We must speak into religious liberty issues that protect the rights of those who believe differently than we do.
Yesterday I wrote an article for Religion News Service about women and burkinis. But, it was not really about women and burkinis. It was about secularism and its march.
Before you go much further, click here and see this picture at the New York Times. It’s of the French police making a woman take off more clothes to stay on a beach.
So, this is not really about burkinis, but it is about the right of religious people to live out the implications of their beliefs, even in the face of the secular march of the Western world.
I’ve written on that before, talking about religions freedom in an earlier RNS column.
In "3 reasons Christians should back religious freedom for all,” I explained:
- The First Amendment does not protect certain faiths, but all faiths, and people of no faith.
- Minority faiths, like minority viewpoints, are the ones who need the most protection.
- When those of us who identify as Christians allow the government to pick whose freedoms are recognized, we undermine our own religious liberties.
So, why do I, an evangelical Christian, who wants to see women (and men) liberated from the oppression that the burkini represents and set free in Christ, write the RNS article and now this post? As I state in the RNS article, because of religious liberty.
If we don’t speak out, Muslims in France will not be the only ones stripped of their religious liberty. We can’t stand idly by today because it is not “our” religious liberty that is being trampled upon. Next time, as secularism continues its march across the West, it very well might be us.
Religious liberty for some soon means religious liberty for none.
I don’t want Muslim women forced to strip off some of their clothes on the beaches ...