First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me
--Pastor Martin Niemöller
That is not the way America works. Religion freedom has always been a cherished American value. So too is the freedom to choose one's religion. Government has no right to tell us what our religious faith should be or to take our rights away because of our faith.
Yesterday Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump declared that the United States should enact a ban on Muslims traveling to the United States. That is an utterly reprehensible suggestion, an idea that could not be more un-American. Should we ban Muslim extremists who use their religion as a justification to do harm to this country? Absolutely. But certainly not all Muslims fall into that category; not even a majority do.
Christians, who have been the target of the religious bigots, have a particular duty to speak out about Donald Trump's anti-Muslim bigotry. If we need a reason to do so, we need only consider Pastor Niemöller's most eloquent poem.
I'm a Methodist and a Christian. I have never experienced discrimination because of my religion. I have observed that certain mostly nondenominational or evangelical Christians who oppose homosexuality and equality have a contemptuous and holier-than-thou attitude towards those of us who advocate for full GLBT equality, and they seem obsessed with imposing their beliefs and values on the rest of us. They also seem bent on having the law embrace their theology, even if that would violate others' religious liberties and personal freedoms. That is the only type of religious discrimination this Christian has encountered.
Anon, the fact is one is not only entitled to hold religious beliefs, this country's guarantee of religious freedom means people are entitled to practice those religious beliefs as well. When LGBT activists demand that those individuals give up practicing their religion for what those activists believe is good social policy, that is by definition infringing on those individuals' religious freedom. For some reason, LGBT activists seem to think discrimination is perfectly okay if that discrimination is against a person's religious belief that they deem incorrect.
The Mormons are looking at you like you have lost your mind.
We could ban Nazis, Communists, and others with imbued ideologies from coming here. We have. See Welsh's post on our refusals on immigrations. Don't lose your lunch on a travel ban. Until you can tell the difference between a peaceful Muslim and an ideological one it is best to ban all of them. History suggests that the Christian heresy now called Islam is a murderous band of ideological theocrats and they have been so from the beginnings of their heresy.
Anon 9:04, 9:18, 9:24,
Now give me an example of when this country has every banned someone from traveling to the U.S. because of his or her religious beliefs. We've never done that. Trump's suggestion is a direct assault on religious freedom.
Those of us who believe in religious freedom have a duty to speak out when Trump argues against it, as he did with this travel ban and his suggestion we need to close mosques. Christians can't just argue for religious freedom for themselves and nobody else.
"people are entitled to practice those religious beliefs as well."(ogden 11:34am)
The problem with the above statement is that it is applied to freedom of religion people; not religions that 'practice' a religious belief that espouses Sharia law and considers non-believers as infidels worry of death by their hands.
This is Anon 11:01. So if your religious beliefs require you to practice animal sacrifice, can you slaughter a lamb on the Circle notwithstanding animal cruelty laws? If your religious beliefs say that abortion if ungodly, should you be able to harass or even kill an abortion provider with impunity? Of if your sincere religious views teach you that gays and lesbians are an abomination because they are committing the unpardonable sin of sodomy, does your right to religious liberty allow you to put those beliefs in practice by treating them as sub-humans because your pastor tells you to, by denying them basic services if you operate a public accommodation, by refusing to marry them if you're an elected clerk, by firing or refusing to hire them for being gay if you're an employer, or even by burning them at the stake to punish them for their sin? In other words, where do their rights to dignity and the freedom to be who they are end and your religious freedom begin?
According to Paul's logic it's your religious freedom to kill your neighbor if you see him working on a Sunday.
Anon 10:26: Paul will remind you the 10 Commandments forbid such a thing & Jesus replied to that exact pharisaic complaint that the complainer should tend to their own house / soul. Much of the Bible is written in parable form. The right to associate is also the right to disassociate. Halting immigration until the government exhibits security competence- makes perfect sense. If memory serves; two of the 911 terrorists were living with an FBI informant- there's more work to do in light of recent events. All preference and / or discernment is a matter of profiling; irrespective of the statist's / socialist's / communist's intellectual blasphemy or fraud, suggesting otherwise.
Pete, that's not what Trump proposed. He proposed banning travel to the United States by all Muslims. (He also had previously advocated closing mosques.) Trump wants to single out a group because of their religious beliefs. We've never done that in this country and hopefully never will. Trump clearly does not support religious liberty and remarks he's made suggests he doesn't support free speech either. Christians have a duty to speak out about Trump's reprehensible positions which endanger their religious freedom just as surely as the Muslims'. What is next...Trump going to propose that Muslims be forced to wear the crescent moon on their clothing and be confined to certain re-education camps? Trump has already said he might have supported the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW II. Enough is enough. A lot of Tea Party people have already, thankfully, turned against Trump due to his latest comments.
The difference here Paul is the original observance of the right to free speech is a Christian ideal; unfortunately in conflict with contemporary & prevailing teachings of adherents to what's really theo-statism. The answer is a hold on all immigration until Constitutional competence is restored to those processes which must favor the security of Americans.
But Trump didn't propose stopping all immigration. He proposed stopping all travel by Muslims, which would mean for the first time singling out a group because of their religious beliefs. We Christians have faced enough discrimination because of our religious beliefs. We need to stand up and condemn it when it happens to non-Christians.
What Trump proposed is reasonable as it was expressly temporary- he said that. There is no right to immigrate & he's right about getting a handle on what we're doing- which hasn't remotely happened.
Pete, I'm not sure why you keep going back to immigration. Trump's proposal wasn't about immigration - it was about visiting the United States. He said that Muslims shouldn't be allowed into the United States. Trump's proposal would prohim Muslims parents living overseas from visiting their children in the United States, for example.
Trump wants to disallow people from coming to the United States, to visit or to stay, based solely on their religion. We've never done that in this nation's history and hopefully never will. Christians of all people should be up in arms about Trump's religious bigotry because they are so often the target of that bigotry.
While I generally agree with you sentiment; I think Americans have been / are victims of cultural bigotry, Trojan Horsed by sellout politicians posing as representatives. Until we have coherent policy that first accounts for the security of Americans; Trump's proposal makes more sense than not. We don't have a terrorist problem with Hindus & it's profiling that's being used to threaten the security of Americans. Doing more to secure financial transactions than we do to secure access & our border; is in Christian terms, worship of Baal. We have a wonderful & distinct culture that should be appreciated & therefore protected.
Sharia's unfortunately but uniquely associated with one faith. Here’s a story of an imam who was just fired, for agreeing with Trump:
That's not really an argument to discriminate against Muslims because of their faith. Most evangelical leaders know that religious freedom has to apply to everyone's religious faith, including Muslims, or their beliefs will not be protected either. That's why they're lining up to condemn Donald Trump.
Paul: Trump is somehow channeling the people, albeit in populist fashion; who've concluded that sharia is a threat to all freedom, religious or otherwise. It appears the TX imam agrees with Trump for reasons related to the aforementioned problem of sharia.
It appears the TX imam agrees with Trump due to the problem of sharia; a threat to all freedom, religious or otherwise.
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