Freedom of Religion? Where do we draw the lines?

There is an interesting court case brewing in Texas.  I am sure that you have heard of it even if you havn’t been keeping up with it.  There is a very “traditionalist” Mormon sect in Texas and Utah that pracice polygamy and arranged marriages between underaged girls and older men.  According to reports a 16 year old girl called state authorities to report that she had been abused and raped by her 50 year old husband and that is what started the investigation that brought us where we are today.  More on the story here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbBkVaBiRH0

While the situation sickens me and it angers me greatly that these innocent children had to be put through such things, this case brings up a bigger question.   “Where is the line between freedom of religion and a state’s right to move in and take action?”

The First Ammendment of the Constitution of the United States reads;

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.

This right is one of the most precious and cherished here in America but it is also one of the most challenged.  Note that there is no where in this ammendment where it states that there is a seperation between church and state.  That was an issue that was mentioned in a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a group of ladies in a baptist organization who were affraid of the government interfering with religious practice.

In the case in Texas we have a clear example of religion gone amuck.  What is happening there is clearly damaging to these children and something must be done.  But will this case open the door for more discriminatory cases against religious groups who hold close to their doctrine and beliefs?  Suppose the government came in and arrested your pastor for speaking out against such sins as homosexuality? That is happening in some countries already. 

Where should the line be drawn?  I am going to continue watching this case closely and praying that God will intervene and give these children and their families safety, peace and clarity and help the authorities to act righteously.

What’s your opinion?

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~ by pastormikeadams on April 15, 2008.

One Response to “Freedom of Religion? Where do we draw the lines?”

  1. Keep voting! We are the PEOPLE and this is OUR government. The best way to keep the government from infringing on our rights is to stay politically active.

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