Religious freedom (really, Christian freedom) is increasingly coming under attack here in America. Secular intolerance of any hint of Christianity in the public arena is intensifying, and religious freedom is often being interpreted only to allow for expression of religion at home or in private. Secular groups are trying to force their very narrow view of religious freedom—which is basically an attempt to replace Christianity with the secular religion of atheism—on our culture.
Well, recently the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) submitted a complaint because an Air Force major had an open Bible on display on his desk. They claim he should be “aggressively punished” for this act. Base officials are now investigating whether or not having an open Bible at his desk violated the so-called separation of church and state.
The founder of MRFF said in a statement, “It [the Bible] is very obviously a statement of Christian preference, Christian primacy” and accused the major of “harboring and encouraging a truly abhorrent example of First Amendment civil rights violations . . . . That desk belongs to the American people, to the U.S. military. If that desk was in his home or his car it would not be a problem.” So according to the MRFF founder, the major is free to read or display his Bible at home, but not at work. We’re increasingly seeing claims like this that imply that religious freedom only extends to private life.
Nate Kellum, the Chief Counsel for the Center for Religious Expression, a not-for-profit public interest law firm, shared this with me:
In truth, the First Amendment jealously protects the rights of citizens to express their beliefs—even Christian ones—in public, whether on the street or in the workplace, even if you happen to work for the United States Air Force. No one in the armed services has to check their constitutional rights to gain entry to a military installation. If these men and women fight for our rights, they should at least have the freedom to enjoy them. The notion that the government must quarantine all religious sentiments behind closed doors is wrong-headed and finds no support in the law.
It can be very discouraging to see the growing number of cases like this one around the United States. But we need to remember that this world is not our home (Hebrews 13:14), and regardless of the culture or government, we’ve been called to preach the gospel and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). In our increasingly secular culture, we need to be dedicated to standing firmly on the foundation of God’s Word and preaching the good news of the gospel to those around us. It’s the saving gospel—and only the gospel—that will impart lasting change in this nation. Pray that people will be returning to God’s Word instead of building their thinking on man’s fallible word.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.