Today I attended one of the BEST meetings of my life...
Today, I attended a meeting with Dave Hunt, Speaker of the House in the Oregon State Legislature and several community leaders to talk about Senate Bill 786 that amends ORS 342.650 to prohibit religious dresses for Oregon teachers. It was an inspiring meeting. Speaker Hunt brought together various religious and cultural groups. It was so beautiful to see the Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, and other faiths sitting together around one table talking about religious freedom. I thought to myself, nowhere else in the world can this even happen. All of us coming together to respect the "free exercise of religion." Even though there was some resistance, everyone indicated their support for repealing the law as it currently stands.
Most people were twice my age in that meeting. Being one of the youngest attendees, I just took pictures, recorded everyone sitting together and shared some of my thoughts. I felt that each person around the table was extremely powerful, in their own unique ways. Everyone seemed to believe in God or a supreme being, which really hit home for me. I shared how I believe that God created all human beings. If we truly belive in God or a higher being, then we must respect God's creations, i.e. other human beings. God has created us in different races, religions, ethnicities, so that we may complement one another instead of demeaning each other and fighting against one another. Human Beings are God's creations, and we must respect each others religious beliefs and practices. I hope that the Speaker and the leaders of various communities will come together on this legislation and repeal ORS 342.650 that bans religious dresses for teachers. Otherwise, suits and ties that most people wear to church might even be banned in Oregon schools. ;)
As Abraham Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” The First Amendment, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights was adopted on December 15, 1791. Thank you founding fathers for having the first amendment. I look forward on helping change the law for the religious freedom of Oregon teachers.