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Friday, June 2, 2017

Record 1,200 Government ATTACKS on FAITH, RELIGION, 'Dangerous' Hostility

Paul Bedard

Attacks on religion in America, driven mostly by government-endorsed political correctness sparked by programs like Obamacare, is expanding in "dangerous" fashion and even threatens military pastors and churches, according to a report on the hostility.
In Undeniable, The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America, the First Liberty Institute documented over 1,200 cases and concluded, "Quantitatively and qualitatively, the hostility is undeniable. And it is dangerous."
President Trump has promised to curb the legal assault on religious organizations that claim a higher power than the government on issues such as providing birth control under Obamacare, and the report provides evidence that his White House can use to mount its counter attack.
"Hostility to religion in America is rising like floodwaters, as proven by the increased numbers of cases and attacks documented in this report. This flood is engulfing ordinary citizens who simply try to live normal lives according to their faith and conscience," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the First Liberty Institute in a memo opening the 326-page report.
"It is eroding the bedrock on which stand vital American institutions such as government, education, the military, business, houses of worship, and charity. It has the potential to wash away the ground that supports our other rights, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and government by consent of the people," he added in the 2016 report made available for free to the public. A 2017 report is expected soon.
The report lists the cases of hostility and breaks them down in several categories including these:
  • The "Public Arena" of public places, government, and the workplace. The report said, "This past year has seen high-profile attacks on religious liberty in the public arena as people of faith have been fired, refused employment, or fined for privately praying in the sight of others, for wearing religious attire, and for speaking out about their religious beliefs."
  • The "Schoolhouse" of education, from K–12 through higher academia. Included: "These cases primarily involve school officials prohibiting students or teachers from sharing their faith or exercising their religious free speech rights. Many of these cases arise because of the misinformation that secularist organizations send annually to school officials, threatening lawsuits unless the school officials stamp out all religious expression within the school."
  • "Churches and Ministries," in which one might expect hostility to be the least. Said the report, "Not only did the government, for the first time, argue that it may regulate churches and determine qualifications for pastors, but the past ten years have seen an explosion in cases involving local governments discriminating against churches, particularly in the local governments' use of zoning laws and granting of permits."
  • The "Military," which includes our service members, veterans, and their memorials. Cases cited include a Navy chaplain investigated for religious counseling and an Air Force master sergeant punished for Christian beliefs.

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