I have to thank a Facebook poster for this topic. One of the many “friends” on my facebook account, something I do to keep in touch with my children mostly, put up a little post commenting on the hatefulness of Republicans in the name of Religion. His point was that Republicans didn’t really believe in religious freedom. The person thought that “Republicans” were all religious, is my guess, a factoid taught buy the drive by media too entrenched,too lazy and too ideologically bankrupt to do any real reporting or research.
Not all Republicans are religious, just like all Democrats are not atheists. Some are, some aren’t. According to the first amendment to the Constitution however:
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.
Nowhere in this amendment does it call for, nor did the framers ever perceive a need for freedom FROM religion. In doing the little research I have done it seems the amendments to the Constitution are quite brief, most only two to three sentences. It is the interpretation that seems to have become cumbersome and confusing. Everyone seeks to put their own ideological stamp on amendments, seeking to validate their own peculiarities, especially when there is someone in the Oval Office who’s respect and understanding for the constitution seems quite at odds with their profession and education. You would think someone educated in some of the finest schools in the country, in law, would have a better, deeper understand of what is actually in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Which brings us to the thorny issue of the new Contraception Mandate. This not at all surprising to someone who’s religion has faced bigotry, criminalization and out right annihilation. In 1882 Congress enacted a statute which barred ”bigamists,” ”polygamists,” and ”any person cohabiting with more than one woman” from voting or serving on juries. Mormons had been engaging in polygamy since the 1840’s. At the time there was no law against polygamy as there were other religions where the practice was widespread including but not limited to Islam and the practice dated back to ancient times until the Roman Empire. The US government decided that the practice was not conducive to the good of the country and decided to outlaw it. Once it became illegal the Church discontinued the practice because as it says in the 12th Article of Faith (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints):
Latter-day Saints are encouraged to be good and faithful citizens.
Which brings me to my point today. Anyone who thinks the government will not take your religious freedoms away is living in a fool’s paradise. If enough people decide that your personal behavior, religious or not, is offensive or corrosive or objectionable they will seek to get rid of it or you. It doesn’t matter how wicked the majority is or how bigoted they are, they will “interpret” the Constitution in their own image.
For the first 300 years in the development of the Republic, Christians have been the majority. They with a few exceptions like the one noted above have been very tolerant of religious diversity and of agnostic/atheistic citizens. We are coming to a time when that may not be the case. Atheists and non Christian groups are not nearly as tolerant of believers. I could site numerous instances where this is the case but I won’t. I’ll just remind you of three quotes:
and from the Koran
Slay them wherever you find them. Drive them out of the places from which they drove you. Idolatry is worse than carnage. . . . [I]f they attack you put them to the sword. Thus shall the unbelievers be rewarded: but if they desist, God is forgiving and merciful. Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion reigns supreme. But if they desist, fight none except the evil-doers”(2:190–93).and from Margaret Sanger founder of Planned Parenthood
“The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.” (Women and the New Race, Eugenics Pub. Co.,1920).
And no marvel: for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light – 2 Corinthians 11:14