Saturday, August 22, 2015

Religious Liberty-A Call to all Religions

At the end of his presidency, George Washington Stated "I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping."

Shortly after the time of Christ, there were many Christians who suffered death for being Christians.  These Christian Martyrs, our founding fathers, and God look down upon us now, from the other side of the veil, and if they could speak to us now, I believe one thing they would tell us is to stand strong for what we believe, and to stand strong for Religious Liberty. 

We live in a time where religious liberty is being threatened in America.  An Obama aide stated, and was confirmed by a Supreme Court justice, that what is at stake with the Supreme Court's decision on whether states can decide whether or not to define Marriage, is the Tax-Exempt Status of Religions.  Additionally, a popular political candidate has called for religions to change what they teach to be more in line with the government.  

From the document "The Family-A proclamation to the World" we read "The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." 

This government is trying to force religions to teach principles that run contrary to their beliefs as established by God. 

This runs against what our Forefathers believed, which is that this nation was established by the intervention of God.  These Forefathers pledged their lives and their sacred honor to guarantee, among other rights, the God-Given right to be free to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.    

Part of Amendment 1 of the Bill of Rights states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

The reason our forefathers established this was to escape the forced religion of England.  They knew by experience the problems that happen when Governments interfere with Religion.  Many of our Forefathers were strong believers in God, and they often stated that his hand organized this Country to be a place where we could be free to worship him as we please.

Here is a powerful statement on Religious Liberty: "Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right that protects the conscience of all people. It allows us to think, express and act upon what we deeply believe. But around the world, and in the United States, this freedom is eroding. Churches, religious organizations and individuals face increasing restrictions as they participate in the public square, express their beliefs or serve in society. But there is much good that Church members and people of goodwill can do to preserve and strengthen religious freedom."

The time has come in this Country for people of faith to set aside their theological differences, and come together to fight for the freedom to worship as we please.  We need to take up the banner of Religious Freedom, and display it for all around us to see.  We need to get involved in influencing our leaders to safeguard this most essential of God-Given rights.

Search your heart, and realize that the great changes that happened in the history of the world started with just one person becoming involved.  Each of us has the power to be a catalyst for good, and to stand strong for the liberty and freedom of the people.

In that spirit, I have included some online sources where you can read more on Religious Liberty, and most importantly, get involved with like-minded men and women of good conscience who are concerned with the direction this country is moving.  They are getting involved, and so can you.  

And if you do, you will have the inner peace to know that even though you may not be asked to give your lives as the Early Christian martyrs did, you are standing strong just as they did in a world that is drifting so far from the moorings of the safe harbor of Morality.  

Here are some of the online resources:

Alliance Defending Freedom's website on Religious Freedom – a way to get involved
http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/issues/religious-liberty 

Religious Liberties Website-a great place to get involved.
http://www.religiousliberties.org/

Statement and Resources on Religious Freedom from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/official-statement/religious-freedom 

Religious Liberty Page of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/ 

Seventh Day Adventist Religious Liberty Page
http://www.adventist.org/service/religious-liberty/ 

How to contact your senator:
http://www.senate.gov/reference/common/faq/How_to_contact_senators.htm

How to contact your congressman in the House of Representatives
http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Pick one, pick many, and get involved, even if it is just sending emails to your representatives on matters of Religious Liberty.  For the worship of God according to the dictates of our own conscience is at stake now.  

Sources:

Supreme Court Rulings
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/04/28/could-religious-institutions-lose-tax-exempt-status-over-supreme-courts-gay-marriage-case/ 

Bill of Rights-
http://billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/ 

Forefathers believed in God 
http://www.usachristianministries.com/us-history-quotes-about-god-and-the-bible/ 

The Family-A Proclamation to the World full text available at 
https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation  

Statement on Religious Freedom
http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/official-statement/religious-freedom

Picture is The Prayer at Valley Forge by Arnold Friberg

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