Recently a high school student and his family sued a school district to restrict references to God and prayer from a high school graduation ceremony. As a Christian and as a Constitutionalist, stories like this are highly frustrating to me. Liberals have tried, with unfortunate success, to convince America that people have a right to never hear anything that ever upsets them in the slightest. This, in a nutshell, is the true definition of political correctness. I don’t know about you, but I’ve quite frankly had just about enough of this baloney.
Here’s the truth: we have Freedom OF Religion, and not Freedom FROM Religion. It’s an important distinction. As Americans, we have freedom to practice our faith. The only exception is if PHYSICAL harm is being done to another human being. (For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, that means people can’t legally sacrifice another person on an altar in the name of practicing my religion. It does not mean I can’t say “God bless you” to an atheist when they sneeze.) Furthermore, the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution was never meant to keep God out of all government circles. It was designed to prevent the United States from having a declared state religion (which we do not have).
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. (1)
For those of you from Palm Beach County, FL, here’s a quick history lesson: Before the United States was a nation, we were colonies of Great Britain. Great Britain, both then and now had an official state religion, the Anglican Church. The Founders did not want the United States to fall into that trap, hence the first part of the First Amendment, which prohibits the United States from becoming a Methodist nation, or a Lutheran nation, or a Baptist nation. That was the historical intention of that part of the First Amendment.
However, the Founders also put a second statement about religion. The Founders also made sure that there would be nothing to stop people from freely practicing their religion. Notice it does not say “private exercise thereof.” It says Congress shall make NO LAW prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The United States government may not stop people from practicing their religion. Got it?
Yet Liberals and atheists of all political leanings have combined to demand that they never have to hear anything about other people’s religions and now what the law to protect their ears from having to hear our free speech. With all due respect to you atheists, if you don’t want to hear the free expression of my faith, don’t listen to me. Don’t read Biblical Conservatism (for crying out loud, it’s in the name of the blog). You do not have a right to stop my expression of my faith, or for that matter, anyone else’s expression of their faith. Not in private, not in public, not at all. Period.
Liberals would rather have us believe that the most disgusting pornography on the planet is protected speech under the Constitution, while saying “Dear Jesus, thank you for this meal you have provided us and for your blessings on our lives. Amen,” is not protected speech. Sorry Liberals, but you’re wrong (quite frankly, on both counts). For the record, I recognize that I legally do not have the right to stop the pornography industry, provided all involved are consenting adults. That said, the Founders intended to protect free expression of religious faith, all political speech, and assembly in protest when they ratified the First Amendment. The Constitution protects my right to pray in public, to talk about Jesus in public, to quote the Bible in public. I have that right.
You have two choices in such situations. First and foremost, you can leave. You don’t have to stay and here my free speech. You have every right to avoid hearing my speech (as I avoid viewing the aforementioned pornography because it highly offends me). No one is forcing you to stay and listen.
Secondly, you can counter my speech with speech of your own. You are more than welcome to enter into a discussion with me on our differences of faith or our differences of political opinion. As a matter of fact, I welcome it. I believe in the Arena of Ideas. You present your ideas, I’ll present mine.
Unfortunately for Liberals, their ideas rarely stand up in a debate. They end up being Unconstitutional, just plain whiny, or both combined (see: demanding people of faith never speak their faith out loud). Not only do you have a legal right to stop people from expressing their faith, you also are being incredibly hypocritical. Liberals claim to be open minded but never want to be open minded about anything they don’t like. As William F. Buckley famously said, “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover there are other views.”
So Liberals, and atheists of all political bents, please hear me: Get over yourselves. We have the right to express our faith. You have a right to not listen. You have a right to debate with us. You do not have a right to silence our constitutionally protected religious speech. Get over it.
(1) The First Amendment to the United States Constitution (Emphasis Added)