A review of Speechless: Silencing the Christians. By Donald Wildmon.
Richard Vigilante Books, 2009.
The many freedoms and benefits of Western civilisation are in large measure due to the Judeo-Christian worldview. Yet throughout the West, Christianity is increasingly coming under attack. Religious freedom in general and Christianity in particular are both under direct assault as the West moves in a leftwards and secular direction.
Donald Wildmon, who has for decades championed pro-faith and pro-family causes, here documents the relentless war being waged against biblical Christianity. He provides numerous examples of how Christians in North America are being targeted by secular activists.
All these cases of anti-Christian bigotry and intimidation make for very sobering reading. One wonders how it is that a nation like the US has so quickly become a land where Christians are being bullied into silence, and where activist minority groups are turning the values and beliefs of a once great nation upside down.
Earlier books have offered similar warnings. Persecution by David Limbaugh (Regnery, 2003) and The Criminalization of Christianity by Janet Folger (Multnomah, 2005) were two such books. But things have heated up considerably ever since those volumes were released.
Simply listing the many examples of the war on Christianity could fill volumes. Consider briefly a few recent cases:
-Christians are arrested for expressing their concerns about homosexuality.
-A church was told by the government that it must allow lesbian “weddings” to be performed there.
-Workers are being fired for simply quoting from the Bible.
-Christians are jailed for singing in a public park where a homosexual festival is held.
-School kids have been threatened for daring to recite passages of Scripture.
-Christian charities are being shut down for refusing to comply with politically correct agendas.
-Workers are told the words “family values” are offensive and cannot be used in the workplace.
-Fines and imprisonment are being handed out to those who speak up for Christian values in the public arena.
The list goes on and on. A once free nation is now becoming a soft totalitarian state, where the biggest threat to the government seems to be biblical Christians who stand up for their faith. Wildmon documents how in every field – be it education, the workplace, finance and taxation, the media, the courts – laws are being passed and actions taken which specifically target believers who refuse to bow to the secularist agenda.
Wildmon examines groups like the ACLU which seek to “intimidate the schools and other public institutions into censoring Christian speech” for fear of legal action. He also looks at how government bodies are putting the squeeze on Christian groups, all the while funding and promoting organisations which oppose Christianity.
Increasingly it is an activist judiciary which is using rights talk to target Christians. Legislation which sounds good on the surface is being used to implement the secular left’s agenda and silence believers. Whether it is anti-discrimination legislation or equal opportunity laws, it is getting harder by the day for believers to freely proclaim their beliefs and values in the public arena.
One of the most insidious examples of such legislation is the so-called “hate speech” laws which are being passed. These usually include sexual orientation and gender identity components which are designed to gag all criticism of the homosexual lifestyle.
Consider two Christian employees of the city of Oakland, California who were ordered to stop posting flyers which used such terms as “natural family,” and “marriage”. They had done this in response to a steady stream of anti-Christian messages sent by city officials on the city’s email and bulletin board systems.
A lesbian activist complained that such terms were “hate speech” and the pair had to cease and desist. It seems that tax dollars can be used to assault the beliefs and values of Christians, but if believers dare to respond, they are met with the full force of the law.
As Wildmon demonstrates, the “homosecularists” are using these bogus hate speech laws to in fact punish politically incorrect thoughts. The “crime” entails the supposed “hateful” thoughts, not the act itself. Thus if a pastor simply quotes from a passage of the Bible which is critical of homosexuality, he can be accused of a hate crime and punished accordingly, all because his thoughts do not conform to the homosexual lobby and its agenda.
Says Wildmon: “The law in general and criminal law in particular is properly concerned with actions. When the law attempts to first identify and then punish certain thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, the law becomes a force of tyranny.”
Tyranny it is, and it is a secular tyranny with Christianity directly in the crosshairs. Says Wildmon, “Laws equating the expression of Christian principles with promoting an illegal act put a terrible weapon in the hands of the secularists who want to silence Christians.”
And it gets worse: “Federal hate crime proposals typically include monetary bonuses to local and state governments for prosecuting such crimes.” So there may even be financial incentives to go after those pesky Christians. So be forewarned: carrying a Bible in a park, having a Christian bumper sticker, or displaying an inspirational poster in the workplace may all soon be considered to be hate crimes.
This book is must reading. Not only does Wildmon offer us a vitally important book, but the foreword by Ann Coulter is almost worth the price of the book itself. She rightly warns how the secular left is actively seeking to squeeze faith out of the public square:
“For them separation of church and state is a door that swings only one way. Every time the government expands into a new aspect of life, suddenly we have to ‘separate out’ religion. First they claim there is no place for religion in the public square, then they expand the public square to include everything”.
Exactly so. And as she reminds us, the battle is really a battle of theism versus anti-theism: “Liberals used to hate Christianity because it was the most powerful force in the world opposing communism. Now they hate Christianity because it is the most powerful force in the world opposing sexual depravity. In both cases their real enemy has been God.”
What Coulter calls leftist/liberal dhimmitude – the imposition of “liberal sharia law” – is very carefully chronicled and detailed in this vitally important book. Every believer must read it and be reminded of how the secular pogrom against Christianity is gaining momentum throughout the West.
We are clearly in danger of losing it all. Thus we need to be informed about the battles we face, and be made aware of the foes who seek our ruin. This book very capably does just that. Ignore this book at your own peril.