Dear Sisters and Brothers of Christ,
We can’t get angry and all up in arms when Atheists and ACLU try to eliminate aspects of Christian religion in public or government places (like no Bibles in the workplace, no more Pledge of Allegiance, no prayer in schools, etc) and then demand that Muslims and Mosques have no place in our communities. We can’t fight for our right to worship our God and deny others to worship their God in the name of religious freedom. We can’t have it both ways.
Yes, I understand that many of us really love this country and the freedom, such as freedom of speech and religion, that we have. So much so, that many of our sanctuaries proudly display the American flag as part of something sacred (Don’t believe me? Next time you’re at church, try taking out the flag…) some go as far as draping the flag on crosses, perhaps implicitly implying that God belongs to ‘Merica, YEAH! and that the Christians of United States of America are God’s chosen people.
But, the freedom doesn’t work as a one way street. You have the right to say (almost) anything. You know what, the guy sitting next to you, that you find sort of strange and, though you may never admit it, you’re sort of scared of him and his culture, guess what? He has the right to say (almost) anything as well, yes, even if it is completely contrary to what you may think or believe.
That’s what makes this country great. That’s why families like mine left our home country to make a new, better life in the USA. That’s why I took a test and swore allegiance to this country and this country alone, while denouncing my former country.
So, by all means, fight for your right for religious freedom. But, not in a violent and disrespectful way that embarrasses and dishonors Christ’s Bride. There are honorable and respectful ways to fight for your right, just look at the examples of Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi or, well, you know Christ.
But at the same time, we should also allow the same freedom of religious expression to people of other faiths.
We kinda look like huge hypocrites when we get angry about the 10 Commandments being removed from our courthouse, and then turn around and protest the very idea of a mosque being in the city that is 30 miles from our own. I mean, honestly, what are you scared of? Is your faith that lacking that you’re worried you’ll become “one of them” just by their mere presence?
Besides, I think we have bigger fish to fry. Like, 27 million people are reported to living in slavery. The Interstate 5 is one of the biggest slave trafficking routes in the United States. Or how about the poor and homeless people in our communities, some being the very veterans who fought for the freedom we enjoy?
We have bigger things that we can focus our energy and attention. And you know, most religions have an emphasis on helping the poor (ours too, you know). Could you imagine the dent that we could put in poverty if we all just worked together?
3 thoughts on “Religious Freedom is Not a One Way Street”
Great post! Amen!