You all know I tip-toe around when it comes to religion, for it is never my goal to offend anyone, and that’s hard as heck to do when religion is the topic. Our friend Robert Vella wrote the post I was contemplating, and did so much better than I could have anyway.
‘Religious freedom’ used to mean that we each had the freedom to follow any faith or no faith without interference from the government or from others. But in recent months, it has taken on a new connotation … one that I and others find deeply disturbing. The new meaning takes away the freedoms of any who do not comply with the evangelical Christians, almost as though Christianity were the “official religion” of the U.S.
Please take a few minutes to read Robert’s excellent post about the latest push for religious bigotry. Thank you, Robert, for this post and implied permission to re-blog!
By Robert A. Vella
The very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as part of the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791, states that:
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.
This separation of church and state was intended and repeatedly affirmed to ensure two things for the new nation: 1) that the United States government would be formally secular, and 2) that United States citizens could legally practice their various religions freely and without interference from other religions. In a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, President Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes…
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