A Mere Matter of Semantics? I Think Not.

As if the Obama Administration could get any less concerned about Americans’ religious liberties, think Obamacare mandates for the Catholic Church to pay for birth control, they have now built their bias against Christianity into their foreign policy. The US State Department recently announced that it would no longer consider religious liberty in its international Human Rights Report. For the first time since this nation’s founding, an American administration is no longer interested in promoting religious liberty and freedom of conscience. This is anathema to the American experience, for it was Jefferson himself, often erroneously cited by the Left as an anti-religious President, who declared “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Surely, Sharia law that restricts the free exercise of faith is a form of tyranny, isn’t it? Not according to the State Department; they consider the absence of an aggressive same sex marriage agenda more tyrannical than Sharia law and / or persecutions of people of other faiths.

An international survey indicates that, contrary to the President’s public statements about Islam, Christians are persecuted aggressively in 130 nations throughout the world, while Muslims are persecuted in 117. Additionally, the majority of the nations that persecute Christians are Muslim, whereas virtually none of the nations where Muslims are persecuted are Christian. Thus, there are substantial impediments to religious liberty in the world today, with most of those impediments aimed at Christian believers. So, in such a time, why would the Obama Administration abandon America’s long-standing commitment to religious liberty? Perhaps it’s because their top priorities are at odds with religious liberty in general and Christian convictions in particular.

As I cited above, the Administration has added same-sex “rights” to their annual Human Rights Report, replacing the previously considered protections for religious liberty. I believe that the President and his Administration realized that the expansion of religious liberty stands at odds with their attempts to force the world, particularly their own country, to accept a radically redefined definition of “marriage.” Canada, for example, restricted the freedoms of religion and speech for pastors in order to pass their hate crimes legislation, which made it a crime to stand in opposition to same sex marriage and homosexuality. For the President to simultaneously promote freedom of religion, particularly of religious beliefs that oppose his positions on homosexuality, and same-sex marriage rights would be necessarily self-defeating. Therefore, the Administration has come down on the side of same-sex “rights,” which aren’t rights at all but special privileges granted at the expense of actual rights.

The reason I believe that these guidelines are more directed toward Christian believers than Muslims, who also oppose same sex marriage, is that the President has been much more defensive of the rights of Muslims throughout the world. For example, when Egypt ousted Hosni Mubarak and the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in that country, the President was supportive of their ascendency. He supported them in spite of the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood has advocated for the torture and murder of homosexuals. This is not something that’s replicated in the Christian community. Thus, it would be an inaccuracy to say that the Obama Administration is committed to homosexual rights over the rights of religious freedom in general. Instead, it is more accurate to say that the Administration is more committed to same sex marriage “rights” than to the freedom of Christian convictions.

This same trend has been on display here at home. The President and his team now refer to “freedom of worship” as opposed to “freedom of religion.” While this may sound like playing with semantics at first blush, it has profound implications for freedom in this nation. Worship and religion are not synonymous terms. Worship refers to the act of practicing religious convictions in a private setting, while religion refers more to an encompassing worldview. Thus, freedom of worship as opposed to freedom of religion means that a person may have particular religious convictions in private, but not to espouse those same beliefs in public.

The President’s shift in defending the “freedom of worship” versus the “freedom of religion” is telling of his domestic intentions. I believe the Administration and its allies are intent on passing Canadian-inspired “hate crimes” legislation here at home, which would make it illegal to speak out against homosexuality and same sex marriage. The Administration’s new Human Rights Report criteria is also directed more at Christian orthodoxy than religious convictions in general, as we have seen with the Administration’s attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood. Nevertheless, to explicitly state that the State Department is particularly uninterested in Christian religious freedom wouldn’t play too well here at home.

I believe that the Administration’s opposition to supporting religious liberty, in order to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, is part of the President’s ongoing opposition to any institution he sees as “colonial” in nature. Orthodox Christianity, in his point-of-view, is a colonizing force that transcends cultural boundaries and breaks down opposing ideologies. Therefore, while most Americans see the President’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, while promoting same sex rights abroad, as a contradiction, it isn’t one in his worldview. His reason for opposing traditional marriage and orthodox Christianity are the same: they are institutions that he views as neocolonial, and he is intent on upending their influence.

Americans must wake up to the reality that our President is opposed to the very foundations of faith and freedom in this nation. He is making good on his 2008 campaign promise to “remake America.” He is remaking America, by attempting to undermine its status as an exceptional nation, which stands for liberty and justice for all. The President made his point of view clear when, as President, he stated “I believe in American exceptionalism as I suspect the Britis believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” This is the essence of moral relativism and a commitment to moral equivalency. In his anti-institutional, darn near post-modernist, commitment to tear down anything he views as culturally colonial, he is upending the commitment of this nation to fundamental human rights at home and abroad. That is a loss for the entire world, which will begin right here in America.

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One Response to "A Mere Matter of Semantics? I Think Not."

  1. Jim Lee says:

    In terms of human rights, one would think that, from a US Government perspective, the best place to look to determine what attributes should comprise this country’s checklist would be our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

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