More than 200 years ago, the United States had recognized religious liberty in its constitution as an inalienable right. It is a right granted by God, not by human governments. Americans have been vigilant in defending that right, until now.
Today, hostility to religious freedom in the public square is growing significantly, and the contrast between the time of the founders and our own times is becoming rather stark. Religion was embraced then, and is often censored now. It was esteemed at that time; these days it is often disparaged, making the overall political and social climate to cause apprehension for the religious believer. Some have lost their jobs or been financially penalized for their beliefs. Some have endured legal confrontation, marginalization, and other unsavory consequences.
The Family Research Council released a report in 2014 titled “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in the United States that documents hostility toward faith in the United States. It analyses four areas: (1) Suppression of Religious Expression in the Public Square; (2) Suppression of Religious Expression in Schools and Universities; (3) Censure of Religious Viewpoints Regarding Sexuality; and (4) Suppression of Religious Expression on Sexuality Using Nondiscrimination Laws. That catalogue of violations, spanning over ten years, contained 90 incidents.
The report was updated in 2017 showing a conservatively estimated—a 76 percent increase in overall religious freedom violations documented over the past three years. The last two sections, dealing with human sexuality, have seen a 114 percent surge.
The incremental assaults on culture in general and religion in particular over the two centuries of American history has set trends and is laying a foundation for further encroachments. We should not sit idly by and watch those freedoms fade away. Many ignored or brushed off concerns about Communism until it was too late to stop the carnage that the ideology imposed on the world. If we are apathetic about the culture war, we will see that important freedoms disappear only when it is too late to do anything about it.
And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth.” The Great Controversy, page 441.