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-Federal Government Requiring Permits to Baptize?

by Dr. D ~ September 2nd, 2013

National Park Service ranger vehicle in Mesa V...

                     (National Park Service vehicle: Wikipedia)

First Amendment to The US Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

Congress is prohibited from making any laws that prohibit the free exercise of religion in the USA. However that doesn’t seem to stop this administration and it’s various departments from issuing executive orders that do that very thing.

Before there was even a country called the United States, Christians have been baptizing folks in streams, rivers, lakes and beaches all across America. But recently the Federal government through the NPS began requiring a permit and a 48 hour notice before Christians could be baptized is national waters? Here’s the story from Todd Starnes of Fox news:

The National Park Service began enforcing a policy recently that required churches to obtain special use permits in order to baptize in public waters. As part of the same permit process, the NPS also mandated that churches give the Park Service 48 hours advance notice of pending baptisms.

The National Park Service told local churches the permits were needed to “maintain park natural/cultural resources and quality visitor experiences, specific terms and conditions have been established.”

The feds also closed vehicle access to a sandbar along a popular creek in the Ozark mountains, meaning churches could no longer drive their elderly members to the outdoor baptisms. And to make sure the Baptists behaved, they placed large boulders in the area to block car traffic.

After the policy was called into question by a local Congressman park administrators seemed to have a change of mind on the issue. Nevertheless here are some other examples of Christians running into problems lately when it comes to having baptisms in public waters:

In Olympia, Wash., a church was denied a permit to hold a baptism at Heritage Park a few weeks ago. Their request was rejected because the attorney general said the religious sacrament was a violation of the state constitution.

In 2011, a church’s beach baptism was shut down by lifeguards in Miami.

<Read the whole article>

Response: One of the contributors to this blog sent me an email concerning this issue with the following poignant observation:

Two people going swimming in the same water do not require a permit.  They can dunk each other all they want.  But if one of them dunks the other while announcing “I baptize you _____ in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, a federal permit is required.

We live in very strange times in America where the very language of our Constitution is being challenged and re-interpreted to complement a progressive agenda. The goal seems to be to minimalize our Constitutional rights to ‘freedom of religion’ and force the implementation of those rights out of the public and into the four walls of an official place of worship. The battle goes on and Christians need to stand up and be counted and not quietly slip into the night.           *Top

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