Attacks on Religious Freedom: Home and Abroad

Felix Cross

On April 16 at 6:30 pm, Christ in Culture/Salt & Light will host a special evening of enlightenment focused upon Religious Freedom. It’s open to anyone who’d like to attend. The event will take place at Fairmount Christian Church located at 6502 Creighton Road in Mechanicsville. 

  • These two gentlemen also will be speaking on the same subject on Saturday, April 13th from 9-11:30 am at Wesley Chapel, 39 Chapel Hill Lane(Charming Lane), Lexington, VA (DETAILS
  • and on Sunday, April 14th, from 6:30-8:30 pm at New Covenant Church, 1079 Big Bethel Road, Hampton, VA.(DETAILS)

Christians can no longer maintain what has become their default position of silence on this critical topic. Dr. Glen Kimber, an internationally recognized expert on the U.S. Constitution, and Sam Zakhem, former U.S. Ambassador to Bahrein, will discuss, Attacks on Religious Liberty – Home and Abroad.

The goal of this instruction? To embolden you to break your silence.

Why must you attend? Among the plethora of reasons that could be given, just consider the far-reaching implications of what appears below.

Freedom of Religion is under siege on several fronts in America. Humanists scored a significant breach of the wall of religious protection on June 28, 2010 in the 5-4 SCOTUS opinion of Christian Legal Society v. University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

This case involved a decision of the College to refuse official campus recognition to the Christian Legal Society. This denial of recognition rendered the Christian Society ineligible to receive financial aid and prevented it from placing content on campus bulletin boards, social media or other forms of broadcast communication generally available to other officially recognized College groups.

The Society was denied this recognition because it did not open its membership to everyone. Specifically, it would not agree to the Law School’s non-discrimination policy – a policy that could have required homosexuals and non-Christians to be permitted to serve as officers of this Christian organization.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the majority, noted it “hard to imagine a more viewpoint-neutral policy than one requiring all student groups to accept all comers,”. Justice Sonia Sotomayor asserted in her questioning that the Society’s admission rules were wrongfully founded upon principles of sexual morality and faith. She asserted the actions of the Society were tantamount to exclusion based upon racism and sexism. Justice Sotomayor asked the Society’s attorney, “Are you suggesting that if a group wanted to exclude all black people, all women, all other forms of discrimination a group wants to practice, that a school has to accept that group and recognize it, give it funds, and otherwise lend it space?” The attorney representing the Christian Legal Society answered Sotomayor by noting a group could discriminate on the basis of beliefs but not on the basis of status.

This is an important distinction. The Christian Society argued its discrimination was permissible as it was based solely upon its religious beliefs. That is, all who believed in the Biblical principles of the Society were welcome to join notwithstanding their racial or sexual status.

The misguided approach implicit in Sotomayor’s question is commonly employed as a tactic of the Secular Humanist movement. Secularists repeatedly sacrifice Morality and Faith upon the altar of Equality and Tolerance.

To achieve their goal of controlling the national conscience, Humanists feel no shame when they advance arguments designed to distort Civil Rights laws. They wrongfully hijack the moral high ground legitimately claimed by the Civil Rights Movement.

The Civil Rights Movement has successfully championed the cause of equality for those whose status as Black Americans has been ordained by God. On the other hand, 

Humanists disingenuously argue that granting legal rights to those who are discriminated against because of their color provides adequate justification for affording similar  “rights” to those who voluntarily choose to pursue unnatural behaviors.

By doing so, Humanists have elevated the cause of protecting behavioral choice to a moral imperative. This approach allows “Sexual orientation” and “Gender Identity” to benefit from coattails created by legally enacted Civil Rights statutes. Humanists pursue this line of argument in order to establish a plausible rationale for their growing attacks on Religious Freedom through judicial activism.

All of this points to an unsettling realization. Some Supreme Court Justices can’t distinguish between natural rights guaranteed by the Constitution (e.g., Religious Freedom, Free Speech) and unnatural identity-based “rights” (e.g., homosexuality and “choice” of gender). SCOTUS has, in effect, created academic “cover” for its actions by relying upon the vagaries of an ever-expanding and subjective “Right of Privacy”.

Right of Privacy appeared out of thin air in the birth control cases of the late 60’s and was perfected in Roe v. Wade in 1973. It was then elevated to a position of “established law” in the 1993 decision of Planned Parenthood vs. Casey. Despite the Court’s recent rhetoric, this privacy “right” is not protected in our Constitution as it was originally written.

Religious people whose beliefs are not deemed “politically correct” should be greatly concerned by the Hastings ruling.

A proper cause for concern was voiced in the dissenting opinion of the minority Justices. Writing for the minority in Hastings, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. called the Court’s decision “a serious setback for freedom” and accused the majority of discriminating against the Christian student group solely on the basis of its religious convictions. He wrote, “The court’s treatment of this case is deeply disappointing,” and its decision “arms public educational institutions with a handy weapon for suppressing the speech of unpopular groups.” Noting that the Constitution protects the bedrock American principle of freedom to express even “the thought that we hate”, he continued by saying, “Today’s decision rests on a very different principle: no freedom for expression that offends prevailing standards of political correctness in our country’s institutions of higher learning.” Deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, in his questioning, observed, “to require this Christian society to allow atheists not just to join, but to conduct Bible classes, right? That’s crazy.”

The minority of Justices tried unsuccessfully to impress their majority counterparts with the soundness of their minority view by asking rhetorically, “Can ‘discrimination’ exist when the regulations of a Christian Society require that its leaders embrace Christian values and beliefs?” In truth, the only “discrimination” inherent in Hastings was the Law School’s refusal to allow the Christian Legal Society to be Christian. The net effect of Hastings? Religious Freedom suffered another significant “blow to the body”.

The following words spoken by Martin Niemöller (who was imprisoned for seven years by the Nazis in a concentration camp because of his beliefs) should motivate you to attend the presentation of Attacks on Religious Liberty – Home & Abroad.

Niemöller said, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Will you speak out? We can no longer slumber and believe the Constitution is sufficient to protect our Religious Freedom.

The Wesley Center for Constitutional Studies, www.johnwesleycenter.org, a non-profit 501C-3 organization focused on preserving our Religious Liberty and our First Amendment Rights, will be covering the costs of their flights to Virginia and their accommodations thanks to generous donations to the Wesley Center.  Attached are the bios for these two exceptional men and a flyer about the Richmond event. Please forward this information to family and friends who would enjoy an invitation.  All events are free and open to guests. It will be a special opportunity to hear Dr. Glenn Kimber and Ambassador Sam Zakhem speak on Religious Freedom!

If you have any questions, please contact Sue by text or phone at 540-319-7700. We hope you can come!

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Virginia Christian Alliance

About Virginia Christian Alliance

The mission of the VIRGINIA CHRISTIAN ALLIANCE is to promote moral, social and scientific issues we face today from a Biblical point of view. In addition we will refute and oppose, not with hate, but with facts and humor, the secular cultural abuses that have overridden laws and standards of conduct of the past. We will encourage Christians to participate in these efforts through conferences, development of position papers, booklets and tracts, radio/TV spots, newspaper ads and articles and letters-to-the editor, web sites, newsletters and providing speakers for church and civic meetings.