Monday, November 5, 2012

Freedom of Religion

Beautiful historic church steeple there in Philadelphia, isn't it?  There are so many church steeples in this country.  Some perched above tiny country churches on the hillsides in New England, others atop grand cathedrals.

You can't really tell what kind of church they are by looking at the steeple...just that someone worships there ... that they worship a "higher power" or grand "creator."

There are also mosques and temples and many other places of worship in this wonderful Democratic country of ours.  But, a frightening thing is happening here in the United States of America. 

This country was founded by men and women who fled persecution by the churches which ruled the governments from which they fled.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia regarding one of the problems with religion controlling government:

The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition (Spanish: Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición), commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition (Inquisición española), was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval Inquisition which was under Papal control. It became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Christian Inquisition along with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition.
The Inquisition was originally intended in large part to ensure the orthodoxy of those who converted from Judaism and Islam. This regulation of the faith of the newly converted was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1501 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert or leave.
Various motives have been proposed for the monarchs' decision to fund the Inquisition such as increasing political authority, weakening opposition, suppressing conversos, profiting from confiscation of the property of convicted heretics, reducing social tensions and protecting the kingdom from the danger of a fifth column.

You can read more on this and it's frightening consequences on the Web and in History Books!

History has shown time after time that when the so called "well intentioned" religions of the world take over the government, terrible things happen.

Thus instead of this country being founded on "Freedom OF Religion," the truth is that this United States of America was really founded on "Freedom FROM Religion."  Oh, not the absence of religion, the ability of EACH AND EVERY CITIZEN TO PRACTICE THE religion of his or her CHOICE!

A am a Christ Follower, and am sincerely thankful that I can worship when, where and however I want without fear of persecution.  I wish that CHOICE stay available to everyone in this Country.   There is a frightening trend in this Country which has served to split the USA right down the middle.  The Religious Right seems to think that their way is the ONLY way!  Nothing could be so far from the truth.

If you choose to be a "Christian" you must know that God gave us FREE WILL.  The ability to CHOOSE whether to become a believer or not.  You are encouraged to share your faith, and in some religious groups REQUIRED to share it.  Some groups believe that you can't enter the Kingdom of God without "working" for it.  The Bible directly contradicts this...Ephesians 2:8 clearly states .... 8 "for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not of works, that no man should glory."  Hmmmmmm. 

This Country has a Statue of Liberty standing in the New York Harbor which welcomes recent times, it seems some want to say "all except."

During this horribly expensive and contentious campaign I have seem belief systems lied about and manipulated.  I have seen Pastors (and believe me MANY people have shared this same experience) preaching politics from the pulpits!  This is NOT separation of Church and State.  It is manipulating people into feeling guilty if the don't vote as the CHURCH says they should.  It is blatantly WRONG and those churches should LOSE their tax exempt status! 

I am sure this will anger some, I have no doubt.  But it is time for people to begin thinking for themselves again and stop being led like sheep to the slaughter to vote as they are directed by those who would use this kind of "mind control" to suit their political agendas.

Abortion, gay rights and other issues which have become platforms for politics have served to divide this country into right and wrong.  Choice whether right or wrong in the eyes of you or me should still be available to all.  When we let the government control individual rights and choices we are forfeiting exactly what our Forefathers came to this country to get away from!  Racism and religious persecution are alive and well in this country, and the fire is being fed by the current political climate.  It is time for us ALL to WORK TOGETHER FOR A COMMON CAUSE.  It is time for us ALL to quit looking for our differences whether the color of our skin, our religious belief or our country of origin and REMEMBER OUR HUMAN COMMONALITIES!

Everyone needs love, respect and a chance to succeed.  It is time for us all to focus on working together and repair this very divided Nation.  We can be Number ONE again if we will work together to forge a new and stronger nation....UNITED WE STAND - DIVIDED WE FALL!!

GOD BLESS - Peace, Love and Joy


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