I don’t pretend to be a particularly smart man; in fact, I’ve done some things that would be considered downright stupid at times. That being said, I do believe I’m smart enough to understand what three words in the Constitution of the United States really means. Which three words? Look at the title.
Freedom of religion in America should mean that we can choose whatever religion we want to believe in, be it Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, or – if you want to be like the late George Carlin – the sun with prayers sent to Joe Pesci. You can even choose to be free FROM religion, meaning you don’t believe in anything. It’s your right. In fact, in 1944, a joint committee of the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America and the Foreign Missions Conference of North America, formulated a “Statement on Religious Liberty”:
- “Religious Liberty shall be interpreted to include freedom to worship according to conscience and to bring up children in the faith of their parents; freedom for the individual to change his religion; freedom to preach, educate, publish and carry on missionary activities; and freedom to organise with others, and to acquire and hold property, for these purposes.”
Also, Congress passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 1993 to address the government’s involvement in religious matter.
Problem with that is there is now such a fervor here for anything that’s not Christianity or Judaism, and this makes me think there should be an amendment to the Constitution. Now, before you get your knickers in a twist, let me just say that I don’t mean that freedom of religion should be taken out; what I mean is there should be a simple addition.
In reference to the First Amendment, it currently reads as such:
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.
I’m proposing it should now read like this:
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.
Yeah, there’s an asterisks there. Why the asterisk? There should be a simple line at the bottom of the Constitution itself, and it should read:
* – That freedom should only be extended to those who practice Christianity or Judaism.
See, that would make everyone happy – well, except for those who don’t practice Christianity or Judaism.
Switching gears for a moment, there are people who say that Islam is a violent religion and condones death and mayhem. To those people, I say, “Please…shut up.” Do people do bad things in the name of Allah? Sure, they do. Do people do bad things in the name of God? Yep. We can go as far back as the Crusades if you want to, or we can go to the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller if you’d prefer something in this millennium. There are people who’d rather kill someone who doesn’t believe what they do than to have an open discussion about the differences and similarities of the same.
I honestly believe that if people actually set their fears aside and came together for a common good, this would would be so much better. Unfortunately, I don’t see this happening in my lifetime, and it probably won’t happen in my unborn child’s lifetime…
…and THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is a very sad reality.