Don’t let the secularists tell you otherwise: There has been a war against religion being waged for decades by activist judges, artists, academia, liberal groups and the mainstream media. Judges have misinterpreted the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and have tried to force religion from the public square, while a culture that is becoming increasingly decadent does all it can to denigrate, mock and sneer at people of faith. Find that hard to believe? Here is the evidence:
1. Public prayer ban
Ever since the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1962 Engel v. Vitale case, prayer has been disallowed in public schools. That precedent has spread to include banning prayers at graduation ceremonies and before high school football games. This out-of-control assault on public prayer reached the height of absurdity last year when a federal judge in San Antonio ruled that graduating high school seniors couldn’t even say “amen, the word prayer,” or ask the audience to bow their heads. And we thought the First Amendment had a free-speech clause.
2. Hollywood’s jihad
From Martin Scorsese’s 1988 The Last Temptation of Christ—with its depiction of Jesus having sex with Mary Magdalene in a dream—to the 2009 The DaVinci Code—showing a conniving Catholic hierarchy—Hollywood is rarely kind to religious sensibilities. Indeed, characters of faith in movies are invariably portrayed as wild-eyed-fanatics, immoral preachers or judgmental creeps.
3. Violating religious conscience
President Obama’s attempt to force religious institutions to provide contraceptive services with their employees’ health care benefits justifiably caused a considerable uproar. It wasn’t the first time that people of faith have been forced to abandon their conscience or face dire consequences. Pro-lifers have had to fight to enact “conscience clauses,” which permit pharmacists and physicians to opt out of giving services that violate their religious faith, such as providing contraception and performing abortions.
4. Crèches censored
The Supreme Court ruled in the 1984 Lynch v. Donnelly case that crèches could be placed in public places only if accompanied by secular holiday symbols. That bizarre ruling was further muddied by the court’s 1989 stance in Allegheny County v. Greater Pittsburgh ACLU, which stated that including a crèche on public property violated the Constitution, while displaying a menorah on the same spot was fine. Still unsettled is exactly how many reindeers, snowmen and Santa Clauses are needed to make a crèche scene legal.
5. Media mocking
The Washington Post once called evangelicals, “poor, uneducated, and easy to lead.” That pretty much sums up the media elite’s view of religious conservatives. Most any daily newspaper reader can confirm: conservative Christians remain one of the few groups who can be treated with disdain. The sophisticates in New York and Washington newsrooms are much too enlightened to be duped by the opiate of the masses.
6. Pledge of Allegiance challenge
Atheist Michael Newdow went to court in 2002, challenging whether the recitation in public school of the words “under God” contained in the Pledge of Allegiance was a constitutional infringement of his daughter’s rights. While unsuccessful, the attempt tied up the courts for some eight years and spawned similar challenges in other states. Newdow also lost a lawsuit aimed at stopping an invocation prayer at George W. Bush’s 2005 inauguration.
7. Academia’s assault
It will come as no surprise to any recent college student that academia is not particularly friendly to those with religious convictions, with discrimination common in hiring, promoting and admitting people of faith. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that 40 percent of sociologists would be “less likely to hire” an evangelical. An astronomy professor sued University of Kentucky for losing a top job because of his Christian belief. The University of California system discriminated in its enrollment policies against Christian school attendees. And the list goes on.
8. Mojave cross battle
A simple cross in the Mojave Desert, erected in 1934 to honor members of the military killed in World War I, became the target of a decade-long battle by the American Civil Liberties Union. During the ensuing court battles, the cross was boarded up so as not to offend the nearby coyotes. Only after Congress transferred a small area of land containing the cross to a veterans group did the Supreme Court rule in 2010 that the cross was not a constitutional violation. However, within weeks of the ruling, the eight-foot tall cross was stolen by vandals.
9. Artistic antagonism
Artists and musicians think they are being edgy when they mock religious faith. In 1987, Andres Serrano used funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to produce “Piss Christ”—a plastic crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine. Madonna’s 1989 music video, “Like a Prayer,” featured religious symbols, a burning cross, and a dream about having sex with a saint, prompting a condemnation by the Vatican. In 2008, producers of “South Park” brought religious blasphemy to the cartoon world with “The Most Offensive Christmas Song Ever.”
10. Motto challenged
Atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair dedicated her life trying to force religion out of public life and succeeded in winning a landmark case that resulted in banning the reading of religious texts in the classroom. One case she failed at was her attempt to ban the words, “In God We Trust,” on the nation’s money and coinage. That phrase was first placed on coins during the Lincoln administration and became the official motto under President Eisenhower. Both presidents turned to God frequently during times of crisis—which is the best evidence against the atheist’s crusade to separate religion from the public square.