"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004
  Religious Persecution
Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine is arguing against the notion that Christians are being persecuted in America because they can't display a creche in city hall (and he's a Christian); he correctly notes that America is one of the few places in the world where Christians are free to worship as they please, without fear of government reprisals. His post isn't perfect, but many parts of it are spot on and good reading. Here's some excerpts:
No one is this country is being stopped from worshipping as they please. No churches or synagogues or mosques are being shut by mob or government edict. That would indeed constitute a war against Christianity and religion; that would be illegal, unconstitutional, unAmerican, and wrong. But I don't see that happening. And if I did, I would be fighting that with my full First Amendment fervor.

Ah, but you might say that you're prevented from putting a creche in front of city hall or singing Christmas carols in school. But be careful, for if you're using that as an argument of religious persecution, you end up arguing that you want city hall and the school to become a place of worship and that does raise issues. You can't have it both ways: You can't argue that the creche and the carol are harmless displays of culture and then argue that preventing them is religious persecution that prevents worship. That doesn't wash.
And here:
Next, if your argument is that there is a war against religion in this country because there are more signs of secular life and more people who reject religion -- well, folks, that is their right in this country. And so, that is a problem of marketing, not Constitutionality. If you lose converts it could well be because they don't like your message or how you deliver it. If Coke loses customers to Pepsi, Coke isn't being persecuted; it's facing competition. We believe in competition in America -- even for minds, yes, even for souls. That is the essence of the First Amendment: No one side gets an edge up thanks to government. And enforcing that is precisely what protects the free choice of worship -- for you don't want to find government endorsing George's church today but Hillary's tomorrow, do you?
 
 POSTED BY THE GENERAL AT 8:35 AM


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