I recently had the privilege of preaching at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Atlanta for Religious Liberty Sunday. It was a great opportunity to revisit our Baptist heritage fighting for the separation of church and state and religious freedom for everyone, not just Baptists, and how that legacy has been forgotten by so many.
For those who don’t know, I’ve spent this semester working as a TA for an undergraduate course in American religious history. The professor has been gracious enough to allow me to lecture on occasion, and today was one of those times. We spent last week talking about new trends in religion in the US, with the class reaching the conclusion that it was difficult to say what was and wasn’t a religion. In the back of my head during that class, I was thinking about an episode of a tv show I had seen a few weeks before, but I figured I wouldn’t be able to do anything with it. But, thanks to an unforeseen problem with the syllabus and a learning module that had failed to upload to the Blackboard site, we found ourselves needing new material. So, that’s how I came to spend this afternoon giving a lecture based on a cartoon and a renowned sociologist. Here’s what that looked like.
Last week, when I picked up the paper, I saw more images from the Newton mosque controversy, a controversy which I had understood to be winding down now that city officials were removing the moratorium preventing the construction of places of worship in the county. And yet, I keep seeing more images of protestors outside the county courthouse, armed with rifles, making their voices heard in opposition to the mosque.
Now, I am (surprisingly to some, given my politics) a supporter of the Second Amendment. I’m from Tennessee, so it’s not really a stretch. I own firearms. I like to hunt. I like to shoot. I’m also a supporter of common sense. Second Amendment policy isn’t what I’m wanting to talk about here. I just want to talk about common sense and the exercise of freedoms.