Is it possible for Christians to come to a place of persecution right here in the United States? Perhaps it has not really seemed that alarming that prayer has been banned from public schools, or that the nativity at the city square was seemingly so repulsive. It might not have even seemed like a huge concern that there was a movement afoot to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, or “in God we trust” from U.S. currency and coins. We may have even shrugged our shoulders when we were told that it was unconstitutional to post the ten commandments in public buildings. We could, of course, continue with many examples of assaults upon the Christian faith. But could these seemingly innocuous examples of a lack of tolerance toward Christians ever turn into red hot persecution?
Perhaps we should learn from history how persecution arises. When the Jews were attacked by Hitler, it did not begin as a full out military attack. When he became Chancellor in 1933, he started by merely proclaiming a one-day boycott against Jewish shops. That year he also saw to it that a law was passed against Kosher butchering. In the public schools Jewish children began to experience restrictions. By 1935, the Nuremburg Laws deprived Jews of German citizenship. In 1936, Jews were prohibited from participation in parliamentary elections and signs appeared in many German cities reading, “Jews not welcome.” We know how this story ends, with the deaths of six million Jews. Perhaps we didn’t know that it began with a leader just changing a law here and another law there. I’m sure there were some lifted eyebrows when the law was passed against Kosher butchering, but I doubt very seriously that the people could have ever believed that it would go to the horrible depths in which it ended.
But it all started with a leader just making a few changes here, and a few changes there.
People of Biblical faith are clearly under attack in our country and it is time that we started calling attention to what is taking place. David Barton is the founder and president of Wall Builders, a national pro family organization that presents America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious and constitutional heritage. Recently he wrote an article in which he contends that President Obama is the most Biblically-Hostile U.S. president that we have ever had. In this article he lists the many attacks that have come out of the White House against people of Biblical faith. While I do not have near enough space to list all of the attacks that have taken place, I would like to share with you just parts of this list. For the full list you can go to wallbuilders.com.
1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith: (Barton gives a list of 16, I list only 4)
April 2009 - When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. (My note: Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is the oldest Jesuit and Catholic university in the United States.)
May 2009 - Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. (In the same month he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan.)
January 2011 - After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court.
January 2012 - The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis.
2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith: (Barton list 9, I list only 3)
June 2011 - The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery.
September 2011 - The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (ie. Bibles, reading materials and/ or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.
February 2012 - The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian.
3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values: (Barton list 17, I list only 5)
May 2009 - Obama official assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities.
July 2009 - The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direct violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
July 2010 - The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion.
September 2010 - The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.
February 2011 - Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
4. Acts of preferentiallism for Islam: (Barton list 8, I list only 3)
April 2010 - Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community.
April 2010 - The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc.
February 2012 - The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do.
Why do I call this to your attention? The first step in taking care of a problem is to realize that one exist. The fact is, our nation is quickly moving from a place in which many want to silence us to the place in which they do not tolerate us. When I became pastor of my first church in 1977 I would have never believed that a day was coming that Christians were looked upon as anything more than the finest of citizens in our American communities. Something has gone terribly wrong.