The Freedom of Religion Must Include the Freedom to Force Our Religion on Everybody Else!

DarkMatter2525 takes a swipe at Texas Governor Rick Perry‘s recent signing of the “Merry Christmas Law”, which allows teachers and students in public schools to say Merry Christmas… something that was already perfectly legal.

At the signing, Perry added: “Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.”

(Thanks to Ed for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Cyrus Palmer

    Another winner of a video.

  • Timothy R Alexander

    What these people never seem to understand id you can not have freedom of religion, with out freedom from religion.

  • Luce

    Freedom of religion also entails the right not to embrace religion at all. Why is that so hard for conservatives to understand…

  • Baby_Raptor

    Because that means that they can’t force their religion on you, and that’s bad for them.

  • viaten

    I’ll just join the evolution religion. That’s a religion, isn’t it? That’s what the creationists say. I think they know best what is and isn’t a religion, don’t they?

  • observer

    For all the effort they may give to make sure their Christian religion is priomoted, when are the extreamists going to work on feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, sheltering the homeless, etc. You know, doing Christian things?

  • TBJ

    It’s a step in the right direction.

  • Christian Kemp

    This is absurd. When you see the end about opening the state legislative session with prayer. What happened to separation of church and state?

    But yeh all the excitement about the Merry Christmas bill. Something which no atheist cares about. If you want to say Merry Xmas say it, just don’t make me say it.

  • Christian Kemp

    Worse part. The more you point this out, the less they understand it.

  • Quintin van Zuijlen

    Nothing happened yet, but clearly some conservative politicians in Texas would rather be able to force their religion on others. That is the point of the video. It’s not a recolection of history, it’s a warning.

  • Compuholic

    Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion.

    Erm … yes it does. In the same way Christians are free from all the other religions we are free from all religions.

  • Jasper

    I must have missed the part of the 1st amendment that stated we must choose a religion.. otherwise, that’s the only reasonable interpretation. The Judicial branch, whose job it is to understand the constitution, appears to agree.

  • Christian Kemp

    Christians forcing their religion down peoples throats…… The more they do it the less they understand why people get irritated by it. Unless of course a Muslim starts shoving their beliefs down someones throats then the poor dears are getting picked on.

  • Guest

    There’s nothing dangerous about delusional, power hungry, religious nutters being in control of our most vital areas of government. Is there?

  • eric

    Kinda ironic though: the folks who would insist that we must choose a religion are the same ones who will insist that atheism is a religion.

  • Sideshow Billybob

    I’m going to suggest a radical new outlook by starting a new religion! I’m calling it the Fucking religion. It goes like this: We adhere to the Golden Rule, because every time someone treats others like shit, we tell them “Fuck you” (think “bless you” but new and improved!) My acolytes will be called “assholes” and whenever these douchebags decide to play the “no freedom from religion” card, we get to say “okay, I’m going to be a Fucking Asshole and say Fuck you. Have a nice day!”

    I’m sure this is going to turn out well….

  • Mairianna

    Come, come, observer. They are too busy fighting the good fight for the rights of the unborn and forcing vaginal ultrasounds on women.


    That there is no freedom ‘from’ religion is a deeply cherished and often repeated conservative Christian canard. As an American you cannot be compelled to join, attend, or financially support any church. Article six of the constitution forbids religious tests for holding public office. This sure sounds like freedom from religion to me. Unfortunately, there are too many people who believe their freedom of religion includes a right to force their views on others.

  • Rich Wilson

    If you don’t think government needs protection from religion, then how would you feel about someone else’s religion being the one influencing government?

    Of course the real trick is getting them to actually envision a different religion- and usually the argument just shifts to we are/aren’t a Christian nation.

    I also recently answered the “We don’t have freedom from religion” with:

    Of course we don’t. Which is why I pass by many churches every day. And many people in my community openly wear symbols of their religion. And ask me to pray for various things as if filling out a petition to God. What we’re supposed to have have is freedom from government telling us to pray, to not pray, or how to pray. Or telling us anything else related to religious belief.

  • marecek

    Pretty good parody, but the impersonation of Perry’s voice wasn’t even close. Sounded more like Forrest Gump at times.

  • Ryan

    Unfortunately, state and local legislatures routinely flaunt legislative prayer law. It may not be a good sign that the Supreme Court granted certiorari for Greece either. Marsh was a pretty good case on legislative prayer, and I’m worried SCOTUS is going to ‘clarify’ Marsh in an unfortunate way.

  • Ryan

    I think the Supreme Court said it best: “[T]he individual freedom of conscience protected by the First Amendment embraces the right to select any religious faith or none at all.” Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38, 52 (1985).

  • Christian Kemp

    I guess one can only be hopeful that by looking at the Greece situation, that the Supreme Court uses it as a way to get rid of the Marsh ruling and not use it as clarification. After all the decision could go either way and the could ask to review any case again. Or am I misunderstanding the power SCOTUS has.