The attack on faith

October 6, 2008 at 5:46 pm 11 comments

There is a blatant attack on religion in our country. It is becoming more apparent as well. The media perpetuates this in record amounts. Being tolerant of every faith other than Christianity has gotten to a highpoint. Christians are becoming the minority and are at risk of becoming persecuted in our own country. A country founded for religious freedom. No matter how you choose to spin it, or rewrite history. This is from the Constitution, The Bill of Rights. It is really there. Not made up.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
— First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

*For more information taken from the Department of State website defining the history of religious freedom.

Condaleeza Rice issued this quote as well, “Religious freedom is at the core of our nation, now as always,” Rice told reporters. “We are a country founded on the belief that all men and women are created equal, that as equals we enjoy certain universal and inalienable rights, and that among these are the right to live without oppression, to worship as we wish, and to think and speak and assemble without retribution.”

Or read Abraham Lincolns 2nd Inaugural address, note the number of references to God. He was free to express his beliefs without fear of persecution. Did he force all men to believe as he did?

Over the past few decades in an effort to be more “tolerant” of other faiths and religions Christianity, which was the religion of our founding fathers, is under attack and is not tolerated. Here is another quote illustrating the explanation of our country’s founding on Christianity:

I think that Christians may be a little out of line on this part of the issue, and I want to bring it into balance. Regarding the question, Is America a Christian nation?, if we mean by that that Christianity is the official, doctrinal religion of this country, the answer is of course not. That’s prohibited by the exclusion clause of the First Amendment. If we mean that we were founded on Biblical principles by Christian men who had a deep commitment to the Scriptures by and large, the answer is certainly yes. Gregory Koukl

So please don’t mistake what I am saying to mean that there is an official religion of our country, but also please don’t assume that Christian men did not found our country.

There are plenty of sources and resources to support whatever view you choose to uphold. Weighing out the true from the untrue are subject to discernment. Under the scrutiny of a Christian faith there are absolute truths as laid forth in the Bible. There are differences in beliefs even within the Christian community, so I am also not suggesting that all Christians believe the same things. (I am referring to all the mainstream Protestant & Catholic denominations.) There are so many variances even within the denominations and all people have free will. We choose what we believe. It is not something forced. Make sure you know why you believe what you do.

Do I think that everyone agrees? No.

Am I going to judge you for not believing? No.

That is not my place. I will respect your views, yet I will not believe that they are right. Just like you will not think I am right. But I will be happy to share what I believe if you want to know.

Should there be persecution publicly for having faith? I don’t think so.

Will it happen anyway? Yes.

I have most recently been upset by this conversation referring to Sarah Palin’s religious beliefs. Please understand she is not pushing her religion on anyone here. She is a woman of faith and as such I am proud of her for not denying her beliefs. No one ever said that we all believe the same thing. When did it become okay to make fun publicly of someone else’s religion? There is no tolerance for someone having a stance on religion. It takes far more courage to stand firm in your faith instead of wavering and trying to appeal to everyone, just to make yourself more popular to everyone.

I was watching for some reason an interview Keith Olbermann did with Rachel Maddow. I have never watched his show and am really not sure why I did this day. I have to tell you, I have never been so disgusted listening to someone make fun of another person as I was here. The comments saying “if there is a god” and “they actually believe in the rapture” and just the overall tone of the conversation is making fun of around 80% of Americans who call themselves Christians. While not that many would be offended since about half of the 80% are not active in their faiths. So still that leaves about 40-50% of Americans being made fun of.

What I find offensive is the fact that they are so callous and rude. If you can be tolerant of Obama’s faith than why can’t you be tolerant of Palin’s? The attacks on Obama’s church were not attacking his core faith. They were questioning his association with a blatantly anti-American pastor. There is no possible way to argue that Jeremiah Wright is not inflammatory in his speech. That said if Obama chooses to believe all that Wright said, that would be his choice. Just as is the faith of every other American. I am not in a position to judge anyone else’s religious beliefs.

Let me be clear in saying, I believe the Bible. I do believe the teaching of Jesus and am not ashamed to say it. Therefore much of my views on social policy reflects my faith. Please understand this is not a slam on anyone, but I am entitled to feel safe to worship as I choose without fear of persecution and voice my opinions as well. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on the hot topics (right to life and lifestyle choices to mention a few). I don’t discriminate against people with views opposite mine. I may not agree, but those are your views, your choices. Don’t harass and shame others just because you don’t agree. That is not constructive or very nice.

With attacks on Christianity expanding every year I am worried more as time goes by. I just want respect for my faith and my children’s faith. If you can grant respect and tolerance to everyone else, why not me too? For the non-believer, the Muslim, all faiths? I know I have no problem with other faiths. We all have the same freedom guaranteed by the Constitution as Americans.

I have to point this out too. What is up with in public schools at Christmas they spend time making sure that everyone’s faith is represented – the exclusion of Christianity. Now let’s be serious here for a minute: Christmas Trees and Santa have NOTHING to do with Christianity. They are secular icons used at the holiday. I just want to make sure that my children are able to have their holiday celebrated and taught too. And frankly that is why my children go to a private school, to make sure that they are able to celebrate their beliefs (not to mention that the education in public schools can be questionable sometimes)

More links illustrating some attacks on religion:

THE NEW TOLERANCE

Article: It’s politically correct, but does it hold danger for followers of Christ? Is love the same thing as tolerance?

Is Christian Tolerance Tolerable Anymore?

Palin’s Religious Beliefs same as Middle America

New Tolerance, No Virtue

**Please keep any comments to refrain from slamming or bashing personally. Constructive comments will be approved.

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11 Comments Add your own

  • […] The attack on faith By rightwingchicky I am referring to all the mainstream Protestant & Catholic denominations. There are so many variances even within the denominations and all people have free will. We choose what we believe. It is not something forced. … Right Wing Chicks – https://rightwingchicky.wordpress.com […]

  • 2. Tiffany  |  October 7, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I am for religious tolerance but until the religious right quis trying to legislate their morality for everyone they will have problems. Take gay marriage for instance…why in the world can they be denied a right that everyone else has? Because Christians feel it is immoral. We don’t want religion and their interpretation of morality to be forced on all of us which is what laws like that do.

  • 3. rightwingchicky  |  October 8, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Thanks! I appreciate your comment. I would like to add to it a bit. It is not just the religious “right” who do not support homosexual marriage. There are plenty of Christians that do support it, while I am not one of them, there are many within the church. As well, Barack Obama and Joe Biden do not support homosexual marriage either. If you read their stance they support civil rights being granted – hospital visitation, etc. Which even though I disagree with the lifestyle, I do support.

    I understand this is just an example of the point you were trying to make, but there is only one other major issue that is brought up regularly and blamed on the church. But you have sparked my interest. Look for a post this week with the historical definition of marriage and some different political and religious stances.

  • 4. Paul  |  October 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    “The Lord will fight for His people” isn’t that the cliché? I don’t think we can do anything more than staying focus, keep keeping on with the faith..

  • 5. Keith  |  October 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Hi, thanks for your blog and your thoughts. They are well said and I appreciate that your tone is not snarky and combative. We have waaaaaaay too much of that. Thank you also for pointing out that there is a wide diversity even among denominations. You and I represent that. I am a Christian who believes fervently in the teachings and personhood of Christ, I don’t think we would disagree on basic orthodoxies. However, people such as Sarah Palin…different story. I don’t disagree that Keith and Rachel’s tone was a little nasty at times. However, Sarah Palin has opened herself up to this in my opinion. I too, for a split second, thought it was exciting to see someone of deep faith in such a position (though I still would not have voted for the ticket due to Christ-motivated social justice issues which seem to often be ridiculed by the right, inexplicably), but then it quickly became apparent that she was willing to distort the truth for the sake of the election. She does not give satisfactory answers to questions that relate to her faith and her responses seem to indicate a self-righteous air of…I don’t have to answer that because I’m better than the question and I’m better than you. It’s disappointing. That’s just my opinion though.

  • […] blogger feels her faith is under attack. So is it time for Christians to defend their faith? Are other […]

  • 7. John D. Augustine - WI USA  |  October 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    I don’t buy the argument that Christian faith is under attack. I believe you disrespect the memory of every person who has truly been persecuted for their faith when you attempt to compare their suffering to that of a major party political candidate who has been the victim of “callous and rude” behavior. No one is stopping Sarah Palin from expressing her religious views. Nor has any politician ever been prevented from letting their faith guide them in making decisions. You are confusing persecution of religion with the will to challenge those who would use religion as a means to hold on to political power. Jesus himself confronted those who attempted to wield such moral authority.

    I would not accuse you of deliberately using scare tactics, but if what you say instills fear in the hearts of those who listen, then you have acted to that effect. Jesus asked forgiveness for those who act without knowing what they do. But he also asks us to consider what we do, so that we will not do such things again. Have you considered the history of violence that has occurred in this country when people have acted out of fear and anger, rather than abiding faith?

    Do you still want Christians to believe that their faith is under attack? Is faith in God and love for your neighbors what your words encourage here?

  • 8. rightwingchicky  |  October 15, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Thanks for commenting. I was surprised that this post was picked up by World Have Your Say and was curious how things would play out as to the interpretation of my point.

    I am in no way trying to disrespect Christians that have died while defending their faith. I respect and admire them all, and pray that I would do as well if I were ever in the same situation. As well my thoughts are prayers are with those that are currently suffering physically under such attacks. This post was in no way meant to be a comparison to that type of attack at all.

    This post was aimed at a specific example of how religion is made into a mockery in the media. As well as how tolerance for Christian beliefs is lacking. I have been told I am just wrong for believing as I do. My issue comes to the point that, no one else gets to decide for me if I am right or wrong. Just as I cannot decide for anyone else.

    Politicians are harassed and frequently spoken about on television for their faiths. Quite often questioning if their having faith will impact their office. Many believe, and if you watch the clip I posted you will see, that by virtue of having faith your decisions will be called into question to make sure you are separating church from state. Which unless you vote a certain way on certain decisions, you will be seen as allowing your religious beliefs to guide your political decisions.

    This video was not about Sarah Palin expressing her views, I was pointing out the pundits comments regarding her faith. I have not found her to be abusing her religion, nor Bush, Obama, McCain, etc to “hold on to poitiical power” My problem is that because as a conservative the views are less tolerated as mainstream society demads more liberal options.

    There was no intent to scare anyone. I was just expressing frustration at something that is a pet peeve of mine. I do think Christians need to be on guard and prepared to stand up for what they believe in. And I hope that perhaps it is a reminder to us all to take note of what is going on around us and not be afraid to believe.

    I do not think that my lack of faith in God was ever in question in my post either.

  • 9. Keith  |  October 15, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    First I wanted to thank John D. Augustine for his powerful, poignant, and dare I say prophetic post. I just want to add, after having been vigorously engaged on the WHYS blog (I was on standby to be a call-in guest as well), that this is all a matter of fractured context. If Fox News is your context than the idea that you might be verbally persecuted is a joke, as Fox news is a sham and people like Hannity ought not be considered journalists as they embarrass anyone who considers themselves a Christian by shouting down guests with whom they disagree and then mock Obama for not participating in the circus. If an international intellectual forum like WHYS is the forum, then as a Christian you have to be ready to really stand up and speak well for your faith, while hopefully maintaining civility and dignity (as opposed to say….yelling terrorist! off with his head!). I think the twisted thing here that gets it all mixed up is…according to half the country someone like Obama is not allowed to be a Believer. He just isn’t. According to James Dobson and many others you just can’t be a democrat and care about all the other Jesus issues he doesn’t address in his docket. Conversely, the postmodern atheist/humanist set will paint anyone who believes anything to do with Jesus as a looney tune. I hate that I turn on my conservative Christian station with preachers that I love to hear….and hear bile spewed suggesting that Obama is some wolf in sheeps clothing looking to decieve us and turn us into communist muslim s (which is it? they can’t all be true!) along with the tacit support of anything with the republican label that gives only insulting lipservice to Jesus beloved “least of these.” ie. let the freemarket do it’s thing, let the rich get rich, stretch that needle’s eye wide for them, and local church programs and trickle down economics will fix all those poor folk we don’t want to talk about….but…I also hate blogging on a BBC program (whose moderators and organizers I must applaud for their attempts at balance) and being attacked by rabid atheist attack dogs who don’t even want a real conversation, who smell religion of any sort and start frothing at the mouth, who absolutely refuse intelligent dialogue and insist on simply spouting pop-atheist talking points much as Sarah Palin spouts memorized and misleading inflammatory rhetoric (which WILL if she doesn’t quit, cause violence).

    The question is for Christians like yourself, and myself….will we meet each other in the middle and embrace as brothers and sisters in Christ, or will we sneak behind one of the ramparts because it provides identification and strength in numbers? Obviously, I lean one way and you lean the other but if we both claim Christ as Lord of our lives, what business do we have occupying “wings” that divide us?

  • 10. rightwingchicky  |  October 15, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    I did try to post on the WHYS blog and it apparently was not approved, so I did try to jump in over there.

    I am open and willing to come to common ground in Christ. My intent was never to suggest otherwise.

    My views and opinions are just that my views and opinions.

    As long as we live in a democracy we will be free to disagree on those.

    My intent is not to questions anothers faith but instead to challenge belivers to stand up for what they believe, intellectually and to point out something that I noticed in the media.

    I am open to listening and will respect views. I might not change my mind, but I will listen – so long as it is respectful and with something to back it up. If I choose to change my opinion is another question 🙂

    I appreciate your posts and stand that you took on WHYS today. I believe it does prove the point that I was trying to make about the lack of tolerance and respect for Christianity.

    Please feel free to visit my blog and comment anytime.

  • 11. John D. Augustine - WI USA  |  October 22, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    I can see how the last question of my previous post may have suggested that your faith in God was in question. What I meant to ask was for you to consider whether your words had a uniting or dividing effect.

    I must admit, that when I said you had unfairly compared criticism of Sarah Palin with persecution of religious faiths, I was thinking of the way that it was so recently considered socially acceptable in this country to blame the Jews for a host of economic problems, and the way it is now considered politically acceptable to blame Muslims for terrorism.

    But I have since considered how my own perspective may have been one-sided. By the same token that the message of the prophet Mohammed is perverted by the term “Islamic terrorism,” the message of Jesus Christ is perverted every time the media refers to the “Christian right.”

    There have always been those who would use the religious faith of others to promote their own political agendas. It is up to people of faith to ask whether their leaders represent the teachings of their religious doctrines, or their political ones.

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