View Full Version : Religious Censorship

23 Dec 03,, 23:15
LOS ANGELES Burning the American flag is considered free speech; erecting crosses as roadside memorials is not. The Federal Communications Commission allows the "F-word" on television, but thanking God at a high school graduation is a no-no. And some schools freely dispense condoms to kids, but pencils that read "Jesus loves little children" were confiscated from a first-grade class in Virginia.

While some look at these examples and see a legitimate and necessary need to keep religion out of public life, others believe they are signs of religious censorship.

"War on Christianity" author David Limbaugh says the list of examples is long and is evidence of an undeclared cultural war on the religion.

But those on the other side of the battle, like Elliot Minceberg of People for the American Way (search), point to the Constitutional separation of church and state as the reason behind keeping religion out of public life.

The truth is, the Constitution doesn't explicitly discuss separating church and state. Instead, what it does say is that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...," which means that, unlike in England, the United States decided not to form an official national religion, nor can the government interfere with the practice of any religion.

In fact, in 1789, in the days after Congress passed the First Amendment, it declared a national day of prayer.

Still, the number of bans on public displays of Christianity continue to grow. And while those symbols may have little value alone, many Christians fear that taken as a whole, that kind of intolerance will wind up creating not freedom of religion but freedom from religion in this country.