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[Discussion: Does anyone in a democratic society have freedom?]
Nobody has freedoms in democratic societies, at least if one wants to avoid the negative consequences that exercising unlimited freedom might bring. One might want to urinate in public, pick flowers from a park, or modernize a historically protected building that one owns, but society will attempt to prevent you from being free to engage in these activities. If you decide to proceed, then society will punish you.
Someone may object saying that it’s okay to limit freedom by majority rule or by law; however, would this person agree that the laws of the last century which discriminated against homosexuals were acceptable? In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450, which set security standards for federal employment and barred homosexuals from working in the federal government. Furthermore, in some eastern societies the rule of law restricts women in several ways such as, not going about town without a male escort.  Is it fine if this law is supported by majority opinion in that society? Another objection could be raised, namely that people should be free to do whatever they want as long it doesn’t hurt others.
[Discussion: Can people do whatever they want in democratic societies if it doesn’t hurt others? Should people be allowed this freedom?]
Most democratic societies restrict people’s freedoms, even if said freedoms wouldn’t hurt others. For example, by banning heroin—even from single rich people who have private health insurance and are not on public system—who would consume it on a private island with nobody else around to hurt. Also, society, for now, prohibits marriages of more than two persons, even if there were a group of 3 or 10 people who would like to all get married as a group with each other. Furthermore, society restricts a 40-year-old mother and 20-year-old daughter marrying together. These are all behaviors that don’t necessarily hurt others, yet they are restricted in most democratic societies.
The objection that people should be free to do whatever they want if it doesn’t hurt others doesn’t work. If you are in favor of abolishing all the aforementioned restrictions, I hope you voted for such a political candidate in the last elections or, if there were no such politician, you have considered starting a movement or petition to remove said restrictions. Otherwise, you are part of the system that’s restricting the fulfillment of certain people, which you are saying is bad. That’s being a bit self-contradictory. The reality is people are not allowed to create their own meaning and purpose, even in democracies if those desires go against the law, regardless if those desires would hurt other people.
People do not have freedom in a democratic society. The majority would agree that most of the restrictions limiting our freedoms in democratic societies are for our own benefit. Therefore, it is intellectually dishonest to accuse Christianity of limiting people’s freedoms, as if it’s a horrible thing, when it is generally agreed upon that, in many cases, limiting people’s freedoms can be a good thing.
With this in mind, the critics are not saying, “Christianity is restrictive and being restrictive is bad.” They are saying, “Being restrictive in many areas can be good, but in the case of Christianity being restrictive is bad.” The critics’ argument, either consciously or subconsciously, is not that limiting freedom or having restrictions is bad, but that Christianity is bad. It would be more constructive for the critic to analyze all restrictions Christianity imposes on people’s lives and address the ones they think are wrong.
This brings us to the most important question of who or what determines what is right. Is there such a thing as absolutely morality? This was covered in depth in part one of this series.
We discovered there is an absolute morality. Everything is not relative as is fashionable to say these days. For example, most people would agree that, regardless of the situation, it’s absolutely wrong to torture babies just for the fun of it. Christianity abides by an absolute morality and it limits people’s freedom from wrongdoing, just like many countries do, for everyone’s benefit.
If Christianity were limiting something you enjoy doing, you might not like that any more than a heroin addict likes drug prohibition. It doesn’t change that restrictions can be good, even restrictions on things you would like to do.
Stay tuned for part 3.
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