First Amendment to the United States Constitution
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.
Rallies were held in a number of cities across America yesterday to stand up for the First Amendment right to Freedom of Religion. One of those rallies was in Buffalo, New York, and our own reader and commenter “Brad” spoke at the rally! Here’s the video he posted, standing up for the “First Freedom in the First Amendment.”
There are a great many on the Left who use the “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” phrase to try and say there should be no mention of God in the public square. They conveniently leave out the “nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof” continuation of the sentence. As for what the Founders meant by what they wrote and adopted in the First Amendment, their own many references to God in speeches, proclamations and inscriptions on virtually every monument and building across the country tells you they never intended the First Amendment to be used as a weapon against the very reason this nation was founded – as a refuge and haven for people seeking freedom to worship God in accord with their own conscience. This is an important reminder about what Brad called “the First Freedom in the First Amendment.” Thanks Brad! Nice job!
A 32 year-old Iranian Christian Pastor is reportedly facing execution in Iran unless he is willing to recant his faith in Jesus Christ. Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani became a Christian as a teenager, and has been under arrest since 2009 for his faith. In Iran – dominated by Islam – there is apparently no room for him to practice and share his faith:
FOX NEWS: Iran’s Supreme Court says an evangelical pastor charged with apostasy can be executed if he does not recant his faith, according to a copy of the verdict obtained by a religious rights activist group.
Christian Solidarity World says Iranian-born Yousef Nadarkhani, who was arrested in 2009 and given the death sentence late last year, could have his sentence suspended on the grounds that he renounce his faith.
Those who know him say he is not likely to do that, for if he were disposed to giving it up, he would have done it long ago. . . .
Ghaemi says, “Most churches in Iran operate with some degree of secrecy. They operate in homes. People take their batteries out of their cellphones and leave them at the door. They show up at random times so as to avoid the appearance of a crowd filing in. The current government sees them as a threat.” . . . . Read More
The reality is that you can go to virtually any nation in the world where Islam is dominant and find the same story. Islam is intolerant to the faith of others, and seeks to silence dissent. Christians in particular are persecuted for their faith, as Islam seeks to keep people from being exposed to any view of life and eternity but its own.
If you are one who prays, say a prayer for this pastor and his family – not only that he will live, but that they will have courage and strength in their fiery trial. While you are praying – thank God for the religious freedom we have in America.
UPDATE 7/15/11 - Here’s a video with more information on Pastor Yousef, urging prayer for him.