Thoughts on Religious Freedom

Protection of religious freedom means considering the faiths and beliefs of everyone involved. (Mike Quigley)

The right to religious freedom and the right to vote are both fundamental to our democracy.  (Lois Frankel)

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty Gods or no God.  (Thomas Jefferson)

I have ever regarded the freedom of religious opinions and worship as equally belonging to every sect.  (James Madison)

 

Constitution Survey

I conducted a survey and asked 100 people if they have ever read the entire US Constitution.  Honestly, I was surprised by the results.  I expected a lot more negative responses.

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The main purpose of the survey was to get people thinking about the Constitution and hopefully inspire them to read it.  How can we ensure our rights and freedoms remain, if we don’t know what we are entitled to as American citizens?

 

If I Could, I Would

A few weeks ago, I was at church and the preacher was talking about various things we hear when reading the Bible and how we should, or would if we could, react to those messages.

This is what I hear and should do or would do if I could:

  • I hear forgiveness.  If I could, I would be more forgiving of others and show mercy to others.
  • I hear love.  If I could, I would be an example of that love and teach others about the love of God.
  • I hear hope.  If I could, I would rely on that hope and not suffer from anxiety attacks.
  • I hear commitment.  If I could, I would finish what I start and be dedicated to the task at hand.
  • I hear freedom.  If I could, I would live as a person free from sin and condemnation.

This message was part of a series and the basic points of the series are:

  • Put your faith into action
  • Don’t show partiality, love others, love equally, and love freely
  • Freedom from legalism is freedom to love
  • Don’t be a slave to sin, instead be a slave to righteousness
  • Don’t be a salve to the law, instead be a slave to the word of God

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Forgiveness Brings Healing

In Matthew 18:15-35, Jesus teaches his followers about forgiveness.  When I was reading this passage I thought of Dylan Roof.

The family members of those murdered by Dylan Roof, spoke of their hurt and the pain he caused by taking away their loved ones.  However, they also offered forgiveness.

This is a great example of how forgiveness works in the real world.  Dylan Roof was forgiven, but he will still pay for his crimes.  He still owes a debt to society and will be punished.

Dylan Roof may never feel remorse for his actions, but the willingness to forgive still benefits the family members.  It allows them to let go of the hate and anger they feel inside of them.  The family members are free to heal, because of their willingness to forgive.

Forgiveness can be difficult, but it can also bring healing.

Books, Books, and More Books Please

I can never get enough books.  When I walk into a bookstore or a library, I feel a sense of wonder and awe.  I am surrounded by so many stories, so much information, and so many things that I can learn.  Where do I begin?  How can I pick just one or two books?

 

The book salesman should be honored, because he brings to our attention, as a rule, the very books we need most and neglect most.  (Confucius)

Finishing a book is like leaving a good friend.  (William Feather)

Don’t judge a book by its thickness either.  (Craig Bruce)

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.  (Murakami)

Great books help you understand and they help you feel understood.  (John Green)

There are worse crimes than burning books.  One of them is not reading them.  (Joseph Brodsky)

Once you learn to read you will be forever free.  (Frederick Douglas)