Attack on Religious Freedom — Really??

constitutionI just came across this article: “Christianity under attack: US must do more to promote religious freedom.” It was written by Arizona Senator John McCain and Tony Perkins (president of the Family Research Council) and published/promoted by (surprise!) FoxNews.com.

As I was reading along, I got to thinking about the core meaning of “religious freedom” and turned to Google to do a little research. One of the things I found interesting was that many websites used the terminology “freedom of religion” rather than religious freedom. I wondered … is there a difference? I tend to think there is. To the point that many believe “religious freedom” actually means “Christian Religious Freedom.”

Then I came across this article: “American’s True History of Religious Tolerance: The idea that the United States has always been a bastion of religious freedom is reassuring — and utterly at odds with the historical record.” Although it was written in 2010, the information is timeless … and should be read and re-read by those who believe their “religious freedom” is being attacked.

I particularly resonated with this from the article:

Madison wanted Jefferson’s view to become the law of the land when he went to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. And as framed in Philadelphia that year, the U.S. Constitution clearly stated in Article VI that federal elective and appointed officials “shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution, but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

This passage—along with the facts that the Constitution does not mention God or a deity (except for a pro forma “year of our Lord” date) and that its very first amendment forbids Congress from making laws that would infringe of the free exercise of religion—attests to the founders’ resolve that America be a secular republic. (emphasis mine)

In another part of the article, it quotes George Washington:

In closing, he [George Washington] wrote specifically to the Jews a phrase that applies to Muslims as well: “May the children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and figtree, and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

There are a couple of things that came to my mind as I read these two sections. If no religious test shall be required, why the continued outcry from certain segments of the political society related to Obama’s Muslim background? Based on this section of the Constitution, it would seem a Muslim, a Hindu, a Taoist, etc. could hold “any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Or am I missing something?

I also wondered where the good will that Washington put forth is today? From everything I’ve seen and read, anyone outside of the Christian faith is suspect and more often than not is treated with disrespect and contempt.

Another portion that stood out to me:

Late in his life, James Madison wrote a letter summarizing his views: “And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Govt. will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” (emphasis mine)

Can I hear an “Amen!”?

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30 thoughts on “Attack on Religious Freedom — Really??

  1. Based on this section of the Constitution, it would seem a Muslim, a Hindu, a Taoist, etc. could hold ‘any Office or public Trust under the United States.’” – The State Constitution of Texas forbids any atheist from holding State Office.

    “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”
    — John Adams —
    (founding Father and second President of the United States)

    Liked by 4 people

  2. $Amen$ What we need here is freedom FROM religion as well as freedom to practice whichever one you want. Practice it privately, peacefully, and without ramming it up other people’s asses that is. BTW, not only do conservative idiots claim Obama to be a devout Muslim, they also claim him to be an atheist. Idiots.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Amen.

    It is, though, always an interesting exercise to ask a Christian (and by this we should perhaps say, evangelical) what a “Christian nation” would actually look like. Which interpretation of the bible would rule the day? Would clerics sit on the Supreme Court? What would a Christian nation’s foreign policy look like? What would a Christian nation’s education system look like? What would a Christian nation’s science and technology policies look like? Would a Christian nation have a standing army, and if so, would it be expeditionary in nature? What would a Christian nation’s healthcare system look like? What would a Christian nation’s welfare and public safety-net systems look like? What would a Christian nation’s capital markets policies like?

    Try these questions out. The answers, or lack thereof, can be interesting.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. The evidence of history is that religion, pretty much any religion, when it has the levers of state power will persecute all those deemed unorthodox. Not just unbelievers, but also believers who don’t tow the official line.

    Religions only tend to be tolerant when they have no political power. The more power they have, the more intolerant they tend to become. This is what history teaches. It makes sense because it reflects human nature. If there was truly a divine being behind one of the religions then it would stand out from the others like chalk and cheese. But none do. Some people cite Buddhism as different, but events in Burma show us that Buddhists can be just as intolerant as other religions.

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  5. Amen, glory to be, praise Got All Muddy.

    But seriously, if we became a “Christian Nation”, surely no one is asking me to believe that there’d be unity, consensus, and peace on earth. It’s like these people think that if every atheist ran out and joined a church, all of society’s problems would be over. Not.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What?!!? You don’t think society’s ills would be solved if we became a “Christian Nation?” What kind of rabble-rouser are you???

      Seriously, I totally agree with you. But what’s really, really scary is there are those that are doing everything in their power to do just that. *shudder*

      Thanks for stopping by! Hope you’ll visit more often.

      Like

      • ” What kind of rabble-rouser are you???”

        The kind who’s smart enough to know that Christian’s problems wouldn’t be over if we became a nation full of Christian theists run exclusively by Christians theists. No, not even. Muslim theists would still want them all dead, and vice versa. Basically, a large-scale version of “My dad is bigger than your dad!”, except that both dads are AWOL.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hell, forget about the Muslim extremists, the various christian sects would be at war with each other over which version of christianity our theocracy should be based on. Evangelicals and Lutherans DO NOT like Catholics, for examples. They’d surely not want to live under Catholic, Papist rule. Creationists would want nothing to do with a theocracy that didn’t declare Genesis to 100% accurate and evolution outlawed. So, when christians cry for a “christian” theocracy, I say, which one?

          Liked by 1 person

        • “forget about the Muslim extremists, the various christian sects would be at war with each”

          Yes, of course….33,000+ versions of the “One Truth”, all at odds with each other. ‘Probably a bit easier to convince them that Muslims are coming to get them, than to convince them that their own cult members are coming to get them. Either way, they’d be seriously mistaken if they think “atheism” is their biggest problem.

          Liked by 2 people

    • “Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease, any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?”
      — John Adams —
      (founding Father and second President of the United States)

      Liked by 1 person

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