Watch LIVE

All Americans Are Equal. But Some Are More Equal Than Others.

Faith

As long as some are "more equal" than others, we have no freedom of religion, and we are certainly not a free country.

Protesters stand outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse Friday, March 23, 2012 in Phoenix. during the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally. The rally is part of a nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom which is a reaction against the Obama Administration’s HHS mandate that will obligate Catholic organizations to provide contraceptive services to their employees. (AP Photo/Matt York)\n

"Benjamin felt a nose nuzzling at his shoulder.

He looked around. It was Clover. Her old eyes looked dimmer than ever. Without saying anything, she tugged gently at his mane and led him round to the end of the big barn, where the Seven Commandments were written. For a minute or two, they stood gazing at the tarred wall with its white lettering.

‘My sight is failing,’ she said finally, ‘Even when I was young I could not have read what was written there. But it appears to me that the wall looks different. Are the Seven Commandments the same as they used to be, Benjamin?’

For once, Benjamin consented to break his own rule and read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran:

‘All Animals Are Equal, But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.’"

(Excerpt from “Animal Farm” by George Orwell)

It’s a common phenomenon that Orwell perfectly illustrated in his classic allegory. With enough power in the wrong hands, this is the story of most societies.

All are “equal,” but within that equality is a little more equality for a select group or groups.

The beauty of the United States is that we are the exception to that common tale.

At least, we used to be.

Our Founders constructed a government that — for the first time in human history — addressed the base nature of humanity: That we are corrupt; that we tend towards selfishness and corruption; and that our laws must take this into consideration.

Otherwise, a powerful government, group of people, or both could hijack the rights of the rest.

And this, my friends, is exactly why our Constitution (and the rights enshrined therein) was such a beautiful thing. And it works wonderfully until a government — made entirely too powerful by a people who have largely forgotten what it’s like to be oppressed — begins to cater to its own whims, and in doing so begins to create a host of double standards.

And thanks to exactly that, today all Americans are equal, but some Americans are more equal than others.

Especially when it comes to religion.

Photo credit: Shutterstock 

One of the single most important freedoms clearly outlined in the First Amendment, our freedom of religion entitles us to believe as we please, and be free from being forced to deny that faith in any way.

The only time this freedom of religion is (and should be) limited is if said religion calls for the actual harm of another. Take, for example, the recent domestic terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where — at least it now appears — that the Islamic beliefs of the attacker called for the murdering of innocent lives.

Yet today, millions of American Christians are being told to leave their beliefs at home, simply because our government (alongside popular culture) has decided that certain practices (take gay marriage, for example) or certain religions can and should negate the beliefs of others — in particular Christians.

We’ve all got religious freedom, but some have more freedom than others.

Just look around.

Are some Americans more equal than others when Christian bakery owners are forced to either set aside their deeply held, (and non-violent, I might add!) beliefs about gay marriage and participate in a gay wedding with their personal business, or pay a $135,000 fine to the gay couple that complained about the refusal? There’s a very simple solution that involves the fact that this bakery is certainly not the only bakery in all of Oregon — yet our society has decided that this couple must comply, or else.

Is that freedom of religion?

Are some Americans more equal than others when Muslim bakers and other vendors refuse to render services for the same type of wedding, and yet remain free to do so?

Is that freedom of religion?

Are some Americans more equal than others when pastors, on the basis of their belief relative to homosexuality, are subjected to having their church sermons subpoenaed for review by the mayor of their city?

Is that freedom of religion?

Protesters stand outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse  Friday, March 23, 2012 in Phoenix. during the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally. The rally is part of a nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom which is a reaction against the Obama Administration�s HHS mandate that will obligate Catholic organizations to provide contraceptive services to their employees. (AP Photo/Matt York) Protesters stand outside the Sandra Day O'Connor Federal Courthouse Friday, March 23, 2012 in Phoenix. during the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally.  (AP Photo/Matt York) 

Are some Americans more equal than others when a county clerk in Kentucky must choose between her employment and her religion when asked to issue gay marriage licenses, when there were plenty of other places in the state in question where the couples could have received the license?

Is that freedom of religion?

Are some Americans more equal than others when a Christian missionary group, four Christian colleges and an order of Catholic nuns — the Little Sisters of the Poor — are denied a request to be entirely exempt from the contraception mandate in Obamacarevthat would otherwise require them to break with their beliefs? Is there really, as Mark Rienzi of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty notes, any real “reason the government cannot run its programs without hijacking the Little Sisters and their health plan”?

Is that freedom of religion?

Are some Americans more equal than others when those with a flawed interpretation of the separation of church and state hold that those who “wear their religion on their sleeve” can only do so “as long as he keeps that sleeve covered” while performing his or her job on a public college campus? Meanwhile, anti-Christian behavior is pervasive and routine in the halls of academia — and even forced on Christian students under threat of failing grades.

Is that freedom of religion?

Are some Americans more equal than others when our own president berates the so-called history of the Christian faith at the National Prayer Breakfast, but refuses to refer to Islamic terrorism as Islamic?

Can we honestly sit back and say we’ve got true freedom of religion? More specifically, can we honestly sit back and say that Christians have true freedom of religion?

The beauty of inalienable “rights” as they are correctly defined is that they don’t negate the inalienable rights of others. The rest boils down to common sense and personal responsibility. In other words, find a bakery that agrees with you. Find a college where prayer doesn’t happen. Pay for your own birth control. The idea that the government must sail in and tell someone else (in our case, Christians) to check their rights at the door so that you aren’t inconvenienced is simply lazy, and downright dangerous to everyone’s rights-not just Christians.

I’m not illuminating anything new. It’s certainly not the first time or place where Christians have been scorned or persecuted, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I am, however, challenging the idea that we live in a free country anymore.

As long as some are more equal than others, we absolutely do not.

Especially as America navigates uncharted territory with the Supreme Court’s sweeping blessing of gay marriage, I want you to think of Orwell’s fictitious farm.

Have we replaced our Bill of Rights with a “single Commandment?”

You be the judge.

Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. ET). She can be reached at: afuturefree@aol.com; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

Most recent
All Articles