The Bill of Rights was key to getting all of the original states to sign and ratify the U.S. Constitution. Our Founders had fought for freedom against the strongest military of that day, and they were still in a fighting mood if the new government threatened to act like the one they had just defeated. The First Amendment listed basic freedoms Americans had not had under England’s rule.
First Amendment: “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.”
Fearing government oppression, Founders began by writing, “Congress shall make no law....” That’s a good place to start! The Founders knew by hindsight and foresight that Congress might make laws that would restrict hard-won freedoms, and the first freedom was religion. England had indeed established a state religion, and had prohibited citizens from exercising their religions. Those government actions led Pilgrims and others seeking religious freedom to risk their lives by moving to America.
Many early settlers considered freedom to worship and to believe were worthy of sacrificing their own lives as well as their families’ lives to attain. They sailed through hostile seas, battling epidemics, and suffering starvation to settle in an untamed land with many fearful unknowns. Their descendants still remembered the sacrifices their forefathers had made to gain their freedoms from oppressive governments.
Wave after wave of Christian protestants settled the east coast of America in the early days and began moving inland. Biblical Christian dogma was strong in these settlers who founded America. Even though that dogma constituted a foundational value in our founding documents and laws, it has become a pale shadow of American values today.
A couple of weeks ago Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito gave a keynote address to the Federalist Society in which he expressed serious concerns about American’s views of religious liberty. He was particularly concerned about governments’ restrictions of religious liberties in the names of ‘health’ and ‘safety.’
Alito said, “Just as the COVID restrictions have highlighted the movement toward rule by experts, litigation about those restrictions has pointed up emerging trends in the assessment of individual rights. This is especially evident with respect to religious liberty. It pains me to say this, but in certain quarters, religious liberty is fast becoming a disfavored right.” He added, “For many today, religious liberty is not a cherished freedom. It's often just an excuse for bigotry, and it can't be tolerated, even when there is no evidence that anybody has been harmed.”
Sadly, a national LGBT organization (Human Rights Campaign) is asking President-elect Biden and his administration to divest Christian colleges and schools, as well as churches and Christian organizations of lawful rights if they discriminate “against beneficiaries in charitable choice and faith-based initiatives.”
“Discrimination” is the stick with which the LEFT will try to beat Christians into conformity. What are Christians today willing to sacrifice to keep our religious freedom? Our forefathers fought through much opposition to gain religious freedom, and our Founders protected our religious freedom in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. Taking away religious freedom is the same as taking away freedom of speech.