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South Texas Living

Is freedom of religion on the brink?

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February 18, 2015 | 3,043 views | Post a comment

The 35th anniversary of my 30th birthday has come and gone. I can’t say I feel the same physically and I can no longer escape the rank of senior citizen, but I know I’m a lot wiser. A whole new strategy of life and survival for my spouse and me will keep us on our toes with a stricter budget than ever and health has become the new priority.

Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. As I sit and reflect, I would like to point out that it was not the senior citizen who took the melody out of music; the pride out of appearance; the courtesy out of driving; the romance out of love; the commitment out of marriage; the responsibility out of parenthood; the togetherness out of family; the learning out of education; the service out of patriotism; the golden rule from teachers; the Nativity scene from public squares; the civility out of behavior; the refinement out of language; the dedication out of employment; the prudence out of spending; the ambition out of achievement; or God out of government and public school. And we certainly are not the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others! It’s not my fault you can’t find time to vote!

So, you say you’re beginning to feel fenced in? This country was once wild and free singing the trill, “... don’t fence me in!” Then the “greater good for all” began to weigh heavy on all. Marx said, “Remove one freedom per generation and soon you will have no freedom and no one would have noticed.”

Wild pigs are hard to catch, but with patience one can catch them all. You catch wild pigs by first finding a suitable place and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day you put a fence down one side. When they get used to the fence and start coming again every day to eat the free corn, put up another side of the fence. They’ll get used to that and start to eat again. You continue the process until all four sides of the fence are up with a gate in the last side. Unable to resist the free corn, the pigs come through the gate to eat. You then slam the gate shut and catch the whole herd. Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage for themselves, so they accept their captivity.

The “good old days” never included Supreme Court rulings to pacify 8 percent of the citizenry, or government programs spreading out free corn everywhere at the expense of the hard-working taxpayer. Why do our young people know very little about economics and doing with what you have?

[Hosea 4] It is said that the church is only one generation away from apostasy, which means abandonment. Apostasy can be applied to anything -- religion, marriage, family, the home, democracy, and a host of other things. One can only look around and see tragic apostasies at work in our society today. Hosea wrote, “... my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” If each generation learns just a little less about their God and if those who are teaching personalize and fragmented ideals of God’s Word continue to be acceptable in the eyes of church leaders, it won’t be long before the freedom of religion in this country is lost. The church is to learn of God, learn of life and the life to come through the unadulterated Word of God; true knowledge to all.

Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at Find his column on his blog at

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