Monday, April 7, 2008

Religious Freedom

Contrary to popular belief, atheists are not on a mission to eradicate all religion. Most of us are just interested in protecting the rights of everyone to believe what they want without oppression. This right protects us atheists, and it is also what protects the rights of Christians in the United States to practice their religion. As the number of Muslims continues to rise above that of Christians in the future, I think you will be very thankful if you have still preserved these rights.

Many Christians today are trying to tear down the separation of church and state in the U.S., claiming that it is a "Christian nation" and was founded on Christian values. Regardless of the founding fathers' religious beliefs, it was pretty clear that they were really interested in protecting peoples' right to religious freedom, even those in the minority. In order to do this, they set up this separation of church and state in our country. Just because the majority of people living in the United States are Christian, does not mean it should be a Christian nation, just as it should not be a White Nation or a Woman Nation either. This means that ideally, the U.S. should not impose any rules that show favoritism or support to one religious belief over another.

In the news recently is the controversy in Turkey over the ban of head scarves in universities. I believe that this ban is harmful to freedom of religion and should be lifted. I do not find head scarves to be harmful to anyone else, but I find this ban to be harmful to Muslim women. It harms their chance of receiving an education. We may find their beliefs to be silly or strange, but if they want to believe that they should cover their heads, and if covering their heads doesn't hurt anyone, then I support their right to do so.

You can read more about the head scarf ban in Turkey here.

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