Hostility to religion surged 133% in last 5 Obama years

By Bob Unruh

Holy-Bible

Instances of hostility to religion across America surged 133 percent during the last five years of the Obama administration, according to a new report that documents more than 1,400 incidents ranging from the Obamacare attacks on faithful Christians to various prison restrictions on Muslims and Sikhs.

Critics say it shouldn’t be a surprise, since the former president claimed that the United States never was a “Christian nation.”

WND reported that during the last year of Obama’s administration, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights under his direction lamented how many restrictions there were on the government’s ability to restrict the impact of religious beliefs.

At that time, the agency’s report, “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties,” got immediately to the point.

In the first of 306 pages, the “letter of transmittal” to Obama stated, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.”

It said the fault lies with the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which “constricts the ability of government actors to curtail private citizens’ rights to the protections of nondiscrimination laws and policies.”

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”

“Although the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act … limit the ability of government actors to impede individuals from practicing their religious beliefs, religious exemptions from nondiscrimination laws and policies must be weighed carefully and defined narrowly on a fact-specific basis,” states the letter.

The plan then was that federal legislation “should be considered to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions and only to the extent that they do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights protections against status-based discrimination.”

“States with RFRA-style laws should amend those statutes to clarify that RFRA creates First Amendment Free Exercise Clause rights only for individuals and religious institutions. States with laws modeled after RFRA must guarantee that those statutes do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights with status-based discrimination.”

The nonprofit legal group Liberty Counsel called the commission’s recommendations “a shocking example of the war against religious freedom in America.”

“The commission’s report is a shameful anti-American and anti-God document that trashes religious freedom,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

The new revelations about the surge in acts of hate against religion come in a report from First Liberty.

It has released its 2017 edition of “Undeniable,” a compilation of narratives about the attacks.

The group said its new report, now updated for the fifth year, includes more than 1,400 incidents of “religious hostility.”

“Though the survey is cumulative and includes cases from previous years, this makes for an approximately 15 percent increase in the total number of cases since the 2016 edition and a 133 percent increase since the survey was first published five years ago,” the organization reported.

“Thought leaders across the country use ‘Undeniable’ as a way to understand what’s happening,” said Jeremy Dys, First Liberty’s deputy general counsel. “It may be a lawmaker at the federal or state level, or journalists who want to get more information.”

First Liberty President Kelly Shackelford said: “People often go through ‘Undeniable’ and see short, documented descriptions of case after case after case, and say, ‘I had no idea.’ And these constitute only the tip of the iceberg – the ones that made the legal dockets, newspaper, or some source we could find and verify.”

He said there’s “a real battle for the future of our country for our kids and grandkids.”

“And ‘Undeniable’ is a demonstration of that battle. It shows what’s at stake as you read the stories from all over the country.”

Alexia Palm was one of those stories.

A Catholic immigrant from Guatemala, she was fired from her job as a health educator in Houston, Texas, after she refused to “put aside” her beliefs and teach birth control.

“In the meeting, they basically told me I must violate my faith or lose my job,” she explained. In May 2017, First Liberty announced an amicable settlement with her former employer.

Another story is Rabbi Rich.

His small Orthodox Jewish congregation, Toras Chaim, faced the potential loss of its meeting place after a disgruntled neighbor filed a lawsuit challenging the synagogue’s ability to meet in a home.

“I never imagined that in America someone would try to shut down a small synagogue,” Rich said.

The list also includes major cases such as the Obama administration’s demand that Christians who oppose abortion pay for it under Obamacare rules.

The project tracks instances of religious hostility in the public arena, in education, among religious institutions and in the U.S. military.

“Each of the more than 1,400 incidents … is documented by a court case, a news report, First Liberty’s website, the sites of similar organizations and opposing groups, or another form of citation,” the organization said.

“‘Undeniable’ is not alone in its findings regarding religious hostility. International Christian Concern (ICC), a global watchdog group that monitors prevalent types of religious persecution, included America for the first time in its yearly ‘Hall of Shame’ report published in January 2017,” the report said.

“To deny that religious freedom is in crisis in America is to deny the obvious,” the report explains.” And yet there are deniers. Ironically, they include those who launch the very attacks that have caused the crisis itself.”

The report, in its public arena chapter, cites the state of Georgia’s attack on Christian speech by Eric Walch, who was terminated for serving his church as a lay preacher, and the case of Barton v. City of Balch Springs in which officials told seniors at a senior center they could not pray before their meals.

While the report reveals “that attacks on religious liberty continued to increase … this survey also shows that those persons and organizations who stand up for religious liberty win when they fight.”

The report concluded, “As more and more Americans become aware of the growing attacks on religious liberty and learn about what their rights are, they can stand and turn back the tides of secularism and hostility that have so eroded religious liberty – America’s First Freedom.”

Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”

Source:: World Net Daily Faith

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