“Give me your huddled masses” This famous quote from the Statue of Liberty was intended to be a description of the very heart and core of the American belief. The “huddled masses” came to this Nation for the freedom to express their beliefs without fear of reprisal from their government.
For hundreds of years this was the standard by which the United States stood, but things have changed. Political leaders of today are now advising religious leaders that they are free to hold their views but not free to publicly express them. This is not the freedom that drew the masses across the ocean to the fertile shores of the New World.
If the measure of religious freedom were simply to hold a personal belief with no allowance for outward expression, there would have been no need for the many peoples of faith to flee their lands and come to the New World. These people were not persecuted for their quiet inner beliefs, but for the way they publicly expressed their faith: The way they dressed, the tenets of their faith, their style of worship, and their defiance or non-adherence to government sanctioned churches.
These persecutions drove them to a new world where they could worship with a freedom to express their faith. Later, our Founding Fathers constructed our Constitution with the intent to preserve that freedom. Much of the freedoms we once enjoyed stemmed from this desire to protect Religious Freedom.
Yet now, as our society is increasingly permeated with the influence of hedonism, a new freedom has emerged that cannot function in an amicable relationship to all other freedoms. The emergence of sexual freedom has signaled a death knell to the Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion, and Assembly if those freedoms do not comply with the edicts and whims of the Freedom to Sex. While the American people are struggling to find the Freedom to Sex in the Constitution, our government has fully complied with its demands.
With the rise of sexual expression, the marriage tradition, specifically in its Christian form, is viewed as a hindrance to its free expression. For now, Christianity has been the target of choice for persecutions because of its “archaic” moral codes and perceived intolerance to the “new freedom”. Once government has sufficiently squelched the voice of Christians, drunk with its new power, be assured it will search for other voices of dissidents to squash.
We have become a nation defined by our sexual acts. Heterosexual, homosexual, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transsexual are all terms referring to a sexual act defined by the individuals or victims engaged in the act, but now, we have become individuals defined by the sexual act. The balance has shifted.
History is again repeating itself as the self-indulgent rail against the impervious nature of religion. The relativists cannot comprehend why faith, for the most part, remains unflinching in its morality, even in the face of a populace disdain. The moralist’s stance in an immoral culture is viewed as an obstruction to the “new freedom”.
For people of faith, sex is one facet in a happy life. For the hedonist, sex is way of life. The God-fearing view sex as a private and sacred relation within their marriage and have no need or desire for public affirmation. This infuriates the hedonist who finds his value and satisfaction in fleeting moments of pleasure and must constantly seek popular affirmation to find his worth.
The recent events surrounding the defense of religious expression in Indiana, and now Arkansas, bring into sharp contrast the competing freedoms in our Country. People of faith want to continue to express their faith as they have done for centuries in the United States. Those defined by their sexuality crave affirmation for the public expression of their sex acts. Any criticism, rebuke, belief, or disparagement that challenges their sexuality is viewed as a threat to their freedom to sex, the “new freedom”, and must be silenced. Sadly, it seems we have made a choice in our Nation that free expression of sex is more valuable than all other expression of freedoms especially faith.