Liberty Institute: Assault on Religious Liberty is at All-Time High (and That's Just Counting Christians)

Categories: Politics, Religion

Angela Hildenbrand.jpeg
PR Newswire
Angela Hildenbrand, the Texas high school student barred from referring to God in her valedictory speech.
You know the Liberty Institute as the group that has steered Plano's infamous Candy Cane Case through the courts. More recently, it's championed the cause of Angela Hildenbrand, the Texas high school student who wanted to pray during her valedictory speech.

As part of its work, in 2004 the nonprofit compiled recent incidents of religious hostility at the request of Senators John Cornyn and Ted Kennedy. That document, titled, simply, "The Survey of Religious Hostilities in America," is now eight years old and, as such, does not include such recent assaults on religious liberty as those two workers at UT-Arlington who were fired for praying for an absent co-worker and, of course, the Obamacare provision that effectively requires religiously affiliated institutions to offer birth control coverage to employees. High time for an update, which the institute, along with the Family Research Council, just released.

In case you had any doubts, the report's conclusion is stark: "Hostility against religious liberty has reached an all-time high" and "is being pushed out of public life, our schools, and even our churches."

Many are to blame for the what is framed as a coordinated attack on religious freedom. First are the deep-pocketed groups and individuals that form a "radicalized minority ... driven by an anti-religious ideology that is turning the First Amendment upside down." But those have always been around. What's different this time around is the man in the White House.

"The Obama administration no longer even speaks of freedom of religion; now it is only 'freedom of worship,'" the report says. "This radical departure is one that threatens to make true religious liberty vulnerable, conditional, and limited."

A lot of the cases detailed in the report are clearly examples of overreach by excessively cautious bureaucrats, including senior citizens who were prevented from praying and singing gospel songs at a senior activity center. But reading the report, one would conclude that Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, and others have encountered no religious hostility. That seems reserved solely for Christians.

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88 comments
oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

EASTERS CANCELLED

THEY FOUND THE BODY.

 

From a T-Shirt.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 

Liberty Institute has the issue completely twisted.

 

Liberty says ""Hostility against religious liberty has reached an all-time high and is being pushed out of public life, our schools, and even our churches."

 

That assertion is backwards.

 

Religious liberty is at an all time high due to Christian ideology being pushed out of public life, out of our schools. There is more religious liberty today than there has ever been in America. Those Christian legions who have previously controlled the public forum have been forced to recognize other faiths on an equal footing. These Christians have notoriously claimed that the USA is a "Christian nation" when such claims are completely, absolutely erroneous.

 

The Liberty Institute and Family Research Council are striving to reinstitute a time when there was no compromise by Christians on their controlling American society, a time when other faiths were forced to suffer being subjected to a constant barrage of Christian self promotion and other faiths pushed into second class status.

 

Thankfully, those days are gone. America is and always has been a multi-faith society, we are not a Christian nation. It has just taken a couple of centuries for these Christian zealots to adhere to the Constitution.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

As a Christian, I can't decide if this is laughable, embarrassing or simply insulting to the memory of the martyrs and those who were truly persecuted for their faith.

 

Go visit the Copts in Egypt or the Chaldeans in Iraq or read about the persecution under the Roman Empire or the Soviet Union. That is and was persecution. This is just whining.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Please. All you people who can't remember examples of Christian violence have already forgotten OKC and convinced yourselves that the "I" in IRA stood for "Islamic Republican Army?" Not to mention the attacks on abortion clinics and assassination of doctors who perform abortions in this country.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Is there a growing anti-christian feeling in this country?  I'd say there is.  The real question is: Does it matter if there is a growing anti-christian feeling in this country?  The correct answer would be no, it doesn't matter.  My beliefs in God, Allah, Buddha, or the Tooth Fairy are not, and should not be, rooted in public opinion.

Christians, by and large, have brought negative public opinion since about 300AD or so, right after the Council if Nicea.  They've done so by continuously contradicting the teachings of their own doctrine.  They've built huge edifices to laud their own accomplishments (hello, Tower of Babel, anyone?).  They carried 'conversion by the sword' to extreme lengths in the Western Hemisphere (possibly where the much younger Islam learned how effective this could be).  Their preachers and pastors get involved in the affairs of men (clearly at odds with 2 Timothy).  The list could go on, I'm sure, by people much more learned than I am.  There really is no defense against this list of hypocrisies, because the hypocrisy, like one's faith, is not rooted here, but against God.

ObjectiveAtheist
ObjectiveAtheist

Remember back when tens of thousands of Christians rioted all over the world, storming embassies of the USA and several European countries, murdering people and calling for war and beheadings because of "The Omen", "The Exorcist", "The Last Temptation of Christ", "Dogma", "Jesus Camp", "South Park", & "The Life of Brian"?   Yeah, me neither.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

The greatest threat to my first amendment rights at this moment in time is the Obama administration and this sorry-ass comment system. This comment system will probably outlast the Obama administration.

Daniel
Daniel

Albert,

 

Being conservative and a Christian does not make one a member of  "the Christian Right," as exemplified by the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, etc.  A great many conservatives are social moderates. They don't believe the earth is 6,000 years old and God will punish homosexuals. That would be ignorance and bigotry, respectively. If I believed that all conservatives thought that way, that would indeed make me an ignorant bigot myself. But I don't think that. 

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

It's kind of funny that our embassies are burning and the Fench are shutting theirs down across the globe, and the lefties on this blog are all worked up about some sort of Christian assault on our rights. Cognitive dissonance, breakfast of wahoos.

Daniel
Daniel

I never said Christians were ignorant bigots, but I guess I could have been more explicit: the Christian Right is comprised mostly of ignorant bigots. This is maybe 20% of our population, not the "great majority." Twenty percent of humans anywhere are probably ignorant bigots, whatever the religious or political system they were born into. 

 

(Again, the comments system won't allow me to respond directly to Albert Finney.)

Daniel
Daniel

I don't claim they should shut up necessarily. I do sometimes wish they would.

 

But more to the point, speaking one's mind politically is not hypocrisy, whereas making a loud show of piety in the name of a man who very explicitly condemned loud shows of piety is hypocrisy. I mean, this was one of Jesus' main themes, for Christ's sake. That and love your God damned enemy. 'Member that'un?

 

There's nothing illegal about being a hypocrite, luckily for me, you and Walt the Postman. The Christian right a century ago was embattled by modernity, now it is subsumed by modernity and soon it will be supplanted by modernity. I'm not saying there won't still be room for religion, just not of the medieval variety. I guess they know this and it pisses them off. Too damn bad -- they're mostly ignorant bigots.

 

FactNazi
FactNazi

 @Cliffhanger Hate to let the facts get in the way of your groovy narrative, but Tim McVeigh was a self-professed agnostic who stated that "science is my god".

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Cliffhanger - other than the IRA, most violence is by individuals, hard to compare with global mob violence which shows no signs of ever abating. So one is not exactly like the other

FactNazi
FactNazi

 @RTGolden1 The "Tower of Babel" story is from Genesis and supposedly happened thousands of years before Christianity ever existed.

ObjectiveAtheist
ObjectiveAtheist

Oh yeah how could I forget the horrific "Good Christian Bitches" riots of spring 2012!?!??!

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

 @albert.finney000 Embassy attacks are not the subject of this story and accompanying thread of comments.

Amazingly, us libtards are capable of holding more than one thought in our minds at a time, and don't find it necessary to try to blame everything on Obama.

monstruss
monstruss

 @Daniel yeah, what's up with the comment system? as for Albert, I wish he'd update his shtick. "I know you are but what am I" is starting to get really boring. 

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Daniel - there are a number of studies and polls that put the percentage of self identified liberals at about 25 percent, and self identified conservatives at almost double that. So your thesis that any society has at least 20 percent ignorant bigots may be more telling than you think.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Daniel - Christians are ignorant bigots, but those who call them such are... what - learned bigots? Must be tough living in a country which is great majority ignorant bigot. Riyadh is lovely this time of year, ya know.

Daniel
Daniel

In response to A. Finney. Damn comment system won't allow me to respond, somehow.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

and?

 

the fact that a majority of American citizens adhere to a Christian theology does not make any difference to the points I made.

 

Our Constitution mandates no theocracy and therefore freedom from a faith being imposed on you, a freedom to feely choose one's faith and freely participate in that faith's beliefs, and there is no disputing these points.

 

The USA is NOT a "Christian nation", it is a nation composed of many different faiths.

 

Liberty Institute and FRC are wrong in their statement.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

 @albert.finney000  @Cliffhanger Yes, and there are factors other than a particular faith--poverty, lack of recourse at the ballot box, etc., that explain why people in certain communities are more prone to take to the streets. There have been riots by Hindus and Bhuddists as well as Muslims in countries where political oppression is high and economic opportunities are limited.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @FactNazi The old testament is still considered a solid foundation for christian morals and values.  The pride exemplified in the story of Babel is still viewed as sinful in the teachings of Jesus and by christians today.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Scruffygeist - Hopefully neither. A great expiriment either way , but ya gotta learn when to cut your losses.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Montemalone - "Embassy attacks are not the subject of this story..." "Amazingly, us libtards are capable of holding more than one thought in our minds at a time..." Even contradictory ones.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

 @mavdog What is even more bizarre is the attitude held by most Christians about Catholics and our supposed subterfuge to have the Pope rule over the United States.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

 

"interpret the statement"???

 

no one can stop you from revealing your idiocy but yourself.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

they left out Germany and The Final Solution....

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@monstruss - Wow, I wan't expecting the Spanish Inquisition.

albert.finney000
albert.finney000

@Cliffhanger - One particular religion is comparatively more prone to violence, though

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @FactNazi You seemed to have missed the entire point of my comment.  I'm not anti-christian, I am christian.  My point is our faith is supposed to be a private thing, between us and our God.  I'm not blaming christians for the moral failure of anyone or anything other than themselves. 

FactNazi
FactNazi

 @RTGolden1  @FactNazi Nice try.  Many of the teachings of the classical pagan Greeks are also considered to be the moral foundations of many of the "Christian" values underpinning Western Civilization.  Let's blame all the moral failures of the ancient Greeks on Christians.

observist
observist

 @albert.finney000  @Montemalone "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."  F. Scott Fitzgerald

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