Should the First Amendment Be Defended?

by Dr. Everett Piper

Should American citizens be subjected to a government established definition of acceptable religion? Should Congress presume to “prohibit the free exercise” of any citizen’s chosen faith or creed? Should a free people be penalized if they disagree with what the government deems to be acceptable belief and practice? Should a religious college, whether it be Mormon, Mennonite, Buddhist, Baptist, Episcopalian, Evangelical, Unitarian or United Methodist, be prohibited by any government agency from freely teaching its views concerning personal morality and human behavior? Should an American college or university ever fear government penalties if its moral and religious beliefs are deemed to be out of compliance with government demands?

Is sexual behavior a moral discussion? Are not moral discussions almost always religious in nature and, thus, informed by religious doctrine and religious discipline? Are not human beings created in the imago dei and, thus, free moral agents, capable of choosing their behaviors and controlling their proclivities? Isn’t human identity much more than the sum total of our appetites and inclinations? Shouldn’t any college, whether it be secular or sacred, have the freedom to teach its view of personal responsibility and moral culpability without fear of government penalty or reprisal?

Is not marriage a religious ceremony? Should the government breach the ecclesiastical wall between it and religion and, thus, presume to redefine a millennia-old sacrament of the Church?

These are not hyperbolic questions. They are not sensational or speculative. As we speak, Oklahoma Wesleyan University finds itself before the Supreme Court – forced to defend its belief that…

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Should the First Amendment Be Defended? – Oklahoma Wesleyan University