On the day that the hospital was about to remove him from life support, he miraculously awoke from the coma. The hospital staff were amazed and told him the story of what happened to him and how his wife had just decided to turn him off the machine. Bitter sweet feelings over took him, but he was so glad to be alive and to experience such a miracle.
After being examined and cleared to leave the hospital, he immediately when to the street to share his miracle with the world outside the hospital walls. As he stood on the street shouting how God was good to him, he was approached by 2 police officers, who asked to see some ID. But he had none to show them.
So one of the officer said to him: "Sir, you can't be making religious pronouncements on the street without a permit. I am afraid that we are going to have to arrest you." The man protested, but was handcuffed and taken to the police lock-up. In jail, he was visited by a lawyer hired by his wife. He inquired about the first amendment and free speech.
"The first amendment was amended, sir. All assembly, speech, expression and religious freedoms must be regulated to prevent the spewing of hatred that results in violence, oppression and public disorder." the lawyer said.
Our Christian protagonist also learned that in the year 2040, Christianity was no longer a mainstream religion, but a mere five percent of his nation and less than 10 % of the world described themselves as Christian. The majority religion was the Universal Inter-faith Religion of Love that believed in a variety of "inspired" sources of which Biblical material was just part of the rich diverse sources of human inspiration. Further this majority religion did not hold all the Bible to be inspired.
Our Christian protagonist also learned that preaching about hell was forbidden unless one was an authorized Satanist. He also found out that the state legally recognised human beings in permanent unions with any person, living creature and non-living thing that made them happy (with consent only being required for the person) as marriages.
"Oh my", the Christian man exclaimed! "My nation has become Sodom and Gomorrah!"
"Watch your language buddy," said his lawyer. "What you just said could be interpreted as treason against the state and its constitution."
"There isn't any religious freedom any more", the Christian man began to mourn.
"Yes, there is," said the lawyer. "But your religious beliefs must be practiced according to state law. State law requires that you practice your religion under the supervision of state approved theologians, who are respectable guides in how you interpret your sacred text and practice the tenets of your faith. In addition, your religious sacred text must be modified to reflect the times and modernity of human progress."
"So I can't read the King James Bible?" the Christian man asked.
"No," said the lawyer. "You need a more update version. That can only be read as a historical work."
"What if I disagree with my approved theologian?" the Christian man asked?
The lawyer replied, "You got to be careful that you do not make yourself an enemy of state, a vagabond of public disorder and be guilty of mischief against humanity or the human race, our advanced civilisation and human evolutionary progress."
"When and how did this happen?" the Christian man in shock exclaim.
The lawyer replied, "the great International Federation has given us principles of respecting diversity. They have been able to give us great principles in order to promote peaceful and prosperous society and economy that the world now has today. Human beings have to trade certain liberties in order to secure our universal survival, in order for us to all pursue the different paths that make us happy."
"But I can't be truly happy if I can't practice my religion freely," said the Christan man.
"Is your religion hate?" the lawyer retorted. "You can't make other unhappy and uncomfortable by practicing an antiquated religion that does not take into consideration the diversity of human beliefs and feelings. You can only be happy when you can integrate and have cordial relations with those who share different perspectives from you. How can you accomplish that if you are judgemental about their beliefs and views, and make them unhappy by what you say?"
The Christian man replied, "but Jesus did not say things to make the Pharisees feel good. He always spoke to reveal truth and point the way to salvation."
"I have a copy of the New State Approved New Testament. You may want to read it and be updated on what we moderns believe is the message of Jesus," the lawyer said, pulling out a book.
Edited April 20, 2013