Saturday, May 12, 2012

Positive Example of Religious Freedom

Finally, after the constant references to Religious Freedom/Religious Liberty surrounding the Conference of Catholic Bishops birth control temper tantrum there is an actual example of it at work. Positive examples of this essential American right are rare, at least when it involves a theistic group. The International Bible Reading Association recently concluded their annual Bible reading marathon at the capitol.

For fairly obvious reasons, there is very little I agree on with this particular group. That, however, is the point. As far as I can tell from the Belief blog post this group has never harassed or bothered anyone. They have simply exercised their rights as US citizens to express their beliefs. The Capitol has long been a venue for a wide variety of demonstrations, protests, and socio-political expressions. That is exactly how it should be. Every citizen should feel welcome to express themselves in a peaceful manner. Whether the message/ideas expressed are agreeable or not is beside the point. One of our country's greatest strengths comes from its protections of free thought and expression. Standing up for the rights of groups we may not agree with or even like makes us better.

So, even though I think the Bible is horrible crap, I applaud The International Bible Reading Association for taking the approach they have to promoting what they believe in. I have watched a few of their videos and get the impression that they are very focused on being positive and helping people. I still see them as essentially relying on cherry-picking and massively editing/interpreting the Bible in order to turn it into something it really isn't but at least they do not use it to attack or directly harm others.

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