New Index Finds Huge Majorities Of Americans Back Religious Freedom In Public And Private Life

Massive majorities of Americans across the political spectrum support maximum toleration and accommodation of religious practices in the public and private realms, according to a newly launched annual survey.

The accompanying chart dramatically demonstrates that support for religious freedom is overwhelmingly bipartisan, cutting across the ideological and party spectrums. The yellow areas indicate opposition, while the blue areas represent support for religious freedom.

The 2019 Religious Freedom Index from the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty is a nationally representative survey of 1,000 individuals who were asked a battery of 21 questions designed to measure opinion on six major dimensions of religious freedom in America. Continue reading “New Index Finds Huge Majorities Of Americans Back Religious Freedom In Public And Private Life”

FIRST AMENDMENT: Supreme Court Delivers Huge Win For First Amendment, Tolerance

In a 7-2 decision with Justice Samuel Alito writing the opinion for the majority, the Supreme Court said Thursday that a Maryland memorial dedicated to the memories of 49 local residents who died in World War I does not violate the Constitution simply because a cross is its most prominent feature.

HillFaith founder and editor, Mark Tapscott

“For nearly a century, the Bladensburg Cross has expressed the community’s grief at the loss of the young men who perished, its thanks for their sacrifice, and its dedication to the ideals for which they fought,” said Alito, one of the High Court’s most conservative members.

“It has become a prominent community landmark, and its removal or radical alteration at this date would be seen by many, not as a neutral act but as the manifestation of ‘a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause traditions,’” Alito said.

The latter statement quoted from a concurring decision written by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer.

Alito also wrote that “the Religion Clauses of the Constitution aim to foster a society in which people of all beliefs can live together harmoniously, and the presence of the Bladensburg Cross on the land where it has stood for so many years is fully consistent with that aim.”

Go here for the text of the Court’s decision.

 

Why Do You Persecute Me?

By Bret Bernhardt

How are we to respond when various threats are made against us as believers?

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

One such threat was discussed in this space — “TOLERANCE TODAY: Harvard Keynoter Said Jews, Christians Should Be ‘Locked Up’ For Their Views” — regarding a recent symposium in which a speaker previously advocated imprisoning Christians and Jews for their beliefs.

In today’s hyper-charged environment, these type of  statements are becoming more frequent. It’s understandable how one would react when hearing something like this. For me, a sense of indignation, fear, and anger are the emotions I typically feel.

Continue reading “Why Do You Persecute Me?”

TOLERANCE TODAY: Harvard Keynoter Said Jews, Christians Should Be ‘Locked Up’ For Their Views

Things get ugly when permission to speak depends upon whether the hearer agrees with what is said

A recent keynote speaker at the Harvard University Art & Science Faculty Conference on Diversity told his Twitter followers in 2015 that people who base their spiritual beliefs on the Hebrew scriptures should be “locked up.”

Author and speaker Tim Wise went on in that tweet, saying “people basing their beliefs on the fable of Noah and the Ark, or their interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah … rather than science or logic … If you are basing your morality on a fairy tale written thousands of years ago, you deserve to be locked up … detained for your utter inability to deal with reality … NO, we are not obligated to indulge your irrationality in the name of your religious freedom …”

Author Tim Wise.

Wise undoubtedly thinks everybody else — including those who accept the Hebrew scriptures and all other “fairy tales” — absolutely are obligated to respect his spiritual beliefs or lack thereof.

Continue reading “TOLERANCE TODAY: Harvard Keynoter Said Jews, Christians Should Be ‘Locked Up’ For Their Views”

Would You Go To Jail For Your Basic Beliefs, Like This Chinese Pastor?

Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, is in jail, accused by the Communist government in Beijing of “inciting subversion of state power.”

The pastor absolutely denies the charges, which are based on the fact he preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ, including His claim to be “the King of Kings” and His injunction to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and the things that are God’s to God.”

Continue reading “Would You Go To Jail For Your Basic Beliefs, Like This Chinese Pastor?”