Conservative groups release survey on religious hostility

Two conservative groups have released a “Survey of Religious Hostility in America,” which seeks to draw attention to a “relentless … Continued

Two conservative groups have released a “Survey of Religious Hostility in America,” which seeks to draw attention to a “relentless onslaught” against religious people and institutions.

“America today would be unrecognizable to our Founders,” according to the report, unveiled on Monday (Aug. 20) by the Texas-based Liberty Institute and the Washington-based Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.. The FRC’s security guard was shot Wednesday by a man who was reportedly angered by the group’s anti-gay stances.

“Our first freedom is facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups and individuals who are using the courts, Congress, and the vast federal bureaucracy to suppress and limit religious freedom,” the report says.

Most of the more than 600 cases detailed in the study occurred during the past decade, and include:

— A federal judge threatened “incarceration” to a high school valedictorian in Castroville, Texas, unless she removed references to Jesus from her graduation speech.

— City officials prohibited senior citizens in Balch Springs, Texas, from praying over their meals, listening to religious messages or singing gospel songs at a senior activities center.

— A public school official in St. Louis physically lifted an elementary school student from his seat and reprimanded him in front of his classmates for praying over his lunch.

Other religious groups say the threat to religious liberty lies elsewhere, in conservative institutions such as the Liberty Institute, the FRC and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which, they say, seek to impose their religious beliefs on others.

“Conservative religious forces, who do not represent those in the pews, have access to politicians who are all too willing to bend the knee,” said Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice. “We need to ensure real religious freedom, and that means that religious special interests are not allowed to dictate policy to the entire American people.”

The report comes in the wake of a high-profile campaign for religious liberty by the USCCB in June and July, a “fortnight of freedom,” to highlight what they perceive as attacks on the right to practice religion. The Obama administration’s new mandate, which requires employers, with some exceptions, to provide contraception coverage in their health plans, particularly riled the bishops.

A poll earlier this month showed most Catholics agree with the bishops. But a March poll found that most Americans do not think religious liberty is under siege in the U.S.

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

  • MargaretW

    There’s a church on nearly every street corner. It’s virtually impossible to get elected in this nation without parading one’s “faith” for the world to see. We have a National Day of Prayer and the Faith Based Initiative that funnels taxpayer money to religious charities. Elected officials constantly talk about their faith/religious beliefs. It’s perfectly legal for children and teachers to pray privately in schools, and for employees to pray privately in their workplaces.

    There is no “war on religion”. There is however plenty of hostility coming from religioius people toward others. They demand the right to preach bigotry toward and restrict the rights of LGBT people in the name of their “deeply held relgious beliefs”. They demand the right to restrict the rights of women to control their own bodies, even to refuse life-saving medical care, once again using their “religious beliefs” as an excuse. But dare to question or criticize them and you’re engaging in “religious persecution”. What a crock.

  • cricket44

    Did these groups bother to take any responsibility for fomenting said hostility by their attacks on everyone who doesn’t follow their rigid outlook?

  • dcrswm

    Of course not…..

Read More Articles

5783999789_9d06e5d7df_b
The Internet Is Not Killing Religion. So What Is?

Why is religion in decline in the modern world? And what can save it?

river dusk
Cleaner, Lighter, Closer

What’s a fella got to do to be baptized?

shutterstock_188022491
Magical Thinking and the Canonization of Two Popes

Why Pope Francis is canonizing two popes for all of the world wide web to see.

Pile_of_trash_2
Pope Francis: Stop the Culture of Waste

What is the human cost of our tendency to throw away?

chapel door
“Sometimes You Find Something Quiet and Holy”: A New York Story

In a hidden, underground sanctuary, we were all together for a few minutes in this sweet and holy mystery.

shutterstock_134310734
Ten Ways to Make Your Church Autism-Friendly

The author of the Church of England’s autism guidelines shares advice any church can follow.

Valle Header Art
My Life Depended on the Very Act of Writing

How I was saved by writing about God and cancer.

shutterstock_188545496
Sociologist: Religion Can Predict Sexual Behavior

“Religion and sex are tracking each other like never before,” says sociologist Mark Regnerus.

shutterstock_178468880
Mary Magdalene, the Closest Friend of Jesus

She’s been ignored, dismissed, and misunderstood. But the story of Easter makes it clear that Mary was Jesus’ most faithful friend.

sunset-hair
From Passover to Easter: Why I’m Grateful to be Jewish, Christian, and Alive

Passover with friends. Easter with family. It’s almost enough to make you believe in God.

colbert
Top 10 Reasons We’re Glad A Catholic Colbert Is Taking Over Letterman’s “Late Show”

How might we love Stephen Colbert as the “Late Show” host? Let us count the ways.

emptytomb
God’s Not Dead? Why the Good News Is Better than That

The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

shutterstock_186795503
The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

egg.jpg
Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.