Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Religious Freedom" an Oxymoron?

A more and more common meme in chat rooms and in comments sections is that the "religious freedom" that us religious folks are accused of braying about is really an oxymoron.  To be religious means that one has to follow a set of rules, and what kind of freedom is in that, right?

Obviously, the definition and meaning behind the term of "religious freedom" is not applicable to the relationship that one has with our Deity, but rather applies to the ability to experience our religion without the interference of the state.  But let's not let accurate meanings get in the way of such delicious snark, shall we?

Beyond that, let's take on the comment at its face - that those that choose to live religious lives are not truly free, but are bound by rules to a level that make them anything but.  With all those rules organized religion has, how could a practitioner ever consider themselves free?

Unfortunately, those ignorant folks know very little about organized religion.

From my perspective as a Catholic, our freedom and our use of free will is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us.  With it, we can choose to follow a life in service to Him (and others), or we can choose to go on chat boards and criticize those that do.  It is all our choice.  

Likewise, when we do choose a religious life, we still make poor choices.  We come up short, we sin, and we hurt others and ourselves.  These choices come about absolutely because we have the ability to choose, and we sometimes pick the wrong one.  In fact, every day were presented with multiple opportunities as to how we choose to live our lives.  Some align with a religious life, others do not.

And when we come up short, we have Someone there that longs to hear our recognition of our wrongs, our repentance, and our desire to do better.  By His sacrifice, we're forgiven and reconciled.  We're washed clean, set back on the path, where more choices await.

I'd define that as a lot of freedom, actually...  

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