FIRM: The  Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities
   

[The United States] started with a positive idea of secularism. This new people was made of communities that had escaped official state purges and wanted a lay state, a secular state that opened the possibility for all confessions and all form of religious exercise. Therefore it was a state that was intentionally secular. It was the exact opposite of state religion, but it was secular out of love for religion and for an authenticity that can only be lived freely.

Pope Benedict XVI during a visit to the United States (April 16, 2008)



Too often we forget that the principal purpose of the metaphorical wall of separation between church and state was always to prevent governmental interference with a religion's decisions about what its own theology requires. . . . To be consistent with the Founders' vision and coherent in modern religiously pluralistic America, the religion clauses [in the United States Constitution] should be read to help avoid tyranny that is, to sustain and nurture the religions as independent centers of power. . . . To do that, the clauses must be interpreted to do more than protect the religions against explicit discrimination.

Stephen Carter
The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion



The Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities (FIRM) advocates the human, social, and civil rights of all religious and spiritual groups, particularly religious minorities actively engaged in spiritual practice. In particular:

FIRM provides education for the general public on all the varieties of prejudice, both overt and subtle, that are currently being practiced openly against many religious minorities. A comparison is made with other forms of discrimination (toward women, blacks, homosexuals, the handicapped, etc.) to which our society has become more sensitive.

   
FIRM chronicles the history of persecution throughout the ages of religious minorities and their founders (including persecution of Christianity in its infancy, leading to the deaths of Jesus and many of his disciples), and it examines the origins of (and the motivations behind) such persecution.
   

FIRM observes that five stages tend to occur in the fight against intolerance or prejudice of any kind in our time:

1. Atrocities or injustices are committed on the basis of discrimination of one kind or another.
   
2. A social movement coalesces to counter that particular form of discrimination.
   
3. The movement is accepted socially; "consciousness" is "raised"; laws begin to change, in the direction of guaranteeing equal opportunity, rights, and privileges.
   
4. Now hyper-sensitive to its own discrimination, the society swings to the opposite extreme, in the form of a "political correctness" movement, whose purpose is to eliminate all speech (and action) that might possibly offend, because it could be interpreted as (either overtly or covertly) discriminatory.
 
5. The society swings toward a more natural balance, affording both equal opportunity and an open and ongoing forum for the exploration, understanding, and appreciation of real and usefully acknowledged differences among sexes, races, sexual persuasions, religions, etc. (none of which should ever be translated into differences in human, rights, social opportunities, etc.).

This sequence has been illustrated in the civil rights and womens rights movements, which are both in process between stages 4 and 5. Unfortunately, the fight against intolerance of religious minorities is still largely in stage 1. The various freedoms guaranteed to religion by the U.S. Constitution, and by the constitutions of other governments and international bodies like he United Nations, still largely benefit majority religions exclusively. In other words: we have a long way to go!

Please if you are interested in these subjects. We will be fleshing out all of the above on this site in the coming months.

   

Before the 20th century we needed greater protection from the excesses of religion. We now see the need for a greater balance against pure secularism that has no probable basis for affirming human dignity.

Wilfred M. McClay, Religion Returns to the Public Square

In the realm of popular culture, scientific and political materialism is in power. And the essence of official popular propaganda is fundamentally anti-religious and devoted to an exclusively materialistic interpretation of Man and Nature. The "allowable" or semi-official cults of the yet remaining religious establishment continue to serve as exoteric religious extensions of the secular State. But all non-establishment cults of free religious, mystical, and spiritual experimentation and practice are constantly the subjects of negative propaganda in the popular communications media. And "intellectual leaders" are constantly agitating against esoteric and non-establishment religious cultism and especially against the possibility that any religious or spiritual leader achieve a position of widespread influence and power in the midst of the secular order. (Therefore, university intellectualism and popular criticism generally oppose, or at least work to maintain the disposition of doubt relative to, religion, religious institutions, mysticism, and the naturally dominant role of the Living God and true Spiritual Masters in the esoteric culture of true religion.)

Adi Da Samraj
The Illusion of the Separation of Church and State


   




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FIRM: Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities

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    All excerpts from the works of Avatar Adi Da Samraj and and pictures of Avatar Adi Da Samraj 2002-2007 The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam. All rights reserved. Perpetual copyright claimed.



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