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graham

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Reply with quote  #1 
The Westminster Declaration was launched this Easter by those who clamour for greater Christian influence in the UK. Don't we have enough already?

http://www.westminster2010.org.uk/

Extract from the declaration:
“We will not be intimidated by any cultural or political power into silence or acquiescence and we will reject measures that seek to over-rule our Christian consciences or to restrict our freedoms to express Christian beliefs, or to worship and obey God”.

Conscience is a necessary facet of an enlightened and humane society but it is also a dangerous one as it can enable people to justify almost any act that is driven by religious belief. The 9/11 bombers were following their conscience as their beliefs had not just sanctioned but had impelled their actions.

Therefore religious belief must never be allowed exemption from secular laws or we will end up burning heretics again. If society accedes to Christian demands then why not Moslem or Hindu or Scientologist?

The right to hold religious views is inalienable as is the right to express them but they deserve no greater respect or authority because they are derived from faith than do ours.
Aotearoa

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't think that we need to narrow down the group of conscience based beliefs to simply those driven by religion. For example, those driven by beliefs in the rights of animals have committed many acts of violence, murder and intimidation and would I think fall into similar categories.

In your last sentence you might also go further that people should be allowed to hold any views they like (thought police?) but where there expression is illegal, the law that covers all people in society should run its course.

The worrying thing about this particular declaration is that it deliberately sets itself out to be confrontational but of course its scope is unlimited as it also says they will do anything that their "God" tells them to do. Perhaps they should be required to list what these commands might be in advance so the rest of us can prepare or perhaps we should simply treat them with the ridicule and contempt that this sort of nonesense deserves?

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Theology - "equivalent to the study of what colour the flippers are on the Loch Ness monster"
graham

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Reply with quote  #3 
Fair comments Aotearoa, however for animal rights activists unlike the religious, they claim no higher authority.
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