Cal Thomas, who moderated the Conservative Political Action Conference's Saturday morning panel entitled "Religious Freedom in America: Would the Pilgrims Still Be Welcome Here?," greeted the crowd as "fundamental bigots." Why? Because that's how the media often refers to anyone who believes in religious freedom, he explained. Included on the panel were radio host Dana Loesch, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, and Representative Randy Neugebauer (TX-19).
Thomas asked the panelists to pinpoint the biggest threats to religious freedom.
"Apathy," said Loesch. "We need to lead better by example, Christians have always led. But, in the last 15 years there's been a lot of apathy."
Going to church on Sunday, she added, is not good enough.
Tony Perkins's answer also sounded like a warning.
"The loss of religous freedom," he said. "People are losing their businesses because they're refusing to leave their faith at home."
"Our future is only as bright as our religious freedom is," he remarked. "It requires personal effort and action."
Even though the Ten Commandments are being driven out by the courts, pray at home, he said.
"We should be able to take it into the workplace."
Loesch said defending religious freedom is not solely beneficial to those of the Christian faith.
"You don't have to be a Christian to be affected by the loss of religious liberty...More liberties may be taken."
In addition to speaking up for faith and freedom, Rep. Neugebauer said legislative efforts are also being made to protect rights of Americans, including those of our military. "We're writing letters to the Secretary of Defense for soldiers to have the right to sit down with chaplains," he shared.
Unfortunately, bibles are still being banned from the hands of our nation's finest.
"It's political correctness," Neugebauer said. "We're denying soldiers the opportunities to read their bibles and protect their faith.
"It's time to make Christians a protected class," said Loesch.
All is not lost concerning traditonal values, however. Perkins shared a statistic from Rasmussen Reports, which revealed 61 percent of Americans do not think the Supreme Court should impose same sex marriage on the entire nation and should leave it to the states. Although gay marriage and other progressive issues are gaining traction, that doesn't mean those who want to defend conservative values should be cornered and silenced.
"We should not be forced to quarantine our faith," said Perkins.
Loesch emphasized Perkins' message and insisted that we can't rely on politicians to steer America into the right direction. "The government is morally bankrupt," she said. "We can't just switch out people - change has to come from us."
This is especially true when considering Christians cannot even look to their president for guidance.
Anyone who lives by their faith was likely offended by Obama's comments at this year's National Prayer Breakfast, when he likened Islamic terrorism to the Christian crusades.
The president professes to be a Christian, said Perkins, but not in practice.
So, what's next for our country if the religious standard continues to evaporate and there's no hope for revival?
"Religious figures will be targeted, dragged into court for what they're saying," Loesch said. "You will have to keep your faith at home."
Cal Thomas suggested such persecution is already reality for some of today's Christians. In Houston, for instance, the mayor tried to subpoena pastors for their supposedly bigoted sermons. The mayor dropped the bid earlier this week.
"If we lose our religious liberty, we lose the country," said Neugebauer.
Perkins offered one final call to action for Christians, suggesting that there is at least one category they should be happy to be placed in.
"It's so important we preserve that freedom, that we not grow silent," he said. "I think we shoud all join Ben Carson on the list of extremists."