Atheist Hypocrisy and the Assault on Religious Liberty
Attacks on faith have increased dramatically in recent years, but there’s still hope and reason to fight.
by Caroline Camden Lewis
Knowing the perils of disease, shipwreck and discomfort, the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower in search of one thing: religious liberty. While many died on the voyage, and half of those who made it here died in the first winter, they knew that their lives were but “stepping stones” for the next generation’s freedom to practice Christianity. Their journey had taken them from an underground church in Scrooby, England, to an escape in Holland. However, as Holland’s secular society began corroding the hearts and minds of their children, they realized that a voyage to the New World was worth the risk. The Plymouth landing in 1620 stands as one of the earliest pieces of our country’s quest for religious liberty.
Today, almost 400 years later, the United States has become an increasingly difficult place for a Christian to work, be educated, and to serve his or her country. This has happened despite the statement found in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In fact, First Liberty Institute’s 2017 report notes that in the past five years, documented attacks on religious freedom have increased 133%. In the past year, attacks have increased 15%. These attacks take place across broad sectors of the public arena — education, religious institutions and the U.S. military.
A case from the public arena, Barton v. Balch Springs, involved a Texas senior center in which city officials told the senior citizens that they could not pray before meals, listen to messages with religious content, or sing gospel music because public buildings do not allow religion. The senior citizens filed a lawsuit, and the government officials threatened to take away their meals if they won because praying over meals paid for by the government violated the “separation of church and state.”
In Pounds v. Katy I.S.D., a school district in the Houston area banned religious Christmas items and religiously themed Valentine’s Day cards. School officials told one student that she could not answer the question “What does Easter mean to you?” with “Jesus.” A federal court ultimately ruled against Katy I.S.D. for its hostility to religion and for violating the student’s constitutional rights…
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