“I don’t think, generally, Christians are being persecuted in this country.” So said Barack Obama, during his first run for the White House.
The president won’t be able to make that claim this time around. Not after the release this week of the “Survey on Religious Hostility in America,” jointly produced by Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council (the recent target of such religious hostility).
Liberty and FRC declare, “Hostility to religious liberty has reached an all-time high, and the attacks are increasing at an unprecedented rate.” Their well-researched survey documents more than 600 cases of bigotry against people of faith.
Among the more egregious examples:
– The faithful Christian nurse ordered to assist a late-term abortion at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York or lose both her job and her nursing license.
– The federal judge who threatened a high school valedictorian in Castroville, Texas with “incarceration” unless the young Christ follower removed references to Jesus in her graduation speech.
– The institution of a new policy by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs secularizing funerals for vets at national cemeteries, with no references to God or the veteran’s faith, overriding the wishes of the vet’s family for a religious funeral.
– The Christian couple that managed an apartment complex in Lake City, Florida that was fired by their supervisor for being “too religious” because they displayed a piece of artwork that had pictures of lilies and a quotation from the Book of Matthew, “Consider the lilies of the field…”
– The New Mexico Civil Rights Commission’s finding that Christian-owned Elane Photography Company was guilty of “sexual orientation” discrimination because it refused to photograph same-sex weddings.
If these were but isolated cases, it would be hard for Liberty Institute and FRC to persuade much of the public that religious liberty is under assault throughout America. But their jointly-produced survey has provided example after example after example – more than 600 in all.
One would have to be an atheist, or a recalcitrant Obama supporter, not to see the obvious pattern of hostility toward people of faith; Christians in particular.