Saturday, November 3, 2012

Religious Freedom

I've always thought that religious freedom was an individual thing.  It's a personal choice and that I should have the freedom to make my choices freely but also free of imposing my specific practices on anyone else.
The whole religious freedom issue gets turned all back assward a lot.  It seems to me people want to make it a whole lot more complicated than it needs to be.
For example, Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in blood transfusions.  I actually endured a number of Bible studies with some nice Jehovah Witness women, whom I drove crazy.  As it was described to me, this issue is due to the soul being in the blood.  So, following this logic, your soul would become mixed up with someone elses.  Actually, that is an interesting concept to me because I believe all our cells carry some memory of our ancestors.  So, they may have some actual basis in fact.
But, believing strongly in this, should they be seeking legislation to ban blood transfusions?
Anyone who is not a Jehovah's Witness will say, "of course not."
So, if they try to seek such legislation who's religious freedom is at risk?  Is it yours or theirs?
Most rational people would say no such legislation is needed because, as individuals, they have the right to refuse a blood transfusion if they feel that is right.  A blood transfusion will be offered to them in the hospital if a doctor feels that is medically necessary.  Is the availability of - the offer of - a blood transfusion, interfering with their religious freedom?
I knew a man who was letting his wife die as she lay bleeding after childbirth.  His Jehovah Witness belief would not allow him to sign approval for a blood transfusion to save her life.  She gained consciousness enough to sign herself.  Their relationship never recovered.
Having all medical options available is not interference with religious freedom.  We are each - personally accountable for our choices.  We should be free to make our choices.  That is religious freedom.
Long ago in Sunday School I asked if God knows all things, knows what's going to happen,  and loves us all so much - why doesn't he just tell us what to do?  I heard a lot of talk about free will and God wanting us to make choices because we want to make those choices.  And if we make mistakes, we grow stronger.
There seems to be a lot of pre-1950's thinking about a lot of things with religion and religious freedom as the argument.
We should not be talking about contraception with teens because God doesn't want them having sex.
If a woman gets pregnant under any circumstances, including rape, God wants them to have that baby.
God wants just one man and one woman to be married.
And all of the things above need to be governed by some form of legislation.
Then why is any medical choice acceptable?  If someone gets sick with any disease, why not argue that it's all God's will and there should be no human intervention?
So it's kind of odd to me.  Man needs to legislate what God wants in order to force people to adhere to man's perception of what God wants.  But God doesn't rule with that same heavy handed approach.
I guess some men believe God isn't doing things right so they need to intercede.
Hmmm.  I wonder who has it right - Man or God?


  1. The Jehovah's Witnesses Bible based religion has a central creed of Jesus return or second coming 'invisibly' in the month of October 1914.The entire evolution of their intricacies of doctrine is based on a false belief.

    The New York city based Watchtower is oppressive cult-like with severe shunning and break-up of families for those who dissent over doctrine. They have a complex prohibition of 'whole' blood transfusion that gets men,women,children killed. Moreover,the Watchtower is fabulously bloated with wealth with virtually NO public charity to compensate for their tax free status. Be informed about this group when they knock on your door.
    -- Danny Haszard FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

  2. Danny - I think you missed the point of the Jehovah Witness example. Many people see them as extremists and would not want them imposing laws on everyone reflective of those beliefs.
    But many in society feel it is perfectly acceptable to impose their own beliefs on everyone. And then if they are chastised for it, they say Their religious freedom is at stake.