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Should religious display be banned in public? [View All]

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Mairead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-21-05 01:15 PM
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Should religious display be banned in public?
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Edited on Sat May-21-05 01:16 PM by Mairead
(I'm posting this here because this is a political question, not a religious one)

I think most of us would agree that we're having a national problem with rampant religiosity, and that if we don't figure out how to solve it in a permanent way we're going to end up with a pseudo-theocracy as our form of government.

There are scriptural exhortations to make one's prayer and religious affilation a private matter. So: how about making public religious display a misdemeanor?

It would be similar to drinking alcoholic bevvies in public, or driving without having your licence with you, or having a bonk in the bushes. If you go around wearing a visible cross/magen david/pentagram/whatever, or handing out tracts, or walking up to strangers and asking whether they're 'saved', then you get a ticket, a fine, and perhaps a scolding for a first offence. And if that doesn't work and you keep on doing it anyway, then after awhile maybe the court decides that you've won the prize of having your head read to see if you're wrapped tightly enough to be wandering around loose.

Let me emphasise this again: I'm talking about public display, not private practice. I'm not talking about making religious membership or practice itself an offence!!

The First Amendment guarantees that government isn't allowed to meddle with our religious practice. But the right to practice in public is not unbounded: one couldn't, for example, get away with holding an impromptu service using a bullhorn in the middle of a busy intersection or in an expensive neighborhood. So that would be the legal basis behind it: your religious choices cannot be messed with, but your public practice can be.

(This is a question I posed in another forum, too; I'm interested to see whether/in what way the responses are different here)
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