A few days ago, I posted a blog entry entitled “San Antonio and the rise of anti-religious tyranny in the United States.”
That topic reminded me of a passage on the very first page of the late British scholar F. F. Bruce’s classic book New Testament History:
“Roman law set its face against Christianity, so that a man was liable to suffer ‘as a Christian’ [1 Peter 4:16] without its being necessary to produce evidence of positive criminal action on his part.”
David French, a conservative author for whom I have great respect (and a specialist in the First Amendment who was trained at Harvard Law School), has also commented on this case, and I was pleased to note that he too recognizes the Orwellian character of San Antonio city councilman Roberto Treviño’s explanation of the city’s decision:
In other news related to San Antonio’s city council:
I’m no particular fan of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the Russian government’s actions toward the group are appalling and a blatant assault upon religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Moreover, they suggest the likelihood of a looming threat to the freedoms of other minority religious groups, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In this context, it seems appropriate, once again, to quote the famous passage from the German Lutheran pastor and theologian Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), a prisoner between 1937 and 1945 at the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps, about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, one by one, group after group:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Here’s another cheery little item, this time out of England:
Of course, it’s not just political elites who pose a threat to freedom of thought and belief. Cultural and pop cultural elites are also hostile. Indeed, the truths and values we embrace are mocked on every hand and, where possible, are suppressed and excluded:
Well, did you see Gosnell?