To Jordan Bradish (September 02, 2010 11:45 AM)
Thanks very much for your comment on the term ‘freedom of worship.’ I frankly hadn’t thought about it as the all-inclusive way to appeal to a postmodern culture in which many people have do-it-yourself God kits. Religion literally, from the Latin religiare, means to bind together, and binding together is not something that appeals to the postmodern world.
So you’ve raised a very interesting point. I’m not sure that the administration’s thinking is quite that sophisticated at this point. My own hunch is that they’re using ‘worship’ where it’s least offensive to Muslims and ‘religion’ where it shows that we will protect them the most.
The problem is that words really do have meaning. And freedom of religion was debated by the founders and was clearly understood to be free religious exercise. The words of the First Amendment are very deliberately and well chosen. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Free exercise means putting your faith into practice, teaching your kids, evangelizing, etc. I think the President is smart enough to know that when he says freedom of worship he is limited that.
But my big worry is that people will get used to this, think it’s no big deal, and watch it come around and bite us in some future court decision.
To Bruce Hempel on September 02, 2010 11:24 AM
Thanks for trying to get clarification. I don’t think this is one issue that the administration wants clarified.
To Brad Simmons September 02, 2010 10:28 AM
I hope you’ve seen my response to Jordan Bradish. You may think of worship as your whole life, and of course everything we do with our lives we offer up to God. It is in a sense worship.
But freedom of religion is a term with profound legal significance. Believe me, these two terms are fundamentally different, as historically understood.
To Gilbert Torres September 02, 2010 1:48 AM
You have obviously thought this through very carefully. I think there’s a very strong basis for believing that much of this is designed, I wouldn’t say necessarily to appease Islam, but to placate it, to try to assuage their fears of the ‘great Satan.’ The President grew up as a Muslim child in a Muslim ghetto outside of Indonesia, so he’s well aware, whatever his convictions today, that America is despised in much of the Muslim world. I think he’s trying, like any good politician, to be liked. The problem is, from my perspective, that we are misleading the Islamic world. And the possible kick-back on us of playing with these words can be very dangerous, very serious.
To Paul Tiderman on September 01, 2010 11:41 PM
Of course Satan is behind the rise of evil. He is the prince of darkness, reigning in this world. He has been defeated by the cross, but we’re still engaged in a clean-up operation. So you have to recognize that he’s not going to leave us alone. And one of his great techniques is deception.
Thanks not only for signing the Manhattan Declaration but for praying regularly.
To Jason Eoff on September 01, 2010 11:31 PM
It’s been 35 years since I practiced law. So I’m not sure I would be much of an authority on Texas law, and certainly not on divorce issues. I was under the impression, just as Tony Evans apparently is, that no-fault divorce is available just about anywhere. Telling me that you couldn’t get a divorce, particularly when there are grounds, I find astonishing.
I’m not sure I quite understand what’s happened. If you have been given a divorce without grounds, you are still justified before God if the grounds actually were adultery. You don’t need a court decree to prove to God what has happened. So I’m not sure that it matters to you. If you have been denied a divorce even though adultery has been, as you put it, clearly established, then that’s a wholly different matter. I can’t conceive of a judge doing that, nor can I conceive of it standing up on appeal.
I don’t agree with divorce, and I’m particularly grieved by what it does to children. I know about this first-hand. So I would sympathize with the judge’s statement. But the law is the law. You can forward this to your website if you like. I really don’t enough about the case to make a very informed comment.
To Harlan Brown on September 01, 2010 10:25 PM