Religious Freedom? Not in Obama’s America

President Obama came into office with a vision for (all together now) hope and change. In practice, this vision has been realized by stealing liberty from Americans one small pinch at a time. A little bit from the gun column, a little bit from the free market. A little bit from the school system, a little bit from the healthcare sector. But no freedom has suffered under his regime like the freedom of religion.

Last year, Obama issued an executive order requiring all federal contractors to include protections for gays, lesbians, and transgender applicants. The order was an amendment to a Lyndon Johnson decree that forced federal contractors to adhere to non-discriminatory practices. Obama’s addition was enough to inspire strong concerns from faith-based groups that provide contracting for the federal government, but it was nothing compared to what’s coming down the line.

According to a report from The Center For Human and Family Rights, Obama wants to go a step further. He now wants any organization that accepts federal grant money to adhere to the same discrimination policies. This move would put hundreds of faith-based groups in a prickly position, forcing them to choose between their religious beliefs and grant money. Many of these groups cannot survive without federal support, and the work they do provides immeasurable good for the community. But if they aren’t willing to employ the latest freak-of-the-week, then Obama is shutting down their allowance.

This is a decisive turnaround from the Bush days. President George W. Bush actually added an amendment to the Johnson order so that religious groups were exempt from the discrimination policies. But according to C-Fam’s sources, Obama isn’t interested in going the executive order route this time. Instead, he is placing political pressure on federal agencies to revise their own policies. In other words, he wants to do this quietly. No fuss. No legal challenges. While that makes it easy for a Republican president to go in and reverse the policy, it could have disastrous effects in the meantime.

These are dark days for Americans of faith. This country was born on Christian principles. Yet every day, it is becoming harder for Christians to obey both God’s word and the law at the same time. The United States was never meant to be a theocracy, of course, and there have always been conflicts between the law and the Bible. But never before has there been a concerted push to criminalize Christianity. We are throwing away hundreds of years of tradition and freedom in service of a miniscule portion of the population.

Change is here. Hope? Not so much.

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