Freedom of Religion

A lot of people today seem to fail to understand the meaning of the word “freedom.” Wingnuts (that’s blogish for “right-wing nut case”) rant about “freedom isn’t free” while at the same time they rally support for a new Constitutional amendment to block same-sex couples from marrying. Instead of debating whether or not homosexuality is a choice or not (it is much easier to see them as Keyes does, as people living by choice in sin), they attack Kerry for daring to mention that yes, indeed, Dick Cheney’s daughter likes muff (and did Dick Cheney express his outrage that Keyes called his kid a “selfish hedonist”, of course not! He only expresses his outrage when the Democratic Presidential candidate reminds him his daughter is a lesbian).

See, here’s the thing – and it is a thing that many leftists, liberals, and even a few conservatives understand. ‘Freedom’ doesn’t mean that people do things that you like, or agree with. In fact, the strongest test of someone’s devotion to the concept of ‘freedom’ is when they face those who stand completely opposite from what they agree in. The kids who pied Ann Coulter don’t understand freedom – and Lee and his wingnut constiuents also don’t understand freedom.

See, it turns out that not long ago, the British Royal Navy registered its first Satanist, one Naval technician Chris Cranmer, serving on the HMS Cumberland. Some in England were rather flabergasted, Ann Widdecombe (a former minister) said, “Satanism is wrong. Obviously the private beliefs of individuals anywhere, including the armed forces, are their own affair but I hope it doesn’t spread.”

On the other hand, the Royal Navy replied: “We are an equal opportunities employer and we don’t stop anybody from having their own religious values.”

Now, who here would you say appreciates freedom? Ann Widdecombe who would like to prevent members of religious organizations which she opposes from serving in the military? Or the Navy, for saying, “Hey, freedom’s all cool as long as ya’ do your job.”

I think everyone with an honest appreciation for freedom knows which side to be on. Freedom isn’t free, and it isn’t easy. I’ll be the first to say that there a lot of people on the left who don’t understand this – but the thing is, there are a lot on the right who not only don’t recognize it, they actively work to restrict the freedoms and liberties of those whom they don’t like.

Fuck that, and fuck those on the far right who hold the American flag as a shield while they work to deny this nation’s promise to those who are still unprotected by law.