Tuesday, September 20, 2016

What If It Were Against The Law? A Quickie Rumination

     Other participants at a forum of which I’m a member are agog over the insults currently being dealt to freedom of religion. The concerns most frequently cited are same-sex marriage (i.e., having to cater one) and abortion (i.e., the possibility that doctors who oppose it might be forced to perform them). I reflected on the matter for a while and offered the following perspective:

     Freedom of religion in the U.S. died a long time ago.

     The possibility of freedom of religion exists only in a state that’s confined to certain limits. The Constitution, our founding document, attempted to define and impose those limits. But as any good TimeBomber will be aware, the 88,000 governments of these United States ceased to pay any attention to the prescriptions and proscriptions of the Constitution a long time ago – like with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

     When the State is “free” to make law on any and every subject whatsoever, and to whatever effect it pleases, there cannot be freedom of religion for a simple reason: There cannot be freedom of any sort. Every human activity becomes a matter of whether the State will give us permission, explicitly or implicitly. Conduct required by one’s religion might be forbidden, while conduct forbidden might be mandated.

     Just now I’m embroiled in a rather expensive wrangle with the township in which I live, which points up the most important aspects of this thing. When I bought my home, there was a shed on the property that had been built by the previous owner. Apparently, when he built that shed there was no need to get a permit from the town. When a storm a few years ago blew down the shed, reducing it to a pile of hazards, I disposed of the detritus without a second thought.

     Well, here we are five years later, and the town wants to fine me for not having applied for a demolition permit (and of course, for not having paid them the customary bribe). They claim I needed a permit merely to get rid of the refuse from an act of Nature – and they’ve threatened to prosecute me for not having done so.

     Welcome to the Land of the Fee and the Home of the Slave, where everything not compulsory is forbidden. I wonder how things are going in Russia these days?

     But as I completed that thought, the celebrant’s homily from this morning’s Mass returned to mind. He led off with a simple question:

“If Christianity were to be made illegal, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

     It's a question a lot of us who call ourselves Christians would do well to ponder – and not with an eye toward concealment.

     Just a quick pre-lunch morsel of food for thought.

3 comments:

  1. “If Christianity were to be made illegal, would there be enough evidence to convict” me?

    Though I am but an Amiable Agnostic, the simple facts that I routinely read your blog, I occasionally comment approvingly on various of your posts, and I have actually purchased several of your books* for my Kindle reader app could well provide enough "evidence" to convict me.

    Were I, on the strength of such evidence, to be so indicted, my plea would be this statement:

    Until this indictment, I was not a Christian. The State's action in charging me with the apparently-heinous "crime" of being one has turned me into a Christian. Do as you will with me. To quote Martin Luther, founder of the Christian sect in which I was raised:

    "Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen."

    *If you've read my review of Love in the Time of Cinema, I did what I said I would do, on the recent occasion of her birthday. As far as I know, she has not yet had the opportunity to read it.

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  2. Freedom died long ago.

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  3. As described in 'Atlas Shrugged'. The laws are only there to ensnare you. Those in power are 'above the law'. We have come to this.

    As for being convicted for being Christian at least outward appearances like going to mass, an assortment of icons, and owning a nativity scene. So on Earth by other men sure. My most fervent hope is that I will also be convicted of the same upon reaching the Pearly Gates.

    Have no doubt that this is coming. The gay agenda is specifically to turn churches into 'political' organizations so they may be taxed out of existence. The mealy mouthed unwillingness of our 'leaders' to properly deal with islam indicates that at some point Christians will again have to hide.

    If you are familiar with the book of Revelations this should be of no surprise. (look! more evidence!!)

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