Atheist immigrant told to join church
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
Like Tree5Likes

Thread: Atheist immigrant told to join church

  1. #1
    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Debating Away on the Debate Board!
    Posts
    11,771

    Default Atheist immigrant told to join church

    Atheist seeking US citizenship told to join church or be denied ? RT USA

    Story at link. In short, this atheist could not in good conscience pledge to take up arms to defend the US. Religious people can get out of this pledge by saying its against their religion, but as an atheist it isn't against her religion, but still against her morals. She was told to provide documentation on church letterhead that she had joined an anti-violence church or else be denied citizenship for not saying the pledge. Thoughts? Is it fair that a religious person's deeply held beliefs would "count more" than a non-religious person's? Can you make belonging to a religion a requirement of citizenship?
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

    Got an opinion? We've got a board! Come join us for some lively debate on the Face Off! Debate Arena board.

  2. #2
    Prolific Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    1,334

    Default

    This is really quite sad. I wonder if there is a humanist organization who can help out until this can be challenged in court, as it seems blatantly illegal.

    But being part of two groups, immigrant and atheist, which don't get very much respect in the US must be very difficult.

  3. #3
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    23,486

    Default

    While I completely agree that she should get the same exemption as religious people, I will confess that if I were her I would just lie. She's 65, she's a woman: no one is going to ask her to take up arms.

    To the greater issue, it's unfair.

    But if she were smart, she'd just agree to it, knowing it is not going to come up.
    Laurie, mom to:
    Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 7 )




    Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)

  4. #4
    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Debating Away on the Debate Board!
    Posts
    11,771

    Default

    Laurie - I would probably just say the darn pledge too, for expediency's sake. However, I do think it speaks well of her (and of the strength of her moral convictions) that she's not willing to lie when the lie would be easier.
    blather likes this.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

    Got an opinion? We've got a board! Come join us for some lively debate on the Face Off! Debate Arena board.

  5. #5
    Posting Addict KimPossible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    20,132

    Default

    This seems a lot to me like the vaccinations exemptions. In NYState, i could file a religious exemption if i had a religious reasons for not wanting to vaccinate my kids. But you know, when i was there i sent my kids to a Catholic school and participated as a Catholic so had I wanted to there, i was rather out of luck.

    Here in Maine there are both religious exemptions for vaccines and philosophical exemptions that you can use.

    I see this as the same and i don't really understand why there is a problem because according to the article it sound like the precedent had been set previously to allow objection without being affiliated with a religion.

  6. #6
    Posting Addict SID081108's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6,237

    Default

    I agree with Kim. There should absolutely be an opportunity for people to oppose this on non-religious grounds, and it seems that the courts have already agreed with that.
    CARRIE and DH 7/14/07
    SOPHIA 8/11/08
    LAYLA 3/24/11


  7. #7
    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    My avatar is the tai chi -- a symbol of the eternal cycle of life
    Posts
    16,500

    Default

    She should join the Unitarian Universalists. They welcome all belief systems, including atheists, and one of their principles is "The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all." Her immediate problem is solved in the short term, and I applaud her efforts to resolve the issue on a long-term basis with a court ruling.

    And to answer the OP questions: No, one person's religious beliefs should not "count more" than another's non-religious beliefs. And absolutely no, church membership should not be a requirement for citizenship. You can't have freedom of religion without freedom *from* religion.
    David Letterman is retiring. Such great memories of watching him over the past thirty-two years!

  8. #8
    Posting Addict SID081108's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    6,237

    Default

    I have an honest question (although it may be a stupid one) about this. In the article it says:

    “The truth is that I would not be willing to bear arms,” the British native explained on her application. “Since my youth I have had a firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or in the bearing of arms. I deeply and sincerely believe that it is not moral or ethical to take another person’s life, and my lifelong spiritual/religious beliefs impose on me a duty of conscience not to contribute to warfare by taking up arms.”

    In looking up the description of "Religious belief" on Wikipedia (Religious belief - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) I can't really tell if this definition includes those who don't believe in a diety (it seems not to?)

    So, can an athiest have "spiritual/religious beliefs" and if so, can someone help me understand this, since I thought they were non-religous? Admittedly, I do not know much about athiesm beyond the obvious, so I'm truly curious about this.
    CARRIE and DH 7/14/07
    SOPHIA 8/11/08
    LAYLA 3/24/11


  9. #9
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    23,486

    Default

    I'm with you, Carrie. I don't think you can have a religious belief if you're an atheist.
    Laurie, mom to:
    Nathaniel ( 10 ) and Juliet ( 7 )




    Baking Adventures In A Messy Kitchen (blog)

  10. #10
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    Couldn't this really apply to anything though? Say for instance Amish kids don't have to go to school past the 8th grade because of their religious beliefs. Couldn't an Atheist say that it is against their morals for some reason for their kids to go to school and make the argument that their belief should hold the same weight as those religious beliefs?
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
v -->

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions