October 04, 2010
Making freedom "greater"
Senator Jim DeMint recently spoke at an event billed as the "Greater Freedom Rally." The goal of the rally was "to close the chasm between 'economic and social conservatives.'"
If what he said constitutes "closing the chasm," I'd hate to think about what he would say if he wanted to open it:
DeMint said if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn't be teaching in the classroom and he holds the same position on an unmarried woman who's sleeping with her boyfriend -- she shouldn't be in the classroom.What rights is the government purging? The right not to have a homosexual or an adulteress teaching? And why did he single out females? What about adulterers in general? Are they OK?
What is the "greater freedom" we are talking about here? If there is a right not to have a gay or adulterous teacher, then don't cab drivers also have a right to refuse to transport gay passengers? Who holds these rights, and under what theory of freedom are they found? Freedom of religion? Does that mean that religious people have a right not to have their children taught by an atheist?
Do Christians have a right to demand that Jewish, Hindu, or Muslim teachers be fired too?
I'm not quite following what DeMint means. I do not doubt that homosexuality and adultery are considered sinful according to his religion, but so is not honoring the Sabbath, worshiping the wrong gods, and many other things.
Do people who believe certain things have a right to not have their children taught by people who don't? I think they do if they are willing to pay for schools that uphold such beliefs. For example, I would not compel a religious school to hire a homosexual, an adulterer, an atheist, a Sabbath breaker, or a Hindu. But on what basis can the government require government employees to conform themselves to certain religious dictates?
Presumably, though, DeMint thinks schools should fire all gay teachers and all women who sleep with boyfriends, in order to uphold freedom of religion.
Is that what freedom of religion means?
The First Amendment is supposed to restrain the government from "prohibiting the free exercise of religion." How is the right of any parent to freely exercise his religion violated by the existence of a gay teacher or by a woman who has somehow been discovered to have been sleeping with her boyfriend? What right to free exercise of religion has been forfeited by that? Unless the parents are prohibited from expressing religious disapproval of such teachers' lifestyles (which is not what DeMint complained of), I don't get it.
It hardly endears me to Senator DeMint and his concept of freedom.
If people like him keep trying to limit sexual freedoms according to the religious dictates of others, they're just begging for the hedonists to start their own religion. You know, something like the Pan-Priapic Temple for the Advanced Worship of Human Sexuality. Then they could demand the schools fire all teachers who engage in celibacy, so that the government wouldn't be able to purge their rights and their freedom of religion.
(Worshiping together in the filthy church of your choice? That freedom thingie really sucks, doesn't it? Fortunately for me, this is just a blog post and I'm not a priest....)
posted by Eric on 10.04.10 at 12:37 PM
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