The Battle of Religious Freedom and Government Kingdom


There are two trends in America that anyone of religious faith (actually everyone) should be very worried about.  And the danger is that when seen by themselves these two trends may not seem all that alarming.  But together they spell the end of your religious freedom.  Sounds like I’m exaggerating, right? Using hyperbole to make a point?  Think again.

The first trend is this:  Government keeps getting bigger.  Ever since the birth of our great Constitutional Republic (not a democracy), the size and scope of government have increasingly increased.  So not only has it continually gotten bigger, but it’s getting bigger faster.  Never has it shown any ability to meaningfully shrink itself.  It has never shown that it has any real self-control.

Now this was not the intent of our Founding Fathers.  They did not create a government as a little baby – meant to continue growing into the awkward, obnoxious, arrogant teenager it is today (who thinks it knows everything there is to know about the world and how you should live).  In fact, it was specifically set up with restrictions to keep it from growing – leaving all but the necessities to the state governments and, ultimately, to the individual.  They had the wisdom that such limitations were the only way to preserve our freedom.  A wisdom we lack today.

Sadly, many today don’t see anything wrong with an increasingly bigger and out of control government.  And specifically, there are many people of faith that do not see the danger it poses to our religious freedom – perhaps the most important freedom of all.  And it may not seem very obvious until you view it in light of a second trend.

The second trend is this: Government increasingly denies the practice of religious freedom within its jurisdiction.  With “separation of Church and State” as a battle cry – a phrase many obtusely misinterpret – there is a growing group of secularists in our country who aim to rid any hint of religious practice from any government jurisdiction.

And again, to many this by itself may seem like no big deal.  After all, government has its place and I practice my religion elsewhere.  So what’s the harm?

But put these two trends together.  Government jurisdiction keeps growing with no sign of stopping.  Government increasingly disallows any practice of religion within its jurisdiction.  Are we thinking now?

For example, a long, long time ago government took over the school system.  Now they are eradicating any kind of religious practice from the schools.  Multiply that across everything the government has a hand in today, mix in a load of ACLU lawyers and an intolerant secular culture and it adds up to the eventual loss of your religious freedom – period.

Right now, the government has their hand in just about every pie in the bakery.  And the growing rule of thumb is that if you receive federal dollars at all then not only can you not practice your religion, but you must practice the “government religion” instead.

Think I’m joking?  Not only has this slowly and quietly already happened in our nationalized education system, but look at what Barack Obama is proposing in his Freedom of Choice Act.  He says that if you are a hospital receiving any money from the government then you should be obligated by law to perform abortions and other morally despicable practices – your conscience or religion be damned.  (And people still think socialized medicine is a good idea?)

It’s out of control.  That being said, the government does have some convincing reasons for doing many of the things it does.  But how much are they worth?  And can it do them while still respecting our individual freedom?

We must weigh in the fact that the bigger these government programs get, the more our freedoms in general (not only religious freedoms) become endangered.  That’s not fear-mongering.  That’s historical fact.

We have another example this week in this “stimulus” bill.  The Democrats are trying to make it so that no form of religious practice can take place in a facility that is renovated using these funds.  Here’s the language:

(2) PROHIBITED USES OF FUNDS. No funds awarded under this section may be used for – (C) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission; or construction of new facilities.

And some might say “big deal.”  It is a big deal.  We are setting a precedent that all the government has to do is rub up against something with some “renovation” funds and now the facility can’t be used for anything religious.  It gets scarier everyday.  Hopefully this gets cut from this bill before passing.  It’s another good example of how this “stimulus” is being abused to accomplish an underlying agenda to do much more than simply stimulate the economy.   Further, it’s clauses like this that are later used by secularist lawyers and the ACLU to drive religion out of anything that’s been touched by the golden wand of government.

And still some say, “but religion doesn’t belong in government.”  Well what about when the government is everywhere?  What about when the government has a hand in everything?  Is there then no place for religion at all?

We had better be very careful.  We are quickly trading our religious freedom for a government kingdom – and not many of us seem to realize it.

14 comments Add comment

Pete Frey February 10, 2009 at 11:38 am

thanks— this is getting very very frightening. Look at Canada: ministers are being charged with hate crimes for preaching against homosexuality and abortion. Think it can’t happen here? think again! So yes, soon the govt will be intruding into the works of the church itself. Check the Catholic Knight blog and the comment about “sincerity tests” for public schools

steve magendans February 11, 2009 at 12:24 am

Hi Matt.
What you’ve written has already happened in New Zealand. Under the previous socialist government.
The night it was announced on national TV that “any schools found guilty of leading children in christian prayer, whether in english or maori will be prosecuted but the ministry of education”.
A few decades ago ,if it had been suggested that in the future this would be law ,you would have been committed to the asylum .
Thankfully the socialists have been voted out in our last election . ( A few days before your socialists ,and red pres got voted in).
I hope for America and the right thinking of the western world that you don’t have as long under the iron heel as we had.

Patricia Prenosil February 13, 2009 at 2:05 am

I totally see this one coming. We need to pray, pray , pray for our country and our souls. I pray for the grace of final perseverance because even though I am firm in my convictions I am a wimp who hates conflict as well. Perhaps Jesus will return before we are all martyred. Or perhaps not.

Christophe May 1, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Well – all this mean is that if you’re a religious organization, you should abstain from accepting this money. And if you get the money and turn religious, you might be asked to return the money.

Frankly, I’m very happy that my tax isn’t going to help build a mormon temple, Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall, etc.

Stopped being so self-centered. Love the poor.

Catholic debating pro-life April 22, 2010 at 9:41 pm

When did we say we didn’t love the poor? The fact is that another freedom is being limited-now religious centers are asked not to accept renovation money? How is this fair?

lozen March 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm


lozen March 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Please try to open your minds! The big problem with religion is that it makes you close your mind and live in a small world without many options. The reason we can’t have xtian prayer in the classroom is because our world is bigger now than 50 years ago. We have buddhist, atheist, agnostic, pagan, islamic, hindu children in that classroom!

Nathan May 4, 2012 at 9:49 am

If you think religion closes your mind (rather than expanding it) perhaps this You Tube from Fr. Barron would help.

lozen March 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Wow. I jsut realized nobody’s been posting to this blog since last year ! So long

ratisbon May 13, 2011 at 4:20 am

Where has all the “in god we trust” gone?
And what about the “land of the free”?
As a Catholic from “Old Europe” i´m just wondering …

Ricky Jones May 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Matt, sadly, I’m one of those who didn’t see this coming. Thanks for sharing this information. For many of us, it’s only through these channels that we are made aware of such things. Keep it up!

sage May 9, 2012 at 12:43 am

Yes, you are exaggerating and using hyperbole to scare people again. Fear has always been the biggest tool for religion. If you frighten people enough, you can get them to do anything. Unfortunately.
It seems to me it is the catholic hierarchy “(who thinks it knows everything there is to know about the world and how you should live).” Big gov’t frightens me too, but not as much as religion and religious puppets like you frighten me. I know I’ve been banned from your website. And that’s a badge of honor really. Galileo’s ideas were banned, (I am in good company), he was forced to recant and put under house arrest by the RC church. Nazis were moved to safety by the RC church. How many thousands of little boys and girls have been sexually molested by priests? “You will know the tree by its fruits” said Jesus.

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