Religious freedom

Since there seems to be some confusion about the matter here is what “religious freedom” means. It means you are free from state interference in the holding of your religious beliefs (or lack of them) and from attending and pursuing your personal religious observances (or lack of them.) The Government cannot harm you for being a Christian/Jew/Muslim/Hindu/Zorastrian/Mormon/Theosophist/Christian Scientist/Buddhist/Atheist/Agnostic/Deist/Pick-something. That is all.

Your right to religious freedom ends where my nose begins. Religious freedom is not license to warp or block the participation in public life of others whom you do not approve of nor is it license to evade any law you do not like even if your religion tells you the law is wrong. (To violate religious freedom, a law must specifically target religion(s) or irreligiousness.)

You must serve the nice lesbians in your restaurant, You must provide contraception to your nice non-catholic employees. You must sell nice black people movie tickets. You must rent those two nice gay dudes a party-room for their wedding if same-sex marriage is legal in your state.

Religious freedom does not oblige anyone to approve of your views or do anything to aid you in adherence to your religion (or lack of it.)

Religious freedom does not mean that you have the right to be shielded from people who have other religious views, sexual orientations, attitudes or propensities, skin colors, politics or anything else whatsoever.

If your god is so weak and your faith so brittle that merely deigning to conduct business with any person is an existential threat then your god is NOT real and your faith is NOT sound.

You do not have to like us. I don’t ask you to do that, I don’t have the right. Obviously, I hope you will but I strictly only demand that you to be civil and participate in free small-“L” liberal public life just like everyone else. It isn’t hard. Nobody is going to bite you.

The “Database State”

This database state we’re building is a unique and especially pernicious threat. It’s completely arbitrary.

Before, it was simple: there were clear laws. Some things were illegal, everything else was permitted. You do something illegal (even if it shouldn’t be) and get caught, you get a public record. The chain of cause and effect sometimes had cruel effects but it was rational even when it was wrong.

Now, you buy a video-game while Muslim… you get a record. It’s irrational AND wrong. There’s no logic to it. There’s no way to refute it. We are faced with an inhuman monstrosity that absolutely nobody whatsoever has control over. The bureaucracy has spiraled out of all human control and it will not stop. “Those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to worry about.” Except, someone will misuse it. Someone untrustworthy will be granted access. There will be a mistake, a leak even.

The data will be used in ways that were not intended. Credit files are already used this way, to make employment, insurance and housing decisions. They’re not supposed to be but they are. This will be the same way.

Nothing could kill western liberal democracy. There is no force on earth that could destroy it from the outside. The suspicious heterodox dudes with videogames couldn’t do it. Even a sustained attack by a powerful nation-state could not do it. But it can commit suicide. It won’t even take very long.