Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Difference of opinion is helpful in religion." ~ Thomas Jefferson

Under discussion today: Is freedom of religion a legitimate right, or a tool of Western hegemony?

No, seriously.

It's an interesting discussion, one of the few in which I can't actually comfortably place myself on either side of the debate.

The question was based on the use of Abrahamic religions to establish imperial regimes, and more specifically on trading conversion for education/health care. I 100% agree that this was bad.

...but what the hell does it have to do with freedom of religion? That's like decrying democracy because Hitler was elected, or freedom of expression because Little Mosque on the Prairie is a terrible, terrible show.

Any right, any thing can be used as a tool of oppression. But to suppress evangelism, obnoxious as it may be, is simply to reverse to polarity of oppression.

PHRASE OF THE DAY: "Gunboat evangelism" -- Jack, on Christian hegemony in Europe, in International Human Rights Law

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