Under Obama’s rule, religious liberty has taken a beating.
Religious freedom in America is under ever increasing fire, with assaults doubling in just the past few years, according to a recent report.
“Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America,” an annual report published by the recently-rebranded First Liberty Institute claims that
The Texas-based religious freedom organization began chronicling assaults on religious freedom in the United States in 2012. “In the first edition of Undeniable, [FLI] catalogued over 600 instances where religious liberty was threatened or suppressed,” according to a press release from the group. “This year, First Liberty Institute has identified 1,285 attacks on religion in the United States – seeing attacks double in just three years.”
The report outlines four areas in which hostility to religious belief and practice is growing at an “alarming” rate:
- The ‘Public Arena’ of public places, government, and the workplace.”
- The ‘Schoolhouse’ of education, from K–12 through higher academia.”
- Churches and Ministries,’ in which one might expect hostility to be the least.”
- The ‘Military,’ which includes our service members, veterans, and their memorials.”
Composed by a research team led by a Harvard-trained constitutional attorney, the survey’s 373 outline a laundry list of court cases, that after a while begins to look like the rap sheet of a rabid secularist movement bent on stripping all license to believe from every facet of public life.
According to a press release from the organization, some of the cases listed include:
- A high school football coach suspended for praying after football games
- A Marine court-martialed for refusing to take down a Bible verse
- An Orthodox Jewish synagogue sued by the government for meeting in a private home
- Veterans prohibited from practicing Native American faith rituals at a VA center
- Cheerleaders stopped from writing Bible verses on cheer banners
This militant secularization of the “shining city on a hill” is a problem for all Americans, according to the report. Rather than just an issue for the florist, the baker and the photographer, attacks on the First Amendment are a “national problem,” says First Liberty Institute’s President, CEO, and Chief Counsel Kelly Shackelford.
The attacks you will read about in these pages are sweeping away small businesses, careers, and ministries. Behind the legalities are tears, anguish, and the denial of basic human tolerance, compassion, and common decency…
The animus toward religion springs from a relatively small but powerful sector of society composed of influential people and organizations who consider active faith as irrelevant at best, and dangerous to essential social progress at worst.
Os Guinness, career-long religious liberty advocate and author of “The Global Public Square,” sees the report as a failure of America to live up to her own founding principles. “As a visitor to the U.S., I have followed the issues surrounding religious liberty for many decades. I have never seen it so poorly understood and so badly supported as in the last eight years,” Guinness, an English expatriate, told CR. “The present debate is both tragic and shameful. For one thing, it represents a massive squandering of the heart of America’s heritage. For another, it demonstrates America’s current failure to show the world a way forward on an issue now embroiling much of humanity.”
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