Kristine Gifford

July seems like an appropriate month to highlight some of the benefits and blessings that religious freedom brings to society as a whole, and to us as individuals–whether or not we consider ourselves religious.

A Chinese student studying democracy in America explained why religion plays such an important role in a free society: “In your past, most Americans attended a church or synagogue every week. When you were there, from your youngest years, you were taught that you should voluntarily obey the law; that you should respect other people’s property, and not steal it. You were taught never to lie, and to respect the life and freedom of others the same as your own. Americans followed these rules because they had come to believe that even if the police didn’t catch them when they broke a law, God would catch them. Democracy works because most people most of the time voluntarily obey your laws.”

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