Government and others’ war on (some) religions

Publisher’s Note: This commentary is a continuation of yesterday’s. Reading that one will help make this one clearer! <grin>

In many cases, the acts of persecution are obviously clear, blatant, acts of aggression. By various governments at all levels, by corporations, by “public interest” groups, by institutions, and by the denizens of social media. Some is official, some is unofficial: indeed, a version of mob action. And over the centuries, mobs have been direct causes and tools of suppressing and even wiping out religions (and political beliefs, as well).

And we must admit that some of the acts deemed persecution are just someone exercising their own right of free speech, free assembly (which of necessity implies a right to not assemble), and other liberties. Too often, we see advocates for religious and political groups who take on the characteristics of their attackers. They claim, as do the woke snowflakes, to be “offended” and then to be mentally and emotionally harmed by the attacks. Such a tactic is reprehensible, no matter what cause is being defended.

But sometimes the persecution is much more subtle. And often, the acts of suppression and control are implemented using excuses. We’ve seen this in the last three years, as people who objected (on religious or other grounds) were condemned, attacked, and punished for their rejection of masking and other “social distancing” and vaccines. “It’s for the good of everyone,” we are told. “Don’t kill grandma!” “Don’t infect the children.” “We must have herd immunity.” Lies aside, these are the tactics of tyranny, well-polished and proven over thousands of years.

Another example is using the “necessity” of paying for government services (attempting to satisfy government’s insatiable greed for money). The long-standing tradition (well enshrined in various constitutions and laws) of exempting religious, educational, and charitable institutions from various taxes (especially property taxes and sales taxes), for instance. More and more, local and even State governments are doing work arounds. Case study: a nearby municipality cannot collect property taxes for a church’s or synagogue’s meetinghouse, not even for streets and utilities, and such. But they can and do change a tax into a “service fee” for controlling and managing storm water. Although that was paid for out of the general fund (that is, property and sales taxes) for a long time, now it is not a tax but a “fee.” And the courts have accepted it.

Going back a few months, at the officially-private (but with much government funding) George Washington University, a professor harassed multiple Jewish students, including one born in Israel. With no action taken. Now that was free speech – and it was merely “offensive” to the Jews. Is that acceptable in a land of liberty? Or

Others are also rather tricky. For example, the Mall of America whose security guards hounded a young man and issued him a ticket to get rid of the shirt or leave the mall, because he wore a yellow shirt that said “Jesus saves” and “Jesus is the only way.” (Apparently, after being issued a ticket, he was allowed to finish his shopping.) The claim? His shirt was “solicitation” and “offended people.” Which sounds like the reason for the FBI (as well as English cops) to spend time investigating people praying near abortion clinics. Instead of investigating fire-bombings of church buildings and synagogues. Is this a right of owners of places open to the public?

We see another example in the Philadelphia Flyers player penalized for refusing to wear a “Gay Pride” warm-up, and therefore refusing to endorse what he considered a sin. Is this acceptable because the Flyers are a private team, as contrasted to the Smithsonian Institution (a government, or at least government-sponsored and -funded organization) ejected a dozen Catholic students and sponsors from the National Air and Space Museum because their headgear contained a pro-life, anti-abortion message?

But again, it is individuals and companies and non-governmental organizations that seem to lead the count and enjoy the “diversity” of how they fight against religions: denial of job opportunities by requiring that people work on their particularly weekly holy day; demands that they pay union dues and medical insurance premiums where the money is used to fund practices they consider immoral. Laws requiring pharmacists to dispense abortion drugs are a problem, but for every state that does that, there are many businesses that mandate that. And it is not just an abortion issue: businesses that demand that clerks sell items that are immoral: tobacco, liquor, cannabis, pornography, and such things. Again, is this a clash of liberties?

All too often, now and in the past, religious believers have become part and parcel of this attack – a Fifth Column attacking their fellow believers and allying themselves with government and business persecuting the religious. A recent example is the Catholic school student in Ontario suspended for refusing to accept (and parrot if not indorse) the idea that there are more than two human sexes. Even though that is (at least for now) the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which owns and operates the school!

Again, that is not new – many of the worst persecutions of other believers – even those of like faith – have been religious organizations. Not just the RCC, but the Church of England, various Protestant denominations in Europe and in the New World. The record of Muslims across the world and through history is well-known. The Israel government treatment of christians is often concealed. In most of these cases, it is an immoral partnership between governments and churches and other groups that facilitates that. The same seems true in our 21st Century world.

And all too often, it is a one-sided war: too many believers, and too many lovers of liberty, refuse to stand up and take action to defend the believers being attacked. Even if you think their beliefs are wrong, is it not wrong to offer and give them aid to resist?

Think on these things!

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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