If the regulars to this blog know one thing about me, it's that one fundamental belief of mine is that any human should be allowed to become whoever they want to be, provided they don't hurt others on their path to doing so. I am a firm believer in freedom of association in that regard. It is this fundamental freedom belief of mine that has motivated me to become Hindu.
So when this freedom is denied to others, there is no surer way to boil my blood. This has happened recently with a US military service member, Deborah Schoenfeld, who was fired from a military dental clinic for being Hindu and practicing yoga.
Among the various forms of harassment she has faced:
- Being called a "witch"
- Accused of "summoning demons"
- Admonished that she was going to "lose her soul"
This makes me angry on so many levels, for reasons that should be obvious by now. The fact that other white people want to stop whites from "being less white" is racist beyond belief, which is obvious but needs to be said. I've sometimes faced resistance myself from other white people in my community for being a religion other than Christian, and I've faced that kind of hate in far greater quantity than from people of Indian origin thinking I could never be a Hindu.
Thankfully, there is an organization that is doing something about this, an organization dedicated to fighting religious bigotry in the military. They are called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, and they are made up of both US military and civilian members that fight to make sure church and state remain separated.
And you can help them out. The most direct way you can help them out is by donating to their cause. I would encourage anyone who believes in personal freedom to help this cause and fight this grave injustice.
(Please note that I am not affiliated with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation - the statements I make here are not necessarily representative of their viewpoints. I just happen to agree with them.)