A friend at my request sent me a complimentary copy of the November issue of Free Thought Today. I found this definition in the Free Thought Today paper: a freethinker is a person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Highlighted in this paper are legal victories under the protections of the first amendment to the US Constitution.
A Christian will turn to the Bible as the basis for his belief. The Free Thinker on the other hand turns to the first amendment of the US Constitution and goes no further than the “First Amendment” in the bill of rights which reads as follows:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petitition the Government for a redress of grievances.
A Free Thinker understands the first amendment to protect every citizen from the vagaries of other citizens. The Old Fool reminds readers that the amendment that protects we who believe protects the free thinker also.
Rachel, Conrad and I recently went to a viewing of a deceased person. He and his family had been our neighbors in Tampa, Florida. Our children had happily played together. The mother cared for foster children referred to her by Tampa child care authorities. The father was a carpenter and he willingly served others with his tools. They lived like Jesus.The family moved to Indiana to be with more conservative Mennonites.
This past month his wife and a daughter had been with him when he breathed his last. Another daughter wrote in memory of her father: We are glad Dad could go. What is it like for him now? Somehow he is in the presence of the Lord, though we do not understand all the details. Does he have his new body already? If he does, I feel sure the spring is back in his step! We have a different faith but we do not really know more than a free thinker knows.
Luke Gascho wrote in a Goshen College meditation for today that patience is a calm extension of mercy. God’s view of time is not like our view of time Rather, God’s time is long, enduring and ecological. It is like the tiny sequoia seed that sprouts in the right conditions, grows steadily, and forms a tree that lives for millennia.