Sunday, July 08, 2012

The “other faiths you don’t like might benefit” scenario

Some people are surprised to find that Christianity is NOT equal to religion. That is, there are other faiths practiced in America. ‘Religion’ is not a synonym for ‘Christianity’ It seems a lot of people are confused about this. Not the least of which is Rep. Valarie Hodges, a legislator in the Louisiana state assembly who voted to allow state school vouchers to support "religious" schools. She thought religious schools were ONLY Christian schools.
You see, the “other faiths you don’t like might benefit” scenario presented above is more a gambit than a true threat. In most cases the tyranny of the majority, once unconstrained by the law, proceeds to do its level best to silence all dissenting voices through threats, intimidation, violence, or simply peer pressure (and if you don’t believe that, you don’t remember high school). The real problem is that the coalition of groups working for the long-term shifts in how schools and the public square deal with religion, have to balance that with their fear-mongering that paints groups like Pagans, or more often Muslims, as a serious threat to their conception of a “Christian Nation.” If you delegitimize minority faith communities by saying they aren’t real religions, that the First Amendment doesn’t even apply to them, or that they are sleeper cells for terror, your constituents will be shocked when they learn they have equal access to the law.
If you grant things to "religion" you grant those things to all religions, even the ones you don't like. Can you say, "unintended consequences?"

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