Survey reveals increasing hostility in US towards religion
A report examining court cases from recent years has found that hostility towards religion has grown to unprecedented levels in the United States.
The newly-updated Survey of Religious Hostility in America serves as “a testament to the radical shift in our culture’s worldview” on religion, said Kelly Shackelford, president of Liberty Institute, and Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council.
On Aug. 20, Shackelford and Perkins announced the release of the updated analysis, describing “more than 600 recent examples of religious hostility” in the U.S., most occurring in the last decade.
The survey arose out of Shackelford’s 2004 testimony before the U.S. Senate on the rise in religious hostility in the U.S. Some members of the Senate claimed that the examples given were “simply isolated incidents.” In response, the report was developed, documenting the “very real problem” that the issue poses.
The updated survey reveals that eight years later, “hostility against religious liberty has reached an all-time high,” said Perkins and Shackelford.
The report observed a “new front” of attacks against churches and religious ministries in recent years.
Five years ago, it said, it would have been “unthinkable” for the federal government to claim that it could “tell churches and synagogues which pastors and rabbis it can hire and fire.”
Yet this was the argument made by the U.S. Department of Justice in the recent Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC case, in which the federal government fought against the “ministerial exception” that allows churches to select their leaders without government interference, it said.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the Justice Department and defended ministerial exception in January. [More]