fascist group at it again…
by Zhou (Chew) Hong Jie
Freedom of thought and expression, applied responsibly that is, includes the freedom to express one’s beliefs, secular OR OTHERWISE. A truly secular society, however nonreligious its culture, has the moral responsibility to allow citizens their right to practise their religious faith in albeit civil ways.
Organisations like the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) in the US are crossing the line from decent secularism to a fascist-like, communist-like intolerance of all forms of religious expression in the public sphere. As someone who cherishes secular governance, I too abhor the use of religious reasoning to formulate public policies and that no one religion should have even a toehold on policy-making which is intended for the wider society. But as in the case of FFRF, which often uses the US constitution as a legal smokescreen to advocate its religiophobic agenda, it is behaving more like theocratic states – this time on the other side of the spectrum.
The recent case of the FFRF claiming that a religious advertisement that was sponsored by the Onslow County Sheriff in a state newspaper violated the US constitution is one example. The advertisement was sponsored by the Sheriff’s own money – not government funds – and it had nothing to do with promoting bigotry, discrimination, or physical violence.
Apparently some people just got offended by the advertisement and decided to use the constitution to harass an innocent sheriff into submission.
Former christian pastor Dan Barker, who is one of the founding members of the FFRF, should take a good look at himself and realise what he is doing. Yes – one should voice out against the many ridiculous evils of religious fundamentalism and extremism – but never innocent expressions of religious faith that is often benign and harmless.
But of course, Barker is barking up the Dawkins and Hitchens tree – following the insolent duo in their footsteps of spiteful rhetoric against even the mildest forms of religion.
A disgrace to all free thinkers and humanists.