(Photo: REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)
A new 140-page report released by the Family Research Council and Liberty Institute reveals a pattern of hostility toward Christians and Christianity in the U.S. The report was released earlier this week and includes over 600 incidents over a 10-year period.
The attacks range from rulings from the judiciary branch to an elementary school student who was physically lifted from his seat and reprimanded for praying before eating his lunch. Yet another example shows a Christian couple was fired as apartment complex managers and forced to move because a painting with a Christian reference was displayed in their office.
Other examples cited in the report include:
• A federal judge threatened "incarceration" to a high school valedictorian unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech.
• City officials prohibited senior citizens from praying over their meals, listening to religious messages or singing gospel songs at a senior activities center.
• Following U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' policies, a federal government official sought to censor a pastor's prayer, eliminating references to Jesus, during a Memorial Day ceremony honoring veterans at a national cemetery.
• A public university's law school banned a Christian organization because it required its officers to adhere to a statement of faith that the university disagreed with.
• The U.S. Department of Justice argued before the Supreme Court that the federal government can tell churches and synagogues which pastors and rabbis it can hire and fire.
• Through the Affordable Care Act ("ObamaCare"), the federal government is forcing religious organizations to provide insurance for birth control and abortion inducing drugs in direct violation of their religious beliefs.
• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs banned the mention of God from veterans' funerals, overriding the wishes of the deceased's families.
• A federal judge held that prayers before a state House of Representatives could be to Allah but not to Jesus.
"America today would be unrecognizable to our Founders. Our First Liberty is facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups and individuals who are using the courts, Congress, and the vast federal bureaucracy to suppress and limit religious freedom," said Kelly Shackelford, president of Liberty Institute. "This radicalized minority is driven by an anti-religious ideology that is turning the First Amendment upside down."
Both organizations presented the findings of the report during a joint press conference in Tampa, Fla., on Monday prior to the Republican Party Convention platform committee to raise that awareness.
The Liberty Institute further pointed out that religious liberty is "facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups" that are using whatever means available to suppress or attack religious freedom.
FRC's Tony Perkins added, "As dark as this survey is, there is much light. The secularists' agenda only advances when those who love liberty are apathetic. Let this be a call to stand for religious liberty in the United States."