I am not an alarmist, and I am far less cynical now than I used to be. That being said, I was taken aback by a story I read today at WorldNetDaily. Apparently, a couple in New York state elected to not vaccinate one of their kids based on religious convictions, which is what the state law allows for in this case. But the state of New York didn’t believe that they “really believed” what they said they believed and “quizzed” them on those beleifs. The story contains a video, which I could only stand to watch for the first minute and a half. The end result of the interviews:
Following both interviews, the first in 2006 and the last in 2008, the school district deemed the Palmas’ beliefs were not sincerely held.
“This determination,” wrote the school in 2006, “was made based upon your meeting with the school attorney and information which we received, which significantly calls into question your stated beliefs.”
Here is a state government taking on the role of doctrinal police. Frankly, it is bad enough when the church starts trying to split hairs of who is or isn’t “authentic” in their beliefs, but when the government starts doing it we all better watch out.
And now the word is out that the new “stimulus” bill has wording to discriminate against religion:
PROHIBITED USES OF FUNDS. – No funds awarded under this section may be used for – (C) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities – (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission.
See the full text of the bill here if you dare. This provision is on page 226 out of 680, which is another reason why this is such a boondoggle. Some people might be willing or able to read a riveting 680 page novel in a few days, but how many would be excited to read a 680 page legal treatise to nowhere?
My point is if we are going to be free, we will have to be brave. And the truth is that God has already offered us the only freedom that matters (Galatians 5:1). Don’t put your faith in government. Even our founding fathers considered it a necessary evil at best. And I am not really complaining about the state of affairs. America has lost the way of freedom long before Obama took office, and the road is not easy to retrace back to where we started. I am thankful that my hope doesn’t depend on who is in the White House or the Congress. My hope is described in Hebrews 11:13-16:
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.