This is one in a series of daily posts I conceived of writing many weeks ago while the election still raged on, as I looked for something to write about of more lasting value. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving seemed perfectly appropriate for it. Just in case you wondered, the topics introduced are not necessarily in any particular order. I hope the series is of some small encouragement to you, even as my site traffic takes a dive.
Human beings are hard-wired to worship. What we choose to worship is a day-by-day, moment-by-moment decision. There’s an ongoing battle in human hearts for whom or what will receive our worship. Ultimately, no human government or other authority can dictate or regulate this most fundamental form of worship.
But that’s not the kind of worship I’m specifically writing about. It’s the public expression of worship, or the “free exercise of religion” as the First Amendment puts it. For most times and places in human history it has been strictly governed by tribal, monarchical, or state authority. One of the blessed wonders of our nation’s founding was a Constitution that guarantees no compulsion to violate the free exercise of a man’s deepest religious conscience.
Religious liberties are no doubt under assault in some arenas, but we remain truly blessed with enormous freedoms in this nation. And for that I publicly thank God!
Amen. I pray this is always so.
(Remember that a “living constitution” can restrict or eliminate rights just as easily as expand rights.)
I really do not know of any other land where a person can, due to religious beliefs: refuse military service, refuse publicly-mandated education, refuse to respect the emblems of the nation (flag, etc.), and openly preach on the corner/radio/television/internet free of governmental censorship.