Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Islam and the Question of Religious Liberty (2)

In the March 25 post, I introduced a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also found at 2016libertyamendment.org.

We face a debate over how to respond to the immigration of Muslim populations which may include those bent on jihad. Do we minimize such a risk under the guise of blanket immigration for those fleeing jihad, on the one hand? Or do we seek to ban all Muslim immigrants, on the other?

Neither extreme will do, if we honor the biblical ethics and religious liberty which undergird the U.S. Constitution.

This proposed amendment merely ratifies what is already constitutional. But in today's social order where biblical and constitutional illiteracy abounds, it is appropriate a) to restate it clearly so as b) to also encourage honest public debate.

Religious, political and economic liberty applies to all people equally. But there a caveat. Namely, unless we affirm a two-way freedom of association and identity in these zones of liberty (freedom to join or leave), it is all hollow.

And thus, by definition, any group of persons who seeks to restrict these liberties, for themselves or others, rejects what it means to be an American.

Since Islam is historically a one-way religion that does not grant full and equal religious, political and economic liberty among Muslims and especially non-Muslims, this is a special problem.

How do we proceed? And especially, in view of those many Muslim Americans who cherish the liberties they have in this nation?

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