Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion and the right to exercise our religious convictions according to the dictates of our conscience is a sacred principle of the United States of America. The founders of our nation “left their native land, to seek on these shores a residence for civil and religious freedom” (2nd Continental Congress, Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms, July 6, 1775). And of course the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states: “Congress shall make NO LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE thereof.”

I am religious. I believe in certain religious principles and tenets and believe that through them I can gain salvation. I also fully respect those who have other religious convictions as well as those who have no religious affiliation.  This is the beauty and blessing of America. Each of us can worship how, where and what we want as long as our conduct does not infringe upon the rights of others.  It does not matter if someone believes in one God or three gods or in a sacred cow, it is their business and it is their freedom to do so. But every American should ferociously defend and protect the unalienable right each of us possesses to worship how we desire.
As the 1st Amendment clearly declares, the Federal Government does not have the authority to trample upon the religious exercise of individuals and force them to participate in or do something that is against their religious convictions. An individual or privately owned business should not be forced to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding event if it is against their religious convictions. Same-sex behavior and weddings are choices and no one should be forced by the government to participate in other people’s choices.

And no, refusing to participate in same-sex weddings or events is not the same as refusing to serve blacks. The color of our skin is not a choice. Same-sex behavior is a choice and a same-sex wedding is an event and choice, and again no one should be forced to uphold or participate in the choices of others, particularly if they are contrary to religious conviction.

Should a baker be forced to bake a cake for a Neo-Nazi or KKK wedding though their moral and religious convictions deem it reprehensible?

The whole issue is simply about individual liberty and the freedom to exercise our religion according to our conscience. We may vary in our opinion on another’s action or lack of action, and a majority may even deem the action inappropriate or wrong. But that does not justify the iron fist of Governmental coercion. The mob does not rule in the United States of America of America, and that includes the Federal Government. Individual liberty and freedom rules in America.

When a person’s religious convictions or a specific religion is persecuted and coerced by government, then all people and all religions are threatened. If the Federal Government can do it to one it can be done to others. It may be somebody else today but it will be you tomorrow.

 

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