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-DHS Naturalization Tests Support ‘Freedom of Worship’ Over Freedom of Religion

by Dr. D ~ June 9th, 2015

Freedom of Religion     Freedom of Worship

Apparently the Department of Homeland Security has substituted ‘freedom of worship’ in place of freedom of religion in their naturalization materials and tests.  The references are given in regard to the rights guaranteed in First Amendment of the Constitution. Sen. James Lankford recently wrote to the DHS complaining about that substitution. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., is urging the Department of Homeland Security to change the wording on naturalization tests and study materials to promote "freedom of religion" instead of "freedom of worship,"  …

"The freedom of religion is much more than just the freedom of worship. Worship confines you to a location," the senator explained. "Freedom of religion is the right to exercise your religious beliefs — it is the ability for Americans to live out their faith or to choose to have no faith."

… the Department of Homeland Security does not… have "immediate plans" to revise its naturalization test and study materials.

<Read the whole article>

Response: We have written a number of times about the effort President Obama is making to re-interpret the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion to ‘freedom to worship’ within the confines and the four walls of an official properly zoned place of worship.  The policies and practices of this administration consistently support the downgrading of the First Amendment so this revelation is not surprising at all. It is outrageous but not surprising.

What is surprising, according to the article, is the fact this particular change in the naturalization materials and tests actually took place in 2008 before President Obama began his term. But you can bet the farm that it will not be changed back by this administration.

In fact, ‘freedom of worship’ could easily become the dominant interpretation of the First Amendment in the near future. The following are the reasons:

-President Obama supports it.

-It is a popular view in the major law schools around the country.

-Also popular is the idea that the Constitution is a ‘living document’ that can be re-interpreted to reflect modern ideals and not limited to just the original meaning and understanding.

-Already there is minority support for both of these ideas among the current justices in the Supreme Court. There are also many Circuit Court judges supporting them.

-There is a concerted effort by activists supporting same-sex marriage and LGBT rights to override religious liberty to further their agenda along with the proponents of a number of other social issues.

-Re-interpreting and downgrading the First Amendment rights of religious liberty could help those efforts.  Especially issues being blocked by religious social conservatives.

-There is considerable international support for the more limited understanding of ‘freedom of worship.’ The UN and the European Community support it and even many of the communist countries and those in the Middle East.

The current Supreme Court still supports the traditional understanding of Freedom of religion as defined by the founders. However if another progressive is elected in 2016 that could all change.             *Top

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