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OPINION: The Fight for Religious Liberty Doesn’t Promote Bigotry—It Exposes It!

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August 25, 2023
DEI | First Liberty Institute

by Howard Goldthwaite • 4 min read

A few years ago, the “I’m OK, you’re OK” mindset was the norm. But today, it’s more like, “I’m OK, but you’re only OK if you have the same viewpoint as me.” Society has gone from having an acceptance-based “live your truth” mindset to having a conformity-based “YOU have to live MY truth” groupthink mindset. If you dare stand up for your own sincerely held beliefs that are different from your HR department, late-night talk-show hosts, AOC, or the ladies on “The View,” you can be unfairly labeled as a hateful bigot.

Civilization was invented the day two cavemen decided to throw ideas at each other instead of rocks. To keep things civilized, America’s Constitution protects our freedom to express different viewpoints and exercise different religions. Many other countries don’t. Lots of powerful people in America are secretly working to bring the restrictive policies of other countries here so they can eradicate opposition to their agenda. For example: The FBI was recently caught spying on American citizens simply because they go to church.

Spy Final

Even though the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech are the first rights protected in the Constitution, if you fight for the free exercise of your faith outside church walls, and speak up to defend your beliefs, you’re likely to be ostracized and targeted by the diversity-and-inclusion watchdogs.

Many who came of age during the “I’m OK, you’re OK” era have noticed the dangerous shift from the freedom of expressive individuality to the repression of intimidating conformity. Bill Maher recently said, “In today’s world, when truth conflicts with narrative, it’s the truth that has to apologize.”

People of faith should be tolerant of the beliefs of others, but don’t hold your breath that they’ll be tolerant in return. You’ll probably find yourself having to be tolerant of their intolerance.

If your faith promotes values that are not aligned with the woke, groupthink guardians, their façade of inclusiveness will quickly vaporize to reveal what’s lurking underneath. If they really were as accepting and inclusive as they proclaim, you could have a calm, civilized exchange of ideas—and you could keep your job. But if you affirm beliefs, morals and values they don’t like, it can quickly unmask their blatant religious bigotry on full display for all the world to see. Such as:

  • The high school coach fired for praying after games.
  • The mail carrier forced to resign for observing the Sabbath
  • The bakery owners shut down for their beliefs on traditional marriage.
  • The school board that voted unanimously to remove Christian teachers.
  • The two Christian football teams banned from praying before their game.
  • The VA nurse told to perform abortions against her will.

During a congressional hearing, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, “The only time religious freedom is invoked, it’s in the name of bigotry and discrimination.” But today’s battle for religious liberty doesn’t justify bigotry. The reality is just the opposite—it exposes bigotry.

To the postmodern mentality, the unpardonable sin is to define sin. In their minds, if a person of faith clarifies the line between right and wrong, they’ve crossed the line. The anti-religious-liberty crowd says it’s wrong to say something’s wrong. But if it’s wrong to say something’s wrong, then it’s wrong to say it’s wrong to say something’s wrong. Right? So they just sawed off the branch they’re sitting on.

Even if we find the opposing arguments reprehensible, we should do our best to show respect for the person with whom we’re speaking. We should treat them with dignity even when they don’t return the favor.

But being tolerant of those outside your faith doesn’t mean we shouldn’t speak up. Never apologize for being salt and light in a dark, hurting world. Take courage. Expect opposition. Stand firm. Live your faith. Reject with respect. Proclaim without shame.

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