Definition of Religious Freedom

Religious freedom protects you from interference when you want to do nutty things for religious motives. It does not really apply if you want to do sensible things for religious reasons. For example, if you were a Mormon and you grew vegetables in your back yard for religious reasons, nobody is likely to interfere. But, however, if you decided to hack off your labia and clitoris with a rusty razor, or treat your brain cancer with nothing but priest-blessed water, many people might be tempted to intervene. Religious freedom protects your right do silly and self-harmful things for religious reasons.

However, it does not protect your right to do harmful things to other people, including your children. It is debatable whether it should allow you to do nutty things to your children like make them wear doilies on their heads so they will be beat up at school. It does not give you the right to impose your religious beliefs or practices on anyone else (even if you are utterly convinced yours are divinely correct and everyone else’s are unspeakably evil). In particular, you may not force others to pray to your god or show deference toward it/them, or even acknowledge its/their existence.

Religious Freedom Restoration is completely different. It primarily permits Christians to persecute homosexuals and non-Christians and permits Christians to impose their religious observances on others in schools and public places.

Personally, I don’t think you should even be allowed to impose your religion on your own children. That should be their decision when they come of age. You can, of course, teach your children about your religion, but you should not use threats, violence or force to shove it down their throats.

~ Roedy (born:1948-02-04 age:68)