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Does Freedom of Religion Constitute Bullying? Some in Tennessee Think so


We all know what the First Amendment states regarding religion.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…

According to the regressives it ends right there, but there is more.

 or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

We see the establishment clause cited quite a bit.  For example, when I covered the Elwood City Nativity display, it was never proven that Congress had passed a law to put it up, and the critics of it certainly didn’t know about the “free exercise thereof.”   But, then again, the current “Separation of Church and State” has nothing to do with the  the intent of the Founders, which was to deny the Federal Government the power to create a National Church, as the monarchies had in Europe.

Here is the latest example of the separation between the Establishment Clause, and the Free Exercise Clause.  Apparently, the state legislature in Tennessee is trying to pass a bill protecting the free speech rights of Christian students, as quoting the Bible has been declared “bulling.”  Culture News has more…

Pro-family advocates and lawmakers are advancing language for Senate Bill 0760 (House Bill 1153) to ensure freedom of speech and religion regarding public school anti-bullying, but critics say that allowing Christian students to cite Bible verses is bullying and should be outlawed.

From “Christian activist questions scope of anti-bullying law” by Andy Sher, Chattanooga Times Free Press 1/4/12

. . . leaders of the Tennessee Equality Project, a gay-rights group, charge the [religious liberty] legislation “would give students a ‘license to bully’ that allows them to hide their irrational biases behind an extreme religious belief.”

The Fowler-backed bill says anti-bullying programs and measures can’t use materials or training that “explicitly or implicitly promote a political agenda [and] make the characteristics of the victim the focus rather than the conduct of the person engaged in harassment, intimidation, or bullying.”

FACT said it “is wrong to bully people because of their sexual practices. But it’s wrong to bully people period. The larger lesson here is that these tragedies are often the rotten fruit of the all-about-me individualistic culture that comes when we deny the existence of God and his image in us. When life and people become cheap, tragedy becomes the result.”

In the interview, Fowler said gays are “not the only people who get insulted. The thing we need to concentrate on is not whether the characteristics of the victim justify being protected but on the conduct of the person engaging in the bullying while respecting constitutional rights.”

OK then, it’s “bad” to quote the Bible, as it might be bullying, but the Tennessee Equality Project stated, “…allows them to hide their irrational biases behind an extreme religious belief.”

Er, by their own standards, would that not be categorized as “bullying?”  Of course not! Bullying isn’t bullying when Christians are being bullied.

But on a less sarcastic note, this is typical regressive behavior.   They seek to make disagreement with them a crime, yet approve of the same exact behavior that they decry-providing that said behavior is is directed at those with whom they disagree.  I would have to add that if they are willing to effectively ban the Bible, what would be next, and where would it stop?


  • About this bit:

    “The larger lesson here is that these tragedies are often the rotten fruit of the all-about-me individualistic culture that comes when we deny the existence of God and his image in us.”

    According to Pew, 78.4% of Americans are Christian and 4.7% are “other.” Of the remaining 16.1%, 1.6% are Atheists.

    Ok so we got that out of the way.

    Now I’d say that either that 1.6% of the population has enormous mind control powers or the remaining 98.4% (don’t get me bogged down in the 0.8% who don’t know…) didn’t get the memo not to be overly materialistic and self-centered because America IS an overly me-too Consumerist/Capitalist nation.

    Regarding the other matter… it’s too bad people can’t concentrate on spelling and math not on whether Tom likes Dick or Jane better.

    • OK, I’m not quite getting why the materialist comment has relevance, but it is a point to be consider. Also emphatically agree with the point that academics seem to take a back seat to the political indoctrination.

      • I only mentioned materialism because it was in your article. It doesn’t have relevance yet I hear this “charge” quite often.

  • So much for the free exercise thereof. As you stated this is the part of the first amendment that liberals like to forget about because it doesn’t advance their agenda. To think that a person can be told he or she has no right to quote verses from their religion and be called a bigot just for being a Christian shows a level of bigotry of it’s own.

    • That, once again, shows how the tolerant left isn”t tolerant at all.

  • The other often overlooked words of the first Amendment are “Congress shall make no law…” The Constitution is otherwise silent on religion leaving all other decisions on the matter to the various States vis a vis the 10th Amendment.

    So – I would argue that the TN legislature has every right to pass a law like this, the TN State Constitution notwithstanding; I’m not sure how or if it speaks to the matter.

    Until a few decades into the 19th century there were a good many states that had official religions.

    Reminds me of the supposed Christine O’Donnell gaff, when she rightly claimed there is no separation between church and state in the Constitution.

    • Well, activist judges invented the “separation of church and state,” and extended it to every level of government-all to drive religious expression from the public sphere.

  • Mike

    FYI, liberals/lamestream media refer to Culture Wars (plural). Conservatives refer to the Culture War (singular) because we know it’s ONE conflict with many fronts.

    • I had not thought of that. Thanks.

  • Quoting scripture is to be classified as bullying? For once, I am nearly speechless.

    • For our leftists, God=Hate, unless it is Allah, then, it’s OK.

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