Why is the left so afraid of Christians?
Many on the left today want to muzzle conservative Christians in America – and they are motivated by a dangerous combination of fear and ideological fanaticism reminiscent of oppressive and regressive authoritarian regimes.
I remember being in Moscow in August 1991, when President Mikhail Gorbachev was under house arrest. It was an unsuccessful coup attempt orchestrated by extremist communists in the government and military leadership of the Soviet Union.
At the time, residents were told that Mr. Gorbachev was ill. In fact, he was being held hostage. Glimpses of the truth, however, inevitably began to leak, with Western reports plastered on a wall in a plaza near my hotel. A big buzz began to spread through the streets as the citizens of the city consumed the news.
I have been to other authoritarian countries where government officials closely monitored the Christian church and granted them limited freedoms. Christians in those countries told me that the Communist government would only tolerate so much before suppressing and silencing any expression of faith.
I was curious to ask them why. The answer was always the same.
“It’s because the party doesn’t trust the power of the church. The Communist Party wants to be the only power people are allowed to follow. “
Now I believe I see this phenomenon in the United States.
More and more frequently, “progressives” say they don’t want religion in the public arena. Big tech wants to change what religious leaders can say. My own organization, Focus on the Family, had its Daily Citizen account suspended indefinitely on Twitter for accurately portraying an individual’s transgender identity.
What is happening?
It is evident to many of us that left-wing opinion leaders in our country’s centers of power – educational faculties, political leaders, business leaders and sports organizations – are trying to get the religious expression does not challenge the ideological narratives of the state.
Simply put, the values imposed by politicians and their allies must be respected, period. It is strangely similar to what my Christian friends describe in totalitarian countries.
From bakers and florists to faith-based adoption services, tolerance for Christians and their conservative beliefs has reached historic lows. Some may think I am exaggerating because “civil religion” is carried on across America. But take a closer and closer look. As long as you keep your faith private and don’t try to rock the culture boat, you’ll be fine – if not, be careful.
People who support Biblical orthodoxy quickly become cultural outcasts and targets. Censorship or silencing any perspective that does not fit a liberal point of view is standard fare.
It’s mind-boggling to see a culture change so quickly. The old truths that made our nation the most prosperous, innovative, generous and vibrant are now being overthrown to pursue hatred, division, grievance and other destructive avenues.
Bureaucratic bullies fear Christians and Christianity because committed believers recognize, as the apostle Paul said: “Our citizenship is in heaven.” It’s not here. Yes, we “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” – but we do not bow or bend our knees to the immoral demands of any government or government official.
I believe the political left here in the United States and around the world is deeply troubled by this belief. In fact, the French Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, perhaps summed up the collective feeling of this antagonism by suggesting that evangelicals were “a very important problem” because we “refuse to say that the law of the Republic is greater than the law of God. “
As an evangelical, I believe that the law of God trumps any earthly edict. Yet this early devotion is neither problematic nor something to be feared, unless those in power want to force believers to violate their conscience and deep convictions. This is because committed Christians make great citizens, always seeking to serve others and guide people to the world to come.
Jim Daly is President of Focus on the Family.