Lingo Puts Freedom in Limbo
Can one word change the world? President Obama certainly hopes so. Since last year’s speech in Cairo, one phrase is subtly worming its way into speeches with high level White House officials. With incredible precision, the President is abandoning the term “freedom of religion” in favor of what he calls the “freedom of worship.” Now to most people, that rhetoric is nothing to write home about. But to those of us standing guard for our faith in Washington, the shift is ominous. As Nina Shea, director of the Center for Religious Freedom said, “[Freedom of worship] excludes the right to raise your children in your faith; the right to have religious literature; the right to meet with co-religionists; the right to raise funds; the right to appoint your religious leaders, and to carry out charitable activities, to evangelize,” and perhaps the most troubling, to engage in the public square.
This is the culmination of a 40-year process to expel God from America. First it was taking prayer and the Bible from public schools; then it was driving out the 10 Commandments from courthouses and nativities from town squares. Now religion would be squeezed out of every pocket of society until it exists only within the four walls of the church. This is more than semantics; it’s a bold leap forward to completely secularize America. We’ve already witnessed what the courts and culture have done to alienate faith. President Obama’s vision is to codify those decisions in policy–making it virtually impossible for men and women to exercise their religion in public. And that includes any church outreach like homeless shelters or orphanages. If we pursue this to its logical conclusion, America would eventually shut out or constrict anything having to do with Christ. President Obama says plenty of things he doesn’t mean. But in this, his pursuit of wiping religion off the map, we should take him at his word.