It appears that Russia is leading the way towards a much-needed rejection of “religious freedom” in the West:
Russia’s crackdown on religious activity took a major step forward this week as the Justice Ministry banned Jehovah’s Witnesses. Russia has steadily curtailed rights to evangelize in recent years, but this move signals their commitment to aggressively policing private religious activity. The Russian supreme court ruled that Jehovah’s Witnesses amount to an “extremist group,” and therefore the government is shutting down their headquarters and local chapters, seizing their property, and banning them from meeting.
Vladimir Putin’s campaign to strengthen ties between the government and the Russian Orthodox denomination has included the passing of absurdly broad laws that prohibit “religious discord” and can easily be deployed against any religion or sect. This ruling will directly harm the 175,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the country, but it also poses a clear threat to other minority religious groups, such as Protestant Christians. Without genuine protections for the free exercise of religion, the government has remarkably free rein to determine the social benefits of a given religion — and that means trampling the consciences of those who fall victim to government caprice.
I don’t suppose there are any other religious groups that pose a similar threat to the Russian people, their security, and public order, are there?
Religious freedom is a bogus and ill-considered pseudoright. In practice, it has been turned into a weapon that is almost solely used against Christianity across the West, and therefore it has to be abandoned. It has always been a charade anyhow; any religious belief or practice that challenges the state is always going to be banned no matter how sincerely held it may be. No one is about to let Aztecs start mass sacrificing to the sun or permit Druids to burn people in wicker baskets, no matter how historically legitimate their religious traditions are.
In like manner, any religion that harms the commonwealth merits similar outlaw status. Let people live among others of like religion if they wish to practice their religious traditions. How serious and sincere can their beliefs be anyway, and how much do those beliefs merit respect, if non-Christians would rather live in Christendom among Christians than where Islam, Hinduism, Shinto, or Judaism are the state religion?
Don’t be fooled by the appeal to imaginary fears for Protestants. The concept of religious freedom in the USA died the moment prayer was banned in the public schools, and the coffin was nailed shut when Muslim immigration was encouraged. There is no legitimate moral, legal, or philosophical reason that every nation in Christendom should not proceed to ban all non-Christian religions as readily as atheist regimes banned Christianity in the 20th century.
The Enlightenment, such as it was, ended a long time ago. It failed. It is long past time to reject its failed liberal precepts.