Religious Freedom Violations in U.S. Have Grown by 76 Percent Since 2014

Every once in a while, some readers tell me to stop talking about former President Barack Obama. They say anything he did or did not do is old news and that I should focus on what’s going on now.

Generally, that’s good advice. There’s only so long you can dwell on the past. But I believe I’m justified to criticize the former president. What he did in the White House continues to hurt Americans.

For example, Obama’s presidency made people more hostile toward religion. That’s not something that goes away immediately. It can last a long time.

Report: Huge Increase in Religious Freedom Violations

Last week, the Family Research Council released a 66-page report. It said that since 2014, there has been a 76 percent increase in religious freedom violations in the U.S.

The council’s president, Tony Perkins, said, “The recent spike in government driven religious hostility is sad, but not surprising, especially considering the Obama Administration’s antagonism toward biblical Christianity.”

The name of the report is “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in America.” Religious violations, include:

  • The Federal Reserve forced an Oklahoma bank to remove Christmas decorations. (God forbid we celebrate a holiday that’s been around for 2,000 years.)
  • The Freedom from Religion Foundation protested having Mother Theresa on a stamp. Why? Because she was a religious figure. (She was also a Nobel Peace Prize recipient.)
  • A school penalized an 11-year-old student in Hattiesburg, Mississippi for mentioning Jesus. And get this? It was in a Christmas poetry assignment. (Didn’t Jesus put the “Christ” in “Christmas.”)
  • In 2011, the Obama Administration was against placing a copy of a D-Day prayer on a World War II memorial in Washington, D.C. The kicker is: the prayer was by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Three years later, they allowed it.)
  • A Christian acappella group at James Madison University couldn’t perform “Mary Did You Know?” because it is too religious. They could only sing secular songs. (Perhaps they should have sung something university officials would be more comfortable with. Like modern music about drug use and treating women like objects.)
  • The Freedom from Religion Foundation sued the city of Santa Clara, California. The city’s crime? They displayed a granite cross in Memorial Cross Park. (Wow! If you can’t have a cross in a park named “Memorial Cross Park,” where can you have one?)
  • An Ohio library banned a Christian group from meeting to discuss traditional marriage. The library told the group they had to include supporters of same-sex marriage. (Let me turn the tables: Would they force a group wishing to discuss same-sex marriage to include those who support traditional marriage?)
  • In 2012, the government banned prayers at a homeless shelter in Evansville, Illinois. Even though the prayers were open to all and were not required. (Now, they only allow a moment of silence.)
  • San Diego firefighters were threatened with discipline if they refused to participate in a gay pride parade. (The firefighters were then insulted during the parade.)
  • In 2013, the Freedom from Religion Foundation (yes, them again) demanded that the city of Coos Bay, Oregon remove its Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. Guess why? Because it includes a cross. (So far, the city has refused to remove it.)
  • Principal Frank Lay and Athletic Director Robert Freedom were charged with criminal contempt in Santa Rosa County, California. Because they prayed over a meal. No students were present during this after-hours luncheon. (Fortunately, they were declared not guilty.)
  • There are too many examples of attempts to remove nativity scenes, “In God We Trust” mottos and “God Bless America” signs to include here.

Folks, the religious freedom we once enjoyed is slipping away. Slowly but surely.

As Travis Weber, director for the Center of Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, said, “Anyone who desires freedom in the future must take note of what these trends tell us about our freedom right now, relative to where we have come from.”

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