard did not denigrate christianity or any of its sects. It simply said that being a good person doesn't require god, and that if you don't believe in god you are not alone. These truisms seem harmless and rather obvious, but the billboard created a firestorm of protest in the community. Many citizens and business owners demanded the billboard be taken down.
Now it has happened again. An even less offensive billboard (if you think the first was offensive) has been put up in Birmingham, Alabama. The billboard was put up by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the Alabama Freethought Association (AFA), and it simply said, "Imagine no religion" -- a line from a John Lennon song.
But since the billboard message went up, AFA and FFRF members have received many ugly and threatening phone calls. Pat Cleveland of Talladega has even been told she should be "Burning in Hell" -- an odd threat to someone who doesn't believe in Hell. She said she's received about 50 calls, and there's even a petition demanding the billboard's removal.
Ms. Cleveland replies, "I’m sorry if anybody is offended, but I’ve seen billboards that offend me, like ones that say ‘Jesus is Lord’ over Talladega. I’m proud to be an American. I refrain from any religion. I’m a good person. I pay taxes, abide by the law and I’m good to my family. I help people. I believe hands that help are better than hands that pray.”
Obviously, these "christians" don't understand that you can't have a free country without also having and protecting free speech. And protecting free speech means even protecting speech that you may not agree with or which may offend you. It has been said, and I agree with it, that if you are never offended by any public speech, then you don't live in a free country.
It is sad to think these descendants of people who came to America seeking religious freedom would now seek to deny that same right to others. For you cannot have religious freedom without also having the right to be free from religion.
I really think many of these people don't want to live in a free country. They would prefer a theistic dictatorship. Maybe they would have been happier during the time of the Spanish Inquisition.