As anyone can see, the concepts of freedom of religion and separation of Church and state have morphed in the previous40-50 years into freedom from religion. We are now further along that road than ever before. Two current stories are clear bellwethers of a growing problem. No longer just concerned with overt displays of piety in public (Creches, crosses, menorahs, or the 10 commandments), we can no longer tolerate religious people or institutions in any public role. Catholic health care in this country has been the pillar of social services. But it appears that situation can no longer be tolerated. In Connecticut:
A bill to require Catholic hospitals to provide rape victims access to emergency contraception is one step from becoming law after the House passed it Wednesday.
Following nearly three hours of debate that often featured conflicting information, the House voted 113-36 in favor of an amended version of Senate Bill 1343.
Archbishop Henry J. Mansell “regards this as a blow to religious freedom in Connecticut,” Feldman said, “not just for the Catholic Church and Catholic organizations, but every individual and every religious organization in the state.”
Attorney Barry Feldman, who represents the Hartford Archdiocese:
“The basic question is, if the state imposes this kind of obligation on Catholic hospitals,” Feldman said, “will our Connecticut legislature force hospitals to perform abortions, or will they require Catholic hospitals to provide contraception or to euthanize patients contrary to Catholic morals? This is a precedent that invites all kinds of speculation as to what might come.”
It does not take too much imagination to understand exactly what might come.
Now comes another story in which the state not only tries to make you do things against your Christian conscience, soon you will not even be able to say what the Church teaches. From Lifesite:
Passed by the House Judiciary Committee last week, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act would give special considerations to “hate crimes” committed against those engaging in homosexual activity and people who consider themselves transgendered or bisexual. Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family Action, told CitizenLink the bill’s backers are hiding the “true intent of the legislation,” which he said is an attempt to “muzzle people of faith who dare to express their moral and biblical concerns about homosexuality.”
If this dangerous law passes, pastors who preach sermons giving the biblical view of homosexuality could be prosecuted,” Colson stated. “Christian businessmen who refuse to print pro-gay literature could be prosecuted. Groups like Exodus International, which offer therapy to those with unwanted same-sex attraction, could be shut down.”
“Perhaps most frightening is the fact that liberal legislators have refused any amendment which would substantively protect religious expression in association with this legislation. Similar laws have been used around the world — and right here at home — to silence opposition to the homosexual lifestyle. That refusal speaks volumes about the true agenda behind this legislation, which is to grant official government recognition to both homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors, and to silence opposition to those behaviors.”
The problem is that there is no New World to which we can flee this religious persecution. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to religious discrimination. The 20th century has taught us that many times over.