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Freedom of religion


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Freedom of religion is being attacked under the guise of preventing discrimination. To be discriminating used to be a good thing. To discriminate means to recognize a distinction. A discriminating person was one who had or showed good judgment or taste -- a person who was able to distinguish between, and therefore preferred, things of greater intrinsic value over things of lesser or no value. Surely, it is a trait to which we should all aspire.

The meaning has changed. Today, "discrimination" means the denial of rights or benefits to a person based on characteristics over which the person has no control, such as race or sex. This kind of unjust discrimination certainly exists, and given the history of such unjust discrimination against Blacks and women, laws forbidding unjust discrimination have been adopted. Since freedom of religion is a fundamental human right, discrimination against persons based on their religion or lack of religion is also unjust and is prohibited. It is important to note that the "free exercise" of religion is the first right protected in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

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