[forthright] Freedom From Religion

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From: Forthright Magazine <ba@...>
Date: Wed, 13 Oct 2004 14:12:44 -0500
Forthright Magazine
Straight to the Cross

COLUMN: Reality Check

Freedom From Religion
by Stan Mitchell

Montgomery, Alabama: Chief Justice Roy Moore has
made the headlines for his insistence that the Ten
Commandments be displayed in his courthouse. He
says that the Biblical code is the foundation of
law in America, and our society's efforts to
remove them represent a dangerous collapse of
morals and ethics in our country.

Moore, a Vietnam veteran, declared: "We've turned
the Constitution and the First Amendment from a
shield to protect us into a sword to deprive us of
our civil and religious rights."

You know the story; you've seen it on the news.
But what I want to comment on is a placard the TV
cameras were showing. It said: "We Demand Freedom
 From Religion." I had to laugh at that. Of course
the phrase should be Freedom of religion, not from
religion. But it's not just the ACLU and the
Coalition for the American Way that want freedom
from religion. That's what every rebellious
teenager wants, and every independent man who
doesn't want to be "told what to do" wants --
freedom from religion! That's what couples living
in sin want, and drunks too -- freedom from
religion. That's what dishonest politicians want,
and most of us, too -- freedom from religion.

We don't want to be responsible to a God who
demands our obedience. We would just as soon not
change bad habits. We don't want a preacher, or a
judge, or the Bible telling us how to live! We
want freedom from religion!

Perhaps that's why so many are trying to push the
Ten Commandments -- and the rest of the Bible --
out of our public places, and out of our hearts.
We want freedom from religion. But remember this.
Worship of pleasure is a religion. Worshiping rap
artists, and flashy new cars, and our own self
indulgence -- all of these is a religion. We have
simply switched our loyalty from God to idols.
There is no freedom from religion. Only freedom in

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be
burdened again by a yoke of slavery" (Galatians
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