What passes for persecution these days illustrates just how easily people forget history. The common complaint we hear now is not about genocide, which the Jews faced in World War II, nor about the enslaving of those who look different, believe different, or live in places different than another. Today, witnessing prayer constitutes persecution in the minds of some. The lawsuits are getting out of hand. Those who cry “foul,” on the grounds of intolerance when a citizen of our country freely expresses his religious beliefs are certainly demonstrating a measure of intolerance themselves. Tolerance goes both ways. If the majority in a society is expected to tolerate the discomfort caused by minorities within the society who have a different belief system then certainly the minority in that society should expect that they will be required to tolerate a few things about the majority that makes them uncomfortable as well.
There is no “freedom from religion” in America: We have “freedom of religion.” The founding fathers sought to protect the free expression of faith, not the intolerant restriction of faith. If a single person with a minority opinion can place restrictions upon the expression of an entire society’s religious faith, just imagine the harm that could be done by a government bent on micromanaging the faith of its citizenry. Citizens of a minority philosophy within a free country are afforded the same protections as individual within the majority: Each is protected from being forced into any act, demonstration, or expression which is against their belief system. Nor should the majority or the minority be denied the free expression or demonstration of their belief system as long as it does not involve illegal activity. Nobody is protected from exposure to another’s philosophy. If such a “right” existed, then the atheist could no longer express his belief that there is no God; the homosexual could no longer express his philosophy about sexuality; the civil rights movement would be shut down. Our society is swimming with competing philosophies and belief systems. The only protections and restrictions needed are those that promote an environment that fosters the free expression thereof. My philosophy of faith is tested every day by ideas and philosophies that are foreign to me. That isn’t persecution. That is the result of a free society.
What some atheists and liberal activists don’t seem to understand about people of faith is that our faith is not something that we do on Sundays at church. Our faith is real to us. It is our culture. It is our philosophy on life: Our way of life. My faith does not require you to accept me or my message. My faith does not require you to respect me even though I am required to respect you. It does, however, require me to share what we call “The Good News” with the world around me. That may make you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, it makes me uncomfortable, too. But in this country I have the right to freely express my faith, and you have the right to reject my expressions as foolishness. Neither of us has the right to restrict the other from their own expressions.
Christian culture is in competition for survival among the many others in this society, including secularism and atheism, but I am comfortable enough with my faith to reject ideas that are contrary to my belief system. I expect a certain amount of exposure to other ideas. In some ways, my specific beliefs place me in the minority in this country. I do not consider that persecution. It is part of the price of living in a free society.