- Religion and Philosophy
Freedom of religion is under attack again
The freedom of religion is under attack again. The city of Houston, Texas has selected a group of pastors to sue for access to their sermons. This is in direct violation to the freedom of religious principles and freedom of speech both of which are engrained in the Constitution in the 1st amendment. This is another effort to silence anyone who disagrees with government officials in power and is another example of the overreach of government. The language of the 1st amendment is provided below:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The right to express our religious beliefs applies to all individuals but this right is critically important for those who preach in any religious institution. Silencing these individuals or attempting to silence these individuals affect individuals who attend the religious activity is unacceptable. It is hoped the case will be thrown out. While it is every citizen’s right to file a lawsuit if they feel there is some legal violation in this case the only violation is against the Constitution.
Filing lawsuits seems to be a prevalent thing these days and when such actions being taken are clearly violating our constitutional rights the suits should be rejected by our judicial system. These lawsuits are not the only issue with our judicial system as there are and have been other lawsuits which have been dubbed frivolous. Logic seems to be missing in our justice system. Individuals who are responsible for accepting these suits should be given the authority to refuse these types of suits. Lawyers also need to stand up against these types of cases which flood our judicial system and have no right to exist. Integrity needs to see a rebirth in our justice system which appears in many instances missing in action.
Another impact of this suite affects our freedom of speech. Freedom of speech and our freedom of religion are core rights we have under the Constitution. When seeing the news reports one of the pastors involved stated he was preaching from the Bible. Religion is meant to be separate from government whether it is local, state or federal makes no difference. Any individual exercising his/her rights under our Constitution should never be put in situations where they are restricted to exercise their rights.
Along with this case others in the past which have seen mixed decisions involves the display of the Ten Commandments. The Supreme Court building in Washington displays these commandments but you have never seen any suit against this display. The Supreme Court building is government property which lawsuits have argued violates the separation of church and state. Interestingly enough this principle is not part of the Constitution but has become embedded by the actions of government to be an unacceptable practice. Basically this principle amounts to the prevention of designating a specific religion as the national religion. Individuals today are hindered by lawsuits and in some cases regulations which have been generated by executive departments and the agencies within them.
The case between the city of Houston and pastors in the city opens up many questions as to how much involvement if any, does a government entity have with exercising an individual’s right to express their religious beliefs. While the amendment talks about Congress not making laws respecting the establishment of religion or the free exercise thereof the requirements contained cannot be violated by any state or local government. Our judicial system needs to get back to rejecting lawsuits which are a clear violation of the Constitution.