Does freedom and democracy require belief in a deity? No

| by Jerome McCollom

Is Japan a free and democratic nation? Hey, how about India? India in fact is the largest democracy in the world. I ask this because Republican presidential candidate and theocrat Jim DeMint has stated that democracy requires a belief in the Christian god, or at least the vision of this god as practiced by the far Christian right. DeMint stated in an interview on the Family Research Council radio show:

"You cannot have a free society that way. We've found we can't set up free societies around the world because they don't have the moral underpinnings that come from Biblical faith."

In contrast to the free and democratic non-Christian nations of Japan and India there is Christian dominated Uganda, where 85% practice a form of Christianity that makes the Christianity of Alabama look somewhat liberal.. Uganda is a nation where top leaders are debating a proposed law that would give gay men the death penalty for consensual sex, or at the very least, life imprisonment. But than again, because so many people on the far right still support archaic anti-sodomy laws, James DeMint has no major problems with this type of law.

There is a myth that the reason we have freedom and a democratic system is because of some Christian foundation. No, the reason why we have so many Christians in the U.S. (and the West in general) who believe in these great values is because the Enlightenment impacted the thinking of Christians within the last 300 years. Christians of 600 years ago would not have supported our democratic society that gives women, minorities and even non-property holding men the right to participate in society. They would not have supported the principle that religion is open to criticism and there shouldn't be blasphemy laws. Well, there are still some Christian fundamentalists today who do support some degree of blasphemy laws, but they are still more liberal on this issue than their ancestors.

Our rights do not come from any religious text because no religious text is a fountain of liberty. Our rights and freedoms are a product of nature through the evolutionary process giving forth a species that desires (or at least some of its' members) to be free.