Subtle Erosion of Religious Liberty

Subtle Erosion of Religious Liberty

freedom of religion in USAby Gary Boyd

A recent change in the wording of a question on the United States citizenship test did not go unnoticed by Senator James Lankford (R-OK). The test now shows “Freedom of Worship”, rather than “Freedom of Religion”, as one of the basic rights of a U.S. citizen.

Morgan Mayhew, writing for www.libertynewsnow.com, discusses Senator Lankford’s inquiry into the change, and what results the inquiry has unearthed.

Senator Lankford questioned DHS Secretary Johnson before Congress in April, expressing to him that: “We in the United States actually have freedom of religion, not freedom of worship”.

Most of us have probably never looked at the citizenship test. When one is born in the United States, an automatic grant of citizenship eliminates most reasons anyone would have to review the test questions. While a seemingly small, and perhaps even an innocent affront, the implications of the change justify senator Lankford’s ire.

While freedom of religion may encompass freedom of worship, the opposite does not hold true. Freedom of worship would relegate one’s practice of religion to the expression of private religious sentiment and church on Sunday, leaving the option open to government of disallowing the individual to act conscientiously on a daily basis, consistent with religious belief. Freedom of religion, however, far more expansive, prohibits the government from interfering with one’s decisions of conscience based on religious belief. The First Amendment clearly prohibits Congress from impeding the citizenry in the “free exercise” of religion.

To swap Freedom of Religion for Freedom of Worship renders a religiously-minded individual either a criminal or a hypocrite. If a man or woman acts on his religious belief, contrary to governmental enactments, he or she may be punished by the law.

However, if the individual cowers from acting on religious belief due to government coercion, he or she has not been valiant and true to those beliefs most deeply held and cherished. The Constitution is clear that government has no authority to force the individual into such an unenviable situation, yet such situations occur each day, and the Sexual Revolution continues to grind and dilute Christianity, as most eloquently summarized by David French.

More than ever, the fight requires involvement, and the question of whether those who love religious freedom have the grit to fight is yet to be seen.

 

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