Are we in danger of losing the right to practice our faith?
Let’s flash back in time.
Our Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified in eleven states. The first ten constitutional amendments known as the Bill of Rights were ratified by three-fourths of the states in 1791.The First Amendment as it relates to Freedom of Religion says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.
The First Amendment contains two clauses about Freedom of Religion. The Establishment Clause prohibits the government from passing laws, that will establish an official religion or preferring one religion over another religion. This clause gives us the separation of church and state.
The Free Exercise Clause prohibits the government from interfering with a person’s practice of religion. Religious freedom is an absolute right, and includes the right to practice any religion of your choice, or no religion at all, and to do this without government control. The Free Exercise Clause means that the government will neither control nor prohibit the free exercise of one’s religion. Is this the case today?
Our founders recognized that religious freedom is a right endowed by God, not a privilege granted by government. Our founders respected that what God has given, no one—not a court, a legislature, or any institution can rightly deny or take away. In our history, for example, religious freedom included the rights of churches and religious institutions to establish hospitals, schools, and charities, and to staff and operate these ministries free of government intrusion.
Religious freedom included church rights to engage in the public square to help shape our moral and social values. We witness this throughout our history—from the abolitionist movement, to the civil rights movement, to the pro-life movement.
Let’s return to the present.
The Obama administration shows a consistent disrespect for the Constitution. From the unconstitutional individual mandate, to unconstitutional political appointments,nothing traditional appears sacred to this President – even our freedom of religion — the first right included in the Bill of Rights.
In the details of the Department of Health and Human Services decree (Obamacare), the intention is to force religious institutions to violate long-held beliefs on the sanctity of life. The actions of this administration are insulting and dangerous to Christian people of faith, and specifically to attacking the Roman Catholic Church. Last check, about 80% of our US population believe in God, and identify with a religious Christian faith. So, why are we in danger of losing our religious freedom? Why is there a need to tamper with religious freedom? Does it block another agenda? Does this traditional right conflict with a modernist right?
If the federal government is allowed to cast aside the First Amendment in pursuit of a specific health policy, what next will it rewrite or ignore at its whim? What will be the next amendment, freedom, or liberty that Big Government will eliminate?
Our basic and most unalienable right as a human being is our freedom of religious and our freedom of conscience, both making up our freedom of religion. If we lose that liberty, our other liberties are in serious jeopardy.
Alan Sears, President of Alliance Defending Freedom says, “Religious liberty is the most important liberty known to man, because without freedom of expression of our faith, the ability to live out our faith, without the freedom of conscience, which comes with the imposition of faith in our hearts, we cannot be who God created us to be.”
Listen to Allan Sears’ speech about Religious Freedom – see the video within this article.
Although this video explains that our religious freedom is under attack, it also offers hope for the future. Religious liberty is our fundamental liberty, which supports all other freedoms. When we stand fast in our defense of this liberty, we protect all our precious freedoms.
So, let’s conclude with some good news.