Opinion

In Praise of a Tolerant Religion: Christianity

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Posted: Dec 21, 2020 12:01 AM
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In Praise of a Tolerant Religion: Christianity

Source: AP Photo/Gero Breloer

As we have witnessed in recent times, some groups have lawlessly removed from American streets and public buildings any vestiges of our history as well as religious symbols in general, Christianity in particular. The perpetrators hide behind masks and hide behind terms such as "social justice” and “diversity." They claim to be champions of protecting people of different minor faiths.  

As a non-religious person, I have lived in Christian America all my life. I have never felt anything less than welcomed from the time I could first formulate coherent and lasting thoughts to this day.  

Growing Pains

I have visited 46 states in the union and 65 countries around the world. I've had the opportunity to step into the hallowed halls and shrines of the world's great religions and in many cases have observed first-hand how people's actions and behaviors square with their religious doctrine. 

While Christianity has certainly had its growing pains through the ages, and Christian persecution of non-believers, Jews, in particular, lasted for centuries, no religion that I've seen comes as close to practicing what it preaches.

Christians today are among the most charitable, understanding, and tolerant people on the planet. In this era of identity politics, they are among the greatest supporters of the Jews and Israel's right to exist – and that of Muslims, Hindus, and other religions I can’t even think of, too. I am glad I live in a Christian nation and given the options around the globe, wouldn't have it any other way.   

Those on the Left, the self-appointed “politically correct” thought police, however, have declared war on public displays of Christianity in America. Their agenda is to strip public America of its last vestiges of Christianity, history, and culture, as if somehow what remains will be a better, more open, more egalitarian society. It won't be. 

Constitutional Illiterates

The cancel culture mob has decided that America's majority religion and those who practice it are oppressors. Those among the PC crowd, who haven’t totally rejected the U.S. Constitution, blindly quote phrases such as, "separation of church and state," although this phrase is not contained in the U.S. Constitution or in any official U.S. document. For the record, it appeared in Thomas Jefferson’s letter to a Baptist congregation in his effort to alleviate any fears that the state would make dictates to the church.

The Constitution says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” As such, Congress cannot make any laws regarding religion, and Congress cannot pass any law establishing a state-mandated religion. Public displays of religion, even by a government jurisdiction, are entirely allowable.            

Public America, stripped free of its religious symbolism, with its Christian trappings marginalized, is not a place where I want to be. The Leftist thought police don't understand that they are no better than those with whom they are in conflict. In a tolerant and open society, people of any faith are free to celebrate their beliefs. If one particular faith was predominant at the founding and remains so to this day, that does not preclude others from celebrating their faiths.  

Sing Along, or Not

From first grade on, when I attended my school's annual Christmas Pageant, I was not offended because, say, eight songs in a row mentioned Christmas, Jesus, or Bethlehem. Then, as now, I had options. I could skip going to the assembly or I could attend, but not sing along. Or, I could do what I chose to do in each instance: Attend, not sing along, but be caught up in the merriment of the day.  

My classmates did not expect me to capitulate to their religion and I didn't expect them to modify their festival to accommodate me. The fact that it was a public school was of no consequence. If I were to move to the Philippines, Turkey, Indonesia, Egypt, etc., I would not expect public or private celebrations to be altered to accommodate me. Remaining free and being respected would be sufficient.

Would any astute American moving to any foreign countries expect their societies to diminish their public and private religious celebrations so as to accommodate them? Hardly.

Fellow citizens who are Christian, know that many of us who might not be religious, lend our voices to safeguarding America for public and private expressions of Christianity as well as those of other peaceful, tolerant religions.