Last updated: August 18. 2014 9:29AM - 347 Views

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Too often we take our religious liberty for granted. We attend religious services without fear. Whether it is at a church, synagogue or mosque, we attend openly. We recognize that a basic tenet of our American way of life stipulated in our Constitution is that we are free to practice whatever religion we want. In fact, witches, warlocks and Satan worshippers are free to practice their brands of religion provided they do not infringe on the rights or liberties of other citizens. This is not true in many parts of the world.


From North Africa to Afghanistan and elsewhere there are countries where one is not free to worship as his conscience dictates. Furthermore, in many countries the government decides what religion should be practiced and may, in fact, persecute those who disagree. This persecution may be in the form of a tax on those who choose not to convert to the government sanctioned religion or, in some cases, government sanctioned physical violence against those who disagree. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, one is not allowed to own a Bible or evangelize. Those who promote a Caliphate in which Sharia Law is supreme would favor the dictate that one must be a Muslim or suffer extreme consequences.


The joy of living in the United States of America is that we are free to worship as we please. There may be Christians who would favor a theocracy in which God is our king and His guidance would dictate our actions. This would, in essence, be a Christian type of Caliphate. It would violate the freedoms of those who chose to practice other religions or even atheism. The beauty of Christianity is that God wants people to choose. He has given us free will — that is the freedom to accept or reject Him. He wants our love and our worship but He does not demand it.


Beware of those who would dictate what your religious belief must be. There are millions of Muslims in America. They enjoy the very same religious freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution that Christians, Jews and others enjoy. It is the radical Islamist who believes you must change or die. Be thankful that our Constitution guarantees religious freedom regardless of what religion you choose to follow.


Ford McLain


LaGrange


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