Freedom from Religion

I'd like to revisit something mentioned in the previous article (related article below).

The First Amendment explicitly grants freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.

Given this exact wording, I'll agree - freedom from religion is not explicitly mentioned. It's still there as a logical interpolation, however.

Lawyers weren't new in the late 1700s. For being a legal document, the Bill of Rights is astonishingly vague. Read the Apple Terms of Service sometime for comparison. One of the major functions of the I.S. Supreme Court is to interpret those founding documents the best they can.

Last time, I asked, "How can you have freedom of religion without freedom from religion?"

What does it mean to have "freedom of religion"? Technically speaking, persecuted Christians in Islamic-governed nations can still practice Christianity if they're careful about it.

Therefore, the mere ability doesn't establish "freedom". 

When we're talking about freedom, we have a definition,

the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint

We've never had absolute freedom in the U.S. Christians cannot murder (if they rationalize that as part of doctrine) under the banner of Christianity. Nor do we tolerate "honor killings" from Islamic people. Religious people can't break into my house and attempt to exorcise me, in the practice of their religion.

Therefore, we can infer that the First Amendment is not interpreted that way. Nor do we have any commentary from the Founding Fathers indicating that religious people should be able to do whatever they want, with total immunity from the law. Thus, we're already restricted. That restriction is based on activity-type (murder, etc), not based on who does it (religious people).

It is also possible for different freedoms to conflict. My right to due process, for instance, would conflict with the right of a religious group of form a lynch mod and hang me for religious reasoning. Even within that portion of the First Amendment ("freedom of religion"), there's contradiction. 

How can Muslims have the right to take over the Federal Government for Islam, and Christians have the right to take over the Federal Government for Christianity - simultaneously? Wouldn't one religion's rights have to give way to the other?

Obviously these are extreme examples. 

Do you have a right, as a guardian, to raise your minor in your religion (unfortunately, children aren't given full constitutional rights)? Wouldn't the Government indoctrinating your child in a competing religion hinder your freedom in this regard? Are you not free from this other religion? We don't even have to contrast Islam and Christianity. There's plenty of strife between Catholic and Protestant teaching, or Mormons, or Jehova's Witnesses.

The only way I can square this circle is if I'm interpreting the statement to mean, "No, you're not free from encountering religion in any form, as you walk around society." However, this is an extremely superficial statement, as no one - not even the Freedom from Religion Foundation - cares about that. I don't know what else they could mean, that aligns with reality in any way.

Hopefully, it should be abundantly clear that the First Amendment is literally impossible to implement. As it is written - literally - it cannot be done. Therefore, all we can do is our best to interpret the spirit of the law, and try to find ways to maximize the effort.

What is the most demonstrably best way to accomplish the First Amendment? 

How do we minimize hindrance of your religious practices?

How do we maximize religious freedom for everyone, and not just one select group?


We already know the answer. We are free from a religious government.