Mini rant here: When is this country going to stand up and defend religious liberty? When ISIS burned the Jordanian pilot alive there was much public outcry but we took no action. Jordan did. Good for them. They acted against a very real threat to them. But religious liberty has taken a vacation from most of the seemingly apathetic world and it is thinking about leaving US if we don't make a stand.
We still have religious liberty here in our country . .. at least for now, but it's only a matter of time before this right is taken away from us. Do you think I'm kidding? Do you think I am being an alarmist? Take a look at Europe. It's already happening there.
Here is a link to an article penned by the Catholic News Agency. [Note: Removing religious liberty in France has begun happening long before this article was written in 2012]
France's New "Monitoring" Policy
In that article you saw that "The State", France, is now determining which religious groups are mainstream and which are radical. They have a new governmental agency in France now called The Observatory of Secularism. This agency exists to promote secularism in France. They observe "radical groups" and then report to the government, who then decides if these groups should be shut down or not.
This "wonderful" French agency is mainly going after Islamic terrorists, but of course they don't want to single out an individual group so they are proposing to eliminate ALL religious groups. Religious Liberty = GONE!
And just who are these "religious extremists" that France thinks are simply too radical? Radical Islamists? Yes. One can easily understand that given all the beheadings and burning people alive. But check out these other "radical" groups that are also on France's list of extremists.
- The Catholic Church
- Orthodox Jews
Open up your Bibles. Let's see what Jesus thinks we should do about removing "the weeds" from our fields?
"24 Then Jesus used another story to teach them. Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like a man who planted good seed in his field. 25 That night, while everyone was asleep, the man’s enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and then left. 26 Later, the wheat grew, and heads of grain grew on the plants. But at the same time the weeds also grew. 27 Then the man’s servants came to him and said, ‘You planted good seed in your field. Where did the weeds come from?’
28 “The man answered, ‘An enemy planted weeds.’
“The servants asked, ‘Do you want us to go and pull up the weeds?’
29 “He answered, ‘No, because when you pull up the weeds, you might also pull up the wheat. 30 Let the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest time. At the harvest time I will tell the workers this: First, gather the weeds and tie them together to be burned. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.’” - Matthew 13:24-30
Am I saying ISIS should be left alone to practice their version or "religion"? No. I am saying we shouldn't stop ANY religious group from "meeting." We should, however, stop them from KILLING.
Most religions are peaceful. Some are not. In the end, God will decide which belief system is right and which ones don't measure up. Are you sure of your beliefs? Dead sure?
Jesus told us we are to love our enemies. I'd say that even includes while they are holding a knife to our throats. And we are to forgive them, even if they are burying children alive. We are called as Christians to "love our neighbors" - even those dressed in black holding our brothers and sisters captive because of their faith. Our reward is in heaven, not here. We must pray for ISIS. Pray that they would see Jesus through the lives of those they are killing and that they then would repent. We need to be on our knees for our religious liberty.
"Give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry
And finally, there is this from Jesus . . .
"21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times." - Matthew 18:21-22