Freedom of Religion Trumped by Sensitivity Quirks?

FreedomReligionby Leigh Bravo   5/7/14
Do you think that your First Amendment rights regarding the free exercise of religion are being protected by the powers at be, or are they being sidetracked by sensitivity quirks?

Let’s talk about the First Amendment to the Constitution and how it applies to Religious Freedom. What does the amendment say?

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, as one of the ten amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.

Four year ago, in Morgan Hill California, four students were told by school administrators to cover up the American Flag on their t-shirts because it was Cinco de Mayo. Some Hispanic students were offended that they would wear the American flag shirts on a day they were celebrating their own heritage. They complained to school officials and they asked the students wearing the flags to turn them inside out, or leave school. The action led to a lawsuit, and the appellate court backed the school administrators. One of the students is now at the University of Nevada and is an Army reservist. Despite the amount of time that has elapsed since the incident, he is still ready to appeal the case.

Two Baptist chaplains said they were forced out of a Veterans Affairs chaplain training program after they refused orders to stop quoting the Bible and to stop praying in the name of Jesus. When the men objected to those demands, they were subjected to ridicule and harassment that led to one of the chaplains leaving the program and the other being ejected. A federal lawsuit has been filed.

A grieving mother erected a roadside cross where her son, Anthony Vincent Devaney, was killed crossing the street in May, 2012. The American Humanist Association filed a complaint and demanded that the cross come down. They say the display of these crosses around the country remembering those killed offend them and cross the line between church and state. This is the same group that filed a legal action against the Lake Elsinore’s proposed veterans memorial that would have depicted a soldier kneeling in front of crosses and Stars of David. Anthony’s cross has been taken down.

Within the Military we have seen many examples of actions against Christians. Atheists are battling over a cross that was placed at Camp Pendleton in California, there is a continued push for non-believing chaplains , a cross was removed from an interfaith military chapel in Afghanistan and the U.S. Air Force Academy backed out of a toy drive because it was sponsored by a Christian group, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center implemented a policy that prevented family members of wounded soldiers from bringing Bibles and other religious materials to their loved ones.

In Florida, at Park Lakes Elementary School, a school teacher told Giovanni Rubeo he was not allowed to read his Bible during “free reading time” in the class. As a result she called his parents in front of the class and left the following message,

“I noticed that he has a book, a religious book, in the classroom, He is not permitted to read those books in my classroom.”

The Rubeo family is currently being represented by the Liberty Institute.

In Lake City Florida, a Christian ministry who has been providing food to the poor and hungry for 31 years, had a state government worker tell them,

“You are not be allowed to receive USDA food unless you remove portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that reads “Jesus is Lord” and stop giving Bibles to the needy.”

Daly and her staff were stunned when the government officials also informed them that the Christian Service Center could no longer pray or provide Bibles to those in need. So, faced with a choice…God or government food, they chose God.

“We decided to eliminate the USDA food and we’re going to trust God to provide.” “If God can multiply fish and loaves for 10,000 people, he can certainly bring in food for our food pantry so we can continue to feed the hungry.”

Churches across Lake City have filled the void left when the government took away their food.

In 2011, Mark Mackey and Bret Coronado were arrested and charged with misdemeanor offenses for reading the Bible outside a DMV location. A Superior Court Judge, found the men not guilty of any offenses and also pointed out that what the prosecutors tried to invoke was unconstitutional.

Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk found himself relieved of his duties because his Air Force Base Commander wanted to severely punish an instructor who had expressed religious objections to gay marriage. She demanded Monk share his own personal views on marriage. When he said he disagreed with her opinion, he was relieved of his duties. His beliefs are a court martial offense in the Air Force and it is quite possible that the 19 year veteran with a spotless record could be booted out of the military because of his Christian beliefs. He is being represented by the Liberty Institute for religious discrimination.

A professor at Florida Atlantic University told his students to write “Jesus Chirst” on a piece of paper, throw it on the ground and stomp on it. When a student refused to do the assignment, a formal disciplinary action was started against him. When the word got out, Christians became enraged and the University changed its mind and the professor was put on administrative leave.

There was a complaint in Arizona from an Atheist that she was offended by the Bible in the nightstand at her hotel near two public universities. Rather than protecting constitutional rights, the universities removed the Bibles. Alliance Defending Freedom argue that removing the Bibles is actually discriminating against religion. The Supreme Court has repeatedly condemned efforts to exclude or restrict religious materials and activities as viewpoint or content discrimination at universities and elsewhere. A law suit will be filed against the universities. David French, senior counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice said,

“Incidents like this will continue to unfold against religious expression in the public sphere as long as a “quirk” in the law provides “special privileges to offended citizens.”

The list of examples of discrimination against Christians and persons of faith continues on a daily basis. Is the punishment of those who choose to practice their faith an infringement on their rights to exercise their freedom of religion? Can the government and private organizations make laws prohibiting the practice of religion when the Constitution “prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion?”

Are these examples truly concerns over the separation of church and state, or just intolerance from those with sensitivity quirks?
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Leigh Bravo blogs at The Trumpet. • (1184 views)

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6 Responses to Freedom of Religion Trumped by Sensitivity Quirks?

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    It should also be noted that the First Amendment specifically prohibits what the Federal government can do. It says nothing about what the states can do. Massachusetts was the last state to have an established religion. It was abolished in 1833.

    It might be a shocking notion to those who have absorbed by Leftmosis (is that an okay word, Timothy?) what they believe to be American history. But there is nothing besides an activist Supreme Court (and the individual state constitutions as they exist now) to prevent the establishment of religion in the states. And that, in my opinion, is a good thing. That’s called freedom. And the nature of competition of federalism keeps an overbearing homogeneity from stifling our society. We’re permitted the freedom to err, if need be, with any such errors being relatively mild and changeable as opposed to the errors that come from the Federal government which effects us all.

    This becomes all the more interesting of an issue because what is trying to be established is the Church of Leftism. Mr. Kung has pointed out another terrific article on the subject by Kevin Williamson which is well worth the read: Room to Pray.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      As one who coins words frequently (such as slimylib, newsliar, and muslimthug), I certainly can’t object to someone else coming up with such a nice portmanteau word as “leftmosis”. I’ll have to remember it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Okie Doke. And I figured that you’d understand the word, which you did. I’m not sure if most would. But I might stick with it, Timothy.

  2. steve lancaster says:

    This issue also strides right into the concept of free association and the equal right not to associate. The progressive would force Christians to associate with non-believers but uphold the right of non-believers to associate with Christians and amend their ritual to fit the non-believer. Of course, this is a major contradiction and as unlawful as it is possible to get. It is the equivalent of Nazi’s using the Torah to justify imprisonment and execution of Jews.

    An excellent book on the contradictions of the progressive mind set which focuses on science and religion is the Devils Delusion by , David Berlinski.
    A single quote I hope will illustrate the point:
    “Just who has imposed on the suffering human race poison gas, barbed wire, high explosives, experiments in eugenics, the formula for Zyklon B, heavy artillery, pseudo-scientific justifications for mass murder, cluster bombs, attack submarines, napalm, intercontinental ballistic missiles, military space platforms, and nuclear weapons? If memory serves, it was not the Vatican.”
    Berlinski, David (2009-08-26). The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions (p. 21). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    There’s a nice little website called patriotpost.us that (among other things) includes humorous items, most often conservative posters. (I heard of it because a friend sent me some excellent examples, which in fact I still have in my e-mails.) One they had recently had a caption explaining the liberal view of free expression, to the effect that “your freedom ends with my feelings.” As long as the feelings are politically correct, of course; someone who’s disgusted by watching two homosexuals would never be able to claim his feelings trump their “rights”. (We had a case in Louisville many years ago of a man who claimed that he had a morbid fear of blacks, and thus either needed a job where he would have no contact with them, or disability benefits. I don’t know the final resolution, but I doubt he won. But if a black had a morbid fear of whites, it might be another matter.)

    Of course, this is made more interesting by the continuing story of atheists who say they don’t believe in God, but are unable to abide seeing references to someone they consider non-existent. As I’ve asked several times recently, do they react similarly to references to Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy? Or to the Abner Doubleday story of the origin of baseball?

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    George Will had a column on this subject today which I found to be mediocre. Why he spends so much ink on Jefferson’s supposed “deism,” I’ll never know. This is apparently a common myth that is still going around that most of the Founders were “deists.” As Dennis Prager notes about Franklin (who is often called out as the poster boy of deism), he believed pretty much the same things that Prager does, including god being a god of judgment.

    As for Jefferson being a deist, could a “deist” have written:

    “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may become probable by supernatural interference!” —Notes on the State of Virginia [1785]

    A typical, and probably good, definition of “deism” that I found on the web states: “Deists differed from traditional Christians by rejecting miraculous occurrences and prophecies and embracing the notion of a well-ordered universe created by a God who withdrew into detached transcendence.”

    However, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to take a somewhat “deist” position. In effect, it’s saying that the universe is so great and varied, and the human ability to comprehend it so small, that we can’t be entirely sure of its purpose. All believers are deists in degrees, if they are honest (as should atheists admit to degrees of uncertain purpose if they were honest, and they are known for being notoriously intellectually dishonest).

    What “deist” means to the secular Left is quite another thing. It’s certainly not a philosophical pursuit or an attempt to gain a better understanding of the beliefs of people, including our Founders. It’s simply a device to try to undermine Western Civilization by steadily re-writing our history and deflating belief itself.

    It’s thus a bit disturbing seeing George Will engage in this as well. There’s nothing all at wrong, of course, in pointing out that different people (including the Founders) had different beliefs and religious practices, certainly in type and intensity But such an insight is not stunning news for it describes most of us. But what is news is for a conservative to willingly (no pun intended) take part in the theism/deism paradigm — one that is not of their making and that was written solely as a means to deconstruct, and thus destroy, Western Civilization.

    Useful idiots abound.

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