Nazi’s didn’t start out by killing Jews. But eventually they killed millions and the average German had allowed themselves to be drawn into the lie. Somehow, the hope of a stronger Germany helped them believe in Hitler. He convinced them they needed to give up their rights in order to be secure. Thus, a slow oppression and narrowing of rights led ultimately to a lack of all freedoms. They were forced to join or be killed. We say it could never happen again, but does that not require us to see the signs that would lead to this slow deterioration of freedom?
France houses Europe’s largest number of Jews. They are now being harassed and killed by anti-semitism in its ugliest form. Deadly terrorist attacks have left many trying to flee the situation and an estimated 15,000 will leave this year alone. Many of these religious refugees have been quoted as saying they feel safer in Tel Aviv, which faces daily bombardment because of religious differences. Are these signs not enough to remind us of what comes next?
Religious freedoms are being lost throughout the world. In Northern Ireland, Pastor James McConnell is on trial for preaching that “Islam is Satanic and a doctrine spawned in hell.”
He warns that Christians and preachers should watch his case closely and also step in to protest in his favor, as the ramifications could be profound for every person of faith. In Canada, Dr. Charles McVety, president of Canada Christian College, had his television show taken off the air because he preached against homosexuality. Later it was reinstated but only after he agreed to a weekly review that checks for any signs of anti-gay sentiment.
We see these hits on our religious freedom ever increasing. Christian bakers forced to make cakes for same sex weddings or be shut down. Employers forced to provide contraception and abortion-inducing drugs as part of their health plans. A church’s tax-exemption status is revoked if there is any sign of discrimination or political involvement.. Conservative organizations specifically targeted by the IRS. County clerks threatened with termination of employment for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses. And that doesn’t even begin to talk about the hundreds of thousands of religious refugees throughout the world.
We are the last protectors of our families and freedoms. We need the vision to see not just what is happening right now, but what that will lead to in the future. It is no longer a question as to whether it could never happen here; it is happening here. The real question is what you will do to stop it before it is too late.