It is wide out in the open now – The Left has no intention of giving equal privileges to people on the Right: Their criminals go free (Paul Pelosi, Hunter Biden, etc.), while innocent conservatives get persecuted by the IRS, censored by Facebook, perp-walked by the FBI, etc.
We can add religion to this list as well. There are numerous photos of Pres. Biden’s newly appointed monkeypox response coordinator, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, showing off his collection of pentagram clothing and assorted satanic tattoos (you can get a sampling here). And you are not allowed to criticize him for that because it would be hateful. But if you are a committed Christian, you can be mocked, you can be forced to have a covid shot made from aborted babies shoved into your arm, you can have your pro-life church or pregnancy center vandalized or fire-bombed, and all the rest of it.
Thus far, the response of conservatives to this has been inadequate. It is typified in how Rep. Mike Johnson responded to Little Demon:
The majority of the Founders, having personally witnessed the abuses of the Church of England, were determined to prevent the official establishment of any single national denomination or religion. However, they very deliberately listed religious liberty (the free exercise of religion) as the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights **because they wanted everyone to freely live out their faith–-as that would ensure a robust presence of moral virtue in the public square and the free marketplace of ideas.**
Hi telling of the history is only partly correct. He is right that there was discomfort with the idea of an established church at the federal level, but the first amendment to the Philadelphia constitution was not written to dismantle all established churches existing in the States in order to implement an individualistic free market for religions. A number of them continued to have State-established churches after the first amendment was adopted, and no one pitched a fit over it. In other words, it is up to each individual State to determine whether it wants to adopt Christianity as her official religion, and support it accordingly, or not. The federal first amendment is not a blanket ban on their doing so. Justice Thomas has been insistent on this point in his opinions written for several important religion cases that have gone before the federal Supreme Court.
This is critical because of what Rep. Johnson says: ‘because they wanted everyone to freely live out their faith–-as that would ensure a robust presence of moral virtue in the public square and the free marketplace of ideas.’
A public square open to all religions will not ensure morality in public or private life. In fact, the vagaries of phrases like the ‘free exercise of religion’ are being weaponized against traditional Christians. We have pointed out some examples of that in past essays, but here is yet another one, from The Wall Street Journal:
As bans on abortion take effect in a number of states, faith leaders with liberal views on the issue are taking a page out of the conservative legal playbook, arguing in new lawsuits that the restrictions infringe on their religious beliefs.
Rabbis, Christian ministers, Buddhists and Quakers are among legal challengers who say the bans are preventing them from exercising their own religious views about when abortions are permissible. They also say the new laws have made clergy afraid that if they counsel their parishioners on abortion, they could face legal risk for aiding and abetting the procedure.
And here is another claiming psychedelic drug use deserves ‘religious freedom’ protections.
Conservatives have to stop being passive in the face of Leftist assaults on traditional Christianity; there is no fair play with Leftists in a free market; they have no scruples about rigging the game. We have to use the Left’s own methods against them: Gain control of the levers of power and use them to protect and strengthen conservative ideas and institutions – the family, small farmers and businessmen, unwoke schools, judges who will actually jail hardened criminals, energy policies grounded in reality, and, yes, the Church.
There are any number of ways elected officials can strengthen Christianity in Louisiana and the other States. Chief among them is to pass a State constitutional amendment making Christianity the official religion of said State, and clarifying that the ‘free exercise of religion’ is reserved primarily for Christians and for other religions that are not antagonistic to traditional Christian beliefs and practices.
Next, they could pass a law giving us more Christian holidays besides Christmas and Easter. There are actually 12 Great Feasts on the Church’s calendar – Why not give us a few more days off during the year to celebrate some or all of them, to move our focus from the hurly-burly of earthly matters for a little while to the serene beauty of the heavenly world?
Last, if satanists can openly parade in their pentagrams, then Christians should openly carry the Holy Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ in response. St. John of San Francisco (+1966) says in his sermon for the Feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross (14 Sept.),
The Cross is the unconquerable weapon of pious kings in the battle with enemies. Through the apparition of the Cross in the sky, the dominion of Emperor Constantine was confirmed and an end was put to the [Roman] persecution against the Church. The apparition of the Cross in the sky in Jerusalem in the days of Constantius the Arian proclaimed the victory of Orthodoxy.
Is it too much to ask of our elected officials, who make no end of speaking about their ‘Christian values’, to follow in the footsteps of those awful ‘autocratic’ Christian kings and queens and erect some crosses at the State Legislature, in the executive mansion, in the courts, to put evil forces to flight? Or in the schools, sheriff’s offices, AG’s office, etc.? Is it too difficult for them to organize an occasional public cross procession like the ones that are held so often in ‘backward’ countries like Romania or Serbia?
The Left, in myriad ways, week in and week out, acts on its openly professed intention to eradicate traditional Christianity. Are true Christians equally determined to preserve the blessings of the Church for this generation and all those yet to come? If we are, we will do some or all of the above, and more, with an especially strong focus on the Cross, for as St. John says elsewhere in his sermon, quoting a hymn,
‘the Cross is the preserver of the whole universe, the Cross is the beauty of the Church, the Cross is the might of kings, the Cross is the confirmation of the faithful, the Cross is the glory of angels and the scourge of demons’.