Freedom OF Religion – Not FROM Religion

OUR POSITION: 4GFC believes America should embrace it’s historical Judeo-Christian heritage and while we do not believe any state sponsored religion should be a part of our nation, we also believe that it is crucial to remember that freedom of religion if vastly different than freedom from religion.

WHY?

WHY: Core to America’s founding was the concept of religious freedom. The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” There has been an immense amount of legal wrangling on this topic over the years but the language is clear; our government cannot establish a religion or prohibit individuals from exercising it.

We believe this means that recent cases involving the removal of icons such as the Ten Commandments from courthouses or other similar cases were overreach. We also believe recent prohibitions against high-school sports teams barring prayer are also vastly beyond what courts or regulatory bodies should be able to do. The frequently cited argument references the prohibition of the establishment of religion but this fails to consider that even public officials are free to exercise religion so long as it is not imposed on the populace.

While these cases have not yet barred public officials from the private exercise of their faith, 4GFC does not believe a prayer that students may or may not participate in prior to a high-school football game constitutes the public imposition of religion.

We also do not believe that the Ten Commandments being posted in a courtroom – a set of Judeo/Christian laws that form the basis for many modern laws throughout the civilized world – constitute the public establishment of religion. This is simply a legitimate recognition of the historical underpinning of the Western world and an important foundational aspect of our legal system.

It is time to recognize that our history is based on Judeo/Christian values and those values have lead us to become the greatest nation in the world. We should not establish a national religion but we also must ensure we DO NOT prevent the free exercise of religion.