By Tom Stark, 06/27/2012
Over the past few months, I have been compiling a list of links to articles concerning individuals or groups that were singled out for unfair treatment based solely on their faith in Jesus Christ. At first I thought the instances were pretty isolated, too. Then I began noticing that the frequency and intensity of such attacks on Christians and groups were increasing by the week.
The following is a compilation of the worst of the worst, but by no means represent all of the incidents documented. I would have included more if it were not for the confines of space on the blog, and the limits of your endurance for my writing.
- Phoenix, AZ– As reported in Godfather Politics, based on complaints from his neighbors, Michael Salmon is jailed for violation of city zoning regulations because he hosted more than 12 people at his home for backyard Bible study sessions. While it is perfectly all right for someone to hold a bar-b-que for any number of relatives and friends, the act of producing a Bible and reading from it and discussing it represents a violation because the city considers it conducting a church service for which a special permit and zoning exceptions must be applied for before it is legal. He was fined and sentenced to jail. A federal appeals court dismissed his appeal without comment essentially upholding the city court’s verdicts.
- Canyonville, OR– Bob Unruh reports in WND.com that this little city decided to charge double fees for water and sewer to all non-profit agencies including Canyonville Christian Academy (CCA) over a period 20 years and got away with it. To make matters worse, the city, when confronted over the double billing by CCA, settled accounts with the other non-profit agencies in town except one…yes, CCA. The school alleges that the failure of the city to settle with them was retaliation for their publicizing the double bills. Not only did the city not repay the overcharges estimated at over $85,000, but they reclassified the thirty 10’ x 10’ dorm rooms at CCA as “condominiums” which increases the Academy’s water and sewer bills by thousands of dollars more than would have been the case in the past.
- Buffalo, NY– Gregory Owens was peacefully handing out Christian tracts on a pubic sidewalk during a local festival when he was confronted by a couple members of the Buffalo Police Department who told him he had to stop handing out the tracts or face arrest. While the two failed to cite any ordinance, the city eventually claimed that it was because it violated a permit issued to the Italian Heritage Festival that was being conducted in the general area. Alliance Defense Fund stepped into the breach to file suit in federal court on behalf of Owens.
- Colorado– Atheist activists in Colorado are pushing a constitutional amendment that would effectively place Christian faith under house arrest. The amendment would provide that no claim of infringement of religious freedom could be claimed unless it was committed based on worship in a private home or in a church facility. This seemingly subtle change would completely eliminate the ability of Christians to express their faith in a public place regardless of the circumstances. Very effective step. Not approved yet, but they are always pushing to silence Christian speech.
- The Air Force Academy was recently challenged by the same kinds of groups because they provided a Bible (from the Gideons) in each of the guest rooms and guest apartments on the Academy grounds. The attach was so successful that the Air Force caved to the demand that was based on, of all things, giving preferential treatment to Christians. If an organization wanted to provide free Korans for the rooms, I doubt anyone would have a problem with it, but they haven’t.
As you can see, these attacks are all focused on Christianity. Tolerance seems to be a bit one-sided lately, and it also seems like the attacks have coincided with the rise of the progressive socialists who need to destroy the protections of our Constitution and its underlying Christian morality and ethics in order to succeed in their plan to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.”
The case law relating to each of the above situations is on our side, but not one instance of such discrimination and abuse can be allowed to go unchallenged. Wonderful organizations such as Alliance Defense Fund and Liberty Council stand ready to defend us and take the fight for real freedom of religion to those that would rather have complete freedom from religion. We can be silent no longer, because …Silence equals Consent. Pray and act as it your way of life stands in the balance…because it just might!
About Tom Stark
Tom Stark began writing for the Engage Family Minute blog in February 2012. As a small business owner Tom is passionate about the intersection of faith and politics in the life of Christians and the community around him. Having been touched by both the abortion issue and the issue of homosexuality in his own family, Tom is passionate about defending the lives of the unborn and upholding Biblical Truth. Tom also writes for www.westvirginiaconservative.com