Let’s Talk Religious Freedom


Monday, March 30, 2015

Because the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act has caused so much controversy, I thought I’d weigh in with my thoughts on the subject. I was taught that our country was founded to ensure religious freedom. My understanding was that many were persecuted for practicing a religion in their homeland that was not approved by the government. So, they came to America in order to have the freedom to practice their religion. Unfortunately, once they got that freedom, many groups proceeded to impose their beliefs as the only valid belief systems. This is still true today.

We have “Patriots” telling others that ours is a “Christian” nation and that Christianity is the basis of our laws. This is NOT true.  But, try to tell them that and watch the sparks fly! Our Constitution was written by men who believed there should be no established state religion and they specifically inserted it in the Constitution, Article VI paragraph 3, “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

The framers of our Constitution believed so strongly in freedom to practice any or no religion that they included it in the very first amendment to the Constitution.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_the_United_States

Freedom of religion is also closely associated with separation of church and state, a concept advocated by Colonial founders such as Roger Williams,William Penn and later founding fathers such as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson.”

In defending the Indiana law, Gov. Pence stated that Barack Obama had voted for such a law while serving in the Illinois State Senate. What Gov. Pence failed to tell or did not know, was that the Illinois law is different than the Indiana law in that it specifically bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-indiana-illinois-religious-objections-met-20150327-story.html

As expected, the economic effects of this law are getting the attention of the legislators in Indiana and they are now looking at ways to fix the law to protect all citizens. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/30/396361058/indiana-republicans-say-they-will-seek-to-clarify-religious-freedom-law  

In my humble opinion, no citizen should be discriminated against for any reason or be allowed to discriminate against another.  No one should be denied service or treated differently because of their race, sex, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. And, I believe that our Constitution prohibits that type of discrimination.

Displayed with permission from Pat Fuller

Pat Taylor Fuller has a blogspot named Pat’s Commentary



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