Church-State Separation as Weapon
The sky isn't falling, but Christians are being scrubbed away from the public square, says David Limbaugh.Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity, documents more than 800 examples of discrimination against Christians in America. The book struck a chord: It spent five weeks on the New York Times best-seller list during the fall, and catapulted Limbaugh, a lawyer who says he didn't become a Christian until he was in his 30s, into the talk-show spotlight. Beliefnet senior producer Deborah Caldwell interviewed Limbaugh recently about the issues in the book, and also queried him about the legal struggle facing his better-known brother, Rush. David Limbaugh declined comment on his brother but talked at length about discrimination against Christians.
Some evangelicals agree with much of what you say-but they also say that persecution is a "holy" word and should be reserved for truly dangerous situations, not the discrimination American evangelicals sometimes feel. What is your reaction to that criticism?
I think that's a reasonable point--that people could think the title is over the top and sensationalistic. People normally think of persecution as what Christians experienced during the Roman period and what the Jews experienced in the Holocaust.
Or that Christians are experiencing today in Sudan.
Right, and I rarely mention the world persecution in the book. I talk about discrimination. The title was not mine, but I'll stand by it. I chronicle the actions that lead to the first steps of persecution. There are various levels of discrimination and persecution. It's a subject that reasonable people can debate about-the use of the term.
I don't mean to diminish the actual cases of persecution that have occurred in the world in history, and are occurring today. But I do think the kinds of discrimination Christians are being subjected to and the intolerance being demonstrated toward them is a very chilling thing.
I don't think the sky is falling or we've lost all our religious freedom--but I think Christians are being scrubbed away from the public square, Christian religious liberty is being suppressed, and Christians are being impugned by people for whom tolerance is the highest virtue. And these are the first steps that happen in society that eventually gravitate toward persecution. This is an incremental process, and I prove it my book with almost 800 examples. Some are more egregious than others, I will acknowledge. We can disagree about the degree of persecution in different examples, but there is a double-standard being applied to Christians.