This page was updated by Ralph Kenyon on 2018-01-15 at 03:25 and has been accessed 6361 times at 92 hits per month.

Freedom of (and from) Religion

Belief is God is not a matter of proof. It is a matter of belief. Everyone is free to believe as he or she chooses. I spent twenty years in the U.S. Military defending yours and others rights to believe differently from others, and I am still committed to supporting the rights of all people to believe as they choose. It is not my right to tell them (or you) how to believe. It is not your right to tell me how to believe.

But when you, or I, ask questions, it is within our right to explain our choices as we feel appropriate. But it is not within our rights to put-down someone for believing differently than we think they should.

This country is founded on religious freedom, and that freedom is built into our constitution and legal system. That includes the right to believe in any god or gods we choose or not to believe in any if we so choose. As an American citizen, it is your duty to uphold the constitution and the laws that guarantee each of us our free choice in these matters. America is a country dedicated to freedom and the rights of minorities. The majority is not allowed to take away the rights of minorities or to force their will or beliefs on them. We are a great country, because Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sufis, Atheists, Agnostics, Rosicrucian, Masons, and a hundred or more other belief systems, including the native Americans and imported aborigine peoples with really different ways of thinking, work together to make this country great. The working together far outweighs the differences in belief systems.

The majority of troubles in this world today come from the prejudice of one belief system against all others. State sponsored religions and customs, such as in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Israel, etc., and their total intolerance of others, are the greatest source of violence today. Religious fanaticism, with the attitude "convert, subjugate, or kill everyone who believes differently", is the single greatest cause of war in the world.

Belief in God cannot be a matter of proof. His existence cannot be proven or disproven, and that is exactly the way he would have wanted it, because it takes no effort at all to believe in what can be shown or proven. Faith would be meaningless if it was based always on just what can be shown or proven. I have faith that there is an order to the universe and that, by asking the right questions, we can find out something about it. You have faith that an all knowing and all powerful being controls and directs the universe. I got my faith from studying and questioning the teachings of others. You got your faith from your family and religious teachers. I take on faith some of the things some of my teachers taught. You take on faith some of the things some of your teachers taught.

Next time you encounter someone who believes differently from you, embrace him or her and his or her right to be different, because how he or she got his or her beliefs is by the same process as how you got yours. It's all a matter of faith in some things.