Acton Institute Powerblog

Religious Liberty Versus Secular Tyranny

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The domestic threat to religious liberty and the global slaughter of Christians around the globe is becoming harder to ignore. It certainly is now one of the most important news stories to follow for the New Year.

Yesterday, I delivered a lecture on the topic of religious liberty to the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. My Acton commentary is an abbreviated version of the portion of the lecture that focused on the current domestic threat. I’ve already talked about how the American Civil Rights Movement might be one model to push back against the rising tide of Christian persecution in this country. It is becoming increasingly clear that churches need to do a better job preparing believers to handle and deal with religious persecution.

We are really living through a dangerous era of historic revisionism, where the agenda to drastically curb the influence of religion and a faith informed virtue from the public square is strengthening. I simply ask in my piece, “What would Western Civilization look like without God, and more specifically the Lord Jesus Christ? Francis Cardinal George warns us that “secularism is communism’s better-scrubbed bedfellow.

In my commentary, I noted the fatal flaw of the secular progressive scheme with its empty promise to perfect and organize man free of the divine:

As the West rushes to repaganize itself, ironically, it is only reverting back to the kind of tyranny and despotism that predates Western Civilization’s championing of progress and freedom.

In truth, as we are reminded this Christmas season, it’s not progressive secularism that redeems the world, but Christ. The secular world and even many people of faith have lost sight of the fact that it is faith and the Christian life it inspires that reflect and bring us closer to the restored world promised by Christianity.

Read the entire commentary.

Ray Nothstine is opinion editor of the the North State Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina. Previously, he was managing editor of Acton Institute's Religion & Liberty quarterly. In 2005 Ray graduated with a Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky. He also holds a B.A. in Political Science from The University of Mississippi in Oxford.

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