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.
When the people of the United States approved the Constitution, they insisted upon a Bill of Rights. Once the Constitution was approved, and the new government had started functioning, newly elected government officials did not have much enthusiasm for such a difficult task, but James Madison was good to his word. He took up the cause. Therefore, we recognize freedom of religion, including the free exercise of religion, as our most sacred right.
Unfortunately, laws have to be “interpreted” by fallible men. What is religion? The Supreme Court has never defined religion (see here, here, here, and here). Instead, using a phrase that is not in the constitution, the Supreme Court created this concept of a wall of separation between state and church (see WHY WE CANNOT SEPARATE STATE FROM CHURCH — A FEW MORE THOUGHTS), effectively misquoting Thomas Jefferson.
So what is “religion”? The word is not well defined. Consider various dictionaries.
Once you start considering various encyclopedias, it becomes clear that the term “religion” means different things to different people and even depends upon context.
Can I provide a definition here? Probably not, but here is a list of definitions. I like this one.
Religion is the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern, a concern which qualifies all other concerns as preliminary and which itself contains the answer to the question of the meaning of life. — Paul Tillich (from here)
You have 10 kids in a class and 8 of them sniff glue. The only thing I want to know is why the other 2 don’t and then train those thinking skills into the next 10 who take the class. I don’t want to waste time creating laws to keep glue out of classrooms. I don’t want to have commercials saying how bad glue is. I don’t want law enforcement going car to car searching for glue. I don’t want politicians running for office on a “No more glue” platform. (from here)
If our ultimate concern is pleasure, why not sniff glue?
If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything
If we believe life has more meaning than that, then perhaps we will take the trouble to learn critical thinking skills. The issue is motivation, but how can we motivate children without addressing the ultimate concern? How can we say life has meaning without teaching a “true” religion? For the sake of our children, should our government teach a one, true, religion? Which one? As it is, our government promotes the notion that all religions are equally valid, which effectively means that none of them are true. Effectively, our government-run teach our children to stand for nothing.
For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way
Frankly, I think the Bible answers that question (Psalm 8), “what is man”, far better than My Way. Still, what My Way shows is that even a secular man wants to address what he defines as his ultimate concern his way. None of us want to be put into involuntary servitude, not even by our government. We want the freedom to pursue our own definition of happiness.
As I tried to show in the last post, POORLY TAUGHT — PART 3, because mankind is deeply flawed, we cannot trust people with great power. Hence, we cannot trust government to teach our children — to decide for them — what should be their ultimate concern. Like as not, 80 percent of them will end up sniffing glue (or what seems to be more popular now) abusing opioids. Hence, I support school choice and school vouchers in particular.
Want an example of abusive government power with respect to religious choice? Consider Colorado baker hopes Supreme Court ruling boosts floundering wedding shop (foxnews.com). The Supreme Court, after clearly stating that the State of Colorado had abused Jack Phillips’ right to a fair hearing, left the main issue, the free exercise of religion, unsettled. Therefore, so-called LGBTQ “rights” activists can still attempt to use our legal system to force others to adopt their values. They just have convince those who stand for nothing to fall for a stupid idea, that it is hateful not to support an oxymoron, same-sex “marriage”.
Consider these questions.
There are four big questions in life.
–Why am I here?
–What is right and wrong?
–What brings me meaning
–What happens to a human being when I die?
— List from Ravi Zacharias (an expert in Christian apologetics) who says there are Four Questions To Answer In Life.(=>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfb5-7mtC-8)
The reason the world is filled with different religions is because in our pursuit of happiness each of us comes up with our own answers to those questions. When we use government to impose one set of answers, even so-called secular answers, have we discovered the truth, the correct answers? No. Instead, we have just corrupted the efforts of some to search for the truth. Instead of protecting our fellows, we have abuse their rights.
ANSWERING FOLLY: PUBLIC EDUCATION is a post I wrote several years ago about the “right to and education”. As a practical matter, the “right” to an education just provides government busybodies the “right” to interfere in the education of other people’s children. The “right” to an education just illustrates how the road to Hell can be paved with good intentions.