Throughout history, the ONE institution that has never shut its doors to the people has been the church. War, famine, disease, plague...regardless of how dire the circumstances, or personal risk, clergy have committed themselves to offering solace and strength during the darkest of times. Whether ruled by a king, or represented by their fellow citizens, those in positions of perceived power have always revered (or feared) the church, the power and importance of faith, and the ability of the people to exercise their right to worship. This truth was so significant that our founding fathers intentionally guaranteed protection of peaceful assembly and religious practice when creating our Bill of Rights. Sadly, at some point in our history, the people have allowed a slow deterioration of the precious words scribed on parchment that is the foundation of our country’s government, but have also allowed that very government to oppress the very people it is intended to be governed by.
In an age of rapid communication and access to unlimited information, how was this allowed to happen? Unlike catchy clickbait headlines or sound bites, this shift of power has been slowly taken from the people without much attention. After all, elected representatives know what’s best for us, there’s no need to micromanage the details. In other words, the people who have been willing to give it away piece by piece, until they have become convinced that those chosen to represent them are justified in taking away their human rights. Of these rights, one considered so sacred that it was placed first in the Bill of Rights, the right to peacefully assemble and worship, is now forbidden. The church...once the last bastion of peace when people have little to no hope, has been stripped from them. They are now shamed and punished for the simple act of exercising the First Amendment--- coming together to worship and support each other; their pastors and bishops made criminals for nothing more than keeping the doors open to the one place they are able to congregate and find peace, just as those who swore to serve their God through serving the people as they have for centuries.
If we are to willfully allow the one place people seek to find comfort, to be controlled by the
government in the name of public safety, what’s next? Will we be told what is or isn’t acceptable in own homes? Will we be told what faiths are deemed acceptable by the government and which ones are not? Will we be pulled from our homes, persecuted by our neighbors, and prosecuted by those in power for not worshiping as they dictate? Many will consider this an extreme and even ridiculous concept. However if one only looks objectively at the pattern of history, our liberties and rights that are guaranteed to us when our country was created have slowly and quietly
been eroded for the “greater good” over the course of time. They will realize we the people are close to losing not just our freedom to worship, but we are dangerously close to losing all of our rights.
It is time we wake up, and realize we are standing on the edge of a cliff; a cliff that if we fall off the edge will be the death of our human rights; and our beloved country.