Word from the Pastor
Religious freedom is a core principle upon which the American system of government was founded. Yet, religious freedom is under attack and the Christian voter has a serious responsibility to safeguard the founding concept of our forefathers with regards to religious freedom. There are those in political office who scoff at the idea of religious freedom and then there are actresses and actors along with those government entities who regard religious freedom as a deterrent or obstacle to overcome rather than an important priority to protect. The Christian voter needs to inform themselves of exactly what is transpiring in this country as a deliberate progressive movement away from religious freedom. Individuals from all faiths should be aware and alarmed not only about religious freedom but also the expression of religion. You might want to consider the precedent that is just one right of the people; if it is eroded, it justifies the erosion of other rights. What is created through such political justification could really be the beginning of a tremendous detriment to all Americans.
All across America, religious institutions and individuals are being subjected to increasing restrictions on their free exercise of religion as well as the freedom of speech. We can see these transformations take place ranging from employers or health care providers being required to facilitate abortions and birth preventatives against the principles of their faith to street evangelists and public school students seeking to share their religious viewpoints with others. The rising disregard for religious liberty represents a marked break from the long tradition of accommodating religious practice and expression predicated before the ratification of the Constitution.
The freedom to live and speak in accordance with one’s religious tenets is a core principle of our United States of America. This historical foundation which predates the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution can be noted in the example that one year before the Declaration of Independence was signed; the Continental Congress passed a resolution exempting individuals with pacifist’s religious convictions from military conscription.
“As there are some people, who, from religious principles, cannot bear arms in any case, this Congress intend no violence to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them, to contribute liberally in this time of universal calamity, to the relief of their distressed brethren in the several colonies, and to do all other services to their oppressed Country, which they can consistently with their religious principles.”
The deep reverence that America’s earliest leaders held for religious freedom stand in stark contrast to the disdain for claims of religious conscience seemingly held by some current government leaders such as the House Minority Leader who stated, “… health care providers who refuse on moral grounds to perform abortions have this conscience thing.” What a statement from a national leader in our government. Is conscience just a “thing” or does it represent a relationship with the Creator about how life is to be lived out by the Creator’s loving design? WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!