Is Religious freedom Free?

Written by Terry Dashner

“Religious Freedom or Freedom from Religion?” by Terry Dashner, Senior Pastor

Faith Fellowship Church…PO Box 1586…Broken Arrow, OK…74013…918-451-0270

I’m concerned about American citizens who take religious liberties for granted. Every God-fearing American who is indifferent to his right of legal assembly, who’s indifferent torepparttar support of a church or synagogue by attendance and tithes, and who neglects to pray daily forrepparttar 132230 continuance of religious freedom is unwittingly placing America’s religious liberties in jeopardy. By his failure to participate actively in religion, he’s sending a message to American lawmakers, and torepparttar 132231 world at large, that worship by free expression and free assembly is not very important. It’s interesting that most Americans claim to be Christian. If we are, then why aren’t our Churches and synagogues reflecting these numbers of supporters? Americans must use or we will lose our First Amendment right to religious liberties. These precious rights are privileges, not mandates.

There is a frightening spin manifesting now in other countries that claim religious tolerance. Religious tolerance for them is not like America’s religious tolerance. Their tolerance is in name only. What they practice is tolerance for one-state religion. All other religions must comply withrepparttar 132232 state-preferred religion or suffer persecution. This is scary because it could happen in America if we don’t support our religious rights. If we don’t use our right to worship we will lose our right to worship.

Cal Thomas, a leading American columnist, writes articles worth reading. I read one of his articlesrepparttar 132233 other day that statedrepparttar 132234 following information. The Institute for Religion and Democracy (IRD) in Washington says Sharia law discriminates against women and Iraq’s small (estimated at 2 percent) Christian population. In a statement, IRD says that if a Christian man converts to Islam, he could divorce his Christian wife and she might lose custody of her children, who would be officially decreed Muslim. Anyone converting to another faith from Islam is considered an apostate and, under some circumstances and interpretations ofrepparttar 132235 Koran, could be executed.

Getting Older, Getting Better

Written by Virginia Bola, PsyD

As baby boomers, we have been spoiled all of our lives. When we were teenagers,repparttar world took note because there were so many of us. Our music, our beliefs, our fashions, our styles dominatedrepparttar 132229 culture ofrepparttar 132230 age. When we took torepparttar 132231 streets to protestrepparttar 132232 war in Vietnam and to supportrepparttar 132233 Civil Rights Movement, we found a ready audience. Television came into its own and we splattered ourselves and our causes acrossrepparttar 132234 living rooms of America.

For some of us, that wasrepparttar 132235 best of times. We were young, idealistic, and naïve. We truly believed that we were making a difference. We were creating a future of hope, justice, fairness, and peace.

As we move towards retirement age, we look around us with diminished hope, broken promises, reddened eyes, and cynicism. Where isrepparttar 132236 new world order we so desperately sought? Inrepparttar 132237 violence-filled streets of Baghdad? Inrepparttar 132238 ruins ofrepparttar 132239 World Trade Center? Inrepparttar 132240 hills of Afghanistan? Inrepparttar 132241 political condemnation of gay rights, resistance to a woman's right to control her own body,repparttar 132242 death of Affirmative Action?

We look back in longing torepparttar 132243 days before political assassinations turnedrepparttar 132244 world upside down. Life was, indeed, so much simpler then. Involvement in revolution is forrepparttar 132245 young and naïve who, no matterrepparttar 132246 century, no matterrepparttar 132247 nation, no matterrepparttar 132248 cause, see onlyrepparttar 132249 possibilities and none ofrepparttar 132250 difficulties that maintenance of profound social change demands.

Can we keep our ideals alive inrepparttar 132251 muck and mire of reality?

If our ideals are still there, perhaps hidden beneathrepparttar 132252 layers that decades of responsibility, work, fatigue, andrepparttar 132253 need to take care of personal matters have deposited, we can resurrect them. We can revitalize their tenets withrepparttar 132254 bolder judgment and broader understanding wrought by experience and maturity. We can still return torepparttar 132255 fight we abdicated withrepparttar 132256 demise ofrepparttar 132257 Great Society.

1. Political action.

We now know that marching inrepparttar 132258 streets has less of a lasting effect thanrepparttar 132259 power ofrepparttar 132260 voting booth andrepparttar 132261 closed door deals of professional politicians. Although many have fallen alongrepparttar 132262 way, including some ofrepparttar 132263 best and brightest,repparttar 132264 boomers still have tremendous numbers and therefore significant potential political power. As our involvement in work and careers starts to taper off, we can use our newly found time to participate inrepparttar 132265 political process: listening, organizing, contributing, and supporting those who represent that new society we still so desperately seek. For us,repparttar 132266 infringement of civil liberties generated byrepparttar 132267 Patriot Act andrepparttar 132268 horrors of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay demand that questions be asked, motives revealed, and expected outcomes honestly assessed. We can still throw offrepparttar 132269 conservative shackles of age we have unwittingly donned and re-enterrepparttar 132270 fray: as candidates, as volunteers, as individuals who demand accountability and justice from those in power.

2. Community action.

Supporting and fighting for civil rights no longer requires travel torepparttar 132271 Deep South nor marching throughrepparttar 132272 streets. The struggle now permeates all levels of our society:repparttar 132273 workplace,repparttar 132274 schools,repparttar 132275 churches,repparttar 132276 home. Community involvement may range from active support, to speaking out, to neighborhood organizing, all inrepparttar 132277 knowledge that our better world starts right outside our front door. Racial profiling, bias against those of Middle Eastern descent, and widely administered wiretaps confront us in our own corner ofrepparttar 132278 world. An African-American child in a schoolroom without enough books, without internet access, without afterschool programs, without personal safety and a quiet academic atmosphere, is as cheated of his natural human heritage as his forefather inrepparttar 132279 back ofrepparttar 132280 bus. A gay couple deniedrepparttar 132281 social and financial benefits of married straights are as muchrepparttar 132282 victims of prejudice as their forbears in their proverbial closets. A poor urban neighborhood without basic resources: libraries, museums, music, culture, is as disadvantaged inrepparttar 132283 modern age as inrepparttar 132284 shameful shanty towns of old. We may feel a lack of power to sufficiently effect a national change of direction but in our local communitiesrepparttar 132285 power is there forrepparttar 132286 taking if we choose to assert our energies and our concerns.

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