Religious freedom is one of the foundations of our nation, as it is in most democratic and free nations of the world. This might be true, but every so often people of faith get derided in public and media for being close-minded; labelled as people who hold onto primitive superstitions and needs mental crutches to get through life.

It is true that many who profess their faith struggle to live their lives in absolute concurrence with what they profess; they do however journey along the path of life in order to become more like that which they profess.

However, an honest look at a community of faith paints a picture quite different to the painted by those who deride. More often than not people of faith are content, hard working, care for those in need and distress, is not so easily swept up by the current of the day and is willing to engage in debates and listen to other points of view (it does not mean they will agree). It often seems that there is “something” amongst a community of faith which is difficult to duplicate in other social clubs.

The conflict arises from the fact that; the mere being of person of faith criticizes the consumerist and narcistic lifestyle that is rife today. A person of faith acknowledges submission to a higher power and a responsibility towards community (both human and non-human). It is difficult to avoid this critique of society when the prayers from the mosque on a Friday sound and the church bell on a Sunday ring.

In seeking to avoid submission and responsibility, there is only one solution. Act in a way contrary to our constitution by deriding people of faith as intellectual and mental inferiors. These attacks are typically based on the attacker’s mental capability to reason based on what can be seen. The goal is to deride something that might derail their “ownership” of choice, the moral implication thereof and accountability to society.

Close-mindedness is not a characteristic of people of faith; it is a characteristic of those who want to justify their own greed without acknowledging the humanity of the others. You’ll find these people in churches, in mosques and outside of communities of faith. Fortunately this is not a critique of God; it is rather a critique of people, part of the humanity we all share.