Freedom of Religion

Our President, last year on this day, made this statement: “Our forefathers, seeking refuge from religious persecution, believed in the eternal truth that freedom is not a gift from the government, but a sacred right from the Almighty God. On the coattails of the American Revolution, on January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly passed the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.” Every year on this day, the sitting President makes a proclamation. I have not been able to read today’s as yet but in last year’s statement, the President said: “Our Constitution and laws guarantee Americans the right not just to believe as they see fit, but to freely exercise their religion.” One need not go too far from our church and we can find a Sikh Gurudwaras, Muslim mosques, Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries. My reading reveals that the Byron Union School District in California has instituted a mandatory three-week course on Islam as part of the seventh-grade history class. Students in the class not only receive handouts on Islam and the life of Mohammed, they must also:
1. Chant praise to “Allah, Lord of Creation.” 2. Pray “in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” 3. Stage their own Jihad! 4. Dress up as Muslims and choose new Muslim names. If one of us goes into a public school to talk about the Beatitudes and pray in the name of Jesus, we will be taken to task. We struck down religious instruction in our schools in 1948. We said the recitation of prayer in public schools is unconstitutional in 1962, took down the Ten Commandments from public schools in 1980 and in 1992, a pastor was forbidden to offer a Christian prayer in a public school graduation. So, while I am deeply grateful for the religious freedom I enjoy, I am also deeply confused to note that we are not even allowed a Christian prayer in public in a nation that was built on the Holy Bible.
Shalom, Shalom!
Franklin G. David
“See the invisible, hear the inaudible, believe the incredible, and think the unthinkable.”

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