This is super random and not very intellectual due to my lack of understanding of political things… but I felt impressed today to focus on Religious Freedom.
My sis sent me this super interesting rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner in a Minor Key. I actually really loved it! It shows the power of music on our emotions and thoughts. But specifically I felt like this song in this key somewhat describes what is going on in our country … that certain freedoms are slowly being taken away by national government … slowly slipping off-key until our country doesn’t resemble the America the founding fathers creating under guidance from God. Not that all is lost (yet!)… but even this non-politically minded mother can see that things in this country are not quite right, especially related to religious freedom.
So – first thing I decided to do is read some talks by Dallin H. Oaks on Religious Freedom. Click on the Title Header to view full-transcript from the LDS Newsroom. Super interesting messages… though my brain only comprehends every other word (you see, he’s quite brilliant at using legal terms). Anyhoo…
“The inherent conflict between the precious religious freedom of the people and the legitimate regulatory responsibilities of the government is the central issue of religious freedom. Here are just a few examples of current controversial public issues that involve this conflict: laws governing marriage and adoption; laws regulating the activities of church-related organizations like BYU-Idaho in furtherance of their religious missions — activities such as who they will serve or employ; and laws prohibiting discrimination in employment or work conditions against persons with unpopular religious beliefs or practices.”
“I believe one important way to move forward is to minimize talk of rights and to increase talk of responsibilities. From the standpoint of religion, I urge my fellow believers to remember that the scriptures contain very little talk of rights, only commandments that create responsibilities. Others, who choose to reason in pragmatic terms, should remember that we strengthen rights by encouraging the fulfillment of responsibilities.”
… In conclusion, I reaffirm my conviction that this is a time for hope, the kind of hope described by my dear friend and colleague Elder Neal A. Maxwell:
“Real hope is much more than wishful musing. It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. It is composed, not giddy, eager without being naïve, and pleasantly steady without being smug.”
“Such hopes can only be realized by concentrating on what we have in common, by striving for mutual understanding, by treating all our neighbors with goodwill, and by exercising patience. It is a time of hope for mutual respect and accommodation, but it is up to you and me to make it happen.”