July 25, 2014

Wesley J. Smith: Freedom of Worship’s Assault on Freedom of Religion

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- From the essay: Freedom of religion means the right to live according to one’s own faith, that is, to “manifest” our religion or belief in practice, both “in public or private,” without interference from the state. Strident secularism is on the march and freedom of religion is the target, with secularist warriors attempting to drive religious practice behind closed doors by redefining religious liberty down to a hyper-restricted, “freedom of worship.” Source: First Things On the Square | By Wesley J. Smith Until very recently, the West saw religious liberty as a weight-bearing pillar of human freedom. Thus, the very first clause of the First Amendment (1789) states, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. More broadly, Article 18 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) provides: Everyone has the right to freedom of … [Read more...]

Freedom of religion devolves to an “anorexic freedom of worship”

Chuck Colson sounds the alarm about a shift in US policy first noticed by The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its 2010 annual report. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton replaced the term "freedom of religion" with "freedom of worship" in a December, 2009 speech at Georgetown University. President Obama first used "freedom of worship" while remarking on the Ft. Hood shooting in November, 2009 and repeated it on trips to China and Japan (source: Christianity Today). Is it deliberate? Of course it is. Public language by diplomats, particularly when repeated, signals a shift in policy; either that or incompetence in the White House (also a possibility but never with religion or homosexuality which the administration approaches with unmatched earnestness). Colson's warning is sound and bears consideration. The George Weigel article Colson references in his talk is reproduced below the video. Ethics and Public Policy Center The Erosion of Religious … [Read more...]