Why Religious Liberty Matters

All politics, and culture, is a contest of elites. The question is, which elite will dominate the halls of politics and culture? Contingent to this question is who will benefit because of the elites in power?

The Supreme Court of the United States is under intense scrutiny and attack from militant liberals because of its recent rulings in favor of religious liberty and its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson. As Christians, we should be thankful to God for a courageous Court and the role it is playing in allowing us to practice and live our Faith free of state oppression and intervention. Religious liberty is essential to the future revival of this republic because it permits us to build counter institutions and shepherd a new prospective elite in the midst of the establishment’s decline.

All politics, and culture, is a contest of elites. The question is, which elite will dominate the halls of politics and culture? Contingent to this question is who will benefit because of the elites in power?

It is clear that since the end of the Cold War and liberal euphoria, Christians have been on the losing end of this contest. All we hold dear has been thrown out and assailed, while our enemies gloat with glee over their victories. 

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The liberal establishment has an awkward relationship with Christianity, especially in America. In the Western world, Christians still have remarkable power and influence, if they can organize effectively together. The network of Christian schools, publishing houses, and media ensures a large presence to the population and access to the corridors of institutions that move law and culture. 

Because of this, the liberal establishment calls upon Christians when it is in trouble. Christians should be kind to the poor, help the refugee, and assist in liberal humanitarian efforts. The Christianity the liberal establishment accepts is a Christianity that supports its anti-Christian agenda, veiling it in the language of charity and trying to guilt Christians into their efforts. 

When Christianity confronts the liberal establishment and agenda, however, the real heart of the current elite is revealed. Contempt. Mockery. Scorn. Hatred. Associating Christians with the Taliban and al-Qaeda and ISIS is now very common on social media. Ignorance over the role of Christianity in shaping education, law and liberty, and the healthcare services in the United States is widespread, even though Christianity provided the foundation for our cherished ideals in education, law, liberty, and service to the poor and downtrodden. 

The importance of religious liberty is essential for Christians to understand, and it is imperative that they be on the side of defending it. It’s not merely about upholding the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. It’s about the future prospect of our country.

Despite the terms “democracy,” “republic,” and “power to the people,” all politics is shaped by an elite. Elites rise and fall. Their institutions rise and fall with them.

We are living in an age of decline, that is one of the few things that most Americans agree about. This means that Christians are also living in an age of opportunity, just as our forebears did during the nadir of the Roman Empire in western Europe and North Africa. This isn’t the first time the winds of history have moved to this beat. 

The preservation of religious liberty ensures that Christians, and all our various institutions—schools, media, hospitals, and charitable organizations—exist to counterbalance the failing and declining institutions of the entrenched liberal elite. Some of us may even end up in those elite institutions for reasons pertinent to the individual. This is important because it allows Christians to build and network for the future. 

When elites and their institutions fall, two things can happen. In one scenario, a new elite takes their place, inheriting the institutions that the former elite once controlled. This occurred in the 1960s in the United States when the Christian and patriotic stewards of American cinema, media, and education were replaced by liberals, communist sympathizers, and radical feminists. They have held power ever since. 

Alternatively, a collapse is so shocking that the elite and their institutions vanish with them. This leaves a vacuum from which a new elite and their institutions replace the vanished and vanquished old. This happened with the Catholic Church and the fall of the Roman Empire in western Europe.

I do not hold the doom and gloom of the latter vision. Rather, the Supreme Court’s many recent rulings in favor of religious liberty give me hope of the first vision—as does my work in education and as an editor. Christians coming from our elite schools, primary and secondary, even in higher education, not to mention those of us spread throughout the media and publishing world, exist without the constricting persecution of the anti-Christian establishment and are in prime positions to replace the current elite as they fade away.

This is what motivates the contempt and scorn—indeed, hatred—of private Christian institutions and the desire to subjugate them to the “secular” federal state. Anti-Christian liberals see the existence of Christian institutions as a threat to their diminishing hold on power. They know that one day they will no longer be here and that Christians are the likeliest group of people to replace them.

Hence the drive to indoctrinate as many students as possible, as young as possible, in the anti-Christian worldview. Simultaneously, our current elites seek to eliminate the influence of Christianity and Christian institutions across the country because it serves as a counterbalance to their dark desires. But so long as the Supreme Court and our legislators affirm religious liberty, Christians and Christian institutions are ready to guide the country once again as the darkness fades and the new dawn rises.

That is why religious liberty is so important. We should be thankful for religious liberty—not just to practice our Faith freely but to also be able to help revitalize the heart and soul of our country, now and into the future. Religious liberty ensures that there can always be a brighter, better future than the current dark times we’re in.

[Image Credit: Unsplash]

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