What’s Happening to America’s Free Exercise of Religion?

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Referring to a statement about religious liberty made by Frank Bruni, a gay columnist whose essays often appear in the “Sunday Review” section of the New York Times, Dr. Al Mohler (president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, one of the largest seminaries in the world) recently stated the following:

The really chilling part of his statement [about the practice of religion in America] is the restriction of religious liberty to “religious services or what happens in a church, temple, or mosque.” This is becoming more and more common, as major political and legal figures speak more and more of “freedom of worship” as a replacement for religious liberty. Religious liberty certainly includes freedom of worship, but it by no means stops there.

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows:

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.

Note that the First Amendment is not just guaranteeing freedom of religion, but “the free exercise thereof.”

Today, however, we are seeing an increasing number of examples where the free exercise of religion is being restricted (particularly toward Christianity) in this nation. Those secularists who disagree with Christianity do have the free exercise of their own religion, but Christians increasingly are being restricted in such free exercise. It’s a part of the secularists’ growing intolerance of those who disagree with them.

Let me give you just two of the many examples we can cite in America:

The first is our life-size Noah’s Ark project, called Ark Encounter.

AiG recognizes the huge implications of this dispute for other Christian organizations and individuals nationwide.

Answers in Genesis is working with constitutional law attorneys in regard to the State of Kentucky’s decision to deny the Ark project access to the state’s sales tax rebate incentive program. The state contends that the religious nature of our project should somehow exclude its equal participation in the rebate program, but Kentucky’s position is a blatant violation of federal and state law. Stay tuned for further developments on this matter, as AiG recognizes the huge implications of this dispute for other Christian organizations and individuals nationwide.

The free exercise of religion is being increasingly granted to the secular religion, but not Christianity!

Second, we note that Atlanta’s fire and rescue chief was recently fired because of his personal views on homosexual conduct. Dr. Mohler wrote a powerful blog on this firing that I encourage you to read. In this article, Dr. Mohler, referring to a statement by Atlanta’s mayor about the fired fire chief, states this:

Chief Cochran was fired precisely because his “personal religious beliefs” are, in the mayor’s mind, incompatible with assuring every member of the department “that he or she is a valued member of the team and that fairness and respect guide employment decisions.”

Dr. Mohler, in reference to the Times column by Bruni mentioned earlier, has a warning for us:

The front lines of the battle for religious liberty will be at the door of your congregation very soon, if this column is any indication—and it is. While promising to respect “freedom of worship,” Bruni openly implies that congregations should not have the right to hire and fire ministers or clergy on the basis of their sexual orientation or beliefs. What kind of liberty is that?

It is no liberty at all. This argument spells the end of religious liberty in any meaningful sense. What about the right of religious schools to hire, admit, and house on the basis of Christian moral judgment? If Bruni complains about congregations having the right to “hire and fire clergy as they wish,” we can only imagine what he would want to see mandated in terms of religious schools and institutions.

Actually, these are the very sorts of issues we are now dealing with in regard to the Ark project and the State of Kentucky. It’s why Answers in Genesis is looking very closely at pursuing legal action against the state—for the sake of religious freedom as outlined in the First Amendment for this nation. Keep watch for more Ark news on this crucial religious liberty issue at AnswersInGenesis.org. And keep up to date with the ongoing construction of the Ark Encounter project at ArkEncounter.com.

I encourage you to read the entire blog by Dr. Mohler. Not only is it eye-opening reading, but it is a warning for America’s future. The dire consequences of allowing people to continue to trod on the First Amendment in regard to Christian freedom will result in more and more instances of Christian persecution in this nation. This is a serious matter indeed.

Christianity and the “free exercise thereof” is under great threat in the USA!

Read Dr. Mohler’s blog on this issue at this link: http://www.albertmohler.com/2015/01/12/religious-liberty-vs-erotic-liberty-religious-liberty-is-losing/.

Christianity and the “free exercise thereof” is under great threat in the USA!

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