This is what religious freedom looks like.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Freedom is Moral. Originally posted on 3/3/13. Will repost and slightly update today.)

Yesterday one-third of the people on the planet celebrated the most holy day of their faith – Easter.

Yesterday was just another Sunday for two-thirds of the people on the planet.

As I understand it, this upcoming Thursday marks the last day of Passover, a high point of the Jewish faith (Updated for 2020).  Passover celebrates the exodus from slavery as Moses led the people of Israel toward the promised land. For those reading this blog who are Jews, from the bottom of my heart I sincerely hope you have a wonderful and blessed time of celebration.

For everyone else, I sincerely hope you had a relaxing weekend, maybe got to sleep in late. I’m quite serious. I hope you had a nice, fun, refreshing weekend. (Update to 2020: Or, more precisely, I hope you got to do as much relaxing as you could while under stay-at-home orders.)

Here’s what religious freedom looks like:

While half or two-thirds of the people in the U.S. celebrated Easter, here is what Google’s doodle on their home page looked like (Update, this was the page back on 3/30/13):

this is what religious freedom looks like

A celebration of a labor activist, Cesar Chavez. Nothing to do with Easter. A political and economic comment instead of a religious comment.

You know what? I’m not bothered. Not one little bit.

In the U.S. we have religious freedom. That is a foundational value of ours.

That means you can celebrate your faith anyway you want. Or don’t celebrate any faith, if you prefer.

It’s none of my business what you do. And my faith is none of your business. And how Google chooses to express themselves during Passover, on Easter Sunday, or during Ramadan, is none of our business.

I’m quite happy with that. In fact, I celebrate it.

Various commentators today who are defending Google point out they don’t usually have doodles addressing major religious holidays and haven’t done anything for Easter in quite a few years. That is Google’s prerogative. We call that religious freedom.

Oh, by the way, I chose to exercise my religious freedom by writing two posts, one discussing why Good Friday is important and one celebrating one of the great songs of the faith. You can read them if you feel like it or ignore them if you feel like it because that is what personal freedom looks like:

And if you don’t like how Google expressed themselves on Easter or Passover or Ramadan, tough. Deal with it.

And if you don’t like how I expressed myself on Easter, tough. Deal with it.

We can celebrate that the U.S. government doesn’t care one bit how either Google or I expressed ourselves on Sunday.

That is what religious freedom looks like.


Update:  On 4/12/20, while under stay-at-home orders, I

  • watched a wonderful, beautiful, uplifting worship service that was live-streamed,
  • lead a bible-study with about a dozen people attending via an internet conferencing program,
  • watched a streamed bible study by my pastor, and
  • wrote three blog posts celebrating my religious beliefs.

If it was just another Sunday for you, great. I am happy for you.

If it is the middle of Passover for you, great, I am happy for you.

If you are looking forward to first day of Ramadan next week on 4/24/20, great. I am happy for you.

If you are happy for me on the most wonderful day of the year in my faith tradition, great. If not, I am perfectly fine with that too.

That is what religious freedom looks like.

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