David Rodeback's Blog

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Monday, February 13, 2006
Quick Thoughts on Religious Freedom

Three quick thoughts on religious freedom.

First Thought: Remember, religious freedom and the tolerance which must accompany it are exceptions in the world's history, not the rule. Even most of those Europeans who came to America in the 17th Century, seeking the freedom to worship as they pleased, were not committed to religious freedom in their communities. Instead, they created communities where their own religion was the only one allowed. There were happy exceptions, but that is fodder for another day.

Second Thought: If you're ever shopping for a religion, for the sake of the rest of us please try to find one that doesn't justify killing people and breaking things if everyone else doesn't agree with you.

Third Thought: The utter lack of a sense of humor among religionists is much to be mourned and is a serious handicap in the modern world. As far as I can tell, no sect is without its humorless contingent, but most of the sourpusses don't run around committing arson and mayhem. I think people of any religion (also atheists) ought to be able to laugh at themselves, to laugh with those who laugh at them, and to remain unruffled when others mock and deride. Of course, I think a lot of things . . .

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