Secretary Of State Kerry’s Remarks On Release Of International Religious Freedom Report

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Flag of the Secretary of State
Flag of the Secretary of State

The U.S. State Department recently released its 2012 International Religious Freedom Report. The report acknowledges the rights of non-believers: “Whether it be a single deity, or multiple deities, or no deities at all, freedom to believe–including the freedom not to believe–is a universal human right.” The report also notes that the “use of blasphemy and apostasy laws continued to be a significant problem, as was the continued proliferation of such laws around the world.”

Kerry gave a speech at an event marking the release of the report wherein he repeated that the freedom not to believe is a “birthright of every human being.” Kerry goes on to say that another troubling trend is:

the increasing use of laws governing blasphemy and apostasy. These laws are frequently used to repress dissent, to harass political opponents, and to settle personal vendettas. Laws such as these violate fundamental freedoms of expression and religion, and we believe they ought to be repealed.

We have previously criticized the Obama Administration’s support of efforts by Muslim countries to criminalize anti-religious speech. Kerry’s speech seems to be in direct contradiction of the Administration’s previous efforts.

Kerry’s remarks were certainly approved by the White House. Is this a departure from the administration’s previously declared policy or a political ploy to appease civil libertarians? The Obama administration has shown little respect for the principle of free speech in the past and it will take more than a speech from the Secretary of State to overcome a long absent commitment to those liberties that represent the soul of our country.

The number of non-believers has increased as the arguments supporting the existence of God have been shown to be logically inconsistent. Those wishing to maintain their religious privilege are faced with easy access to devastating counter-apologetic arguments. The quality and quantity of counter-apologetics correlate with the upsurge in blasphemy and apostasy laws, which may be the last avenue available to those who wish to preserve the religious status quo.

One country notably absent from the report is the United States. The universal human right not to believe is under attack in schools across our land. An individual’s right not to believe is violated every time a Ten Commandments monument is placed on government, the people’s, property.

H/T: Hemant Mehta, Jonathan MS Pearce.

26 thoughts on “Secretary Of State Kerry’s Remarks On Release Of International Religious Freedom Report

  1. Finally, someone with some brains….maybe Obama should consider whom he surrounds himself with as the chief complaint against him…. Right now…. 9999 fouls to one with balls….. So far….

  2. Instead of wars based on oil, resources, strategic waterways, or political system, the next wars will be about the tried and true; religion. Few things outside the Super Bowl or international soccer matches gets the masses more riled to fight to the death.

  3. Kerry, Susan Rice and Samantha Power all appear to be good picks. Thanks for the new information, nal.

  4. We have previously criticized the Obama Administration’s support of efforts by Muslim countries to criminalize anti-religious speech. Kerry’s speech seems to be in direct contradiction of the Administration’s previous efforts.”

    A better course for sure.

  5. Religious freedom is a lie. There is no freedom with Pharisaical peoples roaming about to kill you or arrest you or beat the tarnation out of you. Religion is not freedom. Religious people wanted Jesus arrested and dead. Religious people are responsible for war. Religious people want to war using the bible as their instruction manual acting rightioius being deceptively evil. People that do not do that have the lamb of God in them. Religious and freedom sound good together but the existing institutions make all that they are said to represent a bloody lie.

  6. Religious freedom is a lie. There is no freedom with Pharisaical peoples roaming about to kill you or arrest you or beat the tarnation out of you. Religion is not freedom. Religious people wanted Jesus arrested and dead. Religious people are responsible for war. Religious people want to war using the bible as their instruction manual acting righteous being deceptively evil. People that do not do that have the lamb of God in them. Religious and freedom sound good together but the existing institutions make all that they are said to represent a bloody lie.

  7. Whether this is indicative of real change or lip service remains to be seen. It is certainly better than nothing. Hopefully our professor’s and others’ efforts are beginning to work.

  8. “We have previously criticized the Obama Administration’s support of efforts by Muslim countries to criminalize anti-religious speech. Kerry’s speech seems to be in direct contradiction of the Administration’s previous efforts.”

    As Doubting Thomas said, I will believe it when I see it. Obama should come out against these blasphemy laws but he doesn’t and he won’t. Kerry just gave 1.5 billion to Egypt. I don’t see any change at all.

  9. The number of non-believers has increased as the arguments supporting the existence of God have been shown to be logically inconsistent. Those wishing to maintain their religious privilege are faced with easy access to devastating counter-apologetic arguments. The quality and quantity of counter-apologetics correlate with the upsurge in blasphemy and apostasy laws, which may be the last avenue available to those who wish to preserve the religious status quo.

    One country notably absent from the report is the United States. The universal human right not to believe is under attack in schools across our land. An individual’s right not to believe is violated every time a Ten Commandments monument is placed on government, the people’s, property.
    ———————————————-
    What does this mean? People can believe whatever they want.

    There are many religions where if you don’t believe what they believe they will tell you you’re going to go to hell.

    I like to tell them that maybe they don’t believe. Are they going to burn? Do they like to molest children? Will they ask Jesus to forgive them for their sins one second before they die?

    Nobody ever did that to me. You can have your religion. You’re going to end up in the same place regardless.

  10. Freedom of religion. One is free to believe whatever one desires to believe but not free to impose any such theology upon another. The word “belief” is a bit murky. “Belief system” does not get anywhere. A “believer” could be someone just run over by a truck who believes that he should stay out of the road but one who does not necessarily think that the truck was doing God or Dog’s will. Just remember that on the 8th Day Dog Was Created To Give Guidance To Mankind.

  11. Hund spelled backwards if Dnuh. Most dogs don’t know much about religion or birthin babies– whether in German or in English. So, all this Dog spelled backwards stuff one hears in the dogpac is a bunch of cat litter.

  12. Darren Smith,

    I think this is driven entirely by Kerry. I say this without evidence; it’s my sense that he sees his cabinet position as an opportunity to burnish his legacy and he probably used every bit of his stature within the Administration to get his remarks cleared. He probably sold Obama on the idea that it would help shore up his image in light of the surveillance scandal.

    I also am cynical enough to believe that there’s a carrot and stick strategy at work in the Administrations foreign relations, with Kerry showing showing the “stick” with this report, and later, behind the scenes, the “carrot” of letting this issue quietly drop away will be offered to our recalcitrant Middle Eastern “allies” in exchange for something like renewed leases for military bases or conducting enhanced interrogations on our behalf so that our intelligence agencies don’t have to get their hands dirty.

    Or it could be that Kerry really does have a moral conscience. I don’t think Obama’s changing no matter what anyone says about him.

  13. RTC,

    I really think that this country would be headed down a different path than we are today if John Kerry had been elected….. That’s my opinion…. Obama certainly needs damage control… Kerry is a smart political…it could be as you say and has been suggested here… It’s for political gain…. After all… He is 4th in line….

    I think Rice would have been as good…. But, I think it was a sealed deal once Kerry made it known he wanted that position…. McCain masterminded the deal in my mind….. But I’m just speculating…. But I do know how they role…

  14. RTC:

    Your cynical beliefs likely will be correct. As far as President Obama is concerned I don’t trust him at all. I never have, and I never will.

  15. I used to believe in the hope, but I’ve given up. I’m betting this won’t be so much a step in the right direction as it’ll end up being a nod. This would certainly be a different world if Kerry had taken the helm way back when. I think it was a mistake not to have elected Hilary.

  16. I was pleasantly surprised by Kerry’s rather blunt criticism of blasphemy laws given the Administration’s seeming embrace of legislative sensitivity toward religious belief. But the report also confirms an increase in religious intolerance that virtually guarantees more religious wars in the future.

  17. Make no mistake, any future U.S. involvement in hostilities will be for money, at the behest of corporate America. Religious factionalism will be exploited by our government, but the bottom line is that it will be done for just that…the bottom line.

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