Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

Do Americans have freedom FROM religion? Actually, yes (two SCOTUS cases)


In my country conscientious objection to military service is based on ones conscience, not religion. Membership of a pacifist faith may make it easier to prove ones believe is genuine, but it’s not a requirement.

Back in the 1970s when union membership was compulsory here, members of some faiths were granted exemptions on religious grounds. I applied for, and was granted an exemption based solely on pacifist principles without the mention of religion or religious beliefs at all (although I was prepared to bring those up if absolutely necessary).

In this country, at least, I’ve found found more success in arguing for religious principles by not bringing religion into the discussion. If a religious principle can’t be supported by nonreligious argument, then one needs to rethink the principle.

The Atheist Papers

Americans indeed have a right to not be forced to practice a religion, any religion. We have rights to not be subjected to a state endorsement of one religion over another, or over irreligion. These are inalienable rights; however, some have resisted the implementation of these rights with a rather strange assertion: “It’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.” Well, yes, that’s how it’s traditionally worded, but I don’t think they understand what freedom of religion actually is.

Yesterday I examined how — in my opinion — religious exemptions to certain rules (in my example, beards) have the unfortunate effect of harming the rest of us. Today I’ll pore over two court cases that explicitly lay out how Americans indeed have freedom from religion. Yesterday’s post highlighted rather inconsequential issues, so I figured I should examine issues of literal life and death: War.

In these cases SCOTUS sidestepped defining religion…

View original post 579 more words

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

2 thoughts on “Do Americans have freedom FROM religion? Actually, yes (two SCOTUS cases)

  1. Wow, how would one ever prove in court that one had an ethical and moral basis to their life that held a place parallel to God? Yikes. That would be a prosecuting attorney’s wet dream. It would be so,so east to dig up immoral or unethical actions that any of us have perpetrated. The SCOTUS deifnition may be very elegant logically but is not very useful in the real world. Cute though – the Gordion Knots the court will tie in order to avoid giving relgions any special treatment.

    Neat post Barry. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    • Remember that tribunals that decide such matters are inquisitorial, not adversarial. There’s no place for prosecutors. No one is a saint, so all that’s required is to provide evidence that your principles you are standing up for were not created just for the occasion.

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