Ed Harris (“The Parallel America,” Dec. 20) believes that the mere existence of “dozens of religious institutions within a 10-minute drive of his home” is proof that religious liberty is alive and well in America. He writes that the idea that “Christians get pushed around” is not just wrong, but “laughably, absurdly and ludicrously wrong.”
Unfortunately, Ed Harris is the one who is laughably, absurdly and ludicrously wrong. Religious liberty, a cornerstone of American freedom, is under attack, Christians and Christianity the main target. Ed Harris is oblivious, indifferent, or willfully blind to that fact. Perhaps he has preemptively surrendered to the forces of militant secularism that seek to drive religion from our public square, following the lead of our president, who refers to Christians as “people bitterly clinging to their religion” and constructs public policy in keeping with that perspective.
Ed writes about our Constitutional First Amendment guarantee that “every citizen can choose to worship — or choose not to — according to his or her heart’s desire.” But coercion and intimidation have taken the place of tolerance and understanding. That’s why so many religious-liberty lawsuits are in the courts. Of approximately 90 cases currently being litigated on behalf of Christian entities, 44 have had injunctions granted while only 10 have had their injunctions denied. Two cases are headed to the Supreme Court. That certainly does not describe the happy picture Ed Harris would like us to see. His is a Potemkin village view; i.e., as long as the physical structures are intact he is willing to assume the people are content.
What is occurring is what Ben Stein talked about in 2005, and is even truer in 2014. In today’s America you are free to be a Christian as long as you don’t actually live out your faith. You are permitted to worship in private as long as you remain socially invisible.
If Ed Harris doesn’t care about religious liberty, he should say so. If he cares about it but was poorly informed, he should admit it. And if he is indifferent to the plight of Christians he should reflect on the history of the Jews and why religious liberty matters to all of us.