by David G. Woolley
In this Norman Rockwell classic painting titled Religious Freedom, we're reminded that the revolutionary period of American history was fueled by the desire to be free to express religious belief, free to espouse a doctrine of faith, and free from any government intrusion in our religious participation.
The religious freedoms our founders guaranteed in the constitution are desperately under siege from US citizen groups, but now elements within our government are beginning to narrowly define freedom of religion as only the freedom to assemble in a house of worship. Its okay if you want to get together at church, but don't go thinking you have the freedom to espouse doctrines that dissent from the Government's position on moral issues. If freedom of religion is nothing more than the freedom to assemble, why did the founders write both liberties into the Constitution?
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, speaking at Georgetown University last December, made the chilling point very clear. You can assemble for worship, but you're not free to publicly espouse religious beliefs that are counter to the governments stand in favor of the pro-gay rights movement, the pro-abortion movement or the pro-social justice and socialism movements. That's from the state department which is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the justice department. And then what do people of faith do? In this Manhattan Declaration video, Dr. Colson explains the difference between the freedom of assembly and the freedom of religion which is, in a nut shell, the freedom to espouse specific religious doctrinal beliefs without any government intrusion or coercion.
Of all the freedoms we celebrate on this fourth of July holiday, freedom of Religion is the foundation upon which all other God-given rights are based. Freedom of religion was the roiling under current that carried the American revolution into being, it was the reason for the founding of America. We should not only be grateful for our religious freedoms guaranteed in the constitution, we should be as willing as were our founders, to be watchful and to stand as guardians in defense of the dictates of our own conscience. Our religious beliefs are our most sacred trust and the highest of all the unalienable rights granted by our Creator.
Happy fourth of July!