Here come the baptism police?

The National Park Service has begun enforcing a new policy aimed at cracking down on baptisms in national parks. I have never been aware that baptisms were regarded as a threat to public safety or welfare, but evidently in the age of Obama, people committing their lives to Christ ranks right up there with advocating personal responsibility as a threat to the fundamental change President Obama promised us. Todd Starnes reports on Fox News:

The National Park Service began enforcing a policy recently that required churches to obtain special use permits in order to baptize in public waters. As part of the same permit process, the NPS also mandated that churches give the Park Service 48 hours advance notice of pending baptisms.

But as any Baptist or Pentecostal in good standing knows - that's a problem.

"If the Holy Spirit is working on Sunday morning, you're going to baptize Sunday afternoon," Dennis Purcell told The Salem News. "You may not know ahead of time." 

Many Christians believe that the Bible commands new followers of Christ to be baptized immediately after their conversion. It's a public expression and celebration of their new-found faith in Christ.

The National Park Service told local churches the permits were needed to "maintain park natural/cultural resources and quality visitor experiences, specific terms and conditions have been established."

If baptisms are a threat to "park natural/cultural resources and quality visitor experiences," what about drumming and chanting by new age people? I have run into a lot more of them than baptisms in various California parks. Is all religious expression forbidden without 48 hours' notice and a special use permit? What about those wiccan stone patterns I have come across so often? Or is only one Christian ritual subject to this restriction? What about a family that camps overnight and at breakfast utters a prayer of blessing for the food they are about to consume? Is that praying permitted?

How about these folks?

This seems like a slippery slope.

The National Park Service has begun enforcing a new policy aimed at cracking down on baptisms in national parks. I have never been aware that baptisms were regarded as a threat to public safety or welfare, but evidently in the age of Obama, people committing their lives to Christ ranks right up there with advocating personal responsibility as a threat to the fundamental change President Obama promised us. Todd Starnes reports on Fox News:

The National Park Service began enforcing a policy recently that required churches to obtain special use permits in order to baptize in public waters. As part of the same permit process, the NPS also mandated that churches give the Park Service 48 hours advance notice of pending baptisms.

But as any Baptist or Pentecostal in good standing knows - that's a problem.

"If the Holy Spirit is working on Sunday morning, you're going to baptize Sunday afternoon," Dennis Purcell told The Salem News. "You may not know ahead of time." 

Many Christians believe that the Bible commands new followers of Christ to be baptized immediately after their conversion. It's a public expression and celebration of their new-found faith in Christ.

The National Park Service told local churches the permits were needed to "maintain park natural/cultural resources and quality visitor experiences, specific terms and conditions have been established."

If baptisms are a threat to "park natural/cultural resources and quality visitor experiences," what about drumming and chanting by new age people? I have run into a lot more of them than baptisms in various California parks. Is all religious expression forbidden without 48 hours' notice and a special use permit? What about those wiccan stone patterns I have come across so often? Or is only one Christian ritual subject to this restriction? What about a family that camps overnight and at breakfast utters a prayer of blessing for the food they are about to consume? Is that praying permitted?

How about these folks?

This seems like a slippery slope.

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