Guest / Limited Access /

Few subjects prompt louder cries of anguish than suppressed religious liberty. Many Christians worry that precious freedoms are "under assault." Talk about a "war on religion" trips off the tongues of many activists.

We are right to be concerned, because religious freedom is vital and necessary for the health of society. This is why the 2009 Manhattan Declaration considers it a core concern, and why key Catholic and evangelical leaders now work together to protect it. The question is: Are we on the verge of secular totalitarianism, as some activists seem to suggest?

Christian concerns about a suffocating secularism go back decades. Yet activists who sound the alarms today fear more than the loss of a religious perspective in public life. Religious identity itself is at stake, and along with it, freedom of conscience.

Colleges and universities pressure campus fellowships to admit leaders hostile to Christian moral teaching. Governments that partner with Christian groups are now severing ties because faith groups refuse to place needy children with homosexual couples. Hospitals seek to strip medical workers' conscience protections; they strong-arm nurses into assisting with abortions. Bureaucrats bully religious employers into bankrolling health plans that include contraceptives or the morning-after pill.

Attempts to constrict religious liberty are indeed terrifyingly real; hence we understand the rhetoric of grave threats and imminent dangers. But in the midst of all this, a blessedly reassuring Supreme Court decision has arrived. We hope it will rouse the doomsday prophets from their fatalistic crouch.

In mid-January, the court issued the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedWhy ISIS Must Be Stopped
Subscriber Access Only Why ISIS Must Be Stopped
But no special pleading on behalf of Christians is required.
TrendingDeconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Deconversion: Some Thoughts on Bart Campolo’s Departure from Christianity
Bart Campolo's departure from Christianity–some reflections about faith and (our) families.
Editor's PickThe Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
The Case Against 'Radical' Christianity
Michael Horton's message to restless believers: Stay put, and build the church.
Comments
Christianity Today
The Supreme Court's Religious Freedom Reality Check
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.