The Situation is Desperate But Not Serious: How Christians Can Defend and Protect Religious Liberty

The Situation is Desperate But Not Serious: How Christians Can Defend and Protect Religious Liberty

December 10, 2015 12:00 ET
“During the First World War,” said the anti-fascist politician Gaetano Salvemini, “we used to say that the situation in Germany was serious but not desperate, in Austria desperate but not serious, and in Italy desperate but normal.” Those of us concerned about religious liberty in America tend to have similar attitudes. Many are cautiously optimistic, and contend that while threats to religious freedom are serious, the situation is not desperate. Others consider themselves to be realistically pessimistic, believing that the issue is desperate but what we should consider “normal” in our secular society. Joe Carter argues that Christians should take the

“During the First World War,” said the anti-fascist politician Gaetano Salvemini, “we used to say that the situation in Germany was serious but not desperate, in Austria desperate but not serious, and in Italy desperate but normal.”

Those of us concerned about religious liberty in America tend to have similar attitudes. Many are cautiously optimistic, and contend that while threats to religious freedom are serious, the situation is not desperate. Others consider themselves to be realistically pessimistic, believing that the issue is desperate but what we should consider “normal” in our secular society. Joe Carter argues that Christians should take the Austrian approach: The state of religious liberty in America is desperate but not serious.

Carter explains why we don’t have the luxury of being conscientious objectors in this latest front of the culture wars and provides practical suggestions for how we can carry out the task of defending and protecting religious liberty in America.

Joe Carter is a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, an editor for The Gospel Coalition, a senior editor at the Acton Institute, and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator and the author of the forthcoming NIV Lifehacks Bible: Practical Tools for Successful Spiritual Habits.

 

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“During the First World War,” said the anti-fascist politician Gaetano Salvemini, “we used to say that the situation in Germany was serious but not desperate, in Austria desperate but not serious, and in Italy desperate but normal.”

Those of us concerned about religious liberty in America tend to have similar attitudes. Many are cautiously optimistic, and contend that while threats to religious freedom are serious, the situation is not desperate. Others consider themselves to be realistically pessimistic, believing that the issue is desperate but what we should consider “normal” in our secular society. Joe Carter argues that Christians should take the Austrian approach: The state of religious liberty in America is desperate but not serious.

Carter explains why we don’t have the luxury of being conscientious objectors in this latest front of the culture wars and provides practical suggestions for how we can carry out the task of defending and protecting religious liberty in America.

Joe Carter is a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, an editor for The Gospel Coalition, a senior editor at the Acton Institute, and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator and the author of the forthcoming NIV Lifehacks Bible: Practical Tools for Successful Spiritual Habits.

 

*Joining us in person for a lecture event:

We are looking forward to hosting you here for one of our lectures. In order for you to have the best experience possible, here are a few things you should know as you prepare to join us

  1. Registration is required - fill out the form under "Register for this event" on the individual events page, and mark "In person" for the type of attendance.
  2. We require a photo ID for admittance.
  3. All packages and bags are subject to search upon entry to the building.
  4. We welcome an open and reasoned discussion of the social and policy topics we cover. However, your registration for our events is an agreement to conduct yourself with respect and courtesy toward our speakers and fellow attendees. FRC reserves the right to deny admission or remove from the premises anyone who conducts himself or herself in a manner which is disruptive, disrespectful, or dangerous.

By attending this event, you agree that the Family Research Council assumes no liability for injury, damage, or loss which may be related in any way to implementation of this policy. Anyone who is removed may be subject to arrest or detention by authorities for violation of this policy or the codes of the jurisdiction of the event. This policy is not designed to censor or limit free speech, but to ensure a safe environment where ideas can be freely exchanged. 

Questions? Call 1-800-225-4008 and ask for the Lectures Coordinator.

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