Documented Cases of Religious Discrimination Jump 15%

religious discrimination religionFreedom of religion isn’t as protected as some Americans may think. In fact, reported attacks on religion are increasing in the U.S. and, according to First Liberty Institute, the evidence of religious discrimination is undeniable.

The 2017 edition of a First Liberty report called “Undeniable” shows threats to Americans’ First Amendment rights spanning the past five years.

The number of documented incidents of religious discrimination grew 15 percent in 2016 compared with 2015. The number of incidents increased by 133 percent, from 600 to more than 1,400, between 2011 and 2016.

“We’re in a battle right now for religious freedom in the future of our country,” First Liberty President Kelly Shackelford said in a Facebook Live video Sept. 12.

Justin Butterfield, editor-in-chief of the study, said in an interview with The Daily Signal that much of the data comes from court filings from across the country.

The research team also collects reports from news outlets and other organizations, including the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist group.

Butterfield, who has a law degree from Harvard, said researchers specifically looked for instances where someone was illegally restricted from, or prosecuted for, practicing his or her faith.

“Undeniable” divides cases into four categories: attacks on religion in public areas and the workplace; in schools; in churches and ministries; and in the military.

First Liberty, a nonprofit legal organization established in 1997, focuses on defending religious freedom in court cases. It has participated and provided information in court cases at all levels, including the Supreme Court. It also publishes reports educating Americans about the relevance of the First Amendment.

First Liberty began research in 2004, when Shackelford and others testified during a Senate hearing on discrimination and intolerance based on religion. Two senators, the late Democrat Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and John Cornyn of Texas, got in touch with Shackelford, wanting to know how prevalent the issue was.

Butterfield said Kennedy and Cornyn asked First Liberty to collect more reports of attacks on religion. The organization  first published “Undeniable” in 2012, and has published a new edition every year since.

One court case in 2012 that he found particularly appalling, Butterfield recalled, was Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC. In it, a teacher fired by a Lutheran school sued under the Americans With Disabilities Act, even though churches have the freedom to choose leaders.

When asked why he thought more cases of religious intolerance were emerging, Butterfield said that now more than ever in America, the “concept of religious freedom is unpopular.” Some Americans, he said, are “increasingly hostile to religious beliefs that differ from their own.”

But what separates the U.S. from other countries, he said, is Americans’ persistence in fighting for their faith.

“When people stand up to their religious liberties, they win,” Butterfield said.

From - The Daily Signal - by Ian Snively

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Bob R
5 years ago

One of the most egregious recent examples is the comments and questions posed by CA Sen. Diane Feinstein to Amy Barrett.

I wonder how the senator would have reacted had the nominee been Jewish and the nominee been asked about their ” orthodox” beliefs?

Feinstein should’ve been run out off the senate on a rail that very day!

John Degges
5 years ago

I see that one reason Christianity is unpopular is that the Bible tells us that here is not one single thing you can do to make things right between you and God but believe that Jesus Christ has paid the entire penalty for all of your misdeeds. every other religion says that you can make up for your misdeeds. Also, we are told, in the Bible to love God with your whole life, and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.
People who do not want anyone over them hate anyone who tells them that there is a supreme authority over the entire universe.

5 years ago

Jesus warned his diciples that they would be persecuted for their faith in him. We see thru history where this happens all the time in one place or another. As our society gets more secular, hedonistic, and selfish, it doesn’t surprise me that its happening more and more here. But as history shows, Christianity grows under persecution as long as the faithful are willing to be martyered for Christ! We all need to ask ourselves, if it comes to that, will be stand with Christ?

Dave K
5 years ago

And just who was President from 2011 to 2016 when there was a 133% increase?

Tom Wilde
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave K

Some guy named Hussein.

Tom Wilde
5 years ago

I’ve seen a LOT of commentary on this issue on the social sites such as Facebook and YouTube. The one thing that stands out to me is that Lib-Loonies are racing to defend the “rights” of Muslims and are viciously attacking those whose faith is based upon the God of the Bible.

The biggest trouble is that government run or funded institutions like schools and universities are doing the same thing.

Doesn’t it seem strange and utterly hypocritical that someone who loudly claims that there is no God will hate the one and pander to the other? Just the hypocritical Liberals hard at work being on both sides of everything.

This is another case of the 45 Goals of Communism at work in America. Face it – we are being taken down from the inside by our fellow American citizens. The Democrat Party of today has taken the place of the CPUSA.

I read an article just recently and I truly wish I had copied it into my library files. The man who wrote it said he no longer had to donate to and support the Communist Party of the United States any more. He was overjoyed that the Democrats were spending all the money and doing all the work for them now.

That said it ALL.

Ivan Berry
5 years ago
Reply to  Tom Wilde

Tom, you hit the nail squarly on the head. So true. Now let us get to work righting this wrong. Go Constitutional and only resist religion that does not practice the Golden Rule or that wishes to impose a Theocracy on America.

Burton Pauly
5 years ago

Actually I served for 20 yrs. in our Navy, and retired in 1972, I experienced discrimination against sailors christian faiths for all of those yrs. This kind of hate has to stop for the sake of unity. God loves us all, and even the haters. And our Nation of the Republic is and always will be a christian nation…

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