A Real War on Religion
We’ve heard a lot from GOP presidential candidates about the supposed “war on religion” President Obama is waging from his secular-Marxist bunker at the White House. Even some bishops have embraced strains of this extreme argument.
But as the Jesuits at America magazine argued recently in a powerful editorial “it does a disservice to the victims of religious persecution everywhere to inflate policy differences into a struggle over religious freedom.”
Catholic News Service reports:
Terrorist attacks on Christians in Africa, the Middle East and Asia tripled in a seven-year period, a Vatican official told a U.N. meeting. Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Holy See’s permanent observer to U.N. offices in Geneva, told the U.N. Human Rights Council that while Christians are not the only victims, attacks on them in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia “increased 309 percent between 2003 and 2010…”
Approximately 70 percent of the world’s population lives in countries with high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices, and religious minorities pay the highest price. In general, rising restrictions on religion affect more than 2.2 billion people,” the archbishop told the council members March 1.
Christians are not a persecuted minority in the U.S. And I suspect most people of faith in our country don’t share the ominous view that “religion is being neutered in the public square” as Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has argued.
As religious institutions and the government work through the often thorny details of balancing the important goals of protecting religious conscience and women’s health let’s have some perspective and tone down the rhetoric.