What is freedom of religion? For centuries nation-states and governments forced religious beliefs on the people under their rule. From the beginning of civilization in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the rulers of people have instituted a set of religious beliefs that all people must follow.
But that changed with the United States of America. The founders of this nation set out on a grand experiment, and that experiment was freedom – to include freedom of religion. The United States does not impose any religious belief on any person, and the government cannot interfere in the religious practices of the people, so long as those practices do not violate the basic liberties of another person.
Freedom of religion is something that has set the United States apart from every other country in the world since its founding in 1776 and the establishment of the government in 1791. The people of the United States have been able to rest assured that the government they elected will not violate the freedoms established in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
But what does freedom of religion mean? Lately, the term has become synonymous with hateful words that are prejudiced against other people. People who wish to practice their religion are labeled with terms that are discriminatory in nature because other people believe that freedom of religion is discriminatory in nature.
But freedom of religion is not discrimination. Freedom of religion is the God-given right to follow an established set of principles that date back millennia. The problems that people of religion face in today’s society are new problems, things that have only come about in the last decade or so.
It was not much more than twenty years ago that the U.S. government established a law reaffirming freedom of religion for all people in the country. Now, similar laws are struck down by the Supreme Court, and the states that pass the laws are labeled as discriminatory.
People who wish to practice religion in the United States do not hate other people. The religions of the world are a path to some higher place, and to get there one must love others unequivocally. Those that oppose religious freedom look at the minority of religious people who have chosen a lesser path of hatred toward others, and use that as the litmus test for what religious freedom espouses.
Freedom of religion is not going away, but the meaning of what “freedom” is has changed to be sure. The beauty of the U.S. Constitution is its flexibility to meet the needs of the populace regardless of what is happening in the country at that particular time.
The Constitution and Bill of Rights will stand the test of time, and freedom of religion will stand right there with them. Religion is a fundamental right ordained by something higher than any government. The fact that the founders of the United States recognized this right is testament to how this nation was founded and the principles that were held in the highest regard in the late eighteenth century.
For those that fear their religious freedoms are being trampled, stand strong. Do not back down in the face of those that discriminate against religion. You have something stronger on your side – the Truth. You know that your beliefs are right, and there is nothing that will change that Truth.
For those that wish to trample religious freedom, know this: religion has been tested for thousands of years, and has stood the test of time. You may believe that you are right with your hatred toward those that only wish to love, but love will always overcome hatred.
The United States remains unique in its belief that religion holds a special place in the heart of the people. No other country affords the rights that American citizens have, although many have tried to mimic the U.S. form of government and protection of rights.
Freedom of religion will be there when the dust settles, and those that stood the test of time will be afforded a special place. The United States will move forward with its interpretation of the law, and new laws will be passed and repealed before this is all over. But those that know their religious beliefs are right and true have nothing to worry about. There is a higher Order at work, and that Order knows who is right and who is not.