Monday, September 7, 2015

Wisdom Wednesday - Loss of Religious Freedom #2

The Constitution of the United States
Continuing the subject of religious freedom begun in last week's post  This quote is from the Facebook page of David Barton of Wall Builders:

"Some on the Christian side are now claiming that Kim Davis (the Country Clerk in Kentucky jailed for refusing to issue homosexual marriage licenses) has gone too far. They argue that the judge offered her a way out by allowing others in her office to issue the license, but she refused. Thus (they argue) Kim is prolonging the punishment by her own choice. But such claims ignore several key facts.

First, Kim understands that every marriage license issued out of her office – whether by her or by someone else – will have the name “Kim Davis” officially stamped on it. Believing as she does that God does not approve of homosexual marriage, she does not want her name to ever, either now or in the future, be associated with something of which God openly disapproves.

We understand her concern. At WallBuilders, we have more than 100,000 original or copies of original historic documents from before 1812. Suppose we had in our possession a homosexual marriage license issued in 1795 with George Washington’s signature on it. We would conclude that Washington approved of homosexual marriage, even if someone below him had issued the license. (I used Washington’s name in this example because we know that he believed exactly the opposite on this issue; after all, he instituted the original ban on homosexuals in the military.)

Kim Davis has chosen to remain in jail not to be cantankerous or become a martyr; she remains there because she does not want anyone now or in the future to be confused about her agreement with Biblical morality.

Second, recall the extensive protections for religious conscience long provided in America:
* Quakers are not forced to fight in wars;
* Jehovah’s Witnesses are not required to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance;
* The Amish are not required to complete the standard compulsory twelve years of education;
* Christian Scientists are not forced to have their children vaccinated or undergo medical procedures often required by state laws;

And many other examples.

Quakers hold that Bible teachings don’t permit them to be party in taking another human life. So let's say that the government concedes that they don’t have to fight in wars; all they have to do is load the bullets into the guns of the other soldiers who do the killing. This certainly is not an acceptable compromise for a Quaker.

And Jehovah's Witnesses refuse to say the Pledge because they believe that allegiance is owed to God alone and no one else. So let’s say that the government agrees that they don’t have to say the Pledge; all they have to do is hold the flag while everyone else recites the Pledge. This compromise still crosses the line of their religious convictions. We don’t require any such “compromises” for any other group with religious convictions – whether Amish, Christian Scientists, Muslims, Jews, Sabbatarians, or so forth. Why make Kim different?

Third, Christians least of all should be asking Kim to compromise her conscience. After all, few subjects in the Bible are stressed as strongly as that of every individual maintaining a pure conscience before God – referenced more than thirty times in the New Testament alone; and multiple passages instruct that public policy be crafted to protect the rights of conscience.

Consequently, this right is first enshrined in American legal documents beginning in 1640 and continued for long thereafter. As John Quincy Adams affirmed, “The transcendent and overruling principle of the first settlers of New England was conscience.” A century-and-a-half later, the Founding Fathers affirmed that support for this right remained unabated:

“Government is instituted to protect property of every sort. . . . Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” James Madison, Signer of the Constitution

“It is inconsistent with the spirit of our laws and Constitution to force tender consciences.” Thomas Jefferson
“If I am asked, ‘Why do you obey the will of God?’ I answer, ‘Because it is my duty so to do.’ If I am asked again, “How do you know this to be your duty?” I answer again, ‘Because I am told to do so by my moral sense or conscience’.” James Wilson, Signer of the Declaration and the Constitution, Original Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court

“The rights of conscience and private judgment . . . . are by nature subject to no control but that of Deity, and in that free situation they are now left.” John Jay, Author of the Federalist Papers and original Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court

“Consciences of men are not the objects of human legislation.” William Livingston, Signer of the Constitution
Today, America’s three-century-long public policy on this issue is now unknown or ignored.

Significantly, secular nations do not allow differing rights of conscience but instead demand conformity, which always requires punishment and coercion. As America allows secularism to become the dominant force in its culture, the loss of legal protections for the religious rights of conscience will be a direct casualty. And so here we are today, with even Christians questioning whether Kim Davis has the inalienable right to religious conscience that every previous generation knew that she had."
Kim Davis is a courageous woman.  Please pray for her and her family, and encourage her with a letter or card.  The address is:

The Courageous Rowan County Clerk
Mrs. Kim Davis
600 West Main Street,
Room #202
Morehead, KY  40351 

I am happy to report that Kim Davis was released from jail yesterday, September 8.  Please note that this was on the condition that she not interfere with homosexuals requesting marriage lisences.  This means her ordeal is not over.  She said she will not bend on this issue.  I admire her for that.

She will still need our support, encouragement and prayers.  Also pray for her family and the legal team assisting her.  Matt Staver is a fine man, and I admire him for the work he is doing to help Mrs. Davis.  

I think it's interesting that only two Presidential candidates attended the rally at the jail just prior to her release.  They were Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee.  This speaks volumes about where their hearts are.  I admire them, too.

Focus on the Family's Facebook page had this quote, and I think it says it all:  
demands that I do what's right, 
even if it's unpleasant and unpopular.

See an update from Kim Davis HERE

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Thursday  Favorite Things

Friendship Friday 
  Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women   


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for joining in the fun at Thursdays Favorite Things Blog Hop!