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Bill to beef up religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy gets warm reception

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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-03-11 08:26 PM
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Bill to beef up religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy gets warm reception
Might the United States be reconsidering its hands-off approach to religion in foreign policy?

Thats the hope of many religious freedom advocates, who are seeing a measure meant to beef up U.S. behavior get a friendly reception on Capitol Hill.

If a hearing today is any indication, Congress this year will commit more than $30 million over the next seven years in the thick of intense budget fights to reauthorize a small government commission that works to amplify the plight of persecuted religious minorities abroad. The lack of substantive controversy or debate today about HR1856 reflects the likelihood the U.S. International Religious Freedom Commission will be reauthorized and that U.S. law will be strengthened to integrate United States international religious freedom policies and religious engagement programs into democracy and civil society programs funded by the United States and into the counterterrorism policies of United States Government departments and agencies, the bill reads.

These goals have generally been part of U.S. policy for more than a decade but have been largely ignored, partly because many view religious freedom as code for Christian evangelizing. The effort to overcome that perception hasnt been helped by a pending EEOC complaint from a former staffer who alleges the commission discriminates against Muslims. Critics have questioned not only the fairness but also the general effectiveness of the commission as well as of the 1998 law that first mandated that protecting religious freedom abroad should be U.S. policy.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/bill...
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-03-11 08:53 PM
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1. Don't like it
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darkstar3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 12:10 AM
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2. Involving the government in anything religious is just asking for trouble.
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Silent3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 12:25 AM
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3. Shall we start with standing up for Scientologists in Germany?
This could get fun. :)
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onager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. And what happens in the Next Balkan War?
Depending on which neighborhood blows up, we could have a choice of supporting a government run by Muslims, Eastern Orthodox, or Catholics - with each religious/ethnic majority determined to convert, deport or kill the local minority.

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KaoriMitsubishi Donating Member (74 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. People choose their religion,
They aren't born that way. If having an imaginary friend and performing asinine rituals causes problems for them then it's their problem. They chose it.
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-04-11 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. As an atheist I strongly disagree
Firstly, people aren't born with a religion, but most are born *into* one. It's (for most people, with obviously some exceptions) part of their family's culture. Persecution of minority religions is intimately linked to persecution of ethnic and cultural minorities. Secondly, people should have the *right* to choose beliefs and behaviour that others might find silly, so long as they are not harming anyone. That doesn't mean that others should not have the right to *say* that they find them silly, or to disagree with them; but they should not have the right to attack, imprison or kill people for their beliefs.
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