Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Religious freedom is not a licence to hate

The secular state which guarantees religious freedom, as the US does, also guarantees contrasting and often contradictory expressions of that freedom.

Your religious freedom, or secular freedom for that matter, may be obnoxiously expressed without being illegal or repugnant to the constitution as guaranteed by the first amendment.



It is certainly not a licence to incite hatred or invite murderous retaliation.



Hence the Mexican stand-off surrounding the proposed burning of the Koran.



Time is needed to examine the issues. These include not only respect for the Koran, but respect for human life and decency.



Here's hoping that common sense and that renowned American tolerance and community spirit prevail. Peace be with you.



Richard Dowling, Mountrath, Co Laois

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