A recent comment indicates that some people are under the impression… well, I’ll let the comment speak for itself:
Characterizing the court battles of religious symbols in public as â€œprohibiting the free expression of Christianityâ€ is highly disingenuous, however. The court battles have been about government sponsorship of such expressions, not about individual expression of any religious belief; whatever you think about those decisions (I have mixed feelings about them myself), your description of them is rather misleading.
Ah, if only that were the case. I can certainly understand objecting to a government sponsored religion; I’m sure the brand of Christianity that the government would promote would have little to do with my beliefs. But most of my objects come from public supression of an individual’s right to a freedom of religion. A group called Liberty Legal Institute is an organization dedicated to fighting for First Amendment rights; here’s a summary of cases they are currently fighting.
- Removal of a Ten Commandments display donated entirely by private individuals
- A public school teacher denied a promotion because she placed her children in a Christian school
- A monument paid for by a Christian organization includes a bible as a symbol of the recipient’s faith and LLI is fighting a lawsuit to have the bible imagery removed
- A christian fellowship being required by a city to include non-christians before the city will rent facilities to them
- A city that prohibits religious meetings in a private home
- Senior citizens denied the right to pray over their own meals because the location was on public property
Many, many other examples, too, of government agencies denying the right of private individuals to express their faith. And that’s what the First Amendment was designed to prevent.