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Ada Fisher: Free will means you can’t force agreement

By Ada Fisher

The suppression of religious expression in the name of a poorly understood concept of freedom of religion is quite bothersome.

Whether I agree with folks and their religious beliefs is irrelevant; I always have the freedom to remove myself from their congregations if I disagree with their philosophy. As long as institutions that separate themselves are not receiving federal or state monies, the legality of their conscious choices should not be open for challenge if no constitutional laws are broken.

So why is there a media blitz to make us feel guilty if we are straight or religious? Why are people derided as deplorable by Hillary Clinton or questioned by Barack Obama on whether their support reflects them being mad?

Even today, many remain incredulous by the beliefs of Trump coalitions, noting we are doing for others what is not being done for citizens. At the same time, there’s a sense we are trying to abridge constitutional rights under the 2nd Amendment or defining boundaries for immigrants in possible violation of a personal right as well as  our national sovereignty.

This is not just Republicans but different groups with vested interest which may not be clear or self-revelatory.

If we get to the point where ministers are challenged for expressing their religious views in their pulpit, religious freedom is in serious jeopardy. What would Martin Luther or John Locke say in their rebellions?

It is also bothersome when political events have prayers which turn into a religious soliloquy straying into politics rather than a praise of the glory of God and thanks for His beneficence. The ability to have a moment of silence or take a knee is a matter of preference and so vital to the concepts in the founding of this nation.

As a Torah-based Old Testament follower, I’m thankful for the Native Americans who willingly shared their bounty so that early settlers would not perish.

I shudder to think of the intolerance to Christianity by many who, at the same time, get tired of belittlement because, as a Jew, I don’t share all of the beliefs of Christianity. People can be whatever they want and reach whatever heights their abilities take them.

Is being LGBTQ a right, a choice or a given? Is this relevant to the question of promoting options that influence young minds not yet appreciating the vast possibilities coming? My religion has certain proscriptions against these behaviors and, try as I might, ignoring them in view of my surroundings is not possible.

I do not condone or condemn but neither do I indulge.

Such does not necessarily make me better than others but it does make me devoted to my God and the word as detailed for me. Neither do I believe that advantages should be bestowed to such groups to the detriment of others — for example, allowing genetically inherited males to compete against women in athletics given their hormonal advantages because they feel their sex doesn’t match their bodies.

We can’t force compliance with individual choices or preferences unless issues of the workplace are involved, where such is not a unique job qualification.

Free will can be a tricky and perilous choice. Life is not always about you. Our ability to succeed in it often requires that we live and let live adapting to an ever-changing environment.

Salisbury’s Ada Fisher is a licensed teacher, retired physician, former school board member and current N.C. Republican national committeewoman

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