There are several atheists to whom I’m close. All of them exhibit a lot of respect toward organized religion, but they show no such respect toward conservatives. This got me thinking: Why does a belief in the supernatural garner more respect, from these people, than a belief in traditional values?
I think a lot of it goes back to our mental habit of compartmentalizing. If some adherents of a particular opinion get together and choose to sanctify their group-opinion as a religion, with certain rituals and requirements, then they’re given a stamp of legitimacy. They now enjoy the protection of The Law. They can take certain days off of school, or work, for their “holidays” and they can demand certain types of food while incarcerated. They can get away with certain behaviors that the rest of us would be severely punished for.
In a perfect world, all opinions would be judged on their own merit, not on whether or not they constituted a “religion.”
Therefore, it seems to me that there’s a flaw in the First Amendment. It reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Perhaps it should have said:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of opinion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
By giving special consideration to “religion,” our founding fathers gave special status to some opinions over others. If you believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, you have more rights than somebody else who believes in Southern Heritage and Southern symbols. A woman was successful in asserting her right to wear a spaghetti strainer on her head for her drivers license photo – and there’s little doubt that Christian, Muslim or Jewish headgear would likewise be tolerated. But what about wearing a hat that features the Virginia Battle Flag? When it comes down to it, the major Abrahamic religions have all been responsible for far more hatred, persecution and bloodshed than the South.
For that matter, what about wearing a hat that features the Stars and Stripes? Many atrocities have been committed under that flag: Massacres of Native Americans, slavery, the bombing of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Vietnam come to mind. Whatever offense can be inspired by the Virginia Battle flag can just as easily be inspired by the Stars and Stripes. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t that long ago that a Muslim-owned bakery refused to bake an American flag cake for a returning veteran. Apparently, Indiana allows business owners more freedom than does Colorado. Both of these flags pale in comparison to the offense that can be inspired by papal headgear or that of a mullah.
If you’re a patriot, whether Southern or Yankee, your patriotism is merely an opinion – and Muslim bakery owners can refuse to honor your opinion by denying you your American flag cake. But that same Muslim bakery cannot refuse to bake a bar mitzvah cake for a Jewish family, because Judaism is not just an opinion; it’s a RELIGION.
It’s a game they play. Call yourself a religion, and your beliefs have status. We can win at this game. We can start a new religion. This religion would feature a basic code of right and wrong, respect for other life, especially other human beings and loyalty to family. This loyalty to family would extend to one’s larger family – to one’s race. It would include a sense of white solidarity, and encourage symbolism that conveys this. The Virginia Battle flag is a good candidate for display, because it symbolizes (for us) freedom of expression, freedom of association and a love for one’s heritage. On top of this, it symbolizes courage and a willingness to stand up for one’s beliefs in the face of overwhelming odds.
Once we’ve established this religion (we’d probably need at least a dozen or so individuals to start), certain legal rights would follow. I know there are already some contenders that are based on European pagan traditions. I’m thinking of something new, so that we can honestly say that our stance on current issues is firmly established within our religion; no novel interpretations would be necessary.
Armed with this new status, would one of us be able to walk into a black-owned bakery, in Colorado, and demand that they bake us a cake with our (Virginia Battle flag) religious symbol on it in honor of one of our holidays? If they refused, would we be able to sue them for damages? According to legalzoom.com, the answer would seem to be yes:
… no matter where you live, you cannot deny service to someone because of his or her race, color, religion, national origin or disability. In some states and cities, you also cannot discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation.
Incidentally, what about the religion of Islamic terrorists? Barack Obama likes to say that Islamic terrorists are not Muslim, and he’s not alone in claiming this. If this is so, then why are they given hallal food while in prison? If this is so, then why was Osama bin Laden given a Muslim burial? If this is so, then I’d like to propose that the young orphans of ISIS suicide bombers be placed, for adoption, with Jewish or Christian, families. Why not? If these vile creatures are not Muslim, then which religion ARE they following?