This article first appeared on the blog Stuff Smart People Like.
Start digging your trenches and stringing the razor wire, there’s a new war to cower in terror from! Now that Americans aren’t buying the War on Terror rhetoric, politicians need some new propaganda to stir the collective pot. There’s a new War in town, they’re attacking Religion! Rick Perry has jumped on board the wagon in his recent campaign video where he vows to stop “Obama’s War on Religion!” In addition to this alleged attack, Fox News is also spewing dialogue and downright false news stories about political figures and corporations taking the Christ out of Christmas and covertly attacking the Christian religion.
How dare these people attack one of the most important aspects of our Constitution! It’s so important that our founding fathers put it first! It defends the right of any American to express their beliefs -- including religious beliefs. People have died to defend this right. The least we can do as Americans stand up for the right to practice any religion. Wait, is their a clause excluding Mormons and Muslims?
Recently, the TLC show “All-American Muslim” has been the target of a letter writing campaign from Conservative Christian family value groups who claim that the show “riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values." Apparently these groups consider bigotry to be a core value. Mormonism has also been a target of this new war with some recent and clearly politically motivated examples of politicians suggesting that Moromism is a cult (I mean at least it isn’t Scientology! Amiright?). Seriously, I must have missed something, let’s go back to the tape. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”
Now I know that not all Christians agree with the politicians and feel this way; I have several close Christian friends, albeit the progressive, accepting kind. Regardless, I find the general apathy of some citizens to this overt xenophobia to be appalling. It’s like we’re all part of some Orwellian world where a little double-speak from politicians and interest groups is all it takes to convince the masses their own religious freedom is being attacked and that the only recourse is to return it two-fold to other religions .
So, what is it America? Do we celebrate Freedom of Religion for all, or just the majority? We are, after all, in a War; or at least that’s what the Ministry of Truth says.