(Religijsko) pravo negiranja tuđih prava
Dallin H. Oaks, “prorok” je i jedan od vođa crkve Latter Day Saints. Zvuči poznato? To su oni koji su predvodili bitku za ustavnu zabranu gay brakova u Kaliforniji (iako su pretežno locirani u obližnjem (no čak ne niti susjednom!) Utahu). Spominjali smo ih već.
Od kad su progurali tu ustavnu zabranu, našli su se na udaru javnosti, pogotovo gay aktivista i prijatelja. Bilo je ponešto nasilja i vandalizama, no najviše ih je pogodio bojkot biznisa pobornika i sponzora zabrane, a koji je poprilično masovno prihvaćen među gay-friendly populacijom.
Naš dragi Dallin 13.10.2009. održao je govor o religijskim slobodama u Sveučilištu Birminghama Young u Idahu. Iz tog nadahnutog govora — ponavljam: o religijskim slobodama — izdvajamo zanimljive dijelove (naravno, moje boldanje).
An 1833 revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith declared that the Lord established the United States Constitution by wise men whom he raised up for that very purpose (Doctrine and Covenants 101:80). The Lord also declared that this constitution “should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77; emphasis added).
In 1833, when almost all people in the world were still ruled by kings or tyrants, few could see how the infant United States Constitution could be divinely designed “for the rights and protection of all flesh.” Today, 176 years after that revelation, almost every nation in the world has adopted a written constitution, and the United States Constitution profoundly influenced all of them. Truly, this nation’s most important export is its constitution, whose great principles stand as a model “for the rights and protection of all flesh.” On the vital human right of religious freedom, however, many constitutions fall short of the protections that are needed, so we are grateful that the United States government seeks to encourage religious freedom all over the world.
“For the rights and protection of all flesh” the United State Constitution includes in its First Amendment the guarantees of free exercise of religion and free speech and press. Without these great fundamentals of the Constitution, America could not have served as the host nation for the restoration of the gospel, which began just three decades after the Bill of Rights was ratified.
The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The prohibition against “an establishment of religion” was intended to separate churches and government, to prevent a national church of the kind still found in Europe. In the interest of time I will say no more about the establishment of religion, but only concentrate on the direction that the United States shall have no law “prohibiting the free exercise” of religion.
The inherent conflict between the precious religious freedom of the people and the legitimate regulatory responsibilities of the government is the central issue of religious freedom. Here are just a few examples of current controversial public issues that involve this conflict: laws governing marriage and adoption; laws regulating the activities of church-related organizations like BYU-Idaho in furtherance of their religious missions – activities such as who they will serve or employ; and laws prohibiting discrimination in employment or work conditions against persons with unpopular religious beliefs or practices.
Unpopular minority religions are especially dependent upon a constitutional guarantee of free exercise of religion. We are fortunate to have such a guarantee in the United States, but many nations do not. The importance of that guarantee in the United States should make us ever diligent to defend it. And it is in need of being defended. During my lifetime I have seen a significant deterioration in the respect accorded to religion in our public life, and I believe that the vitality of religious freedom is in danger of being weakened accordingly.
Religious freedom has always been at risk. It was repression of religious belief and practice that drove the Pilgrim fathers and other dissenters to the shores of this continent. Even today, leaders in all too many nations use state power to repress religious believers.
The greatest infringements of religious freedom occur when the exercise of religion collides with other powerful forces in society. Among the most threatening collisions in the United States today are (1) the rising strength of those who seek to silence religious voices in public debates, and (2) perceived conflicts between religious freedom and the popular appeal of newly alleged civil rights.
Atheism has always been hostile to religion, such as in its arguments that freedom of or for religion should include freedom from religion. Atheism’s threat rises as its proponents grow in numbers and aggressiveness. “By some counts,” a recent article in The Economist declares, “there are at least 500 [million] declared non-believers in the world – enough to make atheism the fourth-biggest religion.”
Such forces – atheists and others – would intimidate persons with religious-based points of view from influencing or making the laws of their state or nation.
For example, a prominent gay-rights spokesman gave this explanation for his objection to our Church’s position on California’s Proposition 8:
“I’m not intending it to harm the religion. I think they do wonderful things. Nicest people… My single goal is to get them out of the same-sex marriage business and back to helping hurricane victims.”
Aside from the obvious fact that this objection would deny free speech as well as religious freedom to members of our Church and its coalition partners, there are other reasons why the public square must be open to religious ideas and religious persons. As Richard John Neuhaus said many years ago, “In a democracy that is free and robust, an opinion is no more disqualified for being ‘religious’ than for being atheistic, or psychoanalytic, or Marxist, or just plain dumb.”
Religious Freedom Diluted by Other “Civil Rights”
A second threat to religious freedom is from those who perceive it to be in conflict with the newly alleged “civil right” of same-gender couples to enjoy the privileges of marriage.
We have endured a wave of media-reported charges that the Mormons are trying to “deny” people or “strip” people of their “rights.” After a significant majority of California voters (seven million – over 52 percent) approved Proposition 8’s limiting marriage to a man and a woman, some opponents characterized the vote as denying people their civil rights. In fact, the Proposition 8 battle was not about civil rights, but about what equal rights demand and what religious rights protect. At no time did anyone question or jeopardize the civil right of Proposition 8 opponents to vote or speak their views.
The real issue in the Proposition 8 debate – an issue that will not go away in years to come and for whose resolution it is critical that we protect everyone’s freedom of speech and the equally important freedom to stand for religious beliefs – is whether the opponents of Proposition 8 should be allowed to change the vital institution of marriage itself.
The marriage union of a man and a woman has been the teaching of the Judeo-Christian scriptures and the core legal definition and practice of marriage in Western culture for thousands of years. Those who seek to change the foundation of marriage should not be allowed to pretend that those who defend the ancient order are trampling on civil rights. The supporters of Proposition 8 were exercising their constitutional right to defend the institution of marriage – an institution of transcendent importance that they, along with countless others of many persuasions, feel conscientiously obliged to protect.
Woo-hoo! Odakle početi?
Pa, prvo, kad je riječ o religijskim slobodama, onda piše da su to ljudska prava; ostale slobode su tobožnja i “ljudska prava” (pod navodnicima!). Licemjerno i omalovažavajuće? Procijenite sami.
Zatim hvali američki ustav, višestruko naglašavajući da mu je glavna uloga “prava i zaštita živih bića” (“for the rights and protection of all flesh”). I još objašnjava kako je svrha ustavnog jamstva religijskih sloboda — odvajanje države i crkve. I onda krene kako se religijske slobode narušavaju kad se netko protivi da pripadnici jedne ili više religija nameću zakone (stvar države, čiju se odvojenost od crkve hvali samo nekoliko pragrafa prije) svim građanima države — i pripadnicima te/tih religija i onima koji to nisu!
Zgodna je i primjedba da vlade diljem svijeta nasiljem napadaju religije… Hmpf… Bliski Istok, Filipini, Malezija, Poljska, Bugarska,… ja vidim vladu kako napada sve one koji ne žive u skladu s većinskom religijom. Ionako ateisti, koliko je meni poznato, niti u jednoj državi na svijetu nisu u većini.
A kad smo već kod ateizma, i njega se g. Oaks dotiče, objašnjavajući kako je taj ateizam zao jer tvrdi da religijske slobode ne uključuju samo prakticiranje religije i obreda po volji, nego i — saklonimebože! — neprakticiranje nikakve religije!
I onda dolazimo na ono što ovog proroka, kao pravo duhovno biće, zapravo muči: tretman Mormonske crkve nakon Prijedloga 8 (ustavne zabrane gay brakova u Kaliforniji). Saznajemo da zabrana ljudima da se vjenčavaju “nije stvar ljudskih sloboda, nego onoga što ljudska prava traže, te prakticiranja religijskih sloboda”. Jer, je l’ te, već smo vidjeli da se religijskim slobodama (uz odvojenost države i crkve) smatra nametanje zakona svima, neovisno o religijskom opredjeljenju.
Također smo saznali da je 52% “značajna većina”. Uzmemo li u obzir da je na te izbore/referendum (organizirano je paralelno s predsjedničkim izborima prije skoro godinu dana) izašlo sitno ispod 80% glasača, ova “značajna većina” zapravo predstavlja oko 41% svih glasača u Kaliforniji. Također, razlika onih koji su podržali Prijedlog 8 i onih koji su mu se usprotivili iznosti 600.000 glasača — otprilike jedna šezdesetina ukupnog broja stanovnika u Kaliforniji. Stvarno “značajna većina”. (podaci preuzeti s Wikipedije: 1, 2)
Simpatično je i kako kršćani već “tisućljećima” naučavaju da je brak zajednica muškarca i žene… a poznato je da u ranom kršćanstvu brak nije imao veze s crkvom. Nadam se da će Isis to malo raspisati u komentarima. 😉
Kao šlag na kraju, pročitajte zadnje poglavlje (VI) g. Oaksovog govora, da vidite kako se LDS nosi sa svim ovim stravičnim napadima na religijske slobode. Saznat ćete da to čine propovijedanjem ljubavi, inzistiranjem na svom samoproglašenom “pravu” da nameću drugima svoje zakone (naravno, on je to malo drugačije sročio), te još kojekakvim ljepotama. Ima ukupno pet stavki.
Za kraj, g. Oaks nas podučava da je najvažnije od svega sačuvati religijske slobode (na način kako ih je opisao). Ništa nije važnije od toga da se ne dira u “kršćanske temelje Amerike”…
Religious values and political realities are so interlinked in the origin and perpetuation of this nation that we cannot lose the influence of Christianity in the public square without seriously jeopardizing our freedoms. I maintain that this is a political fact, well qualified for argument in the public square by religious people whose freedom to believe and act must always be protected by what is properly called our “First Freedom,” the free exercise of religion.