Friday, December 31, 2010

Run for Religious Freedom

There was a fairly recent Facebook discussion on Religious Freedom. In about a week I'll be running my third Marathon. I have run them in support of the Ecumenical Patriarch and the plight of all humans whose dignity has been insulted by religious oppression.

The Run for Religious Freedom has stood as an expression of my commitment to the cause to the basic human right above all others: to worship God as each person understands. It is not about conversion that is between you and God but it is about the basic protections which should be afforded all men (and women). Governments should help to create equality under the law and not seek to control and punish anyone for their religious identification.

I maintain the position that our Creator God has endowed mankind with the basic freedom of religious expression. It's not clear of course that there was in fact religion as we have come to know it. But suffice it to say that we do know that we were given a small freedom called free will. This term free will is intended to describe the freedom or liberty given mankind to worship God or not. This free will by its very nature affords man the  free choice and individual volition without God (the omnipotent divinity) to  assert  power over individual. That's huge.

This endowement is something we must embrace. The tragic fact that governments now seek to use policy to limit such expression or to suppress the spiritual needs of their population notwithstanding. This position seemed so foreign to people that I was very surprised. It would seem that we have been corralled so often and in so many ways that we fail to claim our right to worship to believe and to self identify just what our faith is. The gross violations around the globe and throughout history doesn't altar the reality of man that we are given the free will to choose to commune with God or not. This freedom is so sacred that God Himself does not seek to compell us beyond an invitation.

 In fact, government tyranny can only take our breathing body but not our identification with God with Christ with our service. We lose only when we concede our love of God for something else, anything else. Are we really infidels lacking fidelity to our God? What are we doing to protect the rights of others? I am very much concerned with the religious freedom of all peoples in all places. Let's remember the crimminal who sits in prison for his/her religious belief.  

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