Tag Archives: Freedom of Religion

Is there anything in the atheistic worldview that rationally grounds human rights?

Support for free speech in different countries
Support for free speech in different countries (Source: Pew Research)

I think it’s useful for Christians in America to look at what is happening to Christians in other countries, so that we can understand what the future holds for us. Most other countries are further along the road to secularism than America is, so you can how a secular government reacts when a Christian exercises his or her free speech rights in public.

Here’s an example from Finland:

A Christian politician who is under police investigation for sharing a Bible verse on Facebook has spoken out about her shocking ordeal.

In June, Finnish politician Päivi Räsänen called out the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland for its participation in the Helsinki Pride events, sharing a passage from Romans 1 to prove her point.

As a result, authorities opened an investigation into Räsänen, who is a member of The Christian Democrats party and also the former Minister of the Interior.

Speaking to Faithwire, Räsänen said that she was motivated to share the scripture after hearing her church denomination had decided to endorse events that are in contradiction with God’s word.

She perceives that the government’s criminal investigation of her “offensive speech” will cause other Christians to be frightened about speaking out against sin in public:

One of the most shocking elements of this case is that the authorities have decided to charge the politician with “agitation against an ethnic group” — an accusation that she believes is not only false, but also something that will also have grave ramifications for the Finnish Christian community and freedom of religion as a whole.

“Already the fact that a police investigation has been started and there is a suspect of a crime has a significant effect to freedom of speech and religion in practice,” she told Faithwire.

“I am worried that the police investigation has had a chilling effect among Christians. It seems that many Christians in my country are now hiding and going to the closet now that the LGBT-community has come out to the public.”

The politician said she was concerned that Christians will become increasingly less inclined to share scripture on public platforms out of a fear that they are will be arrested for offending a certain group of people.

Wow, she’s right about that. Unfortunately, in America, I have yet to see pastors in any church I’ve attended warning people about the loss of liberties that Christians experience when they are ruled by atheists. And I attend conservative PCA and SBC churches, although I would not attend an SBC church any more.

Here’s another story from South Africa, where a Christian doctor has lost his medical license for merely expressing pro-life views:

A hearing by the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) against an anti-abortion doctor got off to a rocky start and had to be temporarily adjourned on Tuesday in Cape Town.

Jacques de Vos, 32, is facing charges of unprofessional conduct and was prohibited from practising medicine due to his views on abortion.

The former intern at 2 Military Hospital in Wynberg allegedly told a patient more than two years ago that a foetus was a human being. He allegedly likened abortion to killing an unborn human, while working for the gynaecology division during his intern year.

At the hearing it emerged that De Vos was only a week short of finishing his medical degree before he did his community service.

South Africa is a communist country, which means that the rulers of the country are atheists. Communism is an atheistic ideology that does not recognize human rights. This is because in order to have human rights, you need a God to design the universe with those rights, such that other humans have to respect those rights. Atheism starts with an accidental universe, and finishes with humans that evolved accidentally, through a process of evolution that was random and unplanned. So, it’s not surprising to see governments in atheistic countries mistreating Christians, and using the power of government to compel them to act like atheists.

It would be nice to see leaders in churches setting aside some time to warn Christians about the dangers of being ruled by atheists. But what I see happening with young people is that atheism is being sold to them as glamorous through false ideologies. Socialism, which has only ever made people poor, is presented to them as a solution to poverty. The Southern Baptist church that I recently attended was mostly concerned with opening up our borders to refugees and illegal aliens, and equalizing incomes by giving power to a secular government. If it were up to me, they’d be focused on evidential apologetics, rolling back radical feminism, and explaining how the free market system produces prosperity. But they have other priorities. By the time Bible-believing Christian leaders realize that anything is going on, it will be too late to stop it.

Frank Turek lectures on the case against same-sex marriage

About the speaker Frank Turek:

Dr. Frank Turek is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or coauthor of four books: Stealing from God:  Why Atheists Need God to make their Case, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality. As the President of CrossExamined.org, Frank presents powerful and entertaining evidence for Christianity at churches, high schools and at secular college campuses that often begin hostile to his message. He has also debated several prominent atheists including Christopher Hitchens and David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

Frank hosts an hour-long TV program each week called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist that is broadcast Wednesday nights on DirecTV Channel 378 (the NRB Network). His radio program called CrossExamined with Frank Turek airs on 122 stations every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. eastern and is available continuously on the free CrossExamined App.

A former aviator in the US Navy, Frank has a master’s degree from the George Washington University and a doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary.  He and his wife, Stephanie, are blessed with three grown sons.

Frank Turek is one of my favorite speakers, and I admire him for being willing to take a public stand on controversial issues like gay marriage. He’s actually had to pay a price for that in his professional life, and I blogged about that before.

Here’s the lecture on gay marriage, featuring Christian apologist Frank Turek.

Outline:

Outline of Frank Turek's lecture on same sex marriage
Outline of Frank Turek’s lecture on same sex marriage

Introduction:

  • how to present your case against marriage safely
  • Christians are required to go beyond tolerance
  • loving another person can mean opposing the person when they want to do something wrong, even if they hate you
  • what did Jesus say about marriage? (see Matt 19:4-6)
  • what did Jesus say about sexual morality? (Matt 15, Matt 19)

Summary:

  • the same-sex marriage debate is about whether to compel people who disagree with the gay lifestyle to validate and normalize it
  • P1: the government has an interest in marriage because it perpetuates and stabilizes society – this is the purpose of marriage
  • P2-4: government can take 3 kinds of stances towards behaviors: promote, permit or prohibit
  • government promotes behaviors when it has an interest in them
  • same-sex relationships should be permitted, but not promoted
  • Q1: if same-sex marriage had serious negative consequences, would you reconsider their position?
  • Q2: are heterosexual relationships the same as homosexual relationships?
  • Q3: what would society be like if everyone married according to the natural marriage definition: one woman, one man, for life?
  • Q4: what would society be like if everyone married according to the same-sex marriage definition: man/man and woman/woman?
  • Should Christians care about law and politics? or should they just preach the gospel?
  • They should care because people often get their cues about what is moral and immoral based on what is legal and illegal
  • Many of the social problems we see today can be traced back to problems with marriage and family
  • Children do much better when they have a relationship with their mother and their father
  • Same-sex marriage necessarily destroys the relationship between a child and its mother or its father
  • When a country embraces same-sex marriage, it reinforces the idea that marriage is not about making and raising children
  • same-sex marriage shifts the focus away from the needs of the children to the feelings of desires of the selfish adults
  • does homosexuality impose any health and mental health risks?
  • what has the impact of legalizing same-sex marriage been in Massachusetts to individuals, schools, businesses and charities?
  • how same-sex marriage poses a threat to religious liberty
  • how should you respond to the view that homosexuality is genetic?

And at the very end, he shows this short video, which is only 5 minutes and explains the logic of opposing the redefinition of marriage:

My biggest concern is religious liberty, and we are seeing how same-sex marriage has proven to be incompatible with religious liberty. But I also care about children… I want them to have mothers and fathers who put their needs first. Marriage is about a commitment – it is the subjugation of feelings and desires to responsibilities and obligations. It is a promise. A promise to commit to love your spouse and children regardless of feelings and desires. It requires more self-denial, self-control and self-sacrifice. Not less.

Police handcuff and arrest black pastor for preaching plain gospel message

Four white Canadian police officers arrest black pastor
Four white policemen arrest black pastor for preaching the gospel

I try to stay informed about countries that are more advanced on the path of secular leftism, such as Canada and Venezuela. Canada is about 10 years ahead of us down the path of secular leftism. They legalized same-sex marriage 10 years before we did. They started persecuting Christian businesses 10 years before we did. And now they’re arresting Christian pastors.

Consider this article from the Christian Post:

Pastor David Lynn of Christ Forgiveness Ministries was arrested on June 4, 2019 for preaching the Gospel publicly in Toronto, Canada.  The neighborhood he was preaching in was Church-Wellesley Village. This neighborhood is known to be a place where many of the LGBTQ community in Toronto reside. His ministry is currently on an outdoor preaching tour throughout the 22 districts of Toronto. June 4, happened to be the day they scheduled for that district.

It is not uncommon for someone to think “open-air preaching” and “LGBTQ neighborhood” and immediately jump to thoughts of preachers condemning homosexuals to hell. However, Pastor Lynn’s preaching was some of the most loving and gracious preaching I have ever seen and heard. Which is why it is outrageous that he was arrested.

You can even watch the whole video here:

More:

The entire time of preaching was livestreamed via Facebook and can be found on YouTube. Throughout the video, it is surprising to see the reaction of those who were listening to Lynn’s preaching. The more love he poured out, the more hate and resistance he received. As anyone can see if they view the video, Pastor Lynn was respectful and kind throughout all of his time preaching. As he shared the Gospel, he also made statements like “We are here to tell you that we hate nobody.” He emphasized God’s love again and again.

He proceeded to ask those protesting him if they would be willing to tolerate him as a Christian. But those listening were unwilling to dialogue, and many asked him to leave the street corner.

Throughout the encounter he was very calm and collected, not entering into any disrespectful or condemnatory dialogue.

Canada does have hate speech laws. However, there is no way that his preaching could be deemed as hate-speech. Lynn stated while preaching, “Everyone is accepted….and that is what we preach as Christians.”

This pastor was very careful to avoid singling out any particular group as “sinful”. Instead, he said that everyone is sinful, and everyone needs forgiveness for their sin. That is the standard Christian view.

More:

In order to not make anyone listening feel singled out, he said “Jesus died for the sinner…. Every heterosexual has sin. Every homosexual has sin. Sin is when we violate the laws of God….” He did not target any particular group of people or single out homosexuality.

He was assaulted by the people who disagreed with him, but the police didn’t arrest them – they arrested him:

Though he was very loving throughout the entire encounter, tensions escalated, and people began to form a mob of protest around him. As he tried to walk away from the most adamant protesters, they crowded in on him and would not let him move. All throughout the encounter, as he tried to walk away from them, they pressed in on him and blocked him. At times, they even pressed their bodies against him, which in technicality is assault.

When the police arrived, rather than dealing with those that were assaulting Pastor Lynn, the police blamed Lynn for creating a disturbance of peace. Even upon his request to deal with those who had assaulted him, the police would not listen to him.

You can clearly see that in Canada, the police don’t care about basic human rights. Those policemen have been taught secular leftism. They don’t know anything about “human rights”. They only know that to keep their jobs, they must do as the secular leftists in power tell them. The laws are not based on morality. The laws are based on the need for the secular leftist elites to be able to do what they need to do without anyone disagreeing with them. The police aren’t the guardians of the moral law, they’re just hired muscle there to enforce the will of the secular left.

Rights like free speech and religious liberty DO NOT EXIST in Canada. Christians and conservatives have a duty to pay taxes to their secular left overlords, but they don’t have a right to disagree with their secular left overlords. They don’t have a right to live their lives as Christians, and run their families as Christians. If they try to act like Christians, then they wind up in front of a Human Rights Commission, or a criminal court, or in a jail cell.

And there is no freedom of the press in Canada. If a Canadian tries to expose any of the abuses of human rights to the public, the courts will send the police to their door to arrest them. You see, they want to suppress the human rights of those who disagree with them, but they don’t want anyone to know about it. They want people to believe that Canada is as free as the United States, so they don’t want reports about their heavy-handed totalitarianism to get out to the rest of the world. This suppression of the truth by force has always been the standard operating procedure of the secular left – in every country where they have seized power.

If you don’t want this for America, then you have to vote against the secular left, and do your part to persuade others not to vote for them.

Related Posts

Frank Turek lectures on the case against same-sex marriage

About the speaker Frank Turek:

Dr. Frank Turek is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or coauthor of four books: Stealing from God:  Why Atheists Need God to make their Case, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality. As the President of CrossExamined.org, Frank presents powerful and entertaining evidence for Christianity at churches, high schools and at secular college campuses that often begin hostile to his message. He has also debated several prominent atheists including Christopher Hitchens and David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

Frank hosts an hour-long TV program each week called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist that is broadcast Wednesday nights on DirecTV Channel 378 (the NRB Network). His radio program called CrossExamined with Frank Turek airs on 122 stations every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. eastern and is available continuously on the free CrossExamined App.

A former aviator in the US Navy, Frank has a master’s degree from the George Washington University and a doctorate from Southern Evangelical Seminary.  He and his wife, Stephanie, are blessed with three grown sons.

Frank Turek is one of my favorite speakers, and I admire him for being willing to take a public stand on controversial issues like gay marriage. He’s actually had to pay a price for that in his professional life, and I blogged about that before.

Here’s the lecture on gay marriage, featuring Christian apologist Frank Turek.

Outline:

Outline of Frank Turek's lecture on same sex marriage
Outline of Frank Turek’s lecture on same sex marriage

Introduction:

  • how to present your case against marriage safely
  • Christians are required to go beyond tolerance
  • loving another person can mean opposing the person when they want to do something wrong, even if they hate you
  • what did Jesus say about marriage? (see Matt 19:4-6)
  • what did Jesus say about sexual morality? (Matt 15, Matt 19)

Summary:

  • the same-sex marriage debate is about whether to compel people who disagree with the gay lifestyle to validate and normalize it
  • P1: the government has an interest in marriage because it perpetuates and stabilizes society – this is the purpose of marriage
  • P2-4: government can take 3 kinds of stances towards behaviors: promote, permit or prohibit
  • government promotes behaviors when it has an interest in them
  • same-sex relationships should be permitted, but not promoted
  • Q1: if same-sex marriage had serious negative consequences, would you reconsider their position?
  • Q2: are heterosexual relationships the same as homosexual relationships?
  • Q3: what would society be like if everyone married according to the natural marriage definition: one woman, one man, for life?
  • Q4: what would society be like if everyone married according to the same-sex marriage definition: man/man and woman/woman?
  • Should Christians care about law and politics? or should they just preach the gospel?
  • They should care because people often get their cues about what is moral and immoral based on what is legal and illegal
  • Many of the social problems we see today can be traced back to problems with marriage and family
  • Children do much better when they have a relationship with their mother and their father
  • Same-sex marriage necessarily destroys the relationship between a child and its mother or its father
  • When a country embraces same-sex marriage, it reinforces the idea that marriage is not about making and raising children
  • same-sex marriage shifts the focus away from the needs of the children to the feelings of desires of the selfish adults
  • does homosexuality impose any health and mental health risks?
  • what has the impact of legalizing same-sex marriage been in Massachusetts to individuals, schools, businesses and charities?
  • how same-sex marriage poses a threat to religious liberty
  • how should you respond to the view that homosexuality is genetic?

And at the very end, he shows this short video, which is only 5 minutes and explains the logic of opposing the redefinition of marriage:

My biggest concern is religious liberty, and we are seeing how same-sex marriage has proven to be incompatible with religious liberty. But I also care about children… I want them to have mothers and fathers who put their needs first. Marriage is about a commitment – it is the subjugation of feelings and desires to responsibilities and obligations. It is a promise. A promise to commit to love your spouse and children regardless of feelings and desires. It requires more self-denial, self-control and self-sacrifice. Not less.

The backlash against Karen Pence reveals the fascist ambitions of the secular left

The Pence family: Karen is on the right
The Pence family: Karen is on the right

I saw this story about Mike Pence’s splendid wife Karen getting a job teaching in a Christian school. The school has Biblical views on sexuality, i.e. – no sex outside of marriage and marriage defined as one woman and one man. Well, the mainstream media didn’t a Christian woman behaving like a Christian in public, and they decided to shame her for being a Christian.

Here are the facts from the centrist Washinton Examiner:

The story at issue is that Pence has resumed teaching at a school that “does not allow gay students,” and otherwise discriminates against homosexuals. Well, that’s a rather slanted way to describe the situation.

The school requires adherence to beliefs that include rejection of all forms of pre- or extramarital sex, specifically including heterosexual activity outside of marriage. It’s not homosexuality per se the school disapproves of; it’s the act of sex except as pro-sanctioned by the Bible. This may sound strange to those with oh-so-modern sensibilities, but it’s hardly invidious discrimination.

[…]Yet that crucial context, that the school bans its students from engaging in all forms of sexual activity considered immoral by Christians, is buried (if included at all) in multiple leading news outlets in the bowels of stories beneath headlines and lead paragraphs portraying the school as being particularly ” anti-gay.”

If you’re relying on the mainstream media for your news sources, then you’re almost certainly being lied to.

The secular leftists in the media always Christian moral rules as bad things that exclude and hurt people’s feelings. The secular left treats the feelings of being offended or excluded as more important than the Constitutional rights of freedom of religion and freedom of association.

What was interesting to me about this article was the tone of the original story from the Washington Post.

This article from The Federalist explains:

It’s progressive dogma that leads Harvard-educated Washington Post editor to incredulously ask how traditional Christian schools can even “happen” in contemporary American society. She is not merely questioning whether Second Lady Karen Pence is right or wrong to teach at a Christian school –after all, Americans are free to be critical of  people’s faith (well most)—but rather how the existence of a school that adhere to the teachings of a church that counters progressive dogma can exist at all.

This is the same progressive moral dogma that justifies years-long attacks on the livelihood of Christian bakers and florists. It’s the same dogma that justifies coercing nuns to offer the rite of birth control. If one doesn’t adhere to these commandments, the state, the most powerful institution in the world, will sue them into submission.

The secular leftist wonders “how can people who disagree with me be allowed to exist at all?”

The Daily Caller noted:

Several progressive groups including the NOH8 Campaign, the Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project targeted Karen and the school over its faith-based policies. The Trevor Project even announced it plans to send 100 copies of a book depicting the Pences’ pet rabbit as homosexual to the school.

If you ask the secular leftists in the mainstream media “what would you do about Karen Pence and Christian schools, if you had all the power in the world, and were not accountable to anyone?” And the answer is pretty clear from their treatment of Christian bakers, florists, wedding photographers. The would use any means necessary in order silence and coerce Bible-believing Christians into behaving like progressive atheists. And why not? This has been the pattern of the secular left throughout history. Just look at Stalin, Mao, and the other secular leftist tyrants in atheist countries.

Ben Shapiro to the rescue

So where is the church on this? Well, I have noticed that many Christian pastors have nothing to say about politics, or any of the conflicts between Christians and the secular left. A friend of mine from Ohio just sent me this clip of pastor Alistair Begg, a pious fundamentalist pastor with limited real-world abilities, denouncing those who take political issues seriously. I am so sick and tired of these useless pastors who are coasting on the religious liberty that was provided for them by bolder men in ages past. (Aside: Wayne Grudem is pretty good on policy and politics, though)

But wait! The battlefield has not been abandoned by everyone. You see, Orthodox Jews have the same kinds of rules for their religious schools as evangelical Christians do. So, the task of defending Christian religious liberty was taken up by Orthodox Jew and conservative superhero Ben Shapiro.

Here is this Thursday podcast:

Watching Ben reminds me of being at university, feeling very alone, and then discovering videos of William Lane Craig debating atheists on campus. “Is anyone going to speak up for us?” Yes. Someone is going to speak up for us. Make sure you subscribe to Ben’s podcast. I never miss a single episode.