Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

September 4, 2013

Our religious beliefs cannot dictate rights of other people

It seems strange, to me at least, that the United States is the “land of the free,” however, we have citizens who are denied basic civil rights.

It seems far stranger that it has taken until this decade for the gay rights debate to become a serious topic with the American government.

Furthermore, religious freedom is a fundamental right in which millions of people have fought for. However, some people have used and continue to use their religious beliefs to combat the rights of others.

Gay rights are civil rights and discrimination is discrimination regardless of the excuse. For those who use the religious argument to discredit the potential rights of a population within the U.S. must realize that the separation between church and state goes back to a founding father that many conservatives point to as one of the greatest Americans to ever live; Thomas Jefferson.

The following is a statement in conversation about religious liberty, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “ ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.’ ”

The key here is “thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” Regardless of your beliefs, one’s religious belief’s cannot dictate the rights of others. It is very hypocritical to use him as an idol and People are people and no one can deny them their constitutional rights. Land of the free? Let’s prove it!

Travis Callis

Cumberland

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