Freedom of religion and freedom of speech is guaranteed to United States citizens by the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution. This is the most significant law that allows us to establish Christ in culture. But lately laws are being passed that inhibit that freedom. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this is the fact that Christianity is the main target of these new laws. I believe that freedom of religion and freedom of speech is under attack in the United States. I also believe Christianity is under attack and that is the main object of these new laws.
I’m not a lawyer but from my observations, I see a specific strategy being used to undermine our rights. It’s called “hate speech.” In the article, “What is Hate Speech” from the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (http://carm.org/hate-speech), I learned the following:
But, what really is hate speech?
- dictionary.com, “speech that attacks a person or group on the basis of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.”
- usaeducationguides.com, “A term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against someone based on race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability. The term covers written as well as oral communication.”
- definitions.uslegal.com, “Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like. Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.”
So we can see that hate speech is that which attacks a person or group based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, and has the potential result of inciting harm.”
According to this definition, if I were to say something that is considered offensive about another belief or another religion’s spokesman, there are laws in place that could be used to silence me and even get me arrested. These laws inhibit my freedom of religion and my freedom of speech. This is very disturbing. Every Christian should be alarmed at this and together, we need to do something about it.
Read the http://uslegal.com definition again: “Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.”
Let’s take a working example, since I am bold in the Lord and I believe I have freedom of religion and speech in the United States. If I were to say, “Mohammad is a false teacher,” do you think that statement is offensive to many Muslims? I imagine so since they revere Mohammad as the final prophet of God and they believe what he says and does trumps all previous to him. They would be greatly offended. Does that mean I can’t or shouldn’t say “Mohammad is a false teacher?”
I have several Muslim acquaintances that I speak regularly with about the things of God. I love them so much that I’ll do anything I can to help them see the truth of God’s Word and expose the error of their ways, so how can it be said that I ‘hate’ them? Am I wrong in what I am saying about Mohammad?
According to the Bible, an “antichrist” is someone who says Jesus is not the son of God. Mohammad said exactly that. It’s recorded plain as day in the Koran. Mohammad, in the Koran, denies the Father and the Son. What does the Bible say about such a person? It calls the person who says such things a liar and an antichrist. It does not exclude Mohammad who this is, according to the Bible, both a liar and an antichrist. Read it for yourself.
1 John 2:22
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist–denying the Father and the Son.
I am a Christian. I’m responsible to speak God’s Word and not change it in the process. If I change it, it’s no longer God’s Word. Am I hating people by speaking the truth to them in love? Just because someone is offended, is that a reason to not tell them the truth? I think not. To hate them would be to ignore them and not say a thing — that is hate. Ignoring something so obviously wrong in someone’s life without trying to help them is the worst form of hate there is.
The purpose of this article is to help you see that our religious freedom is under attack. Our freedom of speech is under attack. The object of this attack is to silence Christians. I must also say that it ‘s not only in the United States that this attack on Christianity is occurring. It is prominent worldwide in even greater proportions. Our very right to state and criticize what is wrong is under attack. When this takes full root, it will become nearly impossible to preach the gospel as it is, in truth, without suffering some kind of repercussion from our own governments.
It’s time for us to wake up to what is going on around us. If we don’t stand up for what is right, who will? As our freedoms continue to erode, if we take the easy back seat and don’t say anything, we deserve their infringement. But if we take a stand and get involved, we can move mountains with our Lord Jesus Christ.
You and I currently have freedom of religion and freedom of speech in the United States. Be bold in the Lord. Don’t be afraid what man can do unto you. If you are familiar with the Scriptures you know this is what the Bible teaches. We want to ingrain God’s Word in culture and having freedom of religion and freedom of speech is fundamental to making that happen. Use it for God’s glory. Love people by speaking the truth in love.