SCOTUS Stand For Freedom Of Religion In Missouri Case

  • Adam Casalino
  • Jun 28, 2017 2:40PM

It may come as a shock to you, but freedom of religion is pretty important. Now sure, some of you might be godless heathens (I jest :P), so you might not understand why this is so important. Regardless of your theological views, there is a reason why the United States so vehemently protects religious freedom.

And there is a reason why it’s so terrible when people or groups try to violate it.

Let’s jump back a few centuries, before the founding of the United States. The leading nations of the world, largely in Europe, were monarchies. Kings and queens governed societies. Their whims and desires established the law. The people were subject to often radical changes and demands, based on the decisions of a precious few.

Some of the worst decisions came in the form of religious decrees. Kings and rulers would use religion as a way to control or persecute the masses. If a ruler felt that one group was becoming a threat, they’d pass laws that would open the door to incredible attacks against them. This happened quite a bit to Jewish people, over the course of many generations, as well as other groups (re: The Spanish Inquisition, etc.).

Kings could change religion and require everyone else to follow suit, simply so they could get out of a sticky marriage. An entire nation would be forced to betray their deeply-held convictions because one guy wanted to bed a new wife. The human rights of millions of people were denied, because of the cruel intentions of far too powerful individuals.

Enter: The Bill of Rights. The very first amendment to the Constitution prevents the government from both favoring and prohibiting religion. At the time of its writing, it was ground-breaking. No nation had adopted such a wildly progressive and liberating view.

After all, that denies the government a lot of power. It would be far easier to reserve the right for the federal government to restrict religious observances, if they feel it would preserve their authority.

But the founders of the United States understood that this nation—if it were to survive—had to put the people first. The entire Bill of Rights lists power reserved to the people and the states over the federal government (like the right to bear arms, or protection from home invasion). It’s no accident that religious freedom came first, followed by speech, press, peaceful assembly, and petitioning the government. All rights that were historically restricted by other countries.

Today precious few nations protect these freedoms like the United States. I’ve written on numerous occasions how even allies of the U.S. restrict fundamental freedoms like religion and speech. The U.K. outlaws certain forms of expression. Canada has laws that undermine religious freedom and speech. Throughout Europe, it is much the same. And forget about Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

I don’t write that to criticize other countries, but to reinforce how rare complete freedom for citizens is. Often in the United States, we take it for granted that we can say whatever we want and not worry about the government stomping into our homes and dragging us off to jail. Nor do we have to worry about holding religious services in secret—as many Christians do around the world—because otherwise we’d be jailed and killed.

Today, there are forces in our country that want to do that very thing. It’s clear that liberal activists who push the idea of “hate speech” are out for free speech. Because if you can determine certain statements are “hateful” and thus outlaw them, where does it end? And who makes the decision this speech is hateful, but that speech is not? Clearly “hate speech” is just a ruse to establish restrictions on how people can express their opinions.

It seems like for every freedom protected by the Bill of Rights, there is some soulless group seeking to destroy it. If it weren’t for independent outlets online, there’d be no free press. The media giants have sought to monopolize it for decades. Even now they work to discredit anyone that challenges their narratives and agenda. The concept of “fake news” was created by a liberal professor seeking to ban conservative news sites from Google. That really backfired.

Things like peaceful assembly are undermined by Antifa, who regularly look to inflict harm through their riots and demonstrations. They even show up at conservative marches and rallies to assault peaceful gatherings. In time that behavior will only lead to stricter measures by government forces attempting to “keep the peace.” In reality, our ability to march and organize will be eroded.

Religious freedom is far more important than all the others. Why? Because a person’s right to believe as they see fit—free from the tyranny of a biased government—provides a moral backbone for a nation free from politics, cultural trends, and the opinion of a small few. If not for the hard-working, honest, religiously-minded people of America, we’d have no country. Do you really think those godless hippies are making this nation a better place?

I may sound biased, because I am one of the simpletons who believe in God, but the principle remains the same. Without the freedom to form our own beliefs—be they in favor of a God or not—we lose our ability to govern our own lives.