Religious Freedom vs Religious Liberty (Part 2 or 2)


Flickr/creative commons

It’s important, now more than ever, for progressives to understand the wide divide separating two distinct concepts: religious freedom and religious liberty.

The religious right have become the champions of religious libertarianism because of the association of the word, liberty, with release from captivity and the bondage of sin. Intentionally, their use of the words, religious liberty, has nothing whatsoever to do with religious freedom, or how or why it was incorporated into our founding documents.

The religious right’s point of view is best understood by what is driving it: the political and religious philosophy of dominionism (the end of the rule of law to make way for the ascendancy of [their version] of god’s law), the theme of this month-long series. The most fervent dominionists really believe that the rule of law has already been disabled, drawing them in close association to the outright insanity of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC).

We mock them at our peril because they are deadly serious.

If you think the comparison with the severely demented WBC crowd is a bridge too far, let me give you the definitive, summarizing words from Win Johnson, as recently reported by Daily Kos. Johnson is the top lawyer in Alabama Attorney General Roy Moore’s office warning public officials, including Alabama’s Governor, that public officials “will all be going to Hell if they do not ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling.”

Jesus Christ is Lord of all. He came to save the world by His death and resurrection. That world includes you, me, the family, the civil government, all the institutions of life. He came to advance His Father’s kingdom, not watch man run rampant upon the earth as if Christ had never come. As if it were the days of Noah!

You cannot serve two masters; you must pick – God or Satan. […]

Public official, what will you do? Will you stand up for the law of Alabama, for the people, for the weak and vulnerable, for the law of God? Or will you capitulate? Will you become complicit in the takeover by the wicked?

“I must follow the law,” you say. Law? What law? There is no law anymore, there’s just opinion. One day this, one day that. When the law becomes merely the opinion of a handful of people on the courts, there is no longer any law. There is tyranny. There is chaos. But there is no law. […]

You’re not standing for the rule of law when you capitulate to a law that defies God and exposes people to the wicked. You’re just a coward making excuses! […]

On Judgment Day, you won’t stand in front of the media, the advocates of “Equality,” or even the federal courts; you’ll stand before the King of Kings, the Judge and Ruler over the Kings of the Earth, Jesus Christ. His law is not subject to the vote of man, and He, as the good and loving author of that law, does not exempt any nation from it. […]

Don’t acquiesce to the takeover (actually the takedown)! Use your authority and every legal angle to oppose the tyrants!

Do I have your attention now? One of the largest and oldest dominionist cults is called The Family (aka The Fellowship) and they have infiltrated our government and many, many other countries with the goal of bringing about (their) god’s law to replace democracy. We have stood by and let this happen, but it’s not too late to do something about it.
Johnson is right about one thing, you can’t serve two masters. Those in public office now, lawmakers and judges, who uphold their commitment to dominionist philosophy over their official oaths to serve and uphold our Constitution are de facto in violation of the oaths. A tragic paper trail of financial and ethics violations are the result as well as the key for forcing mass resignations.
Somewhere in their own bible, I read, “violation of the public trust deserves an arrow in the codpiece.” Will you help end this scourge?
Alison Gardner