Tuesday, May 28, 2013

An Ethical Conundrum

I have always prided myself on being an ethical person.  I do try.  I have no doubt that I often fail, at times, unknown to myself even.

But, I do try.  I constantly ask myself of something I am about to do is right, if it has the capacity to hurt someone or if it will, on balance, be beneficial.

But sometimes, there comes something that defeats my ability to decide.

In recent months, I have seen, over and over, christian luminaries, preachers, clerics, priests and Cardinals, say and urge things that I feel are not only wrong, but actively damaging to people, society, and humanity in general.

There was the time Pat Robertson told women that they should ignore their husbands' philandering and just respond by making a happier better home.

There was the post today about a young woman who was locked into an examining room with her Optometrist and his two techs and forced to pray to Jesus.

A new children’s book by author Amber Dee Parker and illustrator Hannah Sequra takes gay bashing to a whole new level by adding a warm fuzzy feeling to teaching very young children to hate homosexuals and their families.

Then there's this:
Families who attend Faith Tabernacle Congregation in North Philadelphia and First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park have lost more than two dozen children to illness since 1971, according to non-profit Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc. (CHILD, Inc.). Both churches believe in the power of prayer over modern medicine.
I would also put this photo into evidence:

I agree with the caption, by the way.

All of these examples show how people from large organizations to your everyday businessman feel it is their duty to force their illogical, unevidenced and oftentimes outright false beliefs on the rest of us, disguised as some form of truth.

On one hand, there is no doubt that all of these examples show people exercising their constitutional rights in talking about their religion.  I am a FIRM support of the First Amendment, and I cannot be clear enough on this point.

ALL Americans have the right to speak their minds on what they believe regarding religion.  Absolutely, positively, correct!

However, there is a point often claimed by the right wing that is somewhat applicable here:

The Constitution is NOT a suicide pact.

You may believe to the depths of your heart and with all your strength that what you say is right.  But if what you believe is wrong, and is able to be proven to be harmful (like the idiots who believe in the power of prayer over modern medicine), then why do we allow these very harmful and hurtful things to be taught and practiced?

It is a well known constitutional exception (SCOTUS ruled on this) that religious practices which violate the law (as it applies to everybody, not just religions - like the laws against murder) do not enjoy Constitutional protections like the First Amendment.  For instance you cannot practice a religion which either advocates or practices human sacrifice, because human sacrifice requires the unlawful killing of a human being.

Are there Christian beliefs and practices which would fall under this exception?  Can we prevent christian clerics from preaching hatred towards others, particularly when it is able to be proven to cause harmful activities such as violence towards members of the hated group?

Clearly, we can pass laws which require parents to take their children to doctors even when it violates their religious beliefs, based on society's obligation to preserve and protect both the public's and children's' health.

Why can't we stop these morons from preaching such harmful, false and misleading drivel?

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