What’s the difference between the two? Freedom of religion allows you to speak and act, in daily life and in the public square, upon your best understanding of what the God you serve requires of you. Freedom of worship only allows you to honor Him behind closed doors, while out in the world you must render totally to Caesar.
That’s “totally,” as in totalitarianism. They never closed the churches in 1930s Germany; clergymen were simply told to stick to their sermons and let Hitler build the Reich. Nor did the Soviets enforce atheism. Worshippers could still gather, but Stalin acidly observed the Pope had no divisions. Reminds you of the civil unions bill sponsor waving away claims of conscience because he didn’t need the Christian vote.
Secularism can be as theocratic as Islam. Gay rights needn’t lead there, but it’s a danger. Kevin Miller diagnoses the tendency in his arresting book, “Freedom Nationally, Virtue Locally.” Americans are increasingly “worshipping the state,” notes Benjamin Wiker in a book by that name, and he warns such political zealotry might finish us. For who could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?
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