Why This Matters


While I am not overly religious, though I do believe the study of Scripture, of the Bible as well as metaphysics from a philosophy and science viewpoint have a lot to teach, offer and I do accept Christ as the Messiah within my faith paradigm.  This matters because of the privilege of living in a Constitutional Democratic Republic with a Bill of Rights which included intertwined Freedom of Speech, Assembly and Religion.  Notice very carefully it does not say Freedom of Worship.  This matters, the semantics here matter, but why?  Freedom of Worship would have meant only freedom to worship within the walls of one’s church, temple etc…Freedom of Religion mans printing religious material, expressing in private and public the tenets of my faith, it’s a broader Constitutional right.  Our Founders were also clear that the government could not establish a government church the way England has done.  Within the Freedom of Religion, one still has to adhere to zoning and other laws, but what this protects is the broader right of conscience, so that no one is forced to violate their true religious conscience.  If one went into a business that was run by atheist and demanded services that were better suited to the Christian run business down the street or three blocks over, that atheist business owner has the right by his conscience to say, this Easter Display is not something we are comfortable doing, but the guy three blocks down, great guy, tell him I sent you, and to give you a good price.  Guess what the Constitution protects his right to do so so.  Some will interpret this to mean you should be a spiteful brat, or worse and just refuse service outright to anyone who is not of your faith etc…, NOOOOOOO, not the ethical thing to do, nor the right thing.  You have to be discerning, so is it right for Church of Satan to want to have a Mass on sacred Christian ground or in a Catholic venue, NO, that is not religious freedom, that’s just spite.  However, with this ruling, the venue, Christian venue has every right to say, NO, this is in violation of our faith principles, and we do not give a permit for this.  Atheist, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist have the right to say, I am not comfortable doing this job, taking on this project etc…and we have to respect that.  That is what living in a Constitutional Republic is about.