The Meaning of Religious Freedom

Risk your and your family’s lives for up to five months across uncertain seas, dining on salted meats and hard biscuits in pursuit of some frighteningly disturbing zealotry called “religious freedom.”

Rick Jensen

Contemporary liberal American politicians and “properly” educated bureaucrats recognize this danger to the old cause of governmental elitism and so counter it by parroting a theme as easily recited as a nursery rhyme: “Separation of Church and State.”

In Delaware, where Democratic Senator Chris Coons won over the hearts and minds of liberals by falsely stating separation of Church and State is “in the Constitution,” Rehoboth Beach city manager Greg Ferrese has echoed this liberal liturgical litmus, denying a local pastor a permit to gather for peaceful worship with his congregation at the public square.

First, let’s peer beyond the curtain of Oz and see the mechanism behind this “separation.”

The founding fathers, whom liberals often refer to as racist, bloodthirsty miscreants of one sort or another, agreed with their compatriot (or “crony” in liberalspeak) James Madison that the government of this country shall provide freedom of religion, radically forbidding any “official” specific denomination authorized by the government.

Liberals truly believe this also means the government is supposed to protect you “from” religion, as if exposure to various theological ideas is somehow a threat to people.

The founders knew of a real threat: the threat of one denomination controlling the government and vice versa. The congressional record of 1789 cites framers as stating for the record in no uncertain terms that they choose Christian principles to determine the Constitution and not Anglicanism, Catholicism or any other denomination.

How did this separation of church and state theme come to exist?

Arch Everson was so outraged that his tax dollars supported school bus transportation to both public and private religious schools that he rode this hobby horse all the way from New Jersey to the Supreme Court.

While Arch lost his immediate case, the liberal cause scored an enormous victory as Chief Justice Hugo Black determined new guidelines for the government and religion:

“Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa… In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State.'”

Anti-religion zealots use this decision to silence the religious, claiming that any permission for religious groups using public grounds is somehow “participation.”

And Hugo Black was wrong. Jefferson was in France when the Bill of Rights was written by James Madison. Justice Black made his decision based on a letter… not wording in the constitution… just a letter to the New Canaan Baptists that he believed Madison’s words in the First Amendment do already provide a separation of church and state. The meaning of “separation” is now vague enough to be purposefully misused.

In fact, in Reynolds v. The United States, 88 years prior to Everson, the Supreme Court determined that the First Amendment provided such protections of religion that political leaders and government are not forbidden from allowing religious speech in public.

The Everson decision is used as an excuse to deny religious expression in the public square. This is where “separation of church and state” is twisted into a perverse interpretation as “protection from religion.”

Equally ironically, Rehoboth Beach was founded as a Christian resort by the Methodist Episcopalian Church.

What is in the constitution are words that forbid the prohibition of the free exercise of religion.

Fortunately, Pastor Robert Dekker of the New Covenant Presbyterian Church has supporters who have turned what would have been a series of quiet beachside devotions into a huge protest over Ferrese’ abuse of power.

On Independence Day, hundreds of Americans gathered in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to do exactly what the Founding Fathers intended: pronounce their individual rights to religious expression and to freely assemble and speak out against crushing, abusive government elitists.

God Bless America!

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