How religions in democracies try to obtain something they don’t deserve
Let’s analyze how freedom claims by religious leaders are often baseless.
1. There is no stand-alone right to freedom. Freedom rights are part of democracy. Therefore, no one is ‘free’ to hurt others, especially selectively to hurt certain groups, to violate equality, the bedrock of democracy. Democracy must remove the mike from bigots and supremacists. To restrict anti-democrats is the protection of democracy, and not ‘anti-democratic.’
2. Monotheism is derived from Judaism which is not rights-based. They are constructed around obligations, not privileges. Democracy says workers have the right to be paid. In religion, contractors must pay their workers.
3. When a religion claims a right to hurt people, democracy must say: no way. That’s not hurting ‘the religious right to freedom,’ because religions are not founded on rights. This is on the turf of the State: democracy.
4. Democracies are not opponents of religion. They are the consequence of Judaism. Judaism teaches that people are created equal. The best (albeit imperfect) system of equality lies in democracy. A democracy is obligated to outlaw any religious practice that violates equal protection and rights for all. Religions aren’t holy for democracy. Look at Germany and Scientology.
5. A gathering in Israel that provides food without a kosher option hurts traditional Jews and violates democracy. If it obligates Jewish men to listen to women singing, it violates democracy to take everyone equally into account. If it bans women from singing in public, it also violates democracy.
6. What we see in the US (“The Greatest Democracy on Earth,” they claim, but that’s India) is a corruption of democracy. Almost unlimited ‘Religious Freedom,’ and ‘Free Speech’ protect a ‘right’ to hurt and spread hatred.
7. Democracies must promote opposition (the right to think differently), journalism (honestly looking for flaws and corruptions to expose), and activism (putting pressure on the powerful to get improvements for all), this all and only for people committed to basic equality.
8. Judaism liberates. It encourages us to not always go with the flow, do what’s easy and comfortable, and what feels natural and ‘us.’ It promotes giving up the way we may spread hurt through addictions and selfishness. This psychological freedom may help us to be activists for political freedom.