Commentary: States stepping up for battle to protect religious liberty

Religious freedom is more than allowing diverse religions to coexist and the opportunity to attend church. Religious freedom is the ability to act on the convictions of your faith. Do we know what it means to defend our right to freely live out our faith?

Preserving American liberty depends upon our remembering the foundations on which this country was built.

In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read out loud by members of Congress from Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Afterward, the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription on the bell reads: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.” — Leviticus 25:10.

Signer John Adams said, “The general principles on which the Founding Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.”

Throughout our nation’s history, Christian churches have been the moral leaders of our society.

Our faith is more than where we worship on Sundays. It’s who we are. It influences the way we live. Efforts are being made to remove Christianity’s moral influence on society.

A free society demands that churches be allowed to live out their faith without fear of discrimination or legal challenges from the government or anti-religious organizations.

Our government should never force us to act in a way that violates our conscience. The freedom to act on our deeply held convictions and the freedom not to be forced to violate those convictions is an American value.

For example, the U.S. Constitution gives pro-life employers the freedom to choose health insurance plans that do not conflict with their beliefs on the dignity of human life.

However, the California Department of Managed Health Care requires all health plans sold to cover elective abortions. That department manipulated the market to violate the Constitution and stripped pro-life employers of their freedom.

States across the nation are stepping up in what is becoming an epic battle to protect religious liberty.

North Carolina’s House Bill 2 protects children’s privacy in public restrooms and changing facilities.

Iowa churches may be forced to allow men access to women’s restrooms in places of worship. The Civil Rights Commission argues that since churches are public places, they are required to comply with sexual orientation and gender identity laws.

Missouri legislators are working to qualify a state ballot measure to let citizens vote to “ban government discrimination against people of faith because of their beliefs about marriage.”

Mississippi and Louisiana have moved to ban dismemberment abortions.

Pray! Get educated! Take action! Rediscover the joy and privilege of being a citizen of the United States – under God! Preserve our Judeo-Christian heritage!

“You are the salt of the Earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” — Matthew 5:13-14

Janet Ferguson is a resident of Edinburg.