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Opinion: Writer Raises Concern About Religious Freedom

web posted October 16, 2015

Dear Editor,
Two recent incidents involving religious freedom have caused me to reach my boiling point.  One involves a small Iowa town where a small wooden cutout of a soldier kneeling at a cross was put on a grave in a municipal cemetery.  Another is a preacher in Kentucky who, for 13 years has volunteered to counsel juvenile inmates.   After someone objected to him quoting the bible and how homosexuality was a sin, KY state officials told him to sign an affadavit that he would not do that again or cease his volunteer work with the state.

First, lets look at the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution.  It is, as so much of the document, simple and straightforward.  Activist judges and legislators have, for centuries, tried to twist and contort its meaning.

      "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."

Friends, where does this say "Separation of church and state"?  

That phrase is attributable to Thomas Jefferson in a letter  to the Danbury (CT) Baptists in 1802, but in a totally different context:

  "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their "legislature" should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between church and State." 

It might take a couple times to read and digest.  Most of the Founding Father's writings are not taught any more.  Liberal academia and media contiue the mantra and ensure and take it upon themselves to be the only interpretors.  It's not that hard to understand what the founders meant if we go back and research it.

Jefferson's phrase "thus building a wall of seaparation between church and state" has been perverted and prostituted by liberal legislators and activist courts.  They pray upon America's lack of understanding of the time period and the words and intentions of the Founding Fathers.  This was a nation founded for the free practice of religion.  Europe was dominated by tyrants who mandated their subject's religion and confiscated money and property to support the chosen church.

In Iowa, an anonymous citizen is objecting to the soldier and cross cutout in the municipal cemetery.  A national organization of slip and fall lawyers, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, sent a letter to the town demanding the removal of the cross.  This group of slimeballs have been involved in many similar cases against small towns who often choose to capitulate rather than fight in court.

So lets apply the 1st Amendment here.  Someone chose to place a small monument that included a cross.  They were exercising their 1st Amendment right of freedom of religion and speech.  The town allowed it since the 1st Amendment says government cannot prohibit practice of religion.  If someone wanted to place a Star of David, I'm sure they could.  Muslim cross?  Not prohibited. 
   
But someone was offended and demanded removal.  Fellow citizens, by removing the cross, the local government would be denying the freedom of religion.  Tax payer property or not.  That also is not specifically addressed by the 1st Amendment.  And even if you think so, why does one person's objection to use of public property, within reason, trump another's use?  Are we to take out the crosses in Arlington Cemetery?

In the Kentucky preacher case, juvenile inmates may request to talk to a preacher.  Someone complained about this 13 yr volunteer for counseling a juvenile that the bible says homosexuality is a sin.  "Under the state’s 2014 anti-discrimination policy, Wells (the preacher) would not be allowed to have such a discussion should it delve into LGBT issues."

     "They are defining hateful or derogatory as meaning what the Bible says about homosexuality,” he (preacher) told me (reporter)."

Here is a quote from a KY legislator: 

    "State Sen. Gerald Neal, a Democrat, dared Christians to challenge the law in court. “I’m just disappointed that the agendas by some are so narrow that they disregard the rights of others,” he told the newspaper. “Let them sue and let the courts settle it.”
    
Disregard rights of others?  What about the rights of Rev Wells to preach his religion?  What about the rights of the juvenile who requested a religious counselor?  To liberals, these are not  rights, or if so, it doesn't matter.  Rights only matter to liberals when it favors their leftist agenda.

KY officials demand that the preacher sign an oath that he will not preach certain teachings of his faith.  Is this not government mandating what religion is?  Or for you liberals, isn't this a desecration of the "wall" and a government establishment of religion?
    
Here is a state requiring a preacher to sign an affadavit that outlines what he can and cannot preach.  Doesn't that concern you?  Is this freedom?        
    
Friends, who is being discriminated against?  Liberals and their exploited constituencies of minorities and LGBT's are demanding rights and respect.  The problem is those demands mean that everyone else must give up their rights and beliefs to please them.  Do you ever notice that those demanding tolerance are the least tolerant among us?


Bill Weger
Edgefield






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