By Samuel Rodriguez, Christian Post Opinion
We live in a time where the very freedom to express our respective faith values stands threatened – a road we have never been down before. From the HHS mandate requiring religious organizations to sacrifice conviction on the altar of political expediency to the failed attempt by Uncle Sam to require businesses, such as Hobby Lobby, to abandon conscience or suffer the consequences of continued litigation, our freedom to worship stands threatened.
This violation of religious liberty is the core and quintessential civil rights issue of the 21st century. Dr. Martin Luther King opined, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master nor the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool.”
The recent outrageous legal demand by city officials in Houston ordering pastors, two of whom are pastors on the NHCLC board, who opposed a recent measure to surrender any sermons addressing homosexuality, gender identity or Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the first openly lesbian mayor of a large city, exemplifies with absolute certainty that freedom of religion in America can best be characterized in the year 2014 as nothing other than an “endangered species.” While the Mayor later backed off, saying that the subpoena of the pastor’s sermons was too broad, the question remains, if it weren’t for the uproar that was caused, would she have pulled back on her own?
For that matter, we must embrace one simple truth; silence is not an option. For with conviction and compassion we understand that a posture of complacency today will result in a position of captivity tomorrow. Thus, for the sake of our children and our children’s children, I issue a clarion call to all people of faith to our fellow Americans that this nation birthed out of the seminal principle of religious liberty.