By NC State Senator Joyce Krawiec
Christian Action League
October 14, 2021
There is a concerted effort by many in this country, including some elected to public office and many activist organizations, to attack religious liberty. Our religious liberty is spelled out in the First Amendment to the Constitution. There’s a reason our founders put it at the top of the list. They considered it to be one of the most important of our freedoms.
Now there are those that say the Constitution is just an old outdated document, produced by old men who owned slaves. There are also those who say it’s a “living, breathing, document” and it’s time for it to be changed.
The Constitution is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. It is not a thing of the past, it’s a roadmap for the future. Our founders, in their infinite wisdom, gave us the recipe for the most wonderful country on earth to continue to enjoy the blessings of liberty for ourselves and future generations.
I remember years ago when the famous atheist Madelyn Murray O’Hair autographed the Bible of the pastor of Bourbon Street, Rev. Bob Harrington. She penned, “keep the faith baby, but keep it to yourself.” Madelyn was a true atheist advocate who fought for the separation of church and state. Her idea was to destroy the church and elevate the state.
Many in today’s world think that expressions of faith cannot be made in the public square. They think it can only be displayed in private. Why would the Constitution need to protect something that you’re only going to express when nobody is present?
Those of us who are Christians know that as children of God, we are not secret agents on His behalf. We are commanded to share our faith.
I will tell you that I will get an unbelievable number of messages regarding this column. Anytime I write or post words of faith, I am bombarded with insults and comments about being a public official and having no right to express my faith. This would mean that my constitutional liberties became null and void when I was elected to office. How ridiculous. These comments refer to that very “separation of church and state.” I have to remind them that I am neither the church nor the state. I am a citizen, who happens to serve God, and I have all the rights afforded all citizens under the Constitution.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an organization that defends those religious freedoms on behalf of our citizens. They have been very busy for many years as attempts to dismantle those freedoms are escalating. Following is just a sample of the cases going through the courts regarding religious liberty:
There have been several suits against Governors around the country who banned religious church services during Covid, but allowed many other facilities to be declared “essential workers.” Churches here in NC sued Governor Cooper and were allowed to reopen for religious services.
You’ve probably heard the high-profile cases of Jack Phillips, the baker who declined to create a custom cake for a “same sex wedding” because it violated his religious views. Another case is Baronelle Stutzmann, a floral artist who declined to create floral designs for a “same sex wedding” because it violated her religious convictions.
Now there are a number of other artists who are being sued because they cite religious convictions as a reason for refusing service. Regardless of how one feels about the issue, no one should be forced to violate their religious beliefs. There are many other creative artists who have no problem providing these services. So, it’s not as though these refusals have a huge impact.
Former Atlanta Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran, was suspended and then fired when activists complained about a devotional book he wrote. He wrote about his faith and his views on marriage, on his own personal time and used the book as a teaching tool for a church class.
Students and employees have been punished for sharing their religious views in schools all around the country. Student groups have also been denied the use of facility space when there were expressions of faith involved. The president of the Florida State University Student Senate was removed from his position for sharing his faith in a private message to other students.
Many non-profit groups are denied public benefits because they are faith based. Several suits are pending regarding this violation of religious liberty. For example, preschools in low-income areas are denied grants for playground equipment because the preschools are run by a church.
There are cases in which religious organizations are discriminated against by the government because their policies track with their declarations of faith. Well, duh. How can a religious organization separate itself from religion?
Religious liberty is a tenet of our country and is protected in the Constitution. Next to the Bible, the Constitution is the most important document we have. I’m willing to defend both of these vital documents. I hope you are as well.
This editorial was first posted on the Facebook page of Sen. Joyce Krawiec, NC District 31. It is posted here with permission.