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By Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris

Dallas, TX - -(Ammoland.com)- It’s Holy Week, but what’s not so holy is the assault on religious liberty in the U.S.

Religious liberty has been called rightly America’s “first freedom,” not only because the right is contained in the First Amendment but also because it predates the U.S. and has its origin in God, not government, and the freedoms he endowed within us.

But over the past few decades, that basic freedom has come under assault — particularly, in recent years, regarding Christianity.

Last week, I discussed how religious liberty in foreign countries is being suppressed. This week, I will begin to address how it has been assaulted right here in the U.S. I will give you roughly 36 examples this week and next.

The assault on religious liberty isn’t a matter of opinion or a simple issue of left vs. right or even religious vs. secular. The case is as clear as a blue sky.

Most glaring in recent news is the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate forcing, regardless of any moral or religious objections, religious organizations to pay for free contraceptives, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health care plans.

And if you think this is an isolated circumstance, consider that in the past few years alone, the following assaults on religious liberty occurred, as reported by the Family Research Council, the office of Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., and various media outlets.

  • A social service worker at a Minnesota senior living complex banned an elderly resident, in the Alliance Defending Freedom’s words, “from praying, reading her Bible, and discussing her faith in private conversations with other residents in the commons area.”
  • A New York high-school science teacher who has been with her school district for seven years was threatened with termination by school officials if she didn’t take down posters with religious messages, notes with Bible quotes and a “prayer request” box for the school’s Bible study club.
  • In neighboring New Jersey, the censorship continued, as a substitute teacher was fired for giving a student a Bible.
  • An East Texas high school barred its cheerleaders from using banners with Bible verses on them at football games.
  • A Pennsylvania school district demanded that a group pay a rental fee to hold a Bible-based after-school program at an elementary school, even though other nonprofits — including the Boy Scouts of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the American Legion — aren’t charged for using school facilities.
  • There was a similar case in California. The American Center for Law and Justice said it filed suit against a California school district for rejecting “a Christian youth club’s request to meet in District facilities on equal grounds with similar, nonprofit, nonreligious youth organizations.”
  • Another school board, this one in New Holland, Pa., decided to replace prayer with a moment of silence.
  • An Eastern Michigan University counseling student was expelled during her last semester for her Christian beliefs.
  • Officials at Louisiana State University airbrushed a snapshot of football fans to remove small crosses painted on the students’ bodies at a game.
  • Tufts University suspended official recognition of Tufts Christian Fellowship because the organization required its leaders to adhere to its religious beliefs. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
  • Several religious student organizations at Vanderbilt University were placed on “provisional status” until they allowed for students who do not share their core religious beliefs to obtain leadership positions within the organizations. (Yes, you read that correctly, too.)
  • Culture and courts are trumping the First Amendment rights of citizens who are refusing on religious grounds to support or participate with groups and events that run contrary to their faith and practice. As a result, wedding cake bakers, shirt-makers, bed-and-breakfast owners, pastry-makers, high-school teachers, military chaplains, restaurant owners, photographers, parents, churches and others have been harassed, bullied, suspended, fired and sued for merely exercising their Christian beliefs.

(Next week, I will highlight 24 more examples of the assault on U.S. religious liberty.)

According to a recent poll by the Barna Group, “most Americans (are) worried about the future of religious freedom, (and) many feel the restraints have already started. One-third of adults believe religious freedoms have grown worse in the last decade.” The study added, “More than half of adults say they are very (29 percent) or somewhat (22 percent) concerned that religious freedom in the U.S. will become more restricted in the next five years.”

Now is not the time to flee from the fundamentals of America, especially our religious liberties. Rather, we should re-embrace them, especially during this sacred Holy Week.

What is so difficult about understanding the free exercise clause in the First Amendment, which says governing authorities “shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise” of religion?

As I said last week, we shouldn’t fear diversity or differences; rather, we should be proud of them. We must not hinder others’ opinion or be intimidated by the sharing of our own. We must neither fear repercussions nor threaten others with them because of our differing beliefs. We must learn again the power and benefits of religious liberty and free speech (even debate) and to agree to disagree agreeably on even the most passionate of issues.

It is everyone’s individual right (first freedom) to express his faith as he wishes and where he wishes. During this Holy Week, my wife, Gena, and I profess our belief in Jesus Christ, his crucifixion and resurrection, and his free offer of salvation to the whole world — his steps to peace with God. (See PeaceWithGod.net for more information.)

It’s high time for teachers, leaders, politicians and clergy (the black robe regiment), as well as every other American citizen, to start standing up and pushing back against these assaults on religious liberty.

It’s time we all turn into cultural heroes by standing up for our faith and First Amendment rights!

Friends, it’s Holy Week, and you have rights from God and country to exercise your religious freedoms, faith and practices, wherever and whenever you would like.

(To fight against the assault on our liberties, I recommend following the advice in my latest New York Times best-seller, “Black Belt Patriotism.”)

About:
Action hero and Second Amendment activist, Chuck Norris is one of the most enduringly popular actors in the world. He has starred in more than 20 major motion pictures. His television series “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which completed its run in April 2001 after eight full seasons, is the most successful Saturday night series on CBS since “Gunsmoke.”In 2006, he added the title of columnist to his illustrious list of credits with the launch of his popular Internet column. Now Chuck is a regular contributor to AmmoLand, click the following link to See more of Chuck Norris on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News.

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  • 6 User comments to “Holy Week and Holy War (Part 1)”

    1. John Leland, Baptist advocate for religious freedom in America:

      “The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever…Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.” - A Chronicle of His Time in Virginia (1790) http://www.pbs.org/godinamerica/people/john-leland.html

    2. There is no “attack on Christianity” in America (it’s a different story in some other countries), but there is a lot of “Christian privilege.” “Religious privilege” in Muslim countries is one of the main reasons that Christianity is attacked in those oppressive countries. You make it difficult for us pro-gun atheists to convince other atheists the virtues of gun freedoms.

    3. Remember now, this article was written by someone who believes that the planet is 6000 years old. The courts time and again have said that “shall make no law … prohibiting the free exercise” does not mean that the majority religion gets to enforce it’s ideas on everyone. The problem with evangelicals is they think that when they proselytize, it’s OK, but when I say “I don’t want to be indoctrinated in your religion” I don’t have a choice. It’s your church, worship how you want. It’s your house, worship how you want. In your car, at your barbecue, out with friends, worship how you want. But in government and schools, not everyone follows YOUR faith. So keep it to yourself.

    4. There are 12 bulleted items, not one has a reference. So, here it goes: 1 Would Chuck be bothered if she was proselytizing Islam. Does private mean proselytizing everyone in the hallways. 2 Really, what part of ‘against the law’ don’t you understand; if she has a first amendment right to promote her religion in the class, does the student also get a first amendment right to tell her she’s a moron for believing in that crap. 3 If the student tells the teacher to stick it, does he fail the class. 4 Do Atheists get to display banners at the games saying there is no god. 5 If the school allows one non-profit then all are allowed; did they cause more work for the cleanup crews? 6 see 5. 7 People should not be forced to pray to YOUR god. 8 Did she force her religion on those she counseled? 9 I remember this vaguely. They did it because it was on their website and did not want to endorse ANY religion. Bit of a stretch, but it’s THEIR website. 9 If the religious beliefs go against the law, I guess they, TCF, have no case. 10 ALL student organizations are open to ALL students. An organization can’t make up rules that go against to law. 11 see 10. 12 The law says if you want to operate a business, you have to treat everyone fairly. Does a baker get to poison jews, because they crucified jesus. Do HS teachers get to beat just the black students, because their faith says blacks are inferior. Does “prohibiting the free exercise” include allowing Anglicans to kill Quakers and Catholics like they did in the 1600s. I eagerly await the next 24…

    5. Chuck, you keep saying that “It is everyone’s individual right (first freedom) to express his faith as he wishes and where he wishes.” Sorry, not true. You cannot come into my home and start proselytizing. Nor can you go into a tax paid schoolroom and do so either. You are making it sound like you have the right to be a religious bully. One other thing, Jesus supposedly said: Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and render to God that which is God’s. So isn’t it wrong for religious institutions to avoid paying taxes? Whether it is allowed by law or not?

    6. vgerdj on April 3, 2013 at 8:23 AM said:

      UPDATE: the original site this was published on has references.

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