“Religious Freedom for Me but Not for Thee?” by Paul Crookston, National Review, February 21, 2017; “Europe’s Islam Problem and U.S. Immigration Policy” by Shannon Gilreath, Washington Blade, January 19, 2017.
by Dr. Ralph Blair
(PDF version available here.)
National Review’s Collegiate Network Fellow and Gordon College graduate, Crookston, rightly notes: “America’s enshrinement of religious freedom is as exceptional as it is valuable”. Here, he reports on disputes within the Southern Baptist Convention over an amicus brief filed by SBC’s International Mission Board and SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Along with similar support from the National Association of Evangelicals and Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, this brief has backed the right of Muslims to build a mosque in New Jersey. The court has ruled in the Muslims’ favor.
Baptist opposition to religious freedom flies in the face of historic Baptist support for such freedom in the founding the Rhode Island colony as a haven for Baptists, as well as for Quakers, Jews and all others, safe from persecution by intolerant Puritans. Yet, an angry SBC preacher objects: “I want no part in supporting a false religion.” Of course, in America, his right not to hold what he takes to be false belief exists alongside another’s right to hold that belief. So Crookston rightly assesses the angry protester to be mistaken.
Ironically, though Crookston doesn’t refer to it specifically, the Federal government is assaulting the religious liberty of his own alma mater through its Title IX restrictions on the college’s views on homosexuality. He does note: “Unfortunately, many on the left snidely put ‘religious liberty’ into scare quotes, arguing that it’s time to put florists out of business in order to assert the state’s absolute right to legislate progressive morality.” Read more →