Freedom of Unbelief: Worthy of Protection - Where's the Human Rights Legislation?    

Brian Worley


I’m going to list some rhetorical questions that I want you to privately ponder.  

A.   Did Charlie Hebdo or Malala Yousafzai have freedom of unbelief? 

B.    Do Christians in Egypt & Nigeria have freedom of unbelief?

C.   Does Salmon Rushie or Geert Wilders have freedom of unbelief?

D.   In the USA, should an outstanding employee lose his job when the boss discovers he isn’t a Christian?

E.  Should an employer be able to get away with asking a prospective employee if he is an atheist on a job interview? Should President Obama protect the EEOC by allowing them to discriminate against the atheist by not enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act? 

No, none of the above has freedom of unbelief. Did you get the point? Freedom of unbelief comes to those with bodyguards in Islamic countries: to those with lawyers in the USA. If you’re paying to employ a lawyer or bodyguard, you don’t have freedom of unbelief! 

Why should we have to pay for this? Enough of the extortion and intimidation – we need legislation! Absence of legislation enables unconscious souls opportunity to discriminate without having to face repercussions. 

While some localities have freedom of religion, you could still end up being killed, beaten, jailed, or discriminated against for what you don’t believe. Freedom of religion and freedom of unbelief are different entities.  

I draw attention to this need as “freedom of unbelief.”  Freedom from religion has an anti-religion connotation. Freedom of unbelief is something different. While most atheists would affirm and even advocate for the need for freedom of religion – there should be a reciprocal plea from religious people for freedom of unbelief. It’s a win – win proposition. I think that an individual should have both the freedom to be a Christian in Nigeria and the freedom to not have Islamic beliefs forced upon them – that’s the freedom of unbelief.  

Worldwide people are being punished for what they don’t believe. While some places have human rights protection for freedom of religion (the glass is half full); but where’s the protection for unbelief? 

Things need to change. Either we draft, pass and enforce freedom of unbelief legislation to counter balance freedom of religion or do away with freedom of religion altogether and grant both secular and religious folks equal freedom of unbelief.  

If the clergy dread the thought of this then I would say welcome to the world in which non-religious secular minded people find themselves. Don’t be selfish with the “Golden Rule,” apply it to the unbeliever. 

While this writer feels egalitarianism is contrary to the laws of nature, we can’t have it both ways on secular – religious matters as it now stands. Adding freedom of unbelief rights to existing freedom of religion rights balances the equation and makes it egalitarian. 

My vision for an egalitarian secular/religious blueprint is similar to the laws of electricity. If I have learned anything the past decade, it has been that friction surrounds unbelief. There are different types of unbelief. Christians and Muslims don’t believe what the other believes (like charges repel).  This also explains why ecumenism doesn’t work (again, like charges repel). Atheists don’t agree with theists (again, like charges repel). Did I loose you with this last one? Both atheists and theists believe (the atheist believes in no god while the theist believes in God) they are not believing the same thing, thus like charges repel. * (See endnote) 

What would it take to change the equation? 

What makes electricity work? 

What is Electricity?

Electricity is a form of energy. Electricity is the flow of electrons. All matter is made up of atoms, and an atom has a center, called a nucleus. The nucleus contains positively charged particles called protons and uncharged particles called neutrons. The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by negatively charged particles called electrons. The negative charge of an electron is equal to the positive charge of a proton, and the number of electrons in an atom is usually equal to the number of protons. When the balancing force between protons and electrons is upset by an outside force, an atom may gain or lose an electron. When electrons are "lost" from an atom, the free movement of these electrons constitutes an electric current. 

We change the secular – religious equation by pairing freedom of religion with freedom of unbelief in the nucleus. Pluralistic intentioned societies have freedom of religion but haven’t developed the freedom of unbelief aspect well enough to get their desired results. If you will, within society, we will never lack triggering events that “upset the balancing force” in the context of secular – religious matters. What is needed is the uncharged particles (neutrons… which in this context would be freedom of unbelief). An atom gaining or losing an electron can be viewed as liberty. It’s somewhat “magical or ironic” to see opposites attract rather than fighting each other.  They do so not because they have freedom of religion, they do so because they have freedom of unbelief!    


* Said in another way, when groups of people share similar beliefs, it allows them to attend the same church together…if not, they repel and attend a different church. In this analogy, like charges are beliefs anywhere upon the spectrum of belief that are less than sufficient to attract. Notice I said similar to the laws of electricity, not exact. As improbable as it may appear, an atheist and Christian can be happily married together as long as both freedom of religion and freedom of unbelief are granted by both spouses.


  Brian Worley   September 8, 2015    All rights reserved.

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