Saturday, August 25, 2012

Christians victims of rising 'hostility' from gov't and secular groups, report says

Published August 24, 2012
A new report by the Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute claims that there's been a rising pattern of hostility toward Christians in America over the past decade.
The 140-page "Survey of Religious Hostility in America," prepared by the Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council, highlighted more than 600 examples illustrating what it characterized as religious animosity shown by judges, government bureaucrats, schools and secular groups. From ObamaCare mandates that force religious entities to pay for contraception, to children being punished for uttering prayers in school, the report's findings shocked even those who commissioned it.
“It’s a conflict of world views," Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, told "These groups want people to check their faith at the door of the public square.”
Among the examples listed in the survey:
  • Matthew Reynolds, valedictorian for HLV Junior-Senior High School in Victor, Iowa, was told he had to give a 'secular' speech after he wished to attribute his success to his faith in Jesus Christ during his graduation speech.
  • A cross was removed from a veterans' memorial in San Diego, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit held that the memorial was unconstitutional.
  • .Dr. Frank Turek, a Cisco employee, was fired for expressing his views on traditional marriage in his book, even though he never voiced his religious opinions at work.
  • Samantha Schulz, 8, was barred from singing "Kum Ba Yah" at a Boys and Girls Club in Port Charlotte, Fla., because the song included the words "Oh, Lord."
  • Catherina Lorena Cenzon-DeCarlo, a nurse at Manhattan's Mount Sinai Hospital, was forced to participate in a late-term abortion against her religious convictions, and was threatened with job termination and loss of license.
The goal of the report is to raise awareness of these incidents to promote the appointment of judges "who are sensitive to the Constitution," said Kelly Shackelford, president of the Plano, Texas-based Liberty Institute. The report was presented in Tampa just ahead of next week's Republican National Convention.
According to Shackelford, the hostility can lead to violence, as in the case of the Aug.15 shooting at the Family Research Council headquarters, in which a gunman allegedly said he disagreed with the group's beliefs before shooting an employee in the arm. He also cited the Aug. 5 shooting deaths of six people at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee.
"It's way beyond anything we had imagined," Shackelford told"It's so much more prolific than it's ever been before."
One critic said the report is guilty of blurring the line between attacking religion and upholding the Constitution. A.J. Johnson, development director of American Atheists, Inc., said no one condones hate crimes such as the FRC shooting. But many other examples cited are simply cases in which advocates called for the separation of church and state," Johnson said.
"The Family Research Council distorts court cases upholding the First Amendment as examples of "religious hostility," she said. "In reality, they are imposing their beliefs onto others and claiming to be victims of religious persecution when they do not get unique Christian privilege."
But Perkins said the secular nation that groups like Johnson's seek was never envisioned by the Founding Fathers, and will not come to be.

1 comment:

  1. Christians are victims of "hostility" from government? Seriously? Get a grip.

    Christians dominate American society and politics. Christians of all sorts comprise about 78% of the population; Catholics comprise about 24%. Christians comprise over 90% of members of Congress; Catholics 29%; Jews 7%; only one member is atheist. Six justices of the Supreme Court are Catholic; three are Jewish.

    The official national motto is “In God we trust.” The government prescribes a pledge of allegiance declaring that our nation is “under God.” Presidents and other politicians close their speeches with the obligatory “God bless America.” Federal and state laws naturally reflect the views of the religious electorate for the most part.

    Even though Christianity remains by far the dominant religious influence in our society, Christians no doubt have occasionally faced instances of unfairness and the like. But persecution? When I hear a member of that dominant religion express feelings of persecution and such, the image of a privileged child comes to mind–one who, faced with the prospect of treatment comparable to that experienced by others, howls in pained anguish at the injustice of it all and pines for the good old days.

    As an atheist, I know how it feels to hold views not shared and even reviled by many in our society. You may understand then how alarming it is to hear members of the dominant religious group speak of their sense of persecution. History often reveals dominant groups working themselves into a lather about perceived wrongs against them before they lash out to “restore” matters as they see fit.