Skip to comments.When 'Tolerance' Backfires
Posted on 03/05/2005 7:20:03 AM PST by Pendragon_6
How did America go from Pilgrims seeking freedom to express their Judeo-Christian beliefs to today's discrimination against those very beliefs in the name of tolerance?
The journey of the evolution of tolerance began in England. When Henry VIII's divorce was not recognized by the pope, he decided to be his own "pope" of the Church of England and eventually had six wives, their fates being divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.
His advisers suggested that to solidify his break with Rome, he should replace the Latin Bible with an English Bible so people there would look to England for their spiritual heritage. Henry did so, but something unexpected happened people began to read the Bible and compare what was written in it to the king divorcing and beheading his wives.
This group wanted to purify the Church of England, resulting in their nickname, "Puritans."
Funny that Henry VIII wanted the Bible in English since he had William Tyndale burned at the stake for translating it in to English. Oopsie.
So they tried to purify the church some 73 years after the king corrupted it. What's your point?
How much "tolerance" did the Massachusets Bay colonists show their fellow Christians who went to Rhode Island to worship God in their own way?
How much Christian Love was shown in Salem?
Please don't try to make Saints of the Pilgrims. They were religious zealots cut from the same cloth as Oliver Cromwell. They wanted religious freedom- so long as it applied only to them. Any religious expression beyond their narrow interpretation of Christ's teachings was heresy and punishable by fine, imprisonment or death.
The best we can hope to achieve as Americans is a civil society, with constitutionally protected freedom of religion within the confines of civil law. We must never in the name of "public morality" substitute religious doctrine for civil law. Religious freedom is a fragile thing- if we don't protect it for everyone, we haven't protected it for everyone.
For example, if we fail in this, what is there to prevent a majority sect of Christians from restricting the religious freedoms of all other Christians? I can envision a situation where Catholics are having their children taken away because they are "cultists" who worship "idols" and engage in "pagan" ritual. Do we want to live that way?
So they tried to purify the church some 73 years after the king corrupted it.
They were at it long before that.....
"Their goal was to "purify" the church of doctrines and practices they believed were still tainted by Roman Catholicism. These "Puritans," as their opponents named them in 1563, criticized Anglican liturgy and the state church's lack of spiritual discipline."
oot and aboot ....and came by boot.
Actual origins attributed the year 1517 as being pivitol for Puritans.
The first ammendment was written by some very devout protestants who realized all of this.
But if the source of morality is religious doctrine, does that mean we should be prohibited from enacting it into law?
According to this guy, Henry translated the bible into English to piss off the Pope:
"It was not that King Henry VIII had a change of conscience regarding publishing the Bible in English. His motives were more sinister but the Lord sometimes uses the evil intentions of men to bring about His glory.
"King Henry VIII had in fact, requested that the Pope permit him to divorce his wife and marry his mistress. The Pope refused, and King Henry responded by killing his wife, marrying his mistress, and thumbing his nose at the Pope by renouncing Roman Catholicism, taking England out from under Romes religious control, and declaring himself as the reigning head of State to also be the new head of the Church.
"This new branch of the Christian Church, neither Roman Catholic nor truly Protestant, became known as the Anglican Church or the Church of England. King Henry acted essentially as its Pope. His first act was to further defy the wishes of Rome by funding the printing of the scriptures in English the first legal English Bible just for spite."
If you are going to name a group of Christians to feel for, it is best to list another one, besides the Puritans.
The Puritans were the religious fanatics of their day. They believed they had the right to tell everyone else what to do. They were control freaks, one and all.
Modern yankee arrogance can be traced directly back to the Puritans, they just basically replaced God with Government.
We are getting VERY CLOSE to having all Christianity declared a cult by a radical and fanatic minority that is abusing the First Amendment freedom of religion and changting it into freedom from religion.
The beliefs of the "seperation of church and state" fanatics is, in reality, an anti religious pogrom reminiscint of post 1917 Russia.
They've gone way too far and now the pendulum is going to swing back, perhaps violently so. All people will strike back when under vicious attack for their beliefs. We may have our own mass revolt, ala the Ukraine and Lebanon. Perhaps a new meaning to "Red Revolution?"
That's a real fine line to draw.
For example, let's say there's a religious group that believes in human sacrifice.
Should we outlaw this group? Pass a law forbidding human sacrifice? No and no. Either law would violate the First Amendment.
We have perfectly good civil laws covering murder and manslaughter. And if the group actually sacrifices someone, they should be charged with counts under these laws. And if their lawyer can prove that the victim was willing, the charge should be something like assisted suicide.
Of course, we are a Democratic society, and being that we were still at last count roughly 80% Christian, our civil laws are going to reflect Christian values to a certain degree. Folks who want to run around naked, have sex in public or prey on children are just going to have to conform to the will of the civil majority.
The fact that there is active, open and free debate on where to 'draw the line' on issues like homosexuality, pornography, etc. is a sign that we are a healthy society.
In other words, they were just like everyone else. But they went a lot easier on heretics compared to the Catholics or the English church.
The advantage of Protestants is that there are so many different, independent sects. That means that 1) No single group can gain too much power. And 2) compartmentalization limits the spread of corruption. The competition with other churches causes the bad ones to eventually fail.
Wasn't it King James, that wanted the Bible in English. (It was either the Tyndale Bible or one based on it that became the original King James edition)
Do you don't mean that we can't pass a law that would forbid a religious practice? I don't think so. We have all kinds of laws that forbid polygamy and incest, so why couldn't we pass others that would forbid similar practices?
And I don't think we are a democracy. Democracy is just one of the mechanisms we have for making decisions. The democratic process is subservient to the prohibitions defined in the Constitution.
I am a descendent of Roger Williams, so I'm rather familiar with that bit of history.
My entire point is that fanaticism is the enemy, not religion.
There are plenty of fanatic atheists and agnostics and they have perverted the notion of "seperation of church and state" (which is a noble and appropriate concept) into a vicious campaign to deny access to the public square for anyone who expresses a belief in religion (unless it's wicca or jihadi islam).
The Constitution states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
We are in danger of have atheism enshrined as the state religion and the prohibition of the practice (in public) of all other creeds.
It is precisely this same type of perversion of the freedom of speech provision in the First Amdendment that is being carried out in the name of "campaign finance."
Orwell was right, black is white, up is down and good is evil. He was just 20 years too early in his predictions.
Does anyone know whether there were Jews who arrived with the Puritans on the Mayflower seeking religious freedom?
What I fear is a "push back" by the nation's majority Christians that results in the persecution of non-christians and the imposition of a theocracy.
In the interest of liberty and justice, we must all work together to keep that pendulum rooted firmly in the center.
Yes, the definition of "tolerance" seems to be, "let's not kill the heretics anymore", to, "let's give the heretics a big hug and let's sue the hell out of anyone who won't let homosexuals play with the kids.