Trump Religious Freedom

Trump’s religious liberty path requires our support

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Trump's religious liberty path requires our support

The major­ity of things that come out of Wash­ing­ton DC do not require our assis­tance. Pres­i­dent Trump lays down an order, Con­gress passes a law, or some agency puts out a reg­u­la­tion and the cit­i­zenry does what it can to com­ply. It sounds Dra­con­ian but it’s a sys­tem that works. Our par­tic­i­pa­tion in the repub­lic is to vote in rep­re­sen­ta­tives, empow­er­ing them to keep order and hope­fully assist us in prosperity.

Today’s rumors that Trump is about to take reli­gious lib­er­ties onto his plate will, if true, require our actions. He will need our help. Defense of reli­gious lib­er­ties has been a hot topic since before the coun­try was even formed and will con­tinue to be a hot topic long after we’ve left this world. That’s the nature of the most polar­iz­ing aspect of human existence.

For eight years, faith-​minded Amer­i­cans have wit­nessed a gov­ern­ment that has posi­tioned reli­gious free­dom as a form of dis­crim­i­na­tion. They say that a baker can’t prac­tice her reli­gion in her own pri­vate busi­ness and must bake what­ever cakes peo­ple order. They say a wed­ding pho­tog­ra­pher must take pic­tures at an event even if her reli­gion tells him it isn’t really a wed­ding. They say that reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions can­not express their polit­i­cal opin­ions because they’re a reli­gious organization.

All of these things are (hope­fully) about to change under Trump’s admin­is­tra­tion. If they do, it’s up to us to sup­port it appropriately.

This is a tricky sub­ject. The cul­tural pro­mo­tion of reli­gious free­doms isn’t a black and white issue even though it prob­a­bly should be. We’re going to have to make tough choices in the near future. One of the tough­est is accep­tance of other reli­gions. The Judeo-​Christian faiths are, in my hum­ble opin­ion, the most accept­ing of the other reli­gions. We need to take this up a notch if and when reli­gious free­doms are taken up by the admin­is­tra­tion. True tol­er­ance is accept­ing that everyone’s reli­gion, even those with val­ues that run con­trary to our own, has an equal right in Amer­ica. There are those who will say, “but we’re a Chris­t­ian nation.” I agree, but part of being a Chris­t­ian nation is accept­ing the com­mis­sion to spread the Word of God. It doesn’t mean that we’re sup­posed to accept oth­ers of our faith and ignore or reject other faiths. It’s our right in the Con­sti­tu­tion to share our faith and it’s a call­ing in the Bible to do the same.

When Trump makes his move, it will be first posi­tioned by the left as an attack on LGBT rights. Then, it will be posi­tioned as an attack on athe­ists. Then, the nar­ra­tive will shift to this being about Chris­tians only and that other reli­gions aren’t going to be allowed to share in the same free­doms. All of these nar­ra­tives are pre-​packaged and easy to fight, but the Pres­i­dent can­not fight them alone. Those of us, regard­less of per­sonal reli­gious beliefs, who embrace the free­doms that the 1st Amend­ment grant us must be vocal in our defense. We must sup­port all right­eous deci­sions at all lev­els of gov­ern­ment. More­over, we must denounce all per­ver­sions of the 1st Amend­ment that attempt to use the free­doms against us. Yes, that’s going to be a thing at some point in the near future. Watch for it.

Between travel bans, walls, and a flurry of exec­u­tive orders, it will be easy for reli­gious free­doms to get lost in the sea of issues. It’s our duty as Amer­i­cans, whether we’re reli­gious or not, to defend the rights of indi­vid­u­als and orga­ni­za­tions to freely prac­tice their beliefs. This is the bat­tle­ground that requires us all to take up spir­i­tual arms. It’s time to stand up for what’s right.

The majority of things that come out of Washington DC do not require our assistance. President Trump lays down an order, Congress passes a law, or some agency puts out a regulation and the citizenry does what it can to comply. It sounds Draconian but it’s a system that works. Our participation in the republic is to vote in representatives, empowering them to keep order and hopefully assist us in prosperity.

Today’s rumors that Trump is about to take religious liberties onto his plate will, if true, require our actions. He will need our help. Defense of religious liberties has been a hot topic since before the country was even formed and will continue to be a hot topic long after we’ve left this world. That’s the nature of the most polarizing aspect of human existence.

For eight years, faith-minded Americans have witnessed a government that has positioned religious freedom as a form of discrimination. They say that a baker can’t practice her religion in her own private business and must bake whatever cakes people order. They say a wedding photographer must take pictures at an event even if her religion tells him it isn’t really a wedding. They say that religious organizations cannot express their political opinions because they’re a religious organization.

All of these things are (hopefully) about to change under Trump’s administration. If they do, it’s up to us to support it appropriately.

This is a tricky subject. The cultural promotion of religious freedoms isn’t a black and white issue even though it probably should be. We’re going to have to make tough choices in the near future. One of the toughest is acceptance of other religions. The Judeo-Christian faiths are, in my humble opinion, the most accepting of the other religions. We need to take this up a notch if and when religious freedoms are taken up by the administration. True tolerance is accepting that everyone’s religion, even those with values that run contrary to our own, has an equal right in America. There are those who will say, “but we’re a Christian nation.” I agree, but part of being a Christian nation is accepting the commission to spread the Word of God. It doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to accept others of our faith and ignore or reject other faiths. It’s our right in the Constitution to share our faith and it’s a calling in the Bible to do the same.

When Trump makes his move, it will be first positioned by the left as an attack on LGBT rights. Then, it will be positioned as an attack on atheists. Then, the narrative will shift to this being about Christians only and that other religions aren’t going to be allowed to share in the same freedoms. All of these narratives are pre-packaged and easy to fight, but the President cannot fight them alone. Those of us, regardless of personal religious beliefs, who embrace the freedoms that the 1st Amendment grant us must be vocal in our defense. We must support all righteous decisions at all levels of government. Moreover, we must denounce all perversions of the 1st Amendment that attempt to use the freedoms against us. Yes, that’s going to be a thing at some point in the near future. Watch for it.

Between travel bans, walls, and a flurry of executive orders, it will be easy for religious freedoms to get lost in the sea of issues. It’s our duty as Americans, whether we’re religious or not, to defend the rights of individuals and organizations to freely practice their beliefs. This is the battleground that requires us all to take up spiritual arms. It’s time to stand up for what’s right.