Opinion

Forget religious freedom, focus on human freedom

A reader says there is nothing 'free' about religious belief that is built on authoritarian ideas.
A reader says there is nothing 'free' about religious belief that is built on authoritarian ideas.

THE term 'religious freedoms' worries me - it's an oxymoron.

There is nothing 'free' about religious belief that is built on authoritarian ideas.

The history of religious persecution and coerced belief is well documented.

I'm more interested in human freedoms that are beautifully enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

The sunlight emanating from this document does not demand unquestioning belief or worship or, more to the point, the discrimination or exclusion of believers of different others who are undeniably fellow human beings.

To use the word 'freedoms' to support beliefs of intolerance and exclusion is totally unsupportable.

Yet the Coast is dotted with Christian schools propagating the narrow ideas of such 'faith'.

We need an educational system that provides a broader and open range of secular human achievements and ideas that put to rest the old, outdated authoritarian beliefs that envelop us in ignorance and stubborn humanity.

The scrapping of funding for the school chaplaincy program was a step in the right direction.

More open non-mystical ideas take us through the doorway to the stars where we shrug off denialist positions about evolution, climate science, and human rights for our same-sex citizens.

Current outbursts by the religious right in supporting the 'no' case is a bellwether demonstrating moral exhaustion, not freedom.

The Federal Government should not protect 'religious freedoms' but curtail and deny them for the wellbeing of society.

MICHAEL HENDERSON

Maroochydore

Topics:  religion religious persecution united nations declaration of human rights



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