Suppose this religion requires human sacrifice of children like the Incas in Peru did. Would that be acceptable here? Would we allow this under the principle of freedom of religion, or are there limitations on this freedom?
Imagine it was a religion that believes you must eat the heart and drink the blood of others as the ancient Aztecs did. Would that be acceptable?
Imagine a religion that demands its adherents kill or subjugate into slavery anyone who will not submit to their religion. Again, would we tolerate such a religion under our freedom of religion laws?
Imagine Hitler having a god and calling Nazism the religion of his god instead of a political system. Would we allow such a religion to flourish under the guise of freedom of religion?
The real question is, does the freedom of religion give any religion the right to do whatever it wants even if it violates common standards and other laws?
The religion that demands its adherents kill or subjugate into slavery anyone who will not submit to their religion does have a name. It is called Islam. If you doubt that this is part of true Islam just stay with me because I will show that this is part of Islamic law and it is not just the invention of a few radical Islamists.
Lets start by looking at what it means to have freedom of religion in our nation.
First Amendment –
Congress shall make no law respecting an (1)establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or (2)abridging the freedom of speech, or (3)of the press; or the (4)right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to (5)petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The first thing you need to notice is that the restriction is not on the people, it is on the government.
Secondly, Congress cannot make a law establishing a religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. This prohibits a state religion. Why was this an issue? It was because England, and all other European nations had a state religion which persecuted anyone who would not join it. The purpose of the freedom of religion clause in our Constitution was to prevent that from happening here.
It also prohibited Congress from making a law that would prohibit the free exercise of one’s religion. This means that each person can choose how to worship according to the dictates of his own heart.
The question is, what does it mean to “prohibit the free exercise thereof?” Does this mean that child sacrifice, cannibalism, or killing those who will not submit to your religion would be protected? I doubt that any thinking person would say that these practices would be acceptable under freedom of religion.
There are limitations to the freedom of religion the same as there are limitations on the freedom of speech. The next part of the First Amendment says that Congress cannot make a law “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” Our courts have determined that there are limits on the freedom of speech. They include:
- false statements of fact, (Lies – perjury – Libel – Slander – Defamation –)
- speech owned by others (plagiarism – Copyright – Trademarks)
The courts have determined that you can be offensive in your freedom of speech. For example they have determined that the burning of our flag is protected under the freedom of speech. This is very offensive to those who are patriots.
A lady in Chicago filed in a complaint in a federal court that claims that the cities decency laws are unconstitutional. She was going topless in public and was arrested or cited for indecency. She claims that this is a limitation on here freedom of speech.
There are limits on the freedom of religion also. Islam does demand that those who don’t become Muslims be killed or subjugated to Islam. This is very clear within Islam. We document this on this website. Read some of the articles we have written about jihad and other teachings of Islam and you will find that this is a very clear teaching of Islam.
Some of you may know some Muslims who don’t seem to agree with this type of Islam. They are inventing an Islam according to their own imagination, just like some Christians have invented a Christianity that doesn’t follow the teachings of Scripture.
Here is the legal definition of jihad from the Islamic law book along with some quotes from the Islamic scriptures:
Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada signifying warfare to establish the religion.
o9.8 The caliph (o25) makes war upon Jews, Christians, and Zoroastrians
“Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden-who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book-until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled” (Koran 9.29)
(1) “Fighting is prescribed for you” (Koran 2:216);
(2) “Slay them wherever you find them” (Koran 4:89);
(3) “Fight the idolaters utterly” (Koran 9:36);
Bukhari Hadith – Muhammad said: “I have been commanded to fight people until they testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah…….
Another hadith reported by Muslim, “To go forth in the morning or evening to fight in the path of Allah is better than the whole world and everything in it…..
You can see from these quotes that fighting against non-Muslims is a dogma of true Islam. Should we allow such a religion to have the freedom to impose their religion upon the rest of us? Absolutely not! This would be contrary to the whole idea of freedom of religion.
Our founders had an understanding of Islam and knew that they would try to force their religion on others if allowed the freedom to do so. Our first foreign war was with Muslims. It was the Barbary Pirate War.
The founding fathers did not expect for the freedom of religion to be absolute. Patrick Henry, the statesman from Virginia, coined the phrase “the color of religion.” He produced a proposal for Articles 15 and 16 for the Virginia Bill of Rights. The proposal reads:
…..That religion, or the duty we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, and not by force or violence; and, therefore, that all men should enjoy the fullest toleration in the exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience, unpunished and unrestrained by the magistrates, unless, under the color of religion, any man disturb the peace, the happiness, or the safety of society; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.”
The final edition that made it into The Virginia Bill of Rights did not contain the exception clause “under the color of religion…” It is my guess that it was obvious and therefore considered irrelevant. Article 16 in the Virginia Bill of Rights reads:
“16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our CREATOR, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity, towards each other.”
Although the part about the color of religion did not make it into the US Constitution, it did make it into the Maryland constitution:
“That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to Him, all persons are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty; wherefore, no person ought by any law to be molested in his person or estate, on account of his religious persuasion, or profession, or for his religious practice, unless, under the color of religion, he shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others in their natural, civil or religious rights; nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent, or maintain, or contribute, unless on contract, to maintain, any place of worship, or any ministry; nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief; provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefore either in this world or in the world to come.“
This is still in the Maryland constitution today.
From these quotes you can see the intent of the Founding Fathers of our nation. The intent was that each person could worship God, or not worship God, according to the dictates of his own heart so long as doing so did not infringe on the rights of others and did not violate the laws of society.
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