The freedom to deny freedom to others is not freedom at all.

“I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else’s freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity.”

– Nelson Mandela

Religious freedom is very important. Some of the freest countries in the world are those that recognize the right of individuals to worship – or not worship – in their own way. In their houses of prayer, in their homes, every citizen is afforded the right to seek a relationship with their conception of god or the divine in whatever manner they see fit.

Interpreted in this way, religious freedom is worth defending. But those who would use the idea of religious freedom as an excuse to deny rights to women or LGBTQ people, or suppress our freedom of speech, undermine the very concept of freedom.

The freedom to deny freedom to others is not freedom at all. It is oppression.

There are ideologies around the world that want to take away our freedom, and oppress women, LGBTQ people, and all who would worship freely.

We must not let that happen.

Spencer Fernando

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