A Different Take on Religious Freedom

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Limit the free exercise of Judeo-Christianity? On the contrary, the government of the United States should protect and encourage our religious character. The Constitution charters it to do so.

All federal office-holders swear to protect and defend the Constitution and when it comes to freedom of speech, press, assembly, and to petition the government, the three branches have indeed secured these rights. Not only are they secure, the Scotus, by degrees, extended them from the realm of ordered liberty into license. Free speech morphed into “freedom of expression,” to encompass strip club pole dancing and public burning of Old Glory. Press freedom is such that newspapers and digital news networks can fabricate outright falsehoods to imply criminality in President Trump. Scotus has long protected the intellectual and free speech rights of Leftist teachers and professors who espouse murderous communism and injurious sexual practices.

If there’s one consistency on the Left, it’s the untold damage done by their policies never shake their confidence in doing what is unconstitutional or evil. Terminate the next generation? Sure. Thanks to seven lawyers in 1973, there are some sixty million fewer Americans in 2020.

All in all, while I detest the wholesale conflation of beneficial 1st Amendment liberties with destructive license, I grudgingly admit I’d rather deal with expansive, as opposed to constricted, 1st Amendment rights.

So then, why are the Ten Commandments prohibited in public buildings? Why are public crucifixes and monuments torn down in the name of the establishment clause? Why, as opposed to the other 1st Amendment rights, opposition to the free exercise of Biblical morality?

It wasn’t always this way. Early in our republic, government understood its duty to society and respected the Judeo-Christian culture. In 1810 New York, John Ruggles publicly shouted that Jesus was a bastard and his mother Mary was a whore. He was arrested, tried, and found guilty of blasphemy.

On appeal, the NY Supreme Court found “that while the Constitution discarded religious establishments, it did not forbid cognizance of those offences against religion and morality because they strike at the root of moral obligation, and weaken the security of the social ties. We stand equally in need of moral discipline, and of those principles of virtue, which help to bind society together. The people of this state, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity as the rule of their faith and practice. To scandalize the author of these doctrines is not only, in a religious point of view, extremely impious, but, even in respect to the obligations due to society, is a gross violation of decency and good order. It was not because Christianity was established by law, but because Christianity was in fact the religion of this country, the rule of our faith and practice, and the basis of the public morals. Such blasphemy was an outrage upon public decorum, and if sanctioned by our tribunals would shock the moral sense of the country, and degrade our character as a Christian people.”

Notice the terms, “security of social ties, bind society, gross violation of decency and good order, shock the moral sense, degrade our character as a Christian people.” This lawful approach to strengthening societal cohesion and promoting the general welfare was constitutional in 1810 and remains constitutional today.

From Article 38 of New York’s 1777 Constitution:

“And whereas we are required, by the benevolent principles of rational liberty, not only to expel civil tyranny, but also to guard against that spiritual oppression and intolerance wherewith the bigotry and ambition of weak and wicked priests and princes have scourged mankind, this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare, that the free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever hereafter be allowed, within this State, to all mankind: Provided, that the liberty of conscience, hereby granted, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this State.”

Imagine if progressives hadn’t subsequently soiled free government.

New York wasn’t alone. The 1st Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause was in keeping with other state-enacted professions of freedom of worship, and the necessity of virtue to republican government. Now, the 1st Amendment itself remains un-amended since 1791. How then can otherwise rational people irrationally invert it so as to proscribe its free exercise anywhere, including public schools?

If Massachusetts and California want to indoctrinate their little boys in the joys of rump-rodeo, fine. But don’t restrict other states from enacting their versions of Biblical, rational, ordered liberty. That was the essence of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which for federal purposes limited recognition of marriage to the union of a man and woman. This refreshing waft of federalism, DOMA, did not preclude the states from allowing homosexual marriage, but other states did not have to accept their legality. DOMA passed with enormous bi-partisan support, only to be shot down by an arrogant Scotus that amended the Constitution when it legalized same-sex marriage in its 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

Thanks in large part to Scotus, a wave of LGBTQ destruction is about to crest over society as the court will soon decide if employers must allow drag queen employees in the workplace, and if transgenders deserve protection under the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The several 1st Amendment rights are equal. There isn’t an “except for government buildings or public property” qualifier to the free exercise of Judeo-Christianity.

1 thought on “A Different Take on Religious Freedom

  1. spiritplumber

    OK, great. Now use any text editor to replace “Biblical” with “Ayurvedic” in your article, and see if you still like it (The Veda are, after all, a moral tradition that is older than the Bible and historically has been followed by more people). Note that the arguments you make are just as valid: I’m simply asking you to figure out if you still like your own argument 🙂

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