Friday, April 08, 2016

Will the real religious freedom please stand up?

Religious Freedom
The traditional meaning:
Freedom of belief, speech, practice, proselytizing, etc.

The new revisionist meaning:
Freedom to restrict services against, or to hate, denigrate, despise or oppress others.

That amounts to rewriting language history. It's revisionist. It's ugly … it's wrong.

Bigotry defined
Bigotry [BIG-uh-tree] NOUN
Intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.
Source: The Oxford Dictionary

Bigotry exemplified
Christian bigots are trying to redefine "freedom of religion" to suit their need to discriminate without penalty. Perhaps they need to be reminded that "Do unto others…" is not just a nice catchy phrase to tell our kids to get them to behave well.

True followers of Christ -- the majority of U.S. Christians -- need to speak up. Your silence is taken as agreement with those practicing bigotry. Pilgrims fled to America to escape state-such imposed religion. True Christians need to start standing up and shouting, "Not here! Not now! Not ever! That's not who we are!"

Islam increasing, Christianity decreasing
For those who think an official state religion is just fine, tell me -- what happens when the majority of Americans follow Islam?  Islam is growing; Christianity is shrinking. Think, people; think! In that future, would it be OK for Muslims to legally refuse to serve women who do not wear a hijab? Women not accompanied by their husband? People who are not Muslims? That is … your own descendants?

Our laws protect people and help ensure equal treatment of everyone. They are not to push your own personal agenda or that of your religious sect, no matter how fervently you may hold to your beliefs.

Personal religious freedom!
Believe what you like. Worship as you like. Gather as you like. Pray as you like. But do not -- ever -- try to force your beliefs on others. In the public realm, you have no right to impose your personal beliefs on others who do not agree with you. That's just another form of bullying. Religious bullying causes Christ to weep. It's time we put a stop such actions before they escalate into even more damaging behavior.

"Be careful what you ask for"
Beware -- Payback is a real bummer! When the tables are turned, the results for your descendants could be disastrous! Don't shoot yourself in the foot and then later complain that it hurts.

Millennials shun the church
And by the way … two-faced bigotry makes Millennials cringe and shun the church (not just "church"). They see us as irrelevant. Why would they ever want to "be like that" and join us when they see such bigotry as representing all Christians?

We need to show them that are good examples of followers of  Christ. Those who only claim to be followers but act otherwise can seem in the majority unless … and until … the majority speaks up!

Stand up and be counted!
"Do unto others…" is not just a nice catchy phrase to tell our kids. It's way past time to actually live it!

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