“Freedom of religion isn’t freedom from religion.” We hear this statement repeated so often by the religious right types that it has almost become a mantra for them. But here’s a story that illustrates very well why you cannot have the former if you don’t have the latter.
In India, a minority religion called Jainism has an annual celebration called Paryushana that lasts 8-10 days. It’s similar to Lent in Christianity and Yom Kippur in Judaism, a time when the adherents of the religion fast and meditate to become more virtuous. But the Supreme Court of India has ordered all of the slaughterhouses and meat shops to not sell any meat during that period out of “respect” — whatever the hell that could mean in this context — for the Jains’ beliefs.