A growing number of Christians– a shocking amount, actually– are convinced that America’s glory days are over and that Christians are now a marginalized group on the verge of having all of their rights stripped away. I recently saw an advertisement for a nation-wide Christian event prior to the election, and the advertisement boasted they would help Christians figure out what to do in a country that was growing hostile towards Christianity. Elsewhere, right-wing politicians and religious talking-heads like Franklin Graham are trying to convince people that “religious liberty” is not only being threatened, but on the verge of disappearing.
In some corners, it’s all out panic. Leaders are shouting it, and the simple-minded unquestionably believe it.
Except– and here’s the kicker– it’s not true.
The idea that America is hostile to Christians and that the liberty to practice Christianity is under attack is misguided at best, and a complete fabrication designed to control the fearful and ignorant at worst.
Religious freedom and free speech is alive and well in America. These freedoms aren’t just tolerated, but embraced.
What is not embraced, and what the majority of citizens (Christians citizens, mind you) are growing increasingly hostile towards, are fringe Christian extremists who are trying to institute their own version of sharia law that infringes on the rights and liberties of the rest of us.
There’s a massive difference between freedom to practice one’s religion in a pluralistic society where we all equally have that right, versus enshrining one’s extremist religious views in laws that are imposed on the rest of us. There’s a big difference between saying that you want to be free and not forced to marry someone of the same sex, versus wanting to deny that right to someone else you don’t even know. There’s a big difference between wanting the freedom to own a business and conduct commerce freely in the public square, versus demanding to run a business that discriminates and infringes on the basic rights and dignities of everyone else.
No one is trying to stop you from being a Christian. The country is not growing hostile towards Christians. It’s just growing hostile towards extremist, religious bullies, who are trying to hijack the nation and force everyone to live under their own set of morals and ethics.
Growing hostile towards that kind of nonsense is not the same thing as growing hostile towards Christianity. It’s not even close.