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How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 (More) Quick Questions

Is your religious liberty at risk? The answer to that question depends on the kind of “religious liberty” you hope to exercise. If your “religious liberty” involves support for abortion rights, denunciation of capitalism, removal of creation science or Intelligent Design from public schools, sympathy for terrorists, LGBT issues, animal rights, doctor assisted suicide, militant environmentalism, and radical feminism, then NO, your religious liberty is NOT at risk. It’s those of us on the more conservative side of the spectrum who need to worry.

Of course, the “persecution” some North American believers claim is in no way comparable to the martyrdom and social expulsion some in the Middle East or Third World regularly experience. This, however, does not diminish the reality that First World secularism is whittling away at the religious liberties of conservative believers. A while back, United Church of Christ minister Emily C. Heath wrote How to Determine If Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions. Sadly, Reverend Heath’s questions were intended to mock the concerns of Evangelicals and bolster the caricature of religious conservatives as crybabies and bullies. So, as a public service (and as a means to counter the condescending, dismissive snark of Religious Leftists), I’ve come up with the following little quiz. I call it “How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 (More) Quick Questions.” Just pick “A” or “B” for each question.

1. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) If my Christian campus organization requires its leaders to be Christians, it WILL remain recognized by the college.

B.) If my Christian campus organization requires its leaders to be Christians, it MIGHT NOT remain recognized by the college.

2. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) If I choose to not allow a same-sex wedding to be performed on my farm, I will NOT be fined.

B.) If I choose to not allow a same-sex wedding to be performed on my farm, I COULD be fined.

3. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) College professors in the U.S. have an equal chance of being hired if it is learned they are conservative Christians.

B.) College professors in the U.S. have a LESSER chance of being hired if it is learned they are conservative Christians.

4. My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) Affirming Jesus’ Resurrection on a college campus IS NOT grounds for charges of discrimination.

B.) Affirming Jesus’ Resurrection on a college campus CAN BE grounds for charges of discrimination.

5.) My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) Publicly opposing gay marriage on religious grounds will NOT result in my being fired.

B.) Publicly opposing gay marriage on religious grounds COULD result in my being fired.

6.) My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) If I say “God bless you” to a fellow student who sneezed, I will NEVER get suspended from school.

B.) If I say “God bless you” to a fellow student who sneezed, I COULD get suspended.

7.) My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) Holding a pro-life event on campus will NOT be deemed “discriminatory” if it does not include a pro-abortion viewpoint.

B.) Holding a pro-life event on campus COULD be deemed “discriminatory” if it does not include a pro-abortion viewpoint.

8.) My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) Being a devout Christian and being skeptical about certain aspects of evolutionary theory will NOT jeopardize my scientific career.

B.) Being a devout Christian and being skeptical about certain aspects of evolutionary theory WILL DEFINITELY jeopardize my scientific career.

9.) My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) Holding my public school graduation ceremony in a Christian church will NOT incur a lawsuit.

B.) Holding my public school graduation ceremony in a Christian church COULD incur a lawsuit.

10.) My religious liberty is at risk because:

A.) Including a cross in my County’s seal will NOT result in a lawsuit.

B.) Including a cross in my County’s seal COULD result in a lawsuit.

SCORING KEY:

If you answered “A” to any of the questions, you are either dangerously close to a secular worldview or very much like the frog in the proverbial kettle. If you answered “B” to any of the questions, then perhaps your religious liberty is indeed being threatened and all those charges that religious conservatives are puds and whiners is a tactical means of intimidation by tools.

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Proctor S. Burress September 8, 2014, 9:32 AM

    Sir, you need to do some very serious research on the origin and earliest
    use of seculorum. Otherwise you are preaching theocracy and your readers will continue to remain ignorant of both the costs and benefits
    of matters outside of the sacred precincts.

    Your theology and sloppy use of conservative may have begun in the early 20th century BUT that it not where it all began!

    • Mike Duran September 9, 2014, 5:26 AM

      Not exactly sure what you’re saying, Proctor. I’m not preaching theocracy, only a civil recognition of our country’s historical and religious footings and tolerance extended on both sides.

  • Gary Whittenberger September 8, 2014, 2:01 PM

    Mike, I believe that the way you have worded your “questions” and answers is totally flawed. You have rigged the outcome because selection of the “A” answer produces a false statement in every case! Let’s just take the first question as an example. It is false that my religious liberty is at risk if my Christian campus organization requires its leaders to be Christians and the organization remains recognized by the college (choice of A). Take the fifth question as another example. It is false that my religious liberty is at risk if publicly opposing gay marriage on religious grounds will NOT result in my being fired (choice of A). Now take the tenth question. It is false that my religious liberty is at risk if including a cross in my County’s seal will NOT result in a lawsuit (choice of A). I think you will find this to be the case with every question.

    You need to completely revise your assessment. I’ll modify question #1 to show how you could do it:

    1. If my Christian campus organization requires its leaders to be Christians, but then it loses its recognition by the college
    A. This is not a violation of religious liberty.
    B. This is a violation of religious liberty.
    C. Can’t decide or don’t wish to say.

    • Mike Duran September 9, 2014, 5:31 AM

      Gary, the answers are “rigged” in the same way the HuffPo quiz was. This is a counter to that. Also, I’d disagree with your basic dissent: All of these things can be evidence of an incremental erosion of religious liberty, depending on what side of the argument you stand.

      • Gary Whittenberger September 15, 2014, 9:08 AM

        Mike, two wrongs don’t make a right. You should have presented a serious non-rigged questionnaire.

        I disagree with your dissent to my dissent. By referring to “depending on what side of the argument you stand” you are endorsing relativism in ethics. However, we should attempt to apply an objective ethics and the tool of reason to each of the situations you have described. People on one side are probably mistaken.

        The way you structured your questionnaire just assumes that whatever answers are given they are supportive of your presupposition that there is “an incremental erosion of religious liberty” in America.

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