Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the war on religion in the West:
People of faith, mostly Christian, in the United States and the United Kingdom, are being harassed and arrested by government agents at an alarming rate. The most common reason why these non-violent persons are being bullied is their biblical objection to the radical LGBT agenda. Their freedom of speech and freedom of religion are being trounced, and most civil libertarians are cheering it on, so far gone are they from their founding principles.
Here are a few examples of this war on religion.
- In January, 2023, a dozen Catholic students and their chaperons from a Greenville, South Carolina Catholic high school were ordered out of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. because they wore beanies with pro-life messages. In town for the annual March for Life, they were allegedly mocked and cursed at by the museum staff.
- In January, 2023, Ivan Provorov, a hockey player for the Philadelphia Flyers, skipped the warmups on Pride Night because he was expected to wear a pro-Pride jersey. A member of the Russian Orthodox Church, he was subjected to hate speech by some fans and commentators. “I respect everybody’s choices,” he said. “My choice is to stay true to myself and my religion.”
- In January, 2023, Paul Shoro, a black Christian, walked into the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, wearing a T-shirt that said, “Jesus Is The Only Way.” Security officers, responding to complaints, said to him, “If you want to shop here you need to take off that shirt.” He was explicitly told that “Jesus is associated with religion and it is offending people.”
- In August, 2022, on the first day of class at George Washington University, a female psychology professor, Lara Sheehi, berated a Jewish female student in class because she said she was born in Israel. The professor continued to harass Jewish students throughout the semester, smearing their reputations and using bigoted and obscene language to describe Israel on Twitter.
- In April, 2022, three students at the University of Idaho were asked by a fellow student why the Christian Legal Society (to which they belonged) required its members to believe in the Christian understanding of marriage. After they gave a biblical answer, they were reported to school officials, and three days later the university’s Office of Civil Rights and Investigation censored their speech, ordering the Christian students to stop all communication between them and the complaining student.
- In January, 2022, a Michigan junior high school student filed suit in U.S. District Court against his high school district because he was suspended for three days the previous fall for stating his Christian beliefs in a private text conversation in a hallway at Plainwell High School.
- In January 2022, a U.S. Army veteran was arrested for holding a sign that said “God bless the homeless vets.” He was standing on the sidewalk in front of Alpharetta City Hall, a town in Georgia. He was handcuffed by police and charged with “panhandling,” though all he did was to hold the sign. He sued a year later.
- In October 2021, a scholar-in-residence at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, who “proudly and openly identified as a Christian woman of color,” was condemned for criticizing DC Comics for making Superman’s son bisexual. Students protested and wanted her removed from the campus, despite the fact that she deleted her tweet.
- In December, 2022, a Christian English woman, Isabel Vaughan-Spruce, was arrested for silently praying outside an abortion clinic. She faces two years behind bars.
- In December 2022, a Christian English man, Adam Smith-Connor, was accosted by the police for silently praying outside an abortion clinic. The British army veteran was asked, “Can I ask what is the nature of your prayer today?” He was fined 100-pounds (roughly $123.65).
- In April, 2022, Pastor John Sherwood was arrested by London police for causing “alarm and distress” to pedestrians. His crime was publicly quoting from Genesis about God’s design for mankind.
- In April, 2022, a 76-year-old grandmother in Liverpool, England was questioned by the police, and then fined, for praying silently on a public street.
Notice that in every one of these cases it was militant secularists who complained about, or bullied, people of faith, most of whom are Christians. It is not the latter who are seeking to deny the rights of secularists; no, it is secularists who are punishing people of faith.
While all of these incidents are horrific, none smacks of totalitarianism more than the English cop who asked the army veteran, “Can I ask what is the nature of your prayer today?” That is right out of Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany and Mao’s China. If they can find the technology to read your mind, some will demand that Christians caught praying in public be shot. That’s where we’re headed.