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Editorial: Government continues challenge to freedom of religion
About politics and other thingsAugust 1, 2012 | 1,165 views | 1 comment
It comes in various forms. It may be prayers forbidden at school events, crèches removed from public property, or crosses taken down because they are visible to the public eye, even though they are on private property.
Some people are so threatened by the mere suggestions of religion that a vocal minority forces the silent majority to abide by strict interpretations and limitations on religious expression. Although the First Amendment ensures freedom of religion, to include free speech and freedom of the press, it is not uncommon for someone to be threatened with legal action simply for professing their faith.
Just ask Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy, who is the target of a full-blown liberal attack, all because he publicly admitted that he supports “the Biblical definition of the family unit.” You know, the traditional mother, father, and children rather than two mommies or two daddies.
Being for something, such as traditional marriage, does not mean fighting against something else. Being for traditional marriage doesn’t mean denying others’ rights. Chick-Fil-A does not discriminate against gays, either as customers or employees; if they did, the $4 billion corporation would have had myriad complaints filed against it.
Because of the audacity of its owner to unashamedly express his Christian beliefs, government officials in three cities, including Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel, are denying Chick-Fil-A the right to open new businesses in their cities.
Freedom of religion has become more of a freedom “from” religion.
Even the ACLU understands that if liberals can discriminate against conservatives in liberal cities, the converse would also be true.
Attacks on religious beliefs have gotten much more serious under the current administration and have moved well beyond symbols and opinions.
A recent Health and Human Services mandate requires employers to provide employees health insurance that offers free contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of the business owner’s moral and religious convictions. While the administration has been generous in granting waivers from the mandate to companies that are its supporters, the same does not apply to companies that object on religious grounds.
A Catholic-owned business in Colorado has been presented with the choice of going against their moral convictions to provide free contraceptives or selling their business. They are in a court battle against HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and have been granted a preliminary injunction. This is reported to be the first such injunction concerning the Obamacare mandate.
While dozens of Catholic institutions are filing lawsuits against the federal mandate, more and more evangelicals are joining the fight. Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio recognizes the implications. He credits Obama for unifying the Bible-believing churches in America over the abortion issue.
“When the President ordered the Catholic Church to provide contraceptives to prevent the birth of new life, he hit a nerve in the heart of every true Catholic and Evangelical,” wrote Hagee. What Republicans have been unable to do in years of wrangling, it took just one week for Obama to unite all Christians in this fight against the insurance mandate.
Hagee gives this chilling warning about Obama, the consummate politician. “He will attempt to compromise his position until after the election and then release the full power of government to force the church to obey the state. Think about this! If he made this bold statement before the election, consider how brutal he will be if he is re-elected!”
Hagee is asking that all Christians join in 40 days of prayer before this presidential election, beginning on Sept. 28. Praying can be individually or in groups, he wrote, because “prayer is the most powerful force God has given us ... .”
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