Degraded Free Exercise? by J. L. Johnson

Degraded Free Exercise?

The Rise of Judicial Secularism & the Loss of Religious Freedom

The tendency to treat the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of religion, as an outmoded commodity to be tossed overboard at the first opportunity was on display in the Virginia House of Delegates on February 11, 2020, when Dr. Robert M. Grant, Jr., who happens to be black, led the assembly in an opening prayer. According to articles in the Western Journal and Virginia Mercury, the prayer went peacefully enough—until the preacher "stopped praying and went to meddling" by interjecting biblical principles into his supplication:

"I pray that you [delegates] may understand that all life is precious and worthy of a chance to be born. God is a giver of life and people have no right or authority to take life," Grant said. "The unborn has rights, and those rights need to be protected. I pray that this chamber will uphold the Virginia family. That the bills and laws being passed will always protect the biblical traditional marriage as God instructed the first man and the first woman in the Bible."

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J. L. Johnson is a U.S. Navy veteran who holds a BA (magna cum laude) in Bible and Biblical Languages from Oklahoma Christian College, and has served as a pulpit minister and teacher for churches in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas. He also holds an MS in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas, and before his recent retirement, he worked as a speech-language pathologist. He has written discipline-specific articles for various publications, and has published articles of a more general nature in The American Thinker and Human Events.

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