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We hear a lot these days from fundamentalist Christians and Roman Catholic prelates as to how their religious liberty is at risk. It's hard to imagine how that can be the case if you don't have a Catholic or fundamentalist mindset. If you do have such a mindset, then you might think because other people might have access to birth control and you disbelieve in birth control, your religious liberty is at risk.
Welcome to the wacky world of 2012, where Up is Down, East is West and North is South.
A Unitarian minister by name of the Rev. Emily Heath has put together a questionaire which is very helpful for those who are feeling put upon and think that the atheists and liberals, et. al., have put their religious liberty at risk. The Rev. Heath says:
"I'm a religious person with a lifelong passion for civil rights, so this is of great interest to me. So much so, that I believe we all need to determine whether our religious liberties are indeed at risk. So, as a public service, I've come up with this little quiz. I call it 'How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions.' Just pick 'A' or 'B' for each question."
1. My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.
B) Others are allowed to go to a religious service of their own choosing.
2. My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.
B) Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.
3) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am being forced to use birth control.
B) I am unable to force others to use birth control.
4) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to pray privately.
B) I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly.
5) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) Being a member of my faith means that I can be bullied without legal recourse.
B) I am no longer allowed to use my faith to bully gay kids with impunity.
6) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to purchase, read or possess religious books or material.
B) Others are allowed to have access [to] books, movies and websites that I do not like.
7) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) My religious group is not allowed equal protection under the establishment clause.
B) My religious group is not allowed to use public funds, buildings and resources as we would like, for whatever purposes we might like.
8) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) Another religious group has been declared the official faith of my country.
B) My own religious group is not given status as the official faith of my country.
9) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) My religious community is not allowed to build a house of worship in my community.
B) A religious community I do not like wants to build a house of worship in my community.
10) My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to reach my children the creation stories of our faith at home.
B) Public school science classes are teaching science.
If you answered "A" to any question, then perhaps your religious liberty is indeed at stake. You and your faith group have every right to now advocate for equal protection under the law. But just remember this one, little, constitutional concept: this means you can fight for your equality -- not your superiority.
If you answered "B" to any question, then not only is your religious liberty not at stake, but there is a strong chance that you are oppressing the religious liberties of others. This is the point where I would invite you to refer back to the tenets of your faith, especially the ones about your neighbors.