A progressive war on conservative Christians continues in America. An Illinois court rules that Catholic and Evangelical adoption agencies in the state must place children with unmarried, gay, and LGPTQ couples regardless of their religious beliefs or discontinue to practice in the state. A Massachusetts Catholic couple, which passed all of the state tests with flying colors, were denied a foster child because of their Biblical views on sexuality and marriage. Meanwhile the state does not have enough foster parents to take care of all of their children but the authorities discriminated against a qualified Christian couple.
It is becoming a popular view among progressives that those, like conservative Christians, who continue to hold a ‘traditional’ view on marriage and sexuality, should not be allowed in any kind of public service since the view is deemed to be discriminatory against LGBTQ folks and contrary to the Law of the land with ‘same-sex’ marriage now legal.
Since Biden became President, the federal judicial ranks have been in the process of being transformed with the appointment of progressive judges that really do not support the traditional understanding of Freedom of Religion. When it comes to religious freedom, many progressive media folks, politicians, and academicians now claim that it is nothing more than a poor excuse for discrimination, and the Constitutional provision needs to be reinterpreted and more limited in scope and application than it has been in the past.
In the process, you have some major law schools in America, political figures like Pres. Obama, and progressive judges pushing for the First Amendment to be understood as only ‘Freedom of Worship’ which would limit religious freedom to the four walls of a church or official place of worship.
Increasingly you also have progressives demanding that discrimination should not be tolerated for any reason and LGBT rights should supersede and override religious freedom in spite of the First Amendment. As time goes on, there seems to be more and more judges who agree with them on that issue. All would be lost except the Supreme Court still supports religious liberty most of the time.
One blaring example of what we are talking about; that is progressives in the political, media, and academic realms cooperated together in opposing conservative Christians, happened during the Trump days. When VP Pence’s wife Karen Pence announced that she was going to teach in a Christian school the major media went into an attack mode. One Washington Post editor even questioned how traditional Christian schools that were ‘anti-LGBT’ could still be in existence in today’s America. Forget the fact that the Christian schools do not actually single out LGBT sex but any sexual relations outside a traditional marriage between one man and one woman. The School policy is really nothing new but merely reflects traditional Christian orthodox beliefs from the Bible which have been around for over two thousand years.
Over and over again, during the Trump administration, judicial nominees, that held conservative Christian positions on abortion and marriage, were challenged by a number of progressive Senators, including Bernie Sanders and Diane Feinstein and others. These progressive senators seem to imply that Christians, who continue to hold orthodox Christian positions, should not be eligible for public service. In fact, Bernie Sanders even doubled down on that view and continued to be rather verbal and adamant on that issue in spite of the Constitutional provision against ‘religious tests’ for public office.
Then there was the case when Senators Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Kamala Harris of California tried to avoid the ‘religious test’ problem by opposing a Trump judicial nominee for being a member of the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic Christian fraternal organization that merely reflects the beliefs of the Catholic Church. In the process a number of fellow Senators and Congressmen who are members of the Knights of Columbus protested. Fact is, that was in reality an attempt at applying some kind of religious test. Nevertheless, it really does demonstrate that many progressives really do not appreciate the limitations placed upon them by the Constitution.
The Senators are suppose to be diligent in questioning nominees in order to insure adherence to the Constitution of the United States, but lately so many of them have been challenging those who merely oppose progressive views. From David Harsanyi of Townhall:
“Merely asking a nominee whether her beliefs might stop her from fulfilling her constitutional duties is a relevant question.
For many liberals, though, the problem is that the beliefs of many Catholics and other adherents of various Christian theologies — or, for that matter, Jewish ones, as well — are increasingly undermining progressive ideals, not constitutional ones.”
The attacks against conservative Christian views are not just coming from progressive politicians but also from progressives in the media and in academia.
Christian student organizations are getting kicked off campus by many colleges and universities across America because of new progressive ‘diversity’ requirements being instituted at most public schools. The academic authorities call the conservative Christian student groups ‘discriminatory’ since they require all of their leaders reflect a traditional Christian lifestyle based upon the Bible. Campus authorities increasingly hold that diverse students of all religions, genders, and nationalities should be allowed to be leaders of ‘Christian’ student groups, even atheists. At the same time, conservative Christian professors are increasingly having a difficult time receiving teaching positions and particularly tenure in American colleges that aren’t specifically Christian.
Then there are ‘progressive’ atheist groups that are demanding that Christian schools should not be allowed to receive any kind of government support through vouchers or even indirectly through government guaranteed student loans. Some have demanded that the IRS drop such ‘discriminatory’ schools and organizations from the non-profit roles. Many of the same groups are now approaching quasi-governmental organizations like regional school accrediting groups and athletic organizations like the NCAA hoping to get Christian schools kicked out, unrepresented, and unaccredited.
Besides the attack on Karen Pence and a WP editor questioning how Conservative Christian schools even exist, main stream media folks have demonstratively taken sides against orthodox Christian views and have not only tainted their reports with biased views against conservative Christians but many times have completely left out stories of Christian persecution around the world. Particularly if Islam and Muslims were involved.
So what is really happening?
There is an actual cultural battle against conservative Christian views in the media, in academic circles, and among progressive politicians. It is a war pitting progressives against Conservative orthodox Christians. All have come to believe that conservative Christians are standing in the way of ‘progress’ and need to be removed from the public square and in some way their influence needs to be reduced and finally eliminated. Particularly, their political power since Christians have opposed and blocked them on abortion and the implementation and primacy of LGBT and transgender rights.
What is really ironic is that Christians are constantly being surprised at all of this public opposition seemingly at every turn and really do not understand that they are in a war for the hearts and minds of the American people. In the middle of this, many conservative churches and religious leaders have ignored what is happening. So many Christians have not been alerted to the fact that they are actually in a fight for their very freedoms and way of life. Add to that, many Christians are in agreement with progressives on social programs for the poor and end up voting for many of the very same progressive politicians who are trying to diminish our religious liberty and freedoms.
Up to this point, the Christians who are trying to protect our freedom of religion have concentrated on the political process and looked for remediation in the courts. However the real battle is cultural and we have nearly lost that one. Most Christians assume that the First Amendment will continue to protect them. However, in just one generation freedom of religion has been turned on its ear to effectively mean ‘freedom from religion’ in the public square and the battle continues and the future does not look good even though Pres.Trump slowed down the attrition for awhile but it has obviously picked up speed under President Biden..
But what is ahead for Christians may not be satisfactorily resolved legally. If the hearts and the minds of the majority of the American people end up against us then there will be no remediation or legal recourse. It will end with public marginalization, rejection, shaming, and exclusion.
What I am talking about is already being demonstrated by progressive politicians in the Senate, and by those in academic circles. The shaming of Karen Pence for teaching in a Christian school has taken an even more disturbing turn. From National Review:
…a local private academy called the Sheridan School decided to prohibit its sports teams from playing games at Immanuel. The reason? …some students felt “unsafe.” No, really. …Unsafe? Absurd. Just absurd. But it’s worse than absurd. It’s bigotry. …
It’s time for Christian parents, pastors, and politicians to understand a simple fact — in the fight for religious freedom, we often focus our efforts on the less important battleground. Legal protections matter less and less when the culture drifts so far from Christianity that shunning, shaming, and exclusion become the norm. …
And in this more-important cultural fight, it’s critical to wrap our arms around principles, not politicians. …it depends on Christians exercising a degree of personal courage and resolve …
Silence and compliance only embolden those who seek to sideline Christian thought and belief. …Christians must be equally willing to speak the truth and defend their faith. Otherwise, fear and shame will do what censorship cannot — drive the Christian faith from America’s public square.
This could be the beginning of a new norm unless the millions of Christians stand up unashamed for their faith and beliefs. Christian schools, institutions, and non-profit organizations all across America could find themselves marginalized and shunned because of their Biblical stands on sexuality and marriage. Note also, that such shunning may not be legally addressed nor does the First Amendment really apply in all cases when it comes to the hearts and minds of the American people.
Christians must wake up and challenge progressives and not quietly slink into the night. Progressive PC views demand that a diversity of cultures and religions be honored and respected. However, conservative Christianity does not seem to have a place in their PC diversity and that hypocrisy needs to be pointed out and challenged. Ironically Islam holds many of the same views on sexuality and yet progressives go out of their way to support the right of Muslims to publicly practice and live their faith.
America could be a far different and unwelcome place for orthodox conservative Christians in the near future unless we stand up and be counted. One of the most effective tools in the Christian arsenal is prayer. It is time to get serious in our prayer lives. We need to pray for those who oppose us and pray for the American church to rise up and fulfill its calling and destiny. Also we need to continue to ask God for a new cultural awakening and revival in America while there is yet day.