Freedom from religion deserves respect

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: March 12 2014 | 1:07 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:30 am in

I am writing in response to John Sheda’s March 3 guest column, “Extreme reaction to Bible complaint” concerning the removal of Bibles from the Iowa State University Hotel. I am a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and an atheist after many decades of reflection, study and critical analysis.

Sheda said only one person complained about the Bibles. Even if not a single person complained, the removal of the Bibles would have been justified because of one fact he glossed over. They were in ISU. Religionists such as Sheda have abused the constitutional principle of “freedom of religion” to mean that they have the right to impose their beliefs anywhere, any time. It’s too bad the framers of the Constitution didn’t also spell out the implied principle of freedom “from” religion to protect the rights of nonbelievers.

Religionists also want to impose their beliefs on property that is paid for by citizens through their taxes. Historically, this hasn’t been challenged because the ramifications of being a non-believer has been too severe. But this is changing.

Those who find religion offensive finally are standing up and exerting their right not to be subjected to it against their will. This right deserves respect.

Karl Ford

Parrish, Fla.

 

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