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Challenging Religious Freedom

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted November 6, 2013

I’m not a particularly religious person. Although I certainly don’t disparage others for their religious beliefs.

As long as those beliefs aren’t being forced on me or harming others, there’s no reason anyone should care how one choses to exercise his or her faith. And that’s why I’m writing this short piece today.

According to a Lexington NBC affiliate in Kentucky, a young girl by the name of Codie Thacker took it upon herself to give up her spot in a regional cross country race after drawing a bib numbered 666.

Thacker and her coach requested that she be allowed to switch her number, as wearing the number “666” would conflict with her faith. But the officials of the race weren’t having it.

Now I won’t lie. I’ve always found that associating the number 666 with some kind of “mark of the beast” was kind of silly. I just don’t see how a loving God would really care one way or the other about a random number that some individual assigned to it as “evil.”

That being said, if an person does believe that such a number is synonymous with satan or some kind of evil spirit, that’s his or her choice.

The honorable thing would have just been to let Thacker choose a different number. After all, what’s the big deal? Especially considering this young woman was so uncomfortable with it.

As Thacker told reporters, “I didn’t want to risk my relationship with God and try to take that number.” I can respect that. I don’t know why the officials couldn’t. In fact, I would go as far to say that this is an issue of religious freedom.

Although we may not have much in common when it comes to religion, I have an enormous amount of respect for Thacker. She stuck to her guns. Good for her!

Here’s more. . .