I would use that term ‘Christian’ loosely. That title is — let’s talk biblical, here’s the deal, it’s like with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that we worked on in Mississippi and failed in Arizona and other places, here’s a test of what is a true religious freedom, a freedom that’s based on orthodox religious viewpoints. It has to have a track record, it has to come forth from religious orthodoxy.
Note, not only is such a test actually forbidden in the US constitution, but the Founding Fathers who themselves couldn’t qualify stated numerous times the exactly opposite.
By older-than-Tony definitions, he’s not exactly “orthodox” either.., but since he is now defining who gets rights, I guess he can define what orthodoxy is as well.
NBC10’s Lu Ann Cahn spoke to one member of First Tabernacle Thursday about the church’s beliefs.
“The church believe that people get sick because they’re not doing the right thing,” the man named John said. He refused to give his last name during the interview.
“God promised us that if we do his will, that there’s no infection; all these diseases that you name, would not come to you,” the man explained. John says he believes the congregation is being persecuted for their beliefs.
You say you want freedom of religion, but would you allow this?
Families who attend Faith Tabernacle Congregation in North Philadelphia and First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park have lost more than two dozen children to illness since 1971, according to non-profit Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc. (CHILD, Inc.). Both churches believe in the power of prayer over modern medicine.
Many Americans express significant angst over the state of religious freedom in the U.S. Slightly more than half of adults say they are very (29%) or somewhat (22%) concerned that religious freedom in the U.S. will become more restricted in the next five years. As might be expected, those who are religious are more concerned than those who aren’t—particularly Christians more so than those adherents to other faiths. Practicing Protestants (46% very concerned) are more worried about this prospect than others; yet, 30% of practicing Catholics are also concerned. Barna-defined evangelicals, who meet a series of nine theological criteria, are among the most likely to be concerned about such restrictions (71%).
Not only are most Americans worried about the future of religious freedom, many feel the restraints have already started. One-third of adults believe religious freedoms have grown worse in the last decade. Among practicing Protestants, nearly half (48%) say they perceive freedom of religion to have grown worse in recent years. Three out of five evangelicals (60%) perceive religious freedoms to have grown worse.
All individuals – both those who express faith in various deities and those choosing to adhere to no religion – should have the freedom to debate, criticize, and yes, joke and satirize all forms of ideology, including economic, political, and yes, religious.
In this country, we are discussing a subject near and dear to revisionist historians – religious liberties. But, should they all be protected? What about the life of the child whose parents do not believe in medicine (I was one of those), but unlike those who catch common colds, this one gets cancer. Can they claim religious liberty?
Or what about the Sikh? Their religion requires them to carry small knifes and wear head coverings. Or Islamic women who wear veils? Americans have a difficult time in trying to protect their religious liberties?
The answer to that question starts with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of religion. Title VII also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate employees’ religious needs as long as the accommodation does not impose an “undue hardship” on the employer. For example, under Title VII, if an employer has a policy that requires employees to be clean shaven and a Sikh employee asks to wear a beard in accordance with his religious beliefs, the employer would need to grant permission or show that an exemption would unduly harm the employer’s interests.