The forty-fifth President, Donald Trump, is at war with the media. It’s been amazing and sickening to watch in the first few days of his administration, the lies, mischaracterizations, and personal attacks, even on his 10 year old son. Christians should be particularly sympathetic. In large part due to our media, the United States is now on an annual list of the world’s persecutors of Christians and countries that are regressing in religious freedom.
“… certain segment of the culture and the courts seem to be intent on driving faith out of the public square. There have been too many court cases with bad decisions to miss the clear trend line.”
For example, after Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen murdered 49 and injured 53 innocent people in a June 11, 2016, attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, it was Christians whom many targeted with blame, the report states. “Incredibly, after the attack, numerous high profile media outlets blamed the attacks on what they perceived as the anti-LGBTQ atmosphere that Christians have created.
“In short, Christians in the U.S. are facing constant attacks in the media, where they are portrayed as bigoted, racist, sexist, and close-minded.”
That’s pretty much how President Trump is portrayed. That false characterization may also be translating into direct assaults on believers, attacks on religion doubled between 2012 and 2015.
“From the case of a Christian football coach suspended for praying at the 50-yard line, to Christian business owners forced to pay a $135,000 fine for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, the number of troubling cases directed toward Christians has exploded.”
The Founders carefully and deliberately placed religious freedom as the first liberty because it encompasses several fundamental rights including thought, speech, expression, and assembly. The First Amendment explicitly grants freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The essential aim is to protect the right of citizens to practice religion in the public square.
Decades of accumulated poor judicial decisions and precedents have twisted the First Amendment so that the courts, in defiance of the Founders, are pushing religion out of the public square, and into the small space of private expression. In essence, the courts are deciding that you only have full religious freedom and expression in the church and your home. In the public domain, your religious views and thoughts must be restrained and controlled.
This trend is extremely worrying in the country that has long held the ideal of religious liberty.
As Christians, we should be watching the fight between our new President and the media. I don’t agree with everything that our new President says. I am disturbed by some of it. However, if the media can treat the leader of the free world like this, there is no limit to what they can do to individual Christians whom they seem to hate with similar passion. Trump doesn’t fit into their image of what a President should be or how a President should act. Christians don’t fit into their vision of the “politically correct” citizen. Readers of the scripture know that Jesus told us it would be this way. Should we be surprised that He was right?
Maybe we can learn some tips for our own fight. Let’s be a little like our President:
- Don’t change who you are.
- Rest on the Word.
- Keep saying what you believe.
- Keep acting on your beliefs.
- Identify the liars and point out the lies.
- Remind others what our Constitution and Bill of Rights protects.
- Get a Twitter Account.
I’m only half joking about the Twitter Account. I have one. https://twitter.com/nsigur.
I’m afraid I have a lot fewer followers than President Trump, but you have to start somewhere.