Is this what they meant?
Fourth of July. Fireworks, Apple Pie, Baseball these are the typical things that come to mind. And of course remembering the incredible battle our nation forged some 230 years ago. If you have not seen the John Adams documentary that HBO put out I strongly recommend it. What was endured in those times so that you and I can sit in our lawn chairs and celebrate our nations birthday is almost unfathomable.
We as Americans hold tightly and proudly our Constitution and all the rights that it grants us. Freedom of Speech and Religion are the first guarantees in our Bill of Rights. What is so often looked aside is that there are no limits on what speech and religion are protected. We used to see a car around the neighborhood that had a couple of Wiccan bumper stickers. As much as I don't believe in Wiccan I believe in their right to choose that as their faith and to proudly announce it to the world. If I want to have a Christian Fish on my mini-van then I can't be upset if someone else has a Darwin Fish eating a Christian Fish on their suburban.
I was involved in a glorious discussion earlier today on FB. A friend posted a picture of a newly elected Member of Parliament in Australia. For his swearing in ceremony instead of the Bible he used the Qur'an. She posted this question: If he was sworn in to Australian Government, with hand on the Qur'an, does that make him sworn into Australian Parliament and held to Australian laws & regulations, or is he held to Muslim law? This then led to discussion of Sharia Law and it's impact. An argument was made that most of the laws we have today are based on Judeo-Christian teachings, with that being true why shouldn't they take in consideration other religions that are now a part of the population. Well you know me I had to go off and research what both sides of the story beyond my personal perceptions.
The ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) is currently proposing just that. They are currently preparing to launch a National Sharia Campaign whose purpose is to confront the growing Islamaphobe in our country as well as to educate people of influence from top government leaders to high school teachers what Sharia is all about. Texas and Minnesota both already have Sharia Courts in place. The debate over how Sharia Law is to be included in court rooms is a hot election topic. This past November Oklahoma residents overwhelmingly passed an amendment to their constitution that bars judges from considering Islamic or any other international law in Oklahoma state courts. A federal judge temporarily blocked the law from taking effect while she determines whether it violates the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits establishment of a state religion in response to a suit being filed by Muneer Awad,a muslim.. Awad says the Oklahoma law would prohibit a judge from probating his will, written in compliance with Islamic principles, or adjudicating other domestic matters such as divorces and custody disputes involving Muslims. Oklahoma is not alone in this turmoil. Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Utah all have proposed similar laws.
So here's the thought for the day.... Is this what freedom of religion and speech are all about? If I want the right to be Anglican and shout it from the roof tops I believe my Muslim neighbor be able to do the same. If we are to respect all religions where does that respect stop? However just as I don't want to have the French Constitution being used as a basis for any legal decision I surely don't want any other religious document being used either.
One last input. While we were in London last year I read in the local papers where communities were having problems with Sharia Law being used for criminal cases as well as family. A Bishop in the UK just last month launched a Bill to tackle the foot hold Sharia Courts have in that country.
Was this something our forefathers fought for?