Attacks on Religion Are Ramping Up

 

Would anyone argue that religions of every faith (except perhaps Islam) have been at war with the secular Left, including Marxists and the Woke community? It isn’t a war that the religions have invited or instigated, but their viability and faith practices are being challenged and they must push back. I think you’ll find two stories especially intriguing, because they have both occurred in the last couple of weeks, highlighting attacks on Christianity and Judaism.

The first story is about Gov. Ron DeSantis. We could discern that the most recent attack against him is just one more effort to discredit and demonize his efforts in Florida:

While visiting a private Christian college in southern Michigan that wields influence in national politics, Gov. Ron DeSantis rephrased a biblical passage to deliver a message to conservatives.

‘Put on the full armor of God. Stand firm against the left’s schemes. You will face flaming arrows, but if you have the shield of faith, you will overcome them, and in Florida we walk the line here,’ DeSantis told the audience at Hillsdale College in February. ‘And I can tell you this, I have only begun to fight.’

Please note that Hillsdale emphasizes its classical education, not only its Christian values, and a subtle reference to the fact that the college “wields influence in national politics” was just another way to delegitimize them. The writer of this article was also trying to tarnish DeSantis due to his association with Christians and, in particular, was trying to suggest a link between DeSantis and Christian nationalists due to his quoting from the Bible:

Christian nationalism for many conservatives has become a political identity, and unlike conservative politicians in the past who used their faith to inform their arguments, DeSantis is more aggressive, using war imagery to describe the political debates as a battle over who will be the better American.

Data that supports the growth of Christian nationalism, as well as its activity in this country, is hard to find. But from my research, secularists and anti-religious writers are doing their best to discredit religion in general, and Christianity specifically. And they insinuate that the Christian nationalists will be moved to violence.

The references to Christian nationalism are, to me, the most disturbing connections that are being made. There is a not-so-subtle suggestion that, at the very least, DeSantis is trying to stir up violence among radical Christian nationalists, and the proposition that he is somehow aligned with these people himself. I don’t know his current religious practices, but he was raised Catholic.

These efforts to discredit DeSantis will continue, probably as long as he’s in office, but he’s not afraid to push back:

In a recent interview with the conservative Christian podcast ‘Focus on the Family,’ DeSantis said Democrats are ‘trying to establish a religion of their own’ in America, which he is trying to combat by fighting ‘woke ideologies’ in public schools.

‘This woke ideology functions as a religion, obviously it is not the Judeo-Christian tradition, but they want that to be effectively the governing faith of our country. They want that to be the core orthodoxy in public schools and other types of public function. They want to impose their values,’ DeSantis said. ‘They really want to impose their world view to the exclusion of the rest of us.’

Sounds about right to me.

*     *     *     *

But Christianity is not the only religion taking a battering:

This summer, the historic Jewish college—the nation’s oldest—was rocked when a local judge deemed the school was actually secular, and therefore obligated to formally recognize a campus LGBTQ organization, ‘Pride Alliance,’ in defiance of the University’s Torah-based religious beliefs.

But last week, Judge Lynn Kotler’s June ruling in Yeshiva University v. YU Pride Alliance et al was temporarily stayed by United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the ‘circuit justice’ for the federal Second District, which includes New York.

The state trial judge decided that the method of incorporation by Yeshiva University “exclusively for educational purposes” indicated that they were violating discrimination law on many grounds, including sexual orientation, since they didn’t claim to be incorporated solely for religious purposes.

And further

The Orthodox Jewish university argues that such recognition [of the Pride group] would violate its religious values, but New York appellate courts declined to block the trial judge’s order while appeals proceed. Last month, Yeshiva filed an emergency application with Justice Sotomayor asking the Supreme Court to intervene.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority has been highly deferential to religious claims, issuing opinions that read broadly the First Amendment’s free-exercise clause against secular government interests. In legal papers, Yeshiva suggested the Supreme Court could take up the appeal directly rather than wait for the appellate process to play out in the New York state courts. If the justices agree, another major precedent in religious exercise could follow.

If you thought this latest issue was the end of the religious controversies with schools, you would be wrong:

Private schools in New York state — in particular those operated by various branches of Hasidic Judaism — will have to offer ‘substantially equivalent instruction’ to that found in public schools, officials ruled Tuesday.

Following months of debate about the practices of the Hasidic-related schools, called yeshivas, the New York State Board of Regents voted unanimously to require that religious schools get approval from local boards of education for their coursework or obtain formal accreditation from a recognized body.

The state will mandate math, reading, writing, science and history instruction, reports indicate.

This latest requirement, which blatantly targets the Orthodox Jewish community, is a little more difficult to address:

The regulations will require the state’s school districts, beginning next September, to identify all nonpublic schools in their catchment areas. They must then visit those schools by the end of the 2024-25 school year and determine whether their instruction in required secular topics—including mathematics, science, New York history and civics—is substantially equivalent to that offered in public schools.

Nonpublic schools can also comply with the regulations by showing they are accredited by an approved outside organization or that their students show academic progress on state tests.

The state could withhold public funds from school districts that fail to enforce the substantial-equivalency requirements. [Italics are mine.]

These regulations are complicated by a number of questions: can the state legally require a specific secular curriculum? Can they insist that, in order to receive state funding, schools must comply? Who has the authority to approve an outside authority that can measure student progress on secular studies? Which measurements will be used to determine if a school is enforcing “substantial equivalency requirements”? After all these years, should mandatory education even be required?

*     *     *     *

I admit that a requirement to provide a state-mandated curriculum may be legitimate if the schools are receiving state funds. But what happens when controversial subjects are added to the required courses, such as gender studies?

To me, however, the determination of New York to target Jewish schools is, in itself, questionable, even if other schools are covered in the mandate.

Whether we’re discussing Christianity or Judaism, I’m just disgusted at the ongoing attacks on our religious and moral values, and worry about how long we will be able to practice our faiths as we wish.

Published in Religion & Philosophy
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  1. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    As we said of the beginning of each dogfight,” fight’s on, fight’s on.”

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Well, I am a Christian.  (Did I share that lately?) I’ve done a survey of nations and have determined that the one I was born in suits me best, so I’m a nationalist. Am I being attacked?

    • #2
  3. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    DeSantis hit on one of my favorite passages in the Epistles.

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

    15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

    16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

    17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    — Ephesians 6:11-17

    • #3
  4. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn:

    And they insinuate that the Christian nationalists will be moved to violence.

    The references to Christian nationalism are, to me, the most disturbing connections that are being made. There is a not-so-subtle suggestion that, at the very least, DeSantis is trying to stir up violence among radical Christian nationalists, and the proposition that he is somehow aligned with these people himself. I don’t know his current religious practices but he was raised Catholic.

    The references to Christian Nationalism are not what should disturb you but trying to connect it to support for unprovoked violence should. The attempt to connect the two is exactly what the Left and our former friends the NT’s tried to sell in their lies about President Trump’s remarks about the infamous Charlottesville demonstrations.

    The proper description of the provocation to violence appears in your post title. Governor DeSantis knows what is going on.

    EDIT: There may be a small number of so-called right-wing extremists who commit unprovoked violent acts. The reason I say small is if it were significant there is no doubt it would dominate the news daily. That is not the case.

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Percival (View Comment):

    Well, I am a Christian. (Did I share that lately?) I’ve done a survey of nations and have determined that the one I was born in suits me best, so I’m a nationalist. Am I being attacked?

    By the Leftist Democrats, yes.

    • #5
  6. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Percival (View Comment):

    DeSantis hit on one of my favorite passages in the Epistles.

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

    14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

    15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

    16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

    17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

    — Ephesians 6:11-17

    I will grabbing my kjv and highlighter once I’m done here

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Percival (View Comment):
    DeSantis hit on one of my favorite passages in the Epistles.

    Thanks so much for quoting the whole portion, Percival. It’s quite beautiful and inspiring!

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    EDIT: There may be a small number of so-called right-wing extremists who commit unprovoked violent acts. The reason I say small is if it were significant there is no doubt it would dominate the news daily. That is not the case.

    Exactly! But they are so sure that their numbers are growing in an alarming way, aided by DeSantis. It is so frustrating!

    • #8
  9. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):
    EDIT: There may be a small number of so-called right-wing extremists who commit unprovoked violent acts. The reason I say small is if it were significant there is no doubt it would dominate the news daily. That is not the case.

    Exactly! But they are so sure that their numbers are growing in an alarming way, aided by DeSantis. It is so frustrating!

    Notice that I did not say these small number of people committing violence  are Christian nationalists.

    • #9
  10. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Susan Quinn: Whether we’re discussing Christianity or Judaism, I’m just disgusted at the ongoing attacks on our religious and moral values, and worry about how long we will be able to practice our faiths as we wish.

    I also find the attacks disgusting.

    The Left has spent a lot of time and effort to move the talk of freedom of religion to freedom of worship. This was Hillary’s line – of course you are free to worship – just leave all that to your worship space and don’t bring your religion or morals into the public square.

    Religion is a personal choice but it is never private. My practice of my Catholic Christian faith should inform my public choices – this is the part of practice that the Left wants to take away.

    • #10
  11. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Ephesians 6:12

    For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

    I can’t find a link now, but when Eric Holder was Attorney General he boldly announced that the Obama administration was going to enforce “civil rights” in all institutions.  Including churches.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Religion is a personal choice but it is never private. My practice of my Catholic Christian faith should inform my public choices – this is the part of practice that the Left wants to take away.

    Scott, are you thinking of things like public prayer, prayer in schools, even the Pledge of Allegiance? Are there others I’m missing?

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):
    I can’t find a link now, but when Eric Holder was Attorney General he boldly announced that the Obama administration was going to enforce “civil rights” in all institutions.  Including churches.

    The insidious invasion of government into our sacred spaces is despicable. We have to pay attention and when we see it, resist!

    • #13
  14. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Scott Wilmot (View Comment):
    Religion is a personal choice but it is never private. My practice of my Catholic Christian faith should inform my public choices – this is the part of practice that the Left wants to take away.

    Scott, are you thinking of things like public prayer, prayer in schools, even the Pledge of Allegiance? Are there others I’m missing?

    I am speaking more of just everyday things: opposing abortion, opposing training the kids, advocating for the death penalty, fighting for a secure border, opposing unjust wars, etc.. The Left doesn’t want this – it is why they attack us and try to force their religion – Leftism – down our throats. To the Left, there is only one religion that can inform public policy: Leftism.

    • #14
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Satan is running the other side. Of course it is time to attack Religion. 

    • #15
  16. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    It has always been fashionable to hate Catholicism, look down on Evangelicals and sneer at Jews.  What varies is the extent to which these predispositions may be overtly expressed.

    It is not surprising that the same flying monkeys/lost boys who comprise Antifa would also act out against churches, synagogues, and religiously-affiliated service centers.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    It has always been fashionable to hate Catholicism, look down on Evangelicals and sneer at Jews. What varies is the extent to which these predispositions may be overtly expressed.

    It is not surprising that the same flying monkeys/lost boys who comprise Antifa would also act out against churches, synagogues, and religiously-affiliated service centers.

    I wonder who the folks are who are giving the Orthodox Jews such a bad time. I wouldn’t put the effort out of the realm of possibility for the Reform or leftist Jews to enact difficult requirements. After all, those Orthodox types make them look bad. Sigh.

    • #17
  18. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan, I just want to say the hair is looking good!

    • #18
  19. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Your story highlights what is happening everywhere and we are all being put to the test.  Watering down the faith and trying to please all the trends by being “inclusive or woke” doesn’t work. Society keeps changing the red lines and pushing the envelope.  We know the Church is supernatural and the gates of hell will not prevail.  That’s as long as we don’t try to change what has been handed to us. 

    The same goes for the Constitution – we keep changing words and meaning to accommodate this or that and it’s not working.   

    • #19
  20. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Your story highlights what is happening everywhere and we are all being put to the test. Watering down the faith and trying to please all the trends by being “inclusive or woke” doesn’t work. Society keeps changing the red lines and pushing the envelope. We know the Church is supernatural and the gates of hell will not prevail. That’s as long as we don’t try to change what has been handed to us.

    The same goes for the Constitution – we keep changing words and meaning to accommodate this or that and it’s not working.

    I worry, too, about the Christian priests and pastors, and the Jewish leaders and rabbis, who keep tampering with their faiths, following what they think are social justice and woke mandates. I just don’t know how they can do it! Then again, there are leftist Jews who don’t believe G-d exists. . . 

    • #20
  21. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Wokeness in religion is apostasy regardless of what religion you speak of other than Progressivism. It’s like Catholicism dumping Jesus and Mary; it’s like Islam dumping Mohammed; it’s like Judaism dumping the Torah.

    • #21
  22. db25db Lincoln
    db25db
    @db25db

    It just shows you how little secular progressive America’s understanding of Christianity is.  Putting on the full Armour of God is a spiritual reference to guarding yourself against evil.  Anyone who had spent a couple of weekends in church would know that.  The reporter could simply ask any Christian what that means.

     

    • #22
  23. DonG (CAGW is a Scam) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Scam)
    @DonG

    Susan Quinn: DeSantis said Democrats are ‘trying to establish a religion of their own’ in America, which he is trying to combat by fighting ‘woke ideologies’ in public schools.

    I disagree with DeSantis, “wokeism” is not a religion, it is a cult.   It should not be dignified by calling it a religion.  

    • #23
  24. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    db25db (View Comment):

    It just shows you how little secular progressive America’s understanding of Christianity is. Putting on the full Armour of God is a spiritual reference to guarding yourself against evil. Anyone who had spent a couple of weekends in church would know that. The reporter could simply ask any Christian what that means.

     

    Or perhaps Ana Ceballos knows, and personally identifies with the rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places.

    Whatever floats her boat, I guess.

    • #24
  25. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Too bad, Susan, the Supreme Court rejected Yeshiva’s suit, sending it back to the NY lower court.  So it stands.  Yeshiva should not give up the fight.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Too bad, Susan, the Supreme Court rejected Yeshiva’s suit, sending it back to the NY lower court. So it stands. Yeshiva should not give up the fight.

    Darn! I hadn’t heard. But I also should have expected that. Thanks, RB.

    • #26
  27. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    db25db (View Comment):

    It just shows you how little secular progressive America’s understanding of Christianity is. Putting on the full Armour of God is a spiritual reference to guarding yourself against evil. Anyone who had spent a couple of weekends in church would know that. The reporter could simply ask any Christian what that means.

     

    I would imagine that the reporter knows that, in Islam, the Religion of Peace,  “jihad” refers to a spiritual struggle for self-improvement. 

    This has nothing to do with knowledge or the lack thereof.  Reporters could easily have discovered that, for example, it is entirely normal for the corpse to remain in situ  following a potentially felonious death and thus Michael Brown’s body was not being treated differently or with contempt by the Ferguson police. Indeed, back in the olden days (what, fifteen years ago?)  reporters would have known this from being around crime scenes.  And you know what? They probably did know it. Just as the “journalists” writing about DeSantis’ so-called Christian Nationalism knows better: This is post-factual “reporting.”  

    • #27
  28. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Many law schools have produced leftie lawyers and judges.

    • #28
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Many law schools have produced leftie lawyers and judges.

    And they are more than happy to let people know that this is their focus.

    • #29
  30. Eridemus Coolidge
    Eridemus
    @Eridemus

    A lefty former friend  has gradually shifted from the usual dumping on Trump to aiming at all Republicans, and I have noticed an occasional – but consistent – new trend: the posting of pre-made poster insults to religious people of all types. For example there was one that I can’t find now that in essense said, people who pray come away feeling like they’ve done something but in reality “all they’ve done is pray.” That surely implies the writer & followers  know what happens inside EVERYBODY who prays- while they, the smarter ones, know the truth. What is the point of such universal sarcasm? Is there any reason that prayer should be less powerful than the “meditations” or “mindfulness” etc. practices for helping someone seeking insight into how to live, finish a project, grow more patient, or any kind of positive result?

    One source seems to be “Go Left” on Facebook, which hosts an album called “Republican Jesus”  The insert below was another one that must have given many a chuckle (with same obvious flaw that the liberal audience actually has no idea what the people in this or any other similar photo absorb, apply, or take away from their experience.)

    • #30
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