Views on politics and current events

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

A Response To A Letter About Freedom Of Religion

The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, I can't see where this amendment says I must have any religion at all, if I so choose. So it can be interpreted to mean that indeed there is freedom OF and FROM religion as I so choose.

What has displaying Jesus or the nativity have to do with remembering we don't have a state religion? If a government office that is subsidized by all the taxpayers, whether they be Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Athiest, etc. displays a symbol of any religion, then it can be construed that that government office is promoting that religion. Whether a nativity, a star of David, ANY religious object from ANY religion. The 1st Amendment prohibits the 'making of any law that respects the establishment of religion'.

As for your comment "and you're not supposed to have your front yard decked out in God, like someone would their favorite sports team. Any fool could do that, it doesn't mean you believe, it means your trying to convince someone you believe." Well, I suppose that could be so, but who says you aren't supposed to? But if the media, judges, government, is indeed trying to rid society of 'God' and 'Christianity', a person most assuredly doesn't have to buy into that. A personal, conservative statement of your belief in God would not necessarily mean to fill your yard with holy relics. It would mean to try and counteract the smothering of God by society by practicing what you believe.

As for not protesting and turning the other cheek? To me, that doesn't mean to let folks run all over you and your beliefs. Combat the unreligious TV shows, movies, newscasts,newspapers, by not watching or reading them. Support the many organizations on the 'net and TV that try to promote religious values in society.

It's true that the 'F' word is heard in public far too often, but pray for the people that are rude and unknowing that use foul language. A person's spiritual beliefs are, in my opinion, a very personal thing. Jesus taught the way of love and forgiveness. If people practice love and forgiveness, then God will not nor ever be excluded from society.

Yes, a truly spiritual life will be fraught with protest! Not a chest-beating, banner carrying, shouting protest. But an inner protest that if taken to its logical conclusion will not only change you, but can change society. It can lead to the protesting of world hunger, war, injustice, and the list goes on. If eradicating God and religion from society is wrong, then it is up to each individual to resist it according to their beliefs, and in their own fashion.

1 comment:

Dean said...

Two years ago, I sent a letter to the editor concerning the nativity scene on the courthouse lawn in plenty of indignant reaction, and to be sure no commitment ever to remove it. It seems that a friend of the clerk of court puts it up every year and "doesn't use much electricity" and it doesn't cost the county anyhing, so essentially foo on me. :-) Well I tried, and got some reaction from a few citizens as well, though none agreed with me. It is of course, wrong, unless it allows and encourages all other religions to place their symbols there at appropriate times of the year. Religious bigotry? Of course. Sadly, most could not understand why I could possibly object.

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