However, when it comes to religion, my neighbor's perception is completely boxed and one dimensional. How could she have 'free' will? You have to compare an apple to an orange to decide which you prefer...right?...why not with religion?
Never forget the so called Christians who kill doctors that perform abortions. The rationale is no different than that of the Catholic Church and its horrific Crusades. In the "name of God" we must wipe out the infidels. It's the same argument used by fundamentalist Muslims.
We do not have religious freedom, and the hatred of spiritual freedom runs deep within all religions because of their hidden agenda, is that they all want CONTROL all of us.
The importance of the separation of church and state in protecting us against fundamentalism, and preserving our freedom to make our own moral choices, as is the reality of 'free will' -- God's greatest gift to us.
I feel the need to say this all the time, "I am not religious", and do not believe in organized religion. I believe the world is the way it is today because of organized religion. I have read the holy books of various religions, including the christian King James Bible, and honestly did not find any biblical basis for believing in everlasting punishment in hell. I did however, find more biblical evidence for believing in reincarnation. I'm sure alot of my perceptions has to do with my metaphysical beliefs.
Christianity could be more accepting of other religions such as Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. It advocates a radical reform of Christianity, which would result in it becoming a religion of love and acceptance, rather than what it traditionally has been: a religion of guilt and fear.
Abandoning the belief in eternal hell, and embracing reincarnation and meditation may sound particularly New Age, but the Bible shows Jesus taught these concepts, and that they open the way to knowing and loving God.