Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Is it possible to have freedom of religion without freedom FROM religion as well?

I've heard a few people argue the "it's not freedom from religion, it's freedom OF religion" angle, but is it possible to have freedom of religion if you can't have freedom from it? How is it freedom of religion if you don't have the option to have no religion? That seems like a "you have to choose at least one" type of option, doesn't it? So, again, is it possible to have freedom of religion without freedom from religion as well?


Asked by Anonymous at 5:42 PM on Mar. 15, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Your rights end where someone else's begin. It's that simple. You do not have the right to prevent someone from practicing their religion, just as they do not have the right to force you to practice it. Usually, freedom "from" is a poorly disguised infringement of someone else's first amendment right, and if the situation was reversed, it's typically the ones whining the loudest who would be out for blood if someone treated them the same about something they felt strongly about. The problem (on both sides) is the understanding that it's a two way street. If you want to exercise your "right" to tell me to convert or go to hell, I will exercise my right to tell you to go screw yourself. Both statements are equal. If you want to continue to exercise that right after you've been told to stop, you're a very slow learner and very poorly raised by careless parents, but you're still within your right (as am I when I reply).

    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:14 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • I don't believe it is possible. My beliefs may be non-theistic, but they are my beliefs, and I am as firm in them as one can be on such matters. The statement of "Freedom of Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion" is much like saying "Freedom of religion- so long as that religion fall into certain categories"

    Answer by mandaday at 5:46 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • Yes it's possible but it can be difficult. Some areas of the world are more integrated with different beliefs then others so obviously there is a range of possibilities.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 6:18 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • I don't see why it's so hard honestly! Freedom of religion should include freedom FROM religion in public areas, businesses and buildings... Religion is a very personal thing. I have no problem with people who want to be open about or proud of their beliefs, but I get highly annoyed when I have to wear a top that says happy easter at work - when I don't do easter. I mean, if a business or function is religiously affiliated, obviously we can't tell them to leave the religion at home, but those who don't want to deal with a Christian point of view don't have to shop at a Christian Book store.

    I guess I see it like this, if you are going to have an area, business or building which is going to be open to the general public - keep everything religiously neutral. No one gets upset or offended...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:30 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • I agree with Sabrina, if someone celebrates something I don't care as long as they aren't trying to force me to do it, I don't get offended by decorations that they put up on their homes and I don't even care that someone has it in their store cuz it's their store, I don't protest when the Schools put up Holiday decorations but I do get upset when Teacher try to make my kids do decoration or sing Holiday songs and I don't like that my daughter got a failing grade for not being in the Christmas Concert either.



    Answer by lisarose45 at 6:50 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • is it possible? yes.. but there are still laws that go against people of no religion.. sad, but true. :(

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 10:53 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • You are right to point up the way that "of" and "from" create wholely different scenarios.

    But wait. Can you have "freedom OF choice" if activists are energetically agitating to make "freedom FROM choice" the legal requirement of our society. If freedom FROM choice means that we are required to keep quiet about making choice, required to keep hidden our choice-making activities... if freedom FROM choice means our children are prevented from ever seeing anyone exercising their freedom OF choice, then won't the very IDEA of making choices become foreign to their minds?

    If school, where they are expected to learn all about the world - and which takes up over half of their waking life for 12 years - is forced to censor out any current or historical models of human beings making choices, then won't children learn to NOT make choices? Won't they grow up assuming that choice-making is eccentric and un-educated?

    Same with religion

    Answer by waldorfmom at 11:15 PM on Mar. 15, 2010

  • What makes you think you don't have an option? You either listen, or you don't. You either accept, or you don't. Even God believes in free will, and you don't have to believe in God if you choose not to.

    If the problem is that you want to be free from people who practice religion, stay away from them. Even if you can't, you still have the option to ignore them. But it is unconstitutional for you to infringe upon their practice of thier religion. If they offend you, avoid them.

    Answer by GoodMomma24-7 at 11:31 PM on Mar. 15, 2010