Skip to comments.Freedom From Religion Foundation Needs Grammar Lesson
Posted on 07/14/2011 2:16:08 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has sued Texas Gov. Rick Perry because he has called for a day of prayer and fasting on August 6. The event, sponsored by the American Family Association, will take place in Reliant Stadium home of the NFL Texans in Houston. (For more information, go to TheResponseUSA)
FFRF is trying to convince a judge to keep this event from happening at all. First, secular fundamentalists kicked prayer out of school. Now they are trying to kick it out of the public square altogether.
The folks at FFRF are like the Puritans of old, who were afraid that some people, somewhere, were enjoying themselves. The folks at FFRF are desperately afraid that someone, somewhere, is enjoying the free exercise of religion.
According to its website, FFRF exists to promote the constitutional principle of separation between church and state.
Of course the main problem with that mission statement is that the separation between church and state is not a constitutional principle at all. You will look in vain for the phrase separation of church and state anywhere in the document created by the Founders. You could have found it in the constitution of the old Soviet Union, which ought to tell you something, but its just not in our founding document at all.
Now there is a wall there, but it is not between church and state. It is a high and impenetrable wall between the state and the church. The state is forbidden by the First Amendment from meddling in the affairs of the church. It cant tell it what to believe, how to worship, what to pray, or what to preach from its pulpits.
But there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits the church from impacting the state, whether it does so by speaking truth to political power, or by advancing its cherished moral ideals in the public square.
The folks at FFRF would be well-advised to take some remedial coursework in basic English grammar. This is for the simple reason that the Constitution nowhere guarantees to anyone anywhere the right to be free FROM religion. What it guarantees is freedom OF religion.
They need more than a grammar lesson...
In case you’re interested the stadium is owned by Harris County, Texas.
That is freedom FROM religion. Not only can the state not dictate which religion to practice and how, it cannot dictate any religion at all. There is no such thing as religious freedom unless it includes freedom FROM religion. Wouldn't you say an atheist being killed for disbelief in Saudi Arabia would be a religious freedom issue?
What the FFRF doesn't understand is that there is no constitutional basis for the separation of church and society, which is what they seem to want to eliminate. This day of prayer is symbolic, it has no force of law, doesn't even make a reasonable person think that equal protection may be violated. It's simple pandering to the religious base, and pandering has never been unconstitutional.
Freedom From Religion means the government cannot force you to engage in an exercise of religion.
It does not mean that you have any right to not be exposed to the sight of other people engaged in an exercise of religion.
It would be a violation of the separation of church and state to not allow a religious group to use this public stadium on the same basis as any other group.
***It cant tell it what to believe, how to worship, what to pray, or what to preach from its pulpits.***
But it CAN FIND WAYS TO TAX you for being a free church unless you are a 501-3c church!