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First Amendment

World Press Freedom Day was observed earlier this month (May 3). This day is promoted annually by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). According to its website, it “is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks […] Read More

An NFL player, self-identified as a devout Christian, decided to “take a knee” during the playing of the national anthem last season. It was a silent protest on behalf of Black Lives Matter. He is biracial and was raised by white parents. I can only assume that matters of race are acutely and personally important […] Read More

I heard someone discussing the psychology of “moral elevation” recently. By that they meant that just as anger, disgust and depression can be triggered by reactions to negative things said and done by ourselves and others, so we can be affected in the positive direction by morally uplifting actions. The speaker went on to say […] Read More

The U.S. is beset with what I’ll call “ceremonial Christianity.” Before identifying and addressing that concern, a little background as to how I reached that term and concept might be helpful. Separation of church and state has gotten a bad rap in recent years. It is this ingenious American concept that allows faith to freely […] Read More

There is a delicate balance of the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of religious thought and expression, and its protection from intrusions of that freedom on that of others. This equilibrium seems to be tilted frequently by activities that test the balance point, with two recent events illustrating how difficult this balance is to maintain. […] Read More

July 4 is a time for U.S. citizens to give thanks for our unrivaled freedom and a great time to highlight and celebrate our religious liberty. Religious liberty refers to the right to worship freely without fear of persecution. Yet religious liberty also protects citizens from compulsory religious participation. In other words, our government is […] Read More

A Baptist congregation sent President Thomas Jefferson a cheese wheel to congratulate him on his election. More interesting is the fact that it was delivered by John Leland (1754-1841) on New Year’s Day 1802. Leland was a prominent Baptist minister and a leading advocate for religious freedom who, in 1790, asserted, “The legitimate powers of […] Read More

My favorite amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the First Amendment. The First Amendment is a warm blanket of free thought that has served as the example of freedom we get to enjoy. I get to think, say and write what I want, associate with whom I want and pretty much do what I want […] Read More

Called Alongside

A sermon by Keith Herron, Pastor, Holmeswood Baptist Church, Kansas City, Mo. The Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost II Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 November 10, 2013 Haggai 1:15b-2:9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21; Luke 20:20-38 Did you have any trouble getting to church this morning? It was simple: I got in my car and drove myself over just like […] Read More

The First Amendment is an amazing bargain! It is a grand symbol of freedom itself as it offers not one, but five freedoms for the price of one. Can you name them? Here they are: â—     Speech. The First Amendment says that people have the right to speak freely without government interference. â—     Press. The […] Read More