Religious Freedom is Freedom of Conscience
Religious Freedom. It sounds like something we should care about. It seems like the kind of thing that should be talked about in schools and homes and in public debate. The problem, however, is that it’s the last thing on peoples’ minds – apathy and ignorance reigns as to what it really means. Which is ironic because it is sometimes called our first freedom or the freedom of conscience.
The New Religion of Irreligion
America was built on the freedom of religion and now its presence crumbles under the pressure to keep religion isolated from the public square. According to Neal A. Maxwell, this attempt is really an informal religion growing in popularity, that is the religion of “irreligion”:
...We shall see in our time a maximum if indirect effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion... If we let come into being a secular church shorn of traditional and divine values, where shall we go for inspiration in the crises of tomorrow?…Neal A. Maxwell ~ Meeting the Challenges of Today
A Topic Many Ignore
So how do you paint the picture of a fading freedom? How do you portray an issue that ranks last on the national news headlines? That is the dilemma of religious freedom.
Tasked to create a promotional teaser for a bigger campaign, we were challenged to make this topic relevant to the average person, in under 2 minutes, and to lead them to want to learn more about the erosion of religious freedom.
Through the Voice of a Child
We decided the best way to reach people was through a common denominator, something no one could argue with, the voice of a child. With so many religions and belief systems it was the most simple and effective way to strike a common chord. Most especially we hoped it might touch those who don’t see the value of religious influence, but rather resonate with the voice to maintain a society based on peace and love for our neighbor.
While we used a child as the voice of the piece, we chose the visual backdrop of various religions and adult characters to show how diverse the world is in its beliefs. We framed those religions by placing them inside a real person, each one with daily human struggles to underline the commonality between us and the moral benefit of religious influence upon society.
“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual.”Thomas Jefferson
The reward of creating a piece like this was getting to weave a fabric of many faces and cultures and seeing how we all have the same story. The value of religious freedom is the same as it has always been, the freedom to follow one’s beliefs – something we should all stand for.
Captured on the Canon C300, Panasonic GH3, and the Canon 5D Mark II with Zeiss prime lenses.