Worldwide Discussion:

In a spiritually evolved society, should Freedom not be the highest value? Should people not be able to do exactly and precisely what they wish?

Conversations with God says that Freedom is the highest form of Divinity. Indeed, it is one definition of Divinity Itself. Should this not mean, then, that in a spiritually alive and awake and aware community of souls, business owners ought to be able to serve — and refuse to serve — anyone they wish?

Government coercion of individual action is only necessary in an un-evolved society, and is a demonstration of the inability of that society’s members to govern themselves. The question is: Is government coercion of individual action appropriate?

Conversations with God tells us that in the highly evolved societies of sentient beings which exist in the Cosmos, there are no laws at all.

And yes, CWG tells us, there are such societies, and there are such beings, in the Universe. They simply do not exist on Earth. And so on Earth we have to pass laws that say that a person who owns a business has a perfect right to refuse to do business with anyone, for any reason whatsoever. In a free society, the sponsors of such laws assert, individuals should not have to forfeit their right to basic freedoms of choice and action simply by creating, opening, and, incidentally, funding a business. Not having to forfeit that right is what liberty means.

And entire societies — which are nothing more than bunches of individuals clumped together — have a corollary right to exercise their liberty to live as they wish, based on their mutual agreements, these folks assert. Therefore, nations that wish to make homosexuality a crime punishable by life imprisonment have a perfect right to do so, as long as the majority of the members of that society consent.

That should end all the hoo-hah over laws recently passed in Arizona (although vetoed by the governor there) and in Uganda. At least among the spiritually aware, the discussion is over.

Or is it?

What about when the majority of the members within a society consent to laws that impinge upon the freedom of individuals within that society?

That is, what about when the majority of the members within a society act in a way that is wrong? For that matter, what about when individuals choose to do things that hurt or damage the society? What about when individuals act in a way that is wrong? Does Freedom equal the “right” to be “wrong”?

What is “wrong,” anyway? Conversations with God says there is no such thing as Right and Wrong. It says there is only what works and what does not work, given what it is we are trying to do. That includes, presumably, “we” as individuals and “we” as a society. Yet what if “we” can’t agree on what it is “we” are trying to do?

It is “wrong” to drive 97 miles an hour on the way downtown? Well, that depends on whether what you are trying to do is buy a pair of new shoes at a department store, or buy some time on the way to the hospital as a woman in the passenger seat is giving birth.

Society has decided that “right” and “wrong” are contextual. That is, it all depends on the circumstances. In Florida it is perfectly okay to kill someone on the basis of your fear (real or imagined) that your life or personal safety is being threatened. You have a right to “stand your ground.” People there are soon going to be deciding whether this means you can pull out a gun and kill someone because he threw popcorn in your face during an argument in a movie theatre.

So, it is “right” or is it “wrong” if you are the owner of a business that serves the public to deny service to a member of that public simply because you choose to? Can a hotel owner refuse to rent a room to a person because of the color of his skin? Can a grocery store owner refuse to sell food to a person because she is gay? Should basic freedom allow people who own, and built up, a business the right to engage in that business with anyone they choose…and to refuse to do business with anyone they choose?

What if you are the owner of the last gas station before the desert in Arizona? Or of a diner in Alabama?

In the United States, the majority of the members of society have decided that no, you may not discriminate against customers simply because of their race or their gender. But what about their sexual orientation? What if their sexual orientation — and the behavior that proceeds from it — violates your most fundamental religious beliefs? Must you support their behavior and violate your own beliefs to protect their freedom? What about your freedom?

In Uganda, the majority of the members of society have decided that if two persons of the same gender hold hands and kiss in public, they may be sent to jail for life. People living there want the freedom to eliminate such behavior from their society, claiming that it damages the family and undermines the society itself. But what about the freedom of individuals who want to hold hands or offer a kiss to a person of the same gender?

Just what does “freedom” mean? Does it mean we have the right to act in any way we wish — as individuals or as a society — no matter who it may affect in a way with which they do not agree?

This is the great philosophical question that individuals and societies have been struggling to answer for thousands of years. The question, at its basis, comes down to this: If there is none, is it okay to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre? Is this not freedom of speech? Or must there be some controls on our exercise of freedom?

We have decided in human society (in most places and nations, at least) that the answer is yes. We have decided that actions are not acceptable under the banner of freedom if they are detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of other people.

Would the law passed by the legislature in Arizona, which would have permitted business owners to discriminate against anyone they wished by not serving anyone they chose, based on religious beliefs, have been detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of other people had it not been vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer, but been allowed to stand?

Is the law passed by the parliament in Uganda allowing the government to send homosexuals to prison for life detrimental to the health, safety, and welfare of other people?

What spiritual “rule of thumb” applies here? Let’s have a discussion. Your views are invited below.

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