1936 Constitution of the U.S.S.R.
Article 124. In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of antireligious propaganda is recognized for all citizens.
This article protected the state and the schools from the church. It protected the peoples right to worship and specifically protected antireligious propaganda. Despite the fact that our constitution contains none of this language is should feel all to familiar to arguments being made here every day. From the banning of school prayer, to the removal of the ten commandments in our courtrooms it would seem as though Article 124 is actually part of our constitution. The seperation of church and state argument has become so entrenched in our culture that those who are charged with enforcing the law are beginning to believe it exists. Consider the following:
From a Fox News Article.
A group of Christian students was allegedly ordered to stop praying outside the U.S. Supreme Court building on May 5 because a court police officer told them it was against the law.
The students were part of a junior high school American History class at Wickenburg Christian Academy in Arizona. After taking pictures on the steps of the Supreme Court building, their teacher gathered them to a side location where they formed a circle and began to pray.
According to Nate Kellum, senior counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, a police officer ?abruptly? interrupted the prayer and ordered the group to cease and desist.
?They were told to stop praying because they were violating the law and they had to take their prayer elsewhere,? Kellum told FOX News Radio.
The American History teacher, Maureen Rigo, said she was stunned.
?I was pretty shocked because we?ve prayed there before and it?s never been an issue,? she told FOX News Radio. ?His (the police officer?s) comment was ?I?m not going to tell you that you can?t pray. You just can?t pray here.??
There is a mountain of evidence that demonstrates how the progressive politicians currently in power favor a socialist system more resembling the Soviet style of government than the system as it currently exists. Consider this argument from Catholic Online:
From Catholic Online
Since the initially strong language on religious freedom used in President Obama's Cairo speech, presidential references to religious freedom have become rare, often replaced, at most, with references to freedom of worship. A purposeful change in language could mean a much narrower view of the right to religious freedom. Does this change of language indicate a change of policy? As Catholics, this is an area where we must remain vigilant. These small changes can be used to change our perception of rights and freedoms.
The article continues:
The change in language was barely noticeable to the average citizen but political observers are raising red flags at the use of a new term "freedom of worship" by President Obama and Secretary Clinton as a replacement for the term freedom of religion. This shift happened between the President's speech in Cairo where he showcased America's freedom of religion and his appearance in November at a memorial for the victims of Fort Hood, where he specifically used the term "freedom of worship." From that point on, it has become the term of choice for the president and Clinton.
In her article for "First Things" magazine, Ashley Samelson, International Programs Director for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, stated, "To anyone who closely follows prominent discussion of religious freedom in the diplomatic and political arena, this linguistic shift is troubling: "The reason is simple. Any person of faith knows that religious exercise is about a lot more than freedom of worship. It's about the right to dress according to one's religious dictates, to preach openly, to evangelize, to engage in the public square. Everyone knows that religious Jews keep kosher, religious Quakers don't go to war, and religious Muslim women wear headscarves-yet "freedom of worship" would protect none of these acts of faith."
We don't need to look very hard to see examples of this in places most of us would consider to be free.
From CBS News Online, March 2004
A law banning Islamic head scarves in France's public schools was adopted Wednesday in the Senate by a vote of 276-20.
From BBC, July 2010 - French MPs vote to ban Islamic full veil in public
The law forbids religious apparel and signs that "conspicuously show" a student's religious affiliation. Jewish skullcaps and large Christian crosses would also be banned, but the law is aimed at removing Islamic head scarves from classrooms.
The bill would make it illegal to wear garments such as the niqab or burka, which incorporate a full-face veil, anywhere in public.
It envisages fines of 150 euros (?119) for women who break the law and 30,000 euros and a one-year jail term for men who force their wives to wear the burka.
The niqab and burka are widely seen in France as threats to women's rights and the secular nature of the state.
The "secular nature of the state" is a phrase that all of us here need to be aware of and fight against. Unlike France and the USSR our founding documents are full of religious references and the protection of all religions from the influence of government. Contrary to the contemporary opinion that public places should be free of religious practice our founders regularly held church services in public buildings and had preachers of all denominations speak prior to the start of important government functions. Our founders new that without the moral influence of religion that our system of government was entirely inadequate to maintain our liberty.
As Americans we have a duty to speak out against the government when they threaten the fundamental liberties
guaranteed in our constitution even if it does not directly effect you. A ban on Islamic head scarves is something that I imagine a large percentage of Americans would support despite the clear infringment their freedom of religion. By not standing up when the rights of others are infringed upon we open the door to our own rights eventually being threatened through our own inaction.