Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Second Class Religion

"Amid rising rhetoric and crimes against American Muslims, the White House in December broadcast a counter message about religious pluralism.  'There are no second-class faiths in the U.S.A.,' said Melissa Rogers, head of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships."  --Quoted from The Lutheran magazine, February 2016, page 6.

I find this article in the publication of my denomination a bit troubling.

One of the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights of the Constitution in our nation is  the right of non-establishment of religion.  The government is prohibited from establishing any particular religious faith and requiring people to belong to it.  It is also, theoretically, prohibited from favoring one particular religion over another.  The first of these two ideals is quite easy to accomplish. The second is impossible, and even though it sounds good on paper, it should never be attempted.  There must be second class religions.  There must be favored religions over others.

That might sound exclusive to some.  It might sound arrogant to some.  It might sound unenlightened to some.  To those who would look down upon me for suggesting such a thing, I ask two questions.  If you say, in either question, that one religious expression is better than the other, then you have relegated one religious expression to second class status.  Keep that in mind as you read the questions:

Is the form of Islam adhered to by ISIS on the same level as the form of Islam practiced by most Muslims living in the United States?

Is the form of Christianity adhered to by the Klu Klux Klan on the same level as the form of Christianity practiced by Mother Teresa?

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