The issue of religious liberty has been at the forefront of American discourse for some years, reaching new and troubling heights of intensity during the last administration. The most obvious examples are the Affordable Healthcare Act and its mandates and threats to conscience, and the assault on small Christian business owners who have been lambasted, and their livelihoods threatened because they refuse to deny their faith and beliefs, and acquiesce to the demands of the radical LGBTQ agenda and its supporters in the democrat party, the media, entertainment and business communities.
Christianity is the object of most, if not all, the contempt, derision, and criticism, far more than any other religion, and yes even Islam. Just recently an even more ominous threat has reared its ugly head. Senate democrats on the Judiciary Committee, in a biased and unprecedented move, questioned a presidential nominee for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Amy Barrett a scholar and law professor at Notre Dame University, about her Roman Catholic faith.
Senator Diane Feinstein asked if the professor’s faith would influence her decisions and opinions as a judge. Ms. Barrett responded by saying, although a devout Catholic, her faith would not interfere with her duties and obligations as a judge. Feinstein was joined in this outrageous affront by Senator Dick Durbin, a Catholic, who asked the nominee if she considers herself an “orthodox Catholic”. Their excuse for this line of questioning was various speeches by the professor that contained “religious dogma that lives loudly within you”, and that they deemed unacceptable. In other words Catholics, or for that matter any practicing Christian of faith, need not apply.
It is apparent that both these liberal democrat senators, who afterward came under severe criticism from republicans and Catholic groups, were motivated in their tactics by the fact that Professor Barrett is prolife. And as democrats have now revealed that position is antithetical to their agenda and there is no room in their party, and apparently on the courts, for prolife candidates. This begs the question, had the nominee been prolife and of the Jewish or Islamic faith, would they have received the same relentless religious questioning, I doubt it.
The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has been a passionate and fervent defender of the first freedom, religion. Professor Barrett has had some association with this organization. However the ADF has come under fire from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a radical leftist group that has been in the forefront of falsely accusing mostly conservative organizations as being “hate groups”. Senator Al Franken, former comedian and Saturday Night Live alumnus, and a no-account, attacked the professor for her relations with the ADF.
Christianity is under assault the world over. In America it is only getting worse and continues to escalate. The Middle East is caldron of hate and persecution of Christians. They are driven from their homes; females are abducted and raped, and innocent men, women and children have been killed by the thousands by radical Islamic extremists. ISIS barbarians have left a trail of carnage throughout the Middle East, even destroying ancient Christian historical sites and monuments. Sound familiar.
And yet it only gets worse. Who would have thought the intolerance and threats toward the religious liberty of Christians would find its way across an ocean to the other side of the world. Yes Australia, the “Land down under”, it appears is home not only to the aborigines and kangaroo, but anti-religious bigotry.
According to the Catholic League Australia is “emulating the totalitarian regime in North Korea”. In Queensland, Australia’s second largest state, Christian children have been told to stop talking about Jesus in the school yard. Religious Christmas hymns and greeting cards that mention Jesus are banned, as are Christmas tree decorations and various items that speak about the “Good news” are prohibited.
Australian journalist Andrew Bolt warns “Christians, prepare for persecution”. Although not a Christian, Bolt is amazed at how Catholic and Protestant leaders have been silent and shown cowardice in the face of oppression. Anti-Christian bigotry is widespread in Australia. Bolt relates of how just recently “two Christian preachers were summoned to Tasmania’s Anti-Discrimination Tribunal for preaching their faiths stand on traditional marriage and homosexuality”. Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous, an outspoken defender of the faith, was ordered by the authorities to explain “by what right he spoke out against same-sex marriage”.
Censorship is being enforced throughout Australia. There are gage orders; prolife demonstrators rights are being abridged, crackdowns on religious speech, and any discussion or criticisms that are deemed unfriendly toward the homosexual community are subject to censorship. The Catholic League believes this “goes beyond any anti-Christian phobia, it is more cultural fascism sponsored by the state”.
The late archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, spoke of the increasing hostility toward Christians in America when he said “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison, and his successor will die a martyr in the public square”. Cardinal George’s prognostication may very well come to pass; however, his warnings falls short in one respect, they go beyond our borders.