Americans think of the USA as the land of the free and the home of the brave, but the very word freedom is being redefined by people who want to end freedom of religion as we have known it. They are doing it in the USA. They are doing it in Canada. If Christians sit still and do not act to defend the concept of freedom, there will be no more freedom in either the USA or Canada. It will happen by the mechanism of changing the definition of religious liberty.
In Canada, the redefinition comes via a plan to blacklist graduates of a Christian law school. Two provincial law societies have voted to forbid graduates of Trinity Western University’s law school to be admitted to practice law in their provinces. The reason: the Christian code of conduct that is taught and practiced at TWU. These two law societies think that people who live by Christian values should not be allowed to practice law. Think of the uproar that would be heard around the world if these societies had voted to forbid blacks or Muslims to practice law.
Disdain for Christian values and principles of living is not limited to Canada. In December of 2013 the Center for American Progress hosted a gathering to discuss “How the conservative campaign for ‘religious liberty’ undermines fairness and liberty for all.” The advance publicity for the event stated, “Under the guise of religious liberty, conservatives are organizing to impose their theological doctrines on others,” and stated that discussion would “focus on current attempts by conservatives to insert religious doctrine into public policy,” asserting that the meeting was necessitated by a need to protect “shared American values of basic fairness, tolerance, and equal protection under the law.” It takes a dramatic reinterpretation of the Constitution in order to make this redefinition of religious liberty stand, but it is being asserted as if it were already ruled to be normal, just as the CAP has preemptively asserted that homosexuality and same-sex marriage and transgender bathroom sharing is normal.
The outcome should be no surprise. According to Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, interpretation of the Bible, “ought never threaten the federal government and the way people are ruled by law . . . an interpretation of the Bible is of little consequence to the guarantee of the Constitution.” In the discussions at this meeting, Christians who live by the principles of their faith were classified as “hidebound,” a term that calls to mind the term “conscience-bound” which progressive Christians use to castigate their fellow Christians who insist that the Bible means what it says on every subject. In phrases reminiscient of Barack Obama’s characterization of the residents of small towns who “cling” to guns and religion, the Center for American Progress glibly labeled committed Christians as people who “fear change, dislike people who differ from them, and use ‘religious liberty’ to justify their discriminatory views.”
Clearly, the Center for American Progress is saying that a Christian who agrees with the Bible’s definition of sin and refuses to participate in sin is engaged in illegal discrimination, not in the exercise of his faith, a right protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The Center for American Progress does not accept the right of a Christian to refuse to participate in behavior that the Bible classifies as sin.
This situation is exactly what Christians faced in the first century when they refused to worship the emperor. Dr. Gaddy says that the Bible cannot be permitted to interfere with whatever the federal government wants to do. First century Romans said that Christians were permitted to walk on the roads the Romans built and live in communities guarded by Roman soldiers. In consequence, Romans felt that first century Christians owed the emperor and ought to “give back” by worshiping his statue. In the first century, many Christians suffered torture and death rather than participate in the sin of worshiping an idol or a human being, behavior the Bible calls sin. In the twenty-first century, Christians are being pushed to participate in behavior that Bible calls sin, and the Center for American Progress is advocating that Christians be classified as bigots who are disobeying the law, not as citizens who exercise their faith in ways protected by the Constitution.
It is precisely the same issue that led two law societies in Canada to blacklist Christian law graduates. It is not yet too late for either Canada or the USA to come to their senses and put a stop to the assault on religious liberty. It is not too late today. If Christians do not speak up and act publicly to protect liberty, the day will come when liberty will be gone and attempts to resurrect it will have as much effect as dipping water with a sieve.
Pray, speak, act and vote to protect religious freedom. Cherish the First Amendment. Love your neighbor, but do not let your neighbor redefine the terms of religious liberty.