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gorillapaws's avatar

True or false: The following statement is un-American, and disrespectful to the men and women who gave their lives to defend the Constitution: “My faith tells me to do X, therefore everyone else in America must also do X"?

Asked by gorillapaws (23625points) May 31st, 2019

Please share your thoughts on whether the above statement is un-American, or even unpatriotic?

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64 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

It depends. If we live in a theocracy, then the religious leader might say that, and it might be legal in that government.

In the US, which is (so far) a democracy, something like that is patently illegal and undemocratic, and utterly against the principles upon which the Constitution was written.

Side comment: for some people in the US today, the constitution is an annoyance and an obstacle to their wanting to achieve power.

hmmmmmm's avatar

The concept of “un-American” is undefined in your question. How can something be “un-American”?

kritiper's avatar

False. There is never any real need to include religion.

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm I would probably say that something is un-American when it goes against the principles that America was founded on (ignoring slavery).

hmmmmmm's avatar

@gorillapaws – What does that mean? The principles of specific documents? The principles of decision makers and the ruling class? Can you elaborate?

gorillapaws's avatar

@hmmmmmm I’m not a historian, nor an expert in 18th century enlightenment philosophy. I’ve never read the Federalist papers. I’m probably the wrong person to clarify with any specificity (despite being the one to ask the question). I will say there seems to be certain principles that are supposed to be core to the idea of what America is about, that would include ideas/principles like inclusivity, rights-based government, tolerance, individualism, valuing merit over heritage (we rejected royalty), etc.

hmmmmmm's avatar

Ok. I apologize for sidetracking this. I reject the term “un-American” and feel that the concept is dangerous and only possible while accepting certain mythologies. None of those principles seem to define the “American” experience in any material way. But you did use “supposed to be”, so maybe that’s your point. I’ll stop derailing and sit this one out.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Faith and patriotism in same sentence is “Non Sequitur” because of the separation of Church and State.

Inspired_2write's avatar

“My faith tells me to do X, therefore everyone else in America must also do X”?..If your Faith told you to jump off a high level bridge would you?
What is right for everyone is everyone’s choice otherwise one has a dictator pushing his/her agenda onto others.
All the other part of the statement is clouding the real issue which is Freedom.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Inspired_2write Good point. Think Jamestown Massacre or Waco-Branch Davidians. Religious kooks who essentially committed mass suicide.

Yellowdog's avatar

Although a few politicians have declared their Christianity, I do not think anyone has ever said THAT.

Pete Buttigieg has reminded us that we should never use Christianity as a cudgel, or proclaim that God is on your side or belongs to your political party. He then clarified that God, for instance, would not be on the side of this current administration.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@kritiper Agreed. Not all beliefs spring from religion.

seawulf575's avatar

To me, one of the founding principles of these United States of America was that tyranny was bad. Tyrants tend to be overbearing and don’t care what the people want. We dealt with George III in the 1700’s as he was being a tyrant. Many people came to this country for religious freedoms. They were being persecuted in their home lands and were seeking religious freedoms here. When someone starts telling you that their faith tells them something so you have to do it too, you are no longer into religious freedom, you are entering religious tyranny. There are some obvious exceptions, but there are also reasons for them. Example: My faith says it is wrong for me to murder someone, and I believe that everyone needs to adhere to that belief. Conveniently, murder is also forbidden by the law, so people are compelled to obey that, even if they don’t share my religious beliefs.
As for religious beliefs, I have always looked at them as personal decisions. Nothing is a bigger boor than some religious nut trying to force their beliefs onto you. I don’t mind talking about my beliefs, but I have never tried to convince anyone that my way is the best and that everyone should follow it.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 “Nothing is a bigger boor than some religious nut trying to force their beliefs onto you.”

Would you call that behavior “un-American?”

“My faith says it is wrong for me to murder someone, and I believe that everyone needs to adhere to that belief.”

What if it was something like committing adultery? being intoxicated? sodomy?

Dutchess_III's avatar

It shouldn’t be right, but too often it is. People want to force other people to confirm to their opinions. I wonder how much has to do with insecurity.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws again…it would depend on the circumstances for a lot of things. My faith tells me that sodomy is not acceptable. Sodom was destroyed for its sins, one of which was sodomy. But if you get into the nuts and bolts, the people of Sodom were actually anally raping others. I find that to be wrong in my faith, but not surprisingly, it is also against the law. As for many of the other things, many are personal decisions. My faith says some are wrong, so to me (or for me), they are wrong. Does that mean I believe everyone should be forced into my beliefs? No.
The question about the boors, not really un-American. They are entitled to their right of expression, their right of free speech. But if they are trying to actively change things so that their religious beliefs are the only way to live, THEN you are entering the area of un-American.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Law comes first. In the event beliefs conflict with the law, beliefs are trumped.
The Constitution protects a citizens right to practice the religion of their choice. It specifically addresses that nobody can be told what religion to practice, if any at all so it would be un American to attempt to force one’s own beliefs on another. The exception would be with parents in making choices for their minor children. And, again, law having final say.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 In the state of Virginia, it is a Class 4 misdemeanor to have intercourse with anyone other than your spouse. IMO laws like that are different than laws like don’t murder, rape, steal from other people, which speaks to the points you’ve made. Would we consider laws like that that are clearly based on religious beliefs “un-American?”

Patty_Melt's avatar

I could debate that point.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Patty_Melt Yes but…..Federal law still trumps State law.
Another example would be marijuana legalization.

The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, passed in 2004, defines a fetus as a “child in uterus” and a person as being a legal crime victim “if a fetal injury or death occurs during the commission of a federal violent crime.”[13] In the U.S., 38 states have laws with more harsh penalties if the victim is murdered while pregnant.[14][15] Some of these laws defining the fetus as being a person, “for the purpose of criminal prosecution of the offender” (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2008). Laci Peterson, murdered in 2002, is one of the more high-profile homicides.

Patty_Melt's avatar

How does that differ from my answer?
Correlation between government mandate and religious beliefs only means the two agree, not that one is based on the other.
If there is one law which supports a point of religious stance, and another law which is contrary to that belief, the chain of command still remains.

flutherother's avatar

The Declaration of Independence says this “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”. It follows that no opinion is worth more than any other and that your opinion is as good as, but no better than mine.

Yellowdog's avatar

Yeah, but it says we are endowed by our CREATOR and that’s problematic.

Your unalienable rights come not from God but from the government.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it is not at all odd that religion would creep into a document written up in the 1700, either. But what you say is true. Nobody, nothing, not even animals, have rights unless we humans grand them.
In the future we’ll see openly Atheists holding high public offices and those rights won’t change.

Yellowdog's avatar

Atheists believe they are more equal than everybody else.

kritiper's avatar

Yes, that is funny. To throw all Atheists into one group…and with no proof…

flutherother's avatar

@Yellowdog That’s not what the declaration says. It says we are born with inalienable rights, not subsequently given them. In this country the state is not intended to be all powerful.

Yellowdog's avatar

Well, actually it says we are endowed by our creator with these rights. Not merely born with them. But even if one cannot hold that view—yes. Our rights do NOT come from the government or being a citizen of any nation,

kritiper's avatar

Actually, it should say that we are endowed with these rights, allowed to have them, assumed to have them, which we are. We are not “given” them by anyone or anything. So we are, to parrot the term, “born with them.” A “taken for granted” thing. Literally.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Creator does not mean a god, except to people who believe there is one.
DNA could actually be considered our creator.
I’m simply pointing out the term is up for interpretation.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws There is the slippery slope. It becomes a judgment call as to where to draw the line between which laws based on morality are bad and which are good. You say it’s wrong to steal, but if you or your family was starving and you stole some food, is that wrong? But while your law in VA might sound un-American, I would disagree. It is a law of the state. In America, if we don’t like laws, we change them. They aren’t set in stone. And if, during the effort to change it, you get someone opposing the change, that still isn’t un-American. That’s the process. You make a proposal and it gets debated and if it is deemed worthy, it becomes law. So let me ask you one…The people screaming that anything other than same-sex bathrooms is hateful and demanding that we get rid of genders…they are demanding that you follow their beliefs. Is that un-American?

seawulf575's avatar

@Patty_Melt I would agree. In the end, everyone gets caught up in the term “creator” and their heads explode trying to separate out God from our Constitution. But the intent of that phrase isn’t to push religion or even to argue that there is a creator. It is to point out that these are rights that we are born with…that are not given to us by our government. Laws that are given by the government can be taken by the government. That phrase implies that any the government does not have control over these rights and any efforts to take them away are illegal (and tyrannical).

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 ”...the intent of that phrase isn’t to push religion or even to argue that there is a creator. It is to point out that these are rights that we are born with…that are not given to us by our government.”

I think you have that exactly right. If you look at the philosophy of the Enlightenment (a time that was turning away heavily from religion), it is my understanding that the idea of God or Creator was generally regarded in an abstract sense. The idea of rights were considered innate and not ordained.

As for the bathroom gender issues, the counterpoint I would make is that the debate is being informed by advances in gender science. It’s perfectly reasonable for laws to be revised as our understanding of Science evolves. Real Science is an inherently objective tool, while faith is inherently subjective.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Good” and “bad” really aren’t hard to figure out for yourself.

And I disagree that we are born with rights. It’s a man made concept, from beginning to end. Are apes born with rights? Dogs? Cats? Worms? Cockroaches? We’re no different from them.

Yellowdog's avatar

We ARE different from them, Dutch, at least among our own kind.

I would agree that animals have rights even among humans, but we are not obliged to acknowledge them if they are pests or vermin or a threat to us or others,

Those rights we have, and other sentient creatures have, do not come from humans or the government. But we HAVE created, and DO have, LAWS that acknowledge and protect those rights.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws But (as to the gender issue) if you desire transgenderism and are demanding that others go with that belief, isn’t that the same as someone demanding that others share their religious beliefs? In my mind, from the aspect of trying to demand others adhere to your views, it is identical. The difference in the discussion is that today, it is gauche to say anything about transgenderism, but is chic to bash religion. If you take away the social views of the topic, the act of demanding someone follows your beliefs whether they want to or not is identical.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 ”if you desire transgenderism and are demanding that others go with that belief, isn’t that the same as someone demanding that others share their religious beliefs?”

I don’t think so. I’m not an expert in gender Science, but it is my understanding that there is a real distinction between a person’s biological sex (i.e. what’s between their legs) and their gender. As I understand things, this stuff has been studied with tools like FMRI machines. I used to have different beliefs about transgender people until I learned about this. I used to feel like other people shouldn’t be obligated to placate someone else’s fantasy. When I learned that it wasn’t fantasy, but biology, my perspective changed. Having policy informed by evolving Scientific understanding is a good thing, and quite the opposite of policy being informed by faith—which isn’t falsifiable.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws yes, but when you campaign for no separate bathrooms between genders? When you create a stir because someone calls you “sir” or “ma’am”? Those are the things I am talking about. Things where you are demanding others change their way of thinking to match yours.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think there is a single thing wrong with people simply asking you to accept them, even though they’re different from the majority. That isn’t religious, although according to Jesus, if you claim to be a Christian, you should already accept them without them having to ask.

seawulf575's avatar

@Dutchess_III not a thing at all wrong with asking to be accepted. But let’s face it, there is asking and then there is demanding. And THAT is what I believe to be un-American. When you demand everyone believes the same way as you, whether it is in gender or religion or color preference, it leaves the realm of tolerance and becomes tyranny.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I agree. And the religious right is demanding that their religious beliefs be codified into law. Make gay marriage illegal. Kick transgendered people out of the army (why??). And on and on.

seawulf575's avatar

It’s interesting, seeing your views on things. Not discrediting your views, just seeing how your mind works, I guess. My mind thinks differently. You gave two interesting examples. Make gay marriage illegal: It was. in some places, it has been illegal since the beginning of this country. Yet the change to making it legal was forced. Ask Kim Davis…it was forced on her, despite her religious rights and despite it was still in her state constitution that it was illegal. Kick transgendered people out of the army: They weren’t allowed into the army for centuries. Allowing them in was forcing their beliefs on others, namely the men and women they would be serving with. Ever stop to think that of the hundreds of thousands of military people serving, most might not want transgendered people serving with them? But their views were completely negated.
In both those cases, you are putting the desires of a small minority over those of a large majority, then getting mad when the majority doesn’t go along with it. To me, that is pretty much what we are talking about being un-American.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It was Davis’ damn job. She could always quit…and she did. From her POV, problem solved. No one forced her to marry another woman. (She was also a hypocrite, BTW.)

I’m sure there are service people who don’t want to be forced to serve with blacks or Jews too, @seawulf575. Of course their views are far more important that the rights of those substandard humans.

And what in the hell makes you think racists and homophobes are the majority?

seawulf575's avatar

What makes you think Gays and Transgenders are the majority?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you not comprehend what you read? The MAJORITY of people have no problem with transgendered people in the services. The MAJORITY of people have no problem with gay marriage. It’s the homophobic minority that is causing all the fuss. In the name of God.

seawulf575's avatar

Wow. You found an article about a religious person that doesn’t support transgenderism! Amazing. Now…how about actually producing statistics that say a MAJORITY supports transgenders in the military and, more to the point, that a MAJORITY of MILITARY personnel support it. And while your at it, why don’t you invest in a reading comprehension lesson? The point of the entire thing I have been say (and which you are showing with full force and color) is that a _MINORITY pushes their beliefs on the MAJORITY whether the MAJORITY agrees or not. I asked you what makes you think Gays and Transgenders are the majority. That is the question you have dodged with venom. And you continue to try pushing the desires of the MINORITY over everything else. Welcome to being un-American.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Who gives a crap who is in the majority? At last word, people in the minority (skin color, gender, religion, etc.) still have rights.

Or have we moved on to some dystopian country where if you’re not a white christian right-winger, you don’t count?

seawulf575's avatar

@elbanditoroso Absolutely not. But as a Christian right-winger, do I have the same rights and respect you give to any fool on the left?

elbanditoroso's avatar

Rights, yes. Respect is earned. Not automatically given.

seawulf575's avatar

Ahhh…but am I afforded the right to that same statement? Am I allowed to use it on any other groups or people? It IS demanded for others and liberals the nation over campaign to make sure everyone gives it whether they want to or not.

kritiper's avatar

@seawulf575 Now THAT’S Socialism!

Dutchess_III's avatar

He saidRespect is earned. Not automatically given.”
You respond with “_ Am I allowed to use it on any other groups or people? It IS demanded for others and liberals the nation over campaign to make sure everyone gives it whether they want to or not.“_ What? Did you not understand his very simple sentence?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf575 They will never understand your point. I know you don’t really care, but they really don’t understand what you’re getting at….lol

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@seawulf575 and @KNOWITALL you both act as bigots and are biased against anyone different by color, religion, sexual orientation, national background and all people to the left of Nazis.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical_Willie haha, Oh William, you don’t know us in the slightest and are wrong yet again.

Not wanting unlimited illegals entering our country is not unusual, if you don’t believe me, try to get across the Iranian border and let me know how that works out for you. :)

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Deflection – - – I’m not going to cross the Iran border because you think all people should be banned from immigrating t oUSA.
“UNLIMITED IMMIGRATION” but Trump wants Mexico to hunt down and round up all people of color that might cross in to USA and he is going up the tariffs for Mexican imports to 25% (is Mexico going to pay NO USA will pay.).

I have the slightest you are afraid of: brown colored people, different religions, sexual orientation, national background and all people to the left of Nazis.

seawulf575's avatar

@Tropical_Willie Good thing you identified that as a deflection when you wrote it.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical_Willie haha, because you’d be dead before you got the second foot over that border and everyone knows it.

And I’m not afraid of anything, William. You don’t know me.

As a matter of fact, when we were on Facebook in the Tidepool just recently, you had the opportunity to look at my friends list- guess what, they aren’t all white or straight or Christian. Try again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here we go with “Some of my best friends are….. _______________ _________________ _______________ ____________ ____________” again.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess So what, its true. You posted the last racist question and got called out finally, good times.

Patty_Melt's avatar

@Tropical, I don’t like you, but my rights allow that I don’t have to, and not liking you does not mean I’m a bigot, only that I have taste.
See how that works? I’m allowed to dislike you, just as you have every right to dislike me. However, I don’t resort to name calling. I make it simple. I express my dislike, and now I needn’t mention it again.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical just doesnt understand you can approve of legal immigration only and still be a good person. Seems to be an ongoing theme that the process is too hard so we get to just skip it. Life just doesnt work that way.

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