Recently my thoughts about the past few years of ‘social evolution’ were vocalized, but not by me. It was shocking to hear my thoughts coming out of someone else’s mouth and on satellite radio no less.
While listening to Tom Sullivan on Fox News Radio, Mr. Sullivan raised the question that has haunted me for the past few years: Why is it that Christians and Conservatives have to apologize for what we believe and for expressing those beliefs, yet those of other faiths, no faith, or a more Liberal political stance have “freedom of speech”?
I can already hear those who don’t agree with me yelling at the computer, saying “If you all didn’t shove God down our throat…” or “If you loved everyone like God says to love them, you’d feed them” and of course “If you want prayer or other Christian ideas back in school, you need to allow room for all faiths, even if some arms of those faith are radical”.
Your point has been duly noted.
Instead of screaming at each other, let’s take a realistic view of where we have traveled on this topic and maybe even abused the First Amendment. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”
Our government cannot do anything to prevent us from worshiping and expressing our religious beliefs, as long as we are not inciting immediate danger or harm to those around us. I’m not making a statement of government taking away these rights, as much as people using the system of government and the courts to gradually remove these freedoms from society. The removal of these practices or expressions isn’t always done with great fanfare and some of the larger arguments we have had overtime haven’t been successful, in the views of more Liberal thinkers. Instead, things are removed more “quietly” and “gently”, as not to draw larger attention to situations. If things are done in this manner, you don’t realize circumstances have changed, until it is too late.
An example would be Christmas traditions. Since when has a Nativity scene incited a riot or caused danger to people, unless of course, someone is so full of hate and anger they feel the need to lash out at a display?
Why is a Christian student wearing a cross necklace more offensive than an Eastern religion student wearing a head covering?
Why can’t a student wear a shirt with an American flag on it to school, maybe even on another country’s holiday?
These are examples of controversies we have all heard about in recent years. I understand many on both sides of this fence have been persecuted. People of deep religious beliefs have been persecuted for centuries, but as Christians, as well as Conservatives, living in America, I think we are part of a marginalized population and we are afraid to stand up again.
I would never suggest us standing up in a violent or obnoxious way; however, political correctness has infiltrated our society to such a great extreme that we are afraid of saying anything to anyone whether in support or defense of our beliefs.
The words I heard on Mr. Sullivan’s show rang so loudly in my head, ‘Why, when the Prophet Mohammed is made fun of or put in a bad light, the entire world explodes and people ‘pay’, yet when Christ is made fun of or put in a bad light, Christians sit back and take it’. One of our most common expressions of frustration or anger includes the name of God. Have you ever heard anyone swear on the name of Mohammed? I haven’t. We are so concerned about our freedoms of allowance; we sometimes forget our freedoms of abstaining.
I know for me, fear keeps me from exercising my freedom and asking others to respect my beliefs, especially if I am being respectful of their beliefs–fear of losing friends, fear of offending someone. Aren’t I offended when someone makes fun of the person I believe is my Lord and Savior? Shouldn’t I be offended? Yet, I cower back and just let it go by the wayside; it’s expected of me to be gracious, understanding and politically correct.
Please understand our Forefathers did not intend for us to be in a constant state of arguing about religion or trying to see how many markers of chosen religions we could place up and down the street to make a point and end up losing the meaning of what and why we believe. In reality though, over time Christians and conservatives have been quietly put into a box and now we are so accustomed to being in the box, we don’t even stand up when it is appropriate.
It’s unsettling to see those who use religion abusively committing terrorist acts on America and other countries, in the name of someone’s god or picketing funerals of brave individuals who gave their life willingly, so those picketing could do so freely.
But let’s not discuss extremes.
The incident that sparked this conversation is the recent Embassy attacks. Even if our current administration can’t consistently say the words, it was a terrorist attack on our sovereign land. This attack requires a sovereign government response without anything to do with religion. We now know that it wasn’t really sparked by a video, as so many wanted us to believe—but even if we took that angle, why did we apologize? If American citizens have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech and religion, why is this country so concerned about apologizing instead of standing up to defend our land, our beliefs and Christianity? It is never right to offend someone else’s beliefs, but we shouldn’t hide behind these beliefs either just to lessen serious situations.
Our President doesn’t stand up for Christians in his own country, whereas he stands up for other religions all around the world. Why? Have we allowed political correctness to infiltrate our souls to such a degree that we don’t know how to respectfully disagree?
It’s time our world quit using religion as an excuse for hate. It’s time that when some do use religion as a reason for harming others and creating mass destruction, we acknowledge their belief and respectfully disagree with it, if that applies, but condemn the behavior that leads to death and destruction.
Love your neighbor, as yourself.