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From: Tom ZeCat (z-cat.vegsource.com)
Subject:         Freedom of religion = freedom from religion
Date: November 3, 2007 at 9:46 am PST

In Reply to: That is what I said. posted by Werepoodle on October 31, 2007 at 12:01 pm:

The exact opposite is true. Freedom from religion is a constitutional requirement. That's because it's impossible to have freedom of religion without also having freedom from religion. If you choose to be a Christian, you're exercising your freedom from religion by being free from Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and every other non-Christian religion.

Atheists also exercise their right of freedom from religion, except they simply choose to be free of all religion rather than choosing one religion and being free of the others.

That's why separation of church and state is so essential. The government has no business promoting religion in any way. It's entirely a personal matter. It's a choice left up to the individual. We don't always live up to this standard because religious zealots often push their religion on government. That was the case with the totally unconstitutional "In God we trust" that was put on our money. Religion fanatics did that during the McCarthy era paranoia as a way to supposedly ward off the evils of communism.

Removing "In God we trust" from our money -- not having government sponsored prayer -- not posting the Ten Commandments on public property is essential for living up to our idea of total separation between government and religion. Doing these things in no way prevents anyone from choosing or practicing his religion, if any. Anyone who claims he somehow can't practice his religion if the dollar bill doesn't proclaim a religious slogan is blowing smoke. That's complete nonsense.

We must have freedom from religion so that we can have freedom of religion.

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