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Thus began the first of the Ten Amendments, or Bill of Rights, which were approved SEPTEMBER 25, 1789.
George Mason, known as "The Father of the Bill of Rights," wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights from which Jefferson drew to write the Declaration of Independence.
George Mason was one of 55 founders who wrote the U.S. Constitution, but was also one of sixteen who refused to sign it because it did not abolish slavery and did not limit the power of the Federal Government.
George Mason joined with Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams to prevent the Constitution from being ratified, as the abuses of King George III's concentrated power were still fresh.
It was largely through George Mason's insistence that in the first session of Congress ten limitations or amendments were put on the new Federal Government.
George Mason suggested the wording of the First Amendment be:
"All men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others."
That's great George. I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, our great country will crumble unless we consider the back side of this "free exercise of religion". There must be some boundaries. Unless we very tediously determine a strict definition of religion - we are on a slippery slope. In George's day you would be considered "touched in the head" if you announced a belief in Eckandar (soul travel) or The Church of the flying spaghetti monster. (parody of anything anti-christian)
While progressives are busy trying to re-write history to say that a belief in "God" was not present in the beginning of this country - evidence to that effect just doesn't exist. Some of our founding fathers were less verbal about their faith and I'm sure some of them even mirrored today's "luke warm - not quick to profess Christians," but they all had a knowledge of the difference between religion and a hatred of faith motivated by selfish desires and motive driven ideology.
In George's day just try announcing that you were a witch or that you were an avid Satanist. The residents of that town would either send you packing, set you on fire or hang you from the nearest tree.
Most - almost all - Colonists had a great respect for God and were not about to put up with anyone publicly berating God or faith. Yes, there were stories of pastors who went wrong or who proved to be less than compassionate. Just like Biblical times pastors were not perfect. But there was an overall respect for God and the church.
Here's my point. Good old George could announce without reservations that he believe "anyone who used the word - religion - should receive freedom to practice that faith without any reservations." His definition of practicing faith was merely the difference between the church on the corner and the chapel in the woods. It was the difference between singing acapella hymns from a book or allowing a local to use a guitar. He was certain that no one of that day would use the "term" religion as an excuse to legitimize evil.
We don't have that luxury. We are in the process of losing our religious freedom because we are trying to give anyone that claims that term "religious freedom". There are certain ideas that CAN'T co-exist with God-centered religion. How so?
Suppose a group announces that they are Satanic. That's their faith. That's what they believe and therefore they should be granted 100% freedom to practice their faith. But....what if part of their faith includes the rape and murder of a virgin twice a year? And what if they argue that if you prevent them from that rape and murder - you are denying them the right to freely "exercise their religion". Now what do you do? If you allow them to practice their faith, young women will die. Perhaps your daughter will die. That ultimately means that America is now supporting the rape and murder of it's citizens. By simply using the title "religion" the very foundations of this great country has been compromised. Our laws that protect the innocent have now been violated and labeled as unenforceable.
Skip over to Muslims. The majority of liberal Americans believe that we "must" allow Muslims to practice their faith. Some states have even been ignorant enough to say that we must allow Sharia law to share our courts. Yet under Sharia law women can be brutally beaten, can be forced to marry, can be given in marriage as early as 8 years old and can be forced to stay with an abusive man. Under Sharia law if a teen girl brings shame on her family (something as simple as dating an infidel) Daddy has the right to beat her or even kill her. Is this what America is all about?
What about the local pedophile, the rapist, the murderer? Can they claim that their evil doings are just a practice of faith? How about the local atheist? He simply wants to take your faith from you. He wants to create a non-faith country. I hate the way atheist have trampled on my religious freedoms and yet....if we don't define the boundaries of faith, he will succeed and religion will cease to exist.
I'm sure to get hate mail about this - but I believe we need to define who we are. We have to stand up and say, "No. America isn't going to be so free that any act or person or religion - will be allowed. America is built on certain principles and if you disagree with those principles - we suggest you find another country." America should be defined as being "against" certain evils no matter what others think of our decision. We need to stop being wishy-washy and stand up for "who" we are. If we don't - evil will be glad to do it for us!
Freedom can't be totally free for everyone and every idea. Freedom must be defined.
Without boundaries freedom disintegrates and evil rises to the top and takes over. Freedom is only available when it is defined and then defended.
God loves you,