The Heidelcast is a broadcast about history and theology and recovering the Reformed confession but one of my great concerns in recent years has been the potential and actual loss of religious and other civil liberties. It’s not unusual for Reformed ministers to take an active interest in civil life. J. Gresham Machen (1881–1937), founder of Westminster Seminary was a committed civil libertarian. He opposed jaywalking laws in Philadelphia and testified before congress against the formation of the Department of Education 50 years before it was established. He did so on the basis of his commitment to civil liberties. That’s one reason why he opposed prayer in public schools. One of the founding professors at Old Westminster, Paul Wooley, was a remember the ACLU. Things are changing rapidly. In 1977 the ACLU defended the right of neo-Nazis to march through Skokie, Illinois on the basis that their right to free expression is protected First Amendment Constitution of United States. It seems as if we live in a different world. Actual diversity isn’t valued as much as conformity. We see the loss of freedom when communities began using zoning regulations to keep people from holding bible studies or from building churches in their neighborhoods. In recent years things have become even more tenuous for religious people in America. There’s a move to privatize all religious experience. The federal government has argued before the Supreme Court that Christians may believe what they will but the government gets to say whether they will fund birth control and abortifacients. We live in a time when the IRS requires organizations to detail the contents of their prayers. We’re living in a time when a professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and later Adam Weinstein at Gawker, have argued that climate change deniers should be arrested and and jailed for holding the wrong ideas. The founder of Chick-fil-A has been excoriated for daring to hold to the historic Christian view of human sexuality. Victor Davis Hanson has recently warned about the “new inquisition” of political correctness. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, Zachary Fine has written of the way Millennials are paralyzed by multiculturalism. They’re terrified to express an opinion or make a choice for fear of excluding someone or some thing. Brendan Eich recently resigned as CEO of Mozilla. His crime? A $1000 check in favor of prop 8 in California, in support of heterosexual marriage.
Our guest, Stella Morabito has described such episodes as “soft show trials.” She writes about society, culture and education. She’s widely published. You can read her work in The Federalist, The Washington Examiner, The American Thinker and at stellamorabito.net She’s been an intelligence analyst, studying aspects of Russian and Soviet politics including communist media and propaganda. She’s a parent, a former public school substitute teacher. She’s currently writing about political correctness.
Here’s episode 69:
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