How to respond

"How to respond" Continued...

Issue: "Osama bin Ashcroft?," April 27, 2002

Andrew Sullivan is right to note that Americans in the 19th century grabbed onto the possibility of freedom for all religious faiths. President John Tyler, in a letter dated July 10, 1843, wrote that "The Mahommedan, if he will to come among us, would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran.... The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid." But focus on what Tyler was proposing: not the equality of the graveyard, with all religious beliefs left six feet under, but equality in action, with all religions able to speak freely of their beliefs.

Religions that have ritual at their core and contend that others will be changed by the performance of those rites, regardless of mental state, are potentially dangerous-but Christianity is not a religion like that. The road to dictatorship in the United States is paved with lack of religious belief, for tens of millions with holes in their souls will be ready to follow a charismatic figure who promises relief. The best protectors of liberty are those who have strong beliefs along with a sense of coram deo-living in the presence of God-that keeps us from going to all lengths to accomplish goals.

We don't need to dominate the broadcast media to get our message out, because "the heavens declare the glory of God." We don't need to execute political enemies, because our Lord says vengeance is His. We don't dare to pretend to be gods, because we know that the true God of heaven and earth is not mocked.

All we need is a level playing field, and God's grace.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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