This past year I have spent countless hours writing about problem of the government encroaching upon our religious liberties. I have been shocked that many Christians just don’t seem to grasp the fact that we are in very sophisticated power struggle. We don’t seem to want accept that there is an all-out assault against Christians being waged in the legislature, teamed with the mainstream media. Let me trace four major attempts to thwart faith in the U.S.
Attack No.1 – New Federal Hate Crimes Legislation
Last spring, a move to change hate crimes to include special protection for gays, lesbians, and a litany of other groups began to suddenly build steam. The Congress took HR 1592 from subcommittee to law vote in less than three weeks. Many Christians were not aware as the law was being rushed through Congress and passed in early May. Congressional offices refused to talk realistically about the legislations – calling major Christian ministries (Concerned Women for America, Traditional Values Coalition, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, High Impact Leadership Coalition and a host of other organizations) “alarmists” and “liars.”
Although similar laws are being enforced around the world with a disturbing anti-Christian bias, voters were told they had nothing to fear. Yet, the bias has already begun in America. In Philadelphia (in 2004) an incident occurred during a legally arranged, protest rally at a gay convention. A 75-year old grandmother of three was arrested, jailed, and charged under existing state hate crimes law for attempting to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ironically, the rally did not result in any gays being hurt, wounded, or even intimidated by their actions. If anything, law enforcement officials were the ones who sent the citizens of their state a clear message – “Gays can protest, intimidate and harass anyone anywhere- but Christians had better not speak.”
Attack No. 2 – The Fairness Doctrine
Several attempts have recently been made to reinstate the so-called “Fairness Doctrine.” This doctrine is an antiquated, currently defunct regulation of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which was in effect for several decades until August 1987.
The policy required broadcast licensees to present controversial issues in an equal and balanced manner. On the surface this sounds good. In the best of all worlds it could mean that the little guys get a chance to let their voices be heard. Unfortunately, such doctrines are not easy to implement. In addition, these policies create a chilling affect upon the average broadcaster.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.