Wednesday, January 25, 2017

It Is Dangerous to Believe

Image result for john piippo war
The Via Dolorosa, in Jerusalem

In America, and around the Western world, there is a growing hatred and vilification of Jesus-followers. For details, plus the origin of current anti-religious hatred in the sexual revolution, I'm now reading through Mary Eberstadt's It's Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies.

Here are some examples Eberstadt cites.

  • A high school football coach suspended in Washington State in 2015 for kneeling to say a prayer at the end of a game.
  • The American military chaplains who claim to have been reassigned on account of their faithfulness to traditional Christianity.
  • The small business owners working in the wedding industry at a time when vindictiveness in the name of the sexual revolution is apparently boundless.
  • The Christian staffer at a day-care center who would not address a six-year-old boy as a girl, and was fired on account if it.
  • The teacher fired in New Jersey for giving a curious student a Bible.
  • In 2014, Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla and creator of the JavaScript programming language, loses his job after it is revealed that he donated one thousand dollars on behalf of Proposition 8, a ballot initiative in California limiting marriage to a man and a woman (inter alia, the ballot passed in 2008 by 52 percent of the vote). A cyber-shaming war ensues, and Eich resigns.
  • • A thirty-three-year Catholic theology teacher in New Jersey, Patricia Jannuzzi, is fired for posting statements on her Facebook page expressing Catholic teaching about same-sex marriage.
  • An adjunct professor at the University of Illinois, Kenneth Howell, hired to teach a class in modern Catholic social thought, is suspended from the classroom for teaching modern Catholic thought about natural law. The head of the religion department explains that his explication of Church doctrine concerning homosexuality caused accusations of “hate speech.”
  • A Christian pastor in Atlanta renowned for his work against human trafficking, Louie Giglio, withdraws from giving the benediction at President Barack Obama’s second swearing-in ceremony—the day after a progressive “watchdog” group posts a sermon from the mid-1990s in which he tells Christians to “lovingly but firmly” resist nontraditional marriage, and a social media campaign against him leads White House spokesmen to distance themselves.
  • A visitor to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is ordered to remove a pro-life pin on her lapel before entering, because it is a “religious symbol.”
  • In Massachusetts, an inner-city school district votes to sever ties with a Protestant college whose students tutor failing public school students. A committee member explains, “You have to draw the line somewhere. If the Ku Klux Klan, for example, made the best school lunch in the world, we’re not going to hire them to make the school lunch.”
  • The city of Houston issues subpoenas ordering specific pastors to turn over any sermons mentioning homosexuality, gender identity—and/or the mayor.
  • Catholic and other Christian adoption agencies across America are kept under legal siege that drains resources from the poor and destitute people they try to serve—for the sole reason that political adversaries oppose longstanding Judeo-Christian teaching about sex.
  • • At the University of Texas at Austin, the police department issues a disorderly conduct citation to a street preacher after students complain that his words about STDs and sex offend them. The officer explains that it is illegal to offend the students.
  • An evangelical Christian fire chief in Atlanta is suspended for writing and self-publishing a book professing his Christian beliefs, among them that homosexual behavior is wrong.
  •  A U.S. Marine in North Carolina is court-martialed, given a bad-conduct discharge, and denied military benefits because she pasted a motivational passage from Isaiah 54:17 near her office computer (“No weapons formed against me shall prosper”). According to a military judge, the quotation “could be interpreted as combative . . . [and] could easily be seen as contrary to good order and discipline.”
  • A teacher in Great Britain is fired for praying for a sick child—which her managers define as “bullying.”
  • A Christian health worker in Great Britain is disciplined for “bullying and harassment” after asking a coworker if she’d like a prayer (the coworker said yes), and giving the coworker a book about conversion to Christianity.
  • A couple in Great Britain is denied status as foster parents because they will not recant unwanted passages in the Bible. (Richard Scott, “The Foster Parents,” chapter 5 in Christians in the Firing Line (London: Wilberforce, 2013), pp. 65–81.)
  • A delivery driver in Great Britain loses his job for leaving a crucifix on the dashboard. (Scott, “The Van Driver,” chapter 2 in ibid., pp. 35–41.
  • A preschool teacher in Great Britain is fired for refusing to read a book about same-sex parents aloud to three-year-olds.
  • In Great Britain, in 2015 a preacher was sent to jail for speaking “threatening” words from the Book of Leviticus. In 2008, in Canada, the Alberta Human Rights Commission charged a former Alberta pastor with a “hate crime” for a letter he sent to a local newspaper in 2002, criticizing teaching about sexuality in the province’s education system; after seven years in the legal system, the ruling was overturned in 2009.
There is more...

It is dangerous to believe.

I just located my copy of 1984.