Religious Liberty is the foundation of our rights. Its establishes our fundamental rights are from God, who’s authority is above that of the state. Why did the Founders wright in the Declaration of Independence, “all men are created equal?” They did so because King George of Britain declared himself above his subjects, and was unquestioned in his Authority. Jefferson understood the concept that “all men are created equal,” and are equally under the same laws, including the King.
Our religious liberty pulls the needle in the moral compass of the nation. When the nation ignores this compass, it moves from the authority of nature, and natures God, to an arbitrary authority that has no absolutes or stability.
As an example what is the value of a human life? Our founders saw their fellow man as “made in the image of God”. Man’s dignity and worth came from this perspective. Life was something to be treasured, a gift from God, which no man had the “right” to take. Remove this fundamental truth, and you open the door to genocide, including a fetus in the womb, which is no longer a person, but an inconvenient blob without the right to live.
Religious Liberty lays the foundation of ethics and moral behavior, which shapes the conscience of a nation. John Quincy Adams emphasized the necessity and effect of religious liberty in the church or the public square with the following:
“The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”
Natural law is not a theocracy, but a principal, which gives universal moral values. It is the moral compass the founders used in the establishment of our nation. It has its base in the Judeo – Christian tradition and teachings, with its authority in God. It is also found in the moral and ethical teachings of all religions, including the atheist and humanist. All would agree, that murder, stealing, lying, and other such behavior is wrong and destructive to a culture and a nation. Natural Law presents moral absolutes, which cannot be changed or modified.
Ignore Natural Law, and you create a society that spirals in an ever-increasing deteriorating rate. Natural Law is like gravity; you cannot repeal it or change it. It is built into the very fabric of reality, and it is expressed, and proclaimed, in every religion.
Without religious freedom The State becomes the religion. The State’s religion is always one of power and suppression, silencing any opposition. When The State is the religion the moral fabric of The State is contrary to natural law, and your “rights” have no security because The State, has the final say in what is right or wrong, and can change without having a reason. When The State is The Religion, there is no religion, only propaganda with no opposing viewpoint
Freedom of Religion produces a moral conscience, of “rights” based on Natural Law. It is the level playing field that makes all men as “equals,” and accountable to laws and ethics, whose foundation is not The State, but God.