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The Attack on ‘Freedom of Religion’ Continues

Posted by Stephen on June 8, 2011

Article I: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

For the uninitiated allow me to restate: Congress shall not “prohibit the free exercise…” of religion.

Is there some part of that which is difficult to comprehend?

Apparently, at least for Democrats in Texas and the Secular Coalition for America, the national lobby for secular and nontheistic Americans, there is.

“The last thing our officials should do in times of national struggle is promote a divisive religious event that proposes no real solutions to our country’s real-world problems,” said Sean Faircloth, executive director of the organization.

It’s a good thing Faircloth was not around during the framers conventions while creating the Constitution he is stomping on. He might have suffered heart failure as leaders of this fledgling country prayed, and called for prayer, on a daily, and I dare say, moment to moment basis, depending on the given circumstances.

That said, there is nothing divisive about calling for prayer unless you are prone to attacking Christianity. After all, the Governor simply called for others to join him in a day of prayer. It seems quite hypocritical for Faircloth to suggest he fights for tolerance while attacking a person’s Constitutional right to religious freedom.

Faircloth continued, charging that, “Calling upon all Americans to embrace Perry’s personal belief system is an insult to the millions of upstanding citizens who practice religions other than evangelical Christianity, as well as the millions of secular Americans who contribute to society without pushing their views on others.”

Is Faircloth suggesting that other religions do not recognize prayer? The Governor called for a day of prayer. It doesn’t matter to whom, or in what way you pray. Nor does it matter if you pray at all. There was no suggestion by the Governor that atheists, for example, don’t count or that anyone must pray. He did not state, or suggest, that anyone would be “Un-American” if they did not pray.

Additionally, it must be asked; how did the Governor push his views on others? Calling for a day of prayer in no way shape or form is an attempt to indoctrinate anyone. If you don’t want to go, or you don’t want to pray…don’t. You have that Constitutional protection under the first part of the clause that states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

Finally, Faircloth states that, “Religion should be a private matter, especially for elected officials in a secular government.”

Really? It’s a good thing Faircloth was not around during WWII when Franklin D. Roosevelt, an icon of the liberal party and a very strong leader at a time of tremendous national struggle, called for a national day of prayer. FDR continually called for National Prayer.

In point of fact, a prayer he delivered on national radio on the day of the Normandy Invasion was so powerful and struck such a national cord that they are currently considering adding it to the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. Of course I suspect Faircloth will lead a fight against such a corrupt representation of religion in America.

The Rev. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, said Perry’s call “raises serious concerns about his commitment to the boundaries between religion and government.”

How, Rev, Gaddy? What boundary has been crossed? I suggest that the inability to put a Christmas tree in a classroom or a public place is a boundary Faircloth and his ilk crossed some time ago. I suggest that an attempt at prohibiting prayer at a graduation is a boundary that has been crossed and I suggest that any Reverend blasting someone for calling for a day of prayer has an agenda more divisive then the Governor.

The concept of religious freedom demands the right to express your faith any way you choose as long as such expression is peaceful and does not deny or disparage the rights of another. Calling for people to pray does not prevent anyone from saying ‘no.’

Calling for a national prayer, as FDR did, does absolutely no harm to any person from any walk of life. Pray to Allah, Pray to God, Pray to Buddha, Pray to a golden horse shoe…but don’t tell another person they have no right to call people to pray. That right is protected under the Constitution.

I, for one, am done watching people watering down the Constitution for their own means. I have had enough of people manipulating Article’s I, II, IV, and V and I remind people there are two other Articles that the Faircloth’s of the world can place in their proverbial pipes and smoke.

Article IX which states that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people,” and Article X which states that, “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved…to the people.”

Freedom is about people’s right to participate in the world as they see fit. As long as their actions do not deny or disparage the rights of others to live and pursue liberty and happiness then they, and the Governor, have the right to call others to join them, and in this case, to pray.

I, for one, will take that day of prayer to pray for Mr. Faircloth. Perhaps he will one day practice the tolerance he only seems to know how to talk about.

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