Guest Author - Sylvia Cochran
Whatever Happened To The Freedom Of Religion?
A while ago the rumors that were successfully spreading with the help of the Internet identified Barack Obama, 2008 Democratic National Convention nomination hopeful, as a closeted Muslim. Alleging him to be practicing his supposed faith in secret, they asserted that he was just biding his time until he was nominated and eventually elected before publicly putting his hand on the Koran at the swearing in ceremony for all the world to see.
Okay, so the rumors were wrong and mongers of the same had to regroup quickly. Imagine their surprise when there was little need for any more rumor mongering since Mr. Obama had unfortunately chosen to align his worship with the likes of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
By now you would have to live under a rock not to have at least heard some of the utterings the good Reverend has been known to make. Celebrated by some for his Afrocentricity – although, truth be told, a lot of it sounds more like critical race theory - and up until recently making his congregation a group of people that put the black community first, his culturally biased value system is now causing a lot of grief to Mr. Obama.
Yet is this not where the rubber meets the road? Whatever happened to the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion? Why does it matter if Barack Obama worships in a mosque, synagogue, or church building? What difference does it make whether or not his preacher employs the kind of Christian theology you will spend a lot of time looking for when reading through the Good Book (albeit unsuccessfully)?
If you were to look at the non-threatening persona that is Barack Obama and seek to reconcile him to the hateful gushing of the Reverend Wright, you will be hard pressed to even imagine them sharing a pew in the same house of worship. Yet for 20 years they shared this close, spiritual relationship and those advocating the separation of church and state find themselves (not for the first time) facing those who proclaim the freedom of religious practice.
Where do the freedom to practice your religion and the duty to hold to a middle of the road, suitably whitewashed religiosity jell? Why should one have imposed on them the duty to worship in a politically correct church, if this is not in alignment with the individual’s true faith and understanding of religion – no matter how misguided this might be? Perhaps the answer simply points to the fact that even though as Americans everyone has the right to worship as they see fit, those who aspire to higher office do not have this very same privilege.
In this instance, a voluntary denial of one’s own civil right may be required in order to become the candidate that will be “all things to all men” – and that is a Biblical concept.