The rule of law is the basis of maintaining order in our society. Our Constitutional Republic is understood as a representative government where the individual and religious liberty was an important value.
The problem today is when our nation-state has been impacted and threatened by those who voice their "religious right" to undermine our humane laws.
Right now, the Supreme Court will rule on whether the Baptist Church had a right to religious speech when they caused emotional pain to the parents at their son's funeral.
When other religious "speech" such as terrorists acts are committed against our society, we treat them as criminals. Should there be a distinction between the nation-state's right and the individual's right? Is the individual a private citizen, or a public pawn? Where do we draw our distinctions? Weren't we basically a Judeo-Christian nation in our earliest days? We have affirmed both public responsibility and the private right of citizens. Which one will win in the end? The tension must be maintained if we want to continue to have religious freedom and private lives.
Our laws are not based on "God", but are based on the individual's right to his "own person". How does a humane nation uphold the "rule of law" and yet, allow religious liberty to those that undermine that law? Don't we hold them accountable to the law for the sake of our society? Or is freedom of speech too important a value to undermine? If we go down the road of limiting speech, then won't it undermine most speech in the end?
While our laws are not based solely on "God", neither are the values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness based on science.
Just recently, there was a British "commercial" for an organization that promotes Climate Control. In that "commercial" the teacher is asking if her students would choose to further the flourishing of mankind through limiting their comsumption of energy and the emission of "gases". Would they take public transportation? Two of these students stood up to such governmental control over their choice. The teacher affirmed their right of choice, but in the end, pushes a button that kills them, splattering their blood on the others in the classroom.
This "outrage" of inhumanity is not the only 'outrage", as it was shown on a talk show recently, in Britian, that a well-known scientist suggested that she would smother her child, rather than allow the child to suffer. There was obvious discomfort from the interviewer to her response. The question was asked again, but the scientist still held to her view that it was important to protect her child from suffering by killing.
Whether Western society survives the onslaught of religious fanaticism or scientific positivism is the question. The West is at a crossroads to what our future will be and how we will go forward, or will we be destroyed?