A great deal of concern has arisen with the right’s continued lobbying for “religious freedom.” Many fundamentalists have a very hard time separating church and state. Numerous far-right conservatives have advocated for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which is narrowly defined as giving the government permission to engage in contracts with businesses or persons that may hold certain religious convictions. This act broadly allows entities with these convictions to discriminate against LGBT+ individuals.
Frankly, it’s my belief that government is supposed to be of service to the people, all people, and should make no law regarding the establishment of a religion. This is also a belief carried by the founders and particularly Thomas Jefferson. If they want to mingle in religion and make laws that cater to religious groups that wish to discriminate in government dealings, then they should extend that catering to all religious groups.
Looking back in the day, Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council, advocated against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He claimed it would make it difficult for Armed Service chaplains to reconcile their religious beliefs with serving gay people. Which brought to my mind: “What if other religions host no ill-will towards homosexuals and what if chaplain services could be offered to cater to them?” So I did research and found that most religions do, indeed, harbor a neutral to unfavorable stance on homosexuality. However, the Church of Satan does not discriminate on the basis of sexuality and encourages people to indulge in many fleshly desires.
So the quandary we are in: there are supposed to be chaplains for every religious belief in the armed forces, or have them humanistic so they don’t discriminate. The U.S Navy flies a pennant above the U.S flag in times of worship. It is the only flag that gets to position itself above the U.S flag due to the nature of a deity being greater than the state. Well, what if someone wanted to celebrate a Satanic mass and raise a pentagram pennant above the U.S flag on a ship? It’s my assumption that this would enrage Christians and especially lobbying-far-right-Christian-fundamentalists.
They can’t revoke that request because it would be discrimination on the basis of religion. So, it’s either you make government secular and quit lobbying for Christian favoritism, or your taxpayer dollar funds Satanic practices. The choice is yours to make.
(Just as a note, there are chaplains already dedicated to serving Satanists, so your tax dollars have already been funding them too.)
What I suggest is to make the government neutral regarding religious establishments (as already written in the Constitution). By passing the FADA, you grant businesses “special rights” to discriminate on behalf of their religious beliefs. A government that takes a neutral position should not enter into an agreement or cooperate with people who will use their personal moral convictions to act in a discriminatory manner.
By removing your religious convictions from governing entities, you will neither see a statue of the Ten Commandments on public ground nor a statue of Baphomet at your state capitol. If you let your religious influence pervade, you might see both. How offensive, right?
My message to the lobbying Christian fundamentalists out there: Don’t request for special “rights” unless you want to enable the followers of the Antichrist.