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Christianity Under Attack
by Michael Nevin, Jr.
16 March 2004

State-sponsored discrimination and hostility toward Christians is reaching epidemic proportions.

A federal judge ruled that the New York City Department of Education could continue to ban the display of the Christian Nativity during Christmas.  Remarkably, the judge found that the display of the Jewish Menorah during Hanukkah and the Islamic Star and Crescent during Ramadan were allowable since these symbols are “secular.”  Ostensibly, state-sponsored discrimination against Christians is permissible because it provides “parity” for other religions. 

Not to be outdone, another federal judge in Kansas ruled that Washburn University has every right to display a sculpture mocking the Catholic faith.  The oxymoronic Campus Beautification Committee selected the display, entitled “Holier than Thou,” portraying a Catholic bishop with a morbid facial expression wearing a miter resembling a penis.  The judge did not find hostility toward Catholics, but rather a display that will “increase the intellectual capacities of Washburn’s students.”   

The Thomas More Law Center, a public-interest law firm, brought suit in the aforementioned cases.  Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, commented, “Unfortunately, this and several other recent decisions by federal judges have demonstrated that there is a double standard when it comes to applying the Establishment Clause.  The Ten Commandments and the Christian Nativity scene are out, but an anti-Catholic display of a bishop wearing a miter that resembles a phallus is permissible because it allegedly enhances aesthetics.  Apparently, the religion clauses protect atheists but afford no comparable protection for Christians.”

Catholic Charities is one of America’s largest social service organizations providing assistance to people regardless of religious affiliation.  Catholic Charities is an arm of the Roman Catholic Church, but the California Supreme Court does not seem to agree with this assessment.  The organization did not meet the narrowly defined religious employer exemption in a law requiring California employers to provide birth control coverage in health plans.  Thus, the court ruled that Catholic Charities must ignore its moral opposition to contraception.  This is a great example of how government-mandated health insurance works when it becomes a “right.” 

The case represents the ultimate paradox: the very fact that the Catholic Church’s inclusive policy of hiring and helping people regardless of faith is the reasoning used by the court to declare the purpose of Catholic Charities is, in fact, secular. No, it’s called being a good Catholic.  I’m selling oceanfront property in North Dakota if you really believe that Catholic Charities is a secular organization.

While appeasing the ACLU and other secular humanists, the California court has insulted Roman Catholics around the world.  Regardless of personal opinion on the matter of birth control, even among Catholics, this benchmark case is not about contraception.  It’s about whether or not the government should interfere with liberty and the free exercise of religion.  The only dissenter on the court was Justice Janice Rogers Brown, who wrote, “Here we are dealing with an intentional, purposeful intrusion into a religious organization’s expression of its religious tenets and sense of mission.”

State-sponsored discrimination and hostility toward Christians is reaching epidemic proportions in a country rooted in Judeo-Christian principles.  Our Founders could never have envisioned how far we would travel off the beaten path.  This disturbing trend is no anomaly.  It’s a highly organized and well-financed campaign by secular humanists and atheists who have found sympathetic legislators and jurists.  The agenda is simple -- drive organized religion underground in order for nihilism and moral relativism to metastasize.

French historian and American observer Alexis de Tocqueville opined, “liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.”  Americans of all faiths must stand together with the understanding that no religion is safe when even one comes under attack.  Josef Stalin disclosed an ominous plot many years ago:  “America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold:  its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life.  If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.”  We’ve stood by as Christianity takes a beating in the town square.  It’s high time we turn the tide.  Our very liberty depends on it.

Michael Nevin is a former altar boy and current California law enforcement officer.

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