Acton Institute Powerblog

Hostility Towards Religion Continues To Grow In America

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Liberty Institute, a legal organization in Plano, Texas, has released the report, “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America, 2014 Edition,” featuring more than 1,300 cases of religious hostility, persecution and/or Constitutional violations of rights in the United States.

According to the report,

Hostility to religion in America is still growing. Because religion is so vital to a free and well-ordered society, our goal is to expose and document this growing hostility to help Americans confront and reverse it. The hostility is growing in the “Public Arena” of public places, government, and the workplace. it is growing in the “Schoolhouse” of education, from K-12 through higher academia. it is growing in the sector of “Churches and Ministries” where one might expect it to be safest. And it is growing in the areas of society that encompass the “Military,” which includes our veterans. The growth of hostility is undeniable and it is dangerous.

The report covers incidents such as one where a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy wrote a Biblical quote on his personal whiteboard. He was asked to remove it when other cadets said its mere presence was offensive. The report also cites numerous legal cases where churches, synagogues and other religious organizations were denied the right to build or expand; several of them were consistently harassed by local officials.

Nate Madden at the National Catholic Reporter quotes George Yancey, professor of sociology at the University of North Texas and co-author of So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States, about the report.

My research suggests a certain willingness of Americans to dehumanize conservative Christians. Yet many of these individuals also espouse a desire for religious neutrality. So how do we reconcile these two concepts? I discovered in my research that these individuals, who tend to be white, male, wealthy, highly educated, politically ‘progressive’ and nonreligious, tend to use mechanisms that can be justified for nonreligious reasons but have a disparate impact upon Christians.

Read “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America” at Liberty Institute.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.

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