Religious freedom

The Bill of Rights guarantees religious freedom in this country. It was so important to the Founders that they put it in the First Amendment stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or the free exercise thereof”. This was done because the King of England was the head of the Church of England, which was Anglican. If you wanted “rights”, i.e. voting, college, political office, you had to be Anglican.

When the colonies were established, it became a place to put those who did not recognize the king’s authority plus the “riff-raff” from the prisons and indentured servants. If you remember the Mariel boat lift of 1980, this was similar in that Castro also shipped those who wanted to leave plus political prisoners and mental health patients to the U.S. Yes, the colonies were a place where everyone could practice whatever religion they believed in. The website stipulates that the First Amendment “prohibits the passing or creation of any law which establishes a religious body and directly impedes an individual’s right to practice whichever religion they see fit”.

This country was founded by many men who were Christians and this is reflected in the genius of our Founding Documents. The Law is based on some of the Commandments declared by the Christian God. (Have I “offended” anyone yet?) Besides, nowhere in the Founding Documents does it state, “If anyone is offended, the offender shall cease and desist upon pain of fine or imprisonment as permitted by law.” But isn’t that what we have now? “Freedom of expression, freedom of speech?” What the heck happened?

Now, fast-forward to the present. Religious freedom is now in the eye of the beholder. If a cross exists in a public area, all it takes is one person and a lawsuit to have it removed, even though it has existed there for many years. If you go to a public school, there can be no mention of Christianity or Judaism yet there can be prayer rooms, foot washing rooms and displays of the “Five Pillars of Islam”, the Foundation of Muslim life, in the hallways. And what is that gold curtain the President stands in front of? There’s only freedom of religion for some religions as directed by the United States Justice Department.

The next time someone asks you, with much condescension I’ll add, “What freedoms have you lost?” ask them to wear a Christian shirt and visit a school during the school day; you will be escorted from the school grounds. Freedom of religion and freedom of expression, along with the Second and Fourth Amendments, are in danger of being weakened and eliminated.

Gregory Weigle

South Williamsport

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom