Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fundamental Rights

In the United States, we consider some rights “fundamental”: that is, so basic that everyone is assumed to have them all the time. One fundamental right we all enjoy: the freedom to practice whatever religion we like, or no religion at all. Another of our fundamental rights: the right to personal safety, to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights embed these rights in our society. Basic, fundamental rights like these form this country’s moral foundation.

Many Christians believe they draw their morals from the Christian Bible, and that as a society we should draw our morals from the Christian Bible. Does the Christian Bible guarantee freedom of religion? Does the Christian Bible guarantee freedom from cruel and unusual punishment?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Religions have been around as long as we have. Every human society in history has had religious or at least supernatural beliefs. We humans have imagined more than 4,000 gods over the years. In the early days, we thought gods and spirits inhabited everything: bears, trees, water, rocks. When we cut down the trees and swam in the water and didn't find any gods, gods' residences changed. Gods moved to high mountain tops. And when we climbed the mountains and didn't find any gods, their residences changed again. Gods moved from mountain tops to the sky, above what was visible from the earth. And now that we have explored space and once again found no gods, once again those gods have moved. Now gods live somewhere even more mysterious. Gods are everywhere and nowhere at once, or maybe they live inside us in undetectable spirit form.