Political Correctness Trumps Religious Freedom
In response to my last article, a number of readers expressed objections to the idea that Christians are being persecuted in the United States today. As I noted previously, I am in no way comparing the persecution of Christians in America today to the appalling savagery that we are seeing reported daily out of the Middle East, where men and women are being beheaded, shot, burned alive, raped, tortured, and where children are being buried alive or sold as sex slaves. However, if not eradicated at its root, the intolerance towards Christians in America today could escalate over time to violence.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, none other than Barack Obama offered a perfect example of this anti-Christian rhetoric and moral equivalence during his morally bankrupt speech at the National Prayer Breakfast recently. After briefly describing in broad strokes the atrocities that are occurring in the Middle East by ISIS terrorists, Obama lectures us on the need to resist the urge to get on our “high horse” because Christians were just as bad during the Crusades, and with 18th and 19th century slavery, and into the latter half of the last century with Jim Crow laws.
Huh? Is he serious?
First of all, the Crusades were a counter-offensive to invading Muslim hordes that occurred a THOUSAND YEARS AGO! Is he honestly saying we should temper our outrage at Muslim-committed atrocities today because of excessive violence committed during war by Christian soldiers a millennia ago? By default, does that also not mean that he is saying that Muslims today are centuries behind the rest of the world in moral and social development?
Obama should also know (being that he is, as was claimed, the smartest man ever to be president) that it was the tireless efforts of Christian leaders in the 1700’s and 1800’s that brought about the end of slavery in the Western world, and though Jim Crow laws did indeed exist during the mid-1900’s, those laws were passed by Democrats, not Christians. Like the abolition of slavery, it was the work of Christians like the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. who brought about the end of Jim Crow laws and segregation.
Why is it that the president of the United States - a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles, a nation where more than three quarters of its citizens openly declare their Christian faith, and a nation that has done more to ease suffering and spread liberty and prosperity throughout the world than any other in history – feels the need to almost trivialize the barbaric actions of Muslim radicals today by trying to make a morally relativistic comparison with the supposed sins of Christians in centuries past? Why does Obama consistently claim that ISIS is not “truly” Islamic when they declared themselves to be acting under the tenets of the Koran (and if the actions of ISIS do not represent Islam, then why does he not extend the same belief to “Christians” who committed evil deeds)? Indeed, there are passages in the Koran that do seem to justify their actions from an Islamic perspective.
As I said, gratefully, the persecution of Christians in the United States today is far less brutal than what is occurring in the Middle East, but for the people of a nation founded on the rights of freedom of religion and expression, it should be no less concerning. If we are to tolerate such infringements upon these liberties today, those encroaching upon our freedoms will only be emboldened to pursue even greater restrictions.
Still not convinced? Let me offer you a few examples of the persecution of, or institutionalized bias against, Christians in recent months:
Under pressure from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, headed by the virulently anti-Christian Mikey Weinstein (an advisor to the Obama administration on military/religious matters), an Army recruiting station in Phoenix was told by its superiors to remove a sign which read “On a Mission for Both God and Country”. Weinstein called it a “stunning unconstitutional disgrace,” which would probably come as a surprise to General George Washington, who once declared, “To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.”
Rather than face escalating legal bills to be borne by the taxpayers, the small town of King, N.C., agreed to remove a sculpture of a soldier praying near a cross from city-owned land. As it is, the town will have to pay a half million dollars to cover the legal fees of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. As a result, the beliefs and wishes of an entire town have been sacrifices at the politically-correct altar of anti-religionists.
The InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a college Christian organization, has been de-recognized by all twenty-three campuses of the California State University system because of allegedly “discriminatory” beliefs. And what was the egregious discrimination practiced by the group? That would be requiring its leaders to affirm a belief in the doctrinal basis of the group; namely, that God is the Creator of all things, and is comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as per established biblical doctrine. This de-recognition means that the group’s students no longer have access to university facilities for their activities (but must still pay activity fees), and are banned from participating as a group in student activity programs, student fairs, etc.
All of this is on top of the endless lawsuits and threatened lawsuits every time high school kids try to pray before a football game, or communities set up a Nativity scene around Christmas. It is simply a constant assault in the religious beliefs and expressions of American Christians. It is an affront to the principles of liberty that form the foundation of American government.
In closing, to help further debunk this erroneous idea that the Founders wanted religion, and more specifically, Christianity, barred from influence on government, consider the following statements from a few of our Founding Fathers:
“The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.” ~ John Marshall (Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1801-1835), 1833, Letter to Jasper Adams
“It is impossible for those, who believe in the truth of Christianity, as a divine revelation, to doubt, that it is the especial duty of government to foster, and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects. This is a point wholly distinct from that of the right of private judgment in matters of religion, and of the freedom of public worship according to the dictates of one’s conscience.” ~ Joseph Story (U.S. Supreme Court Justice, called the “Father of American Jurisprudence”)
“Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” ~ Charles Carroll (signer of the Declaration of Independence), 1800, Letter to James McHenry