“The War on Religion in the USA”
The last real shooting war in Mexico ended 89 years ago, it was called the “Cristero” war that was sparked by heavy-duty persecution of the Roman Catholic Church by the dictatorship of Plutarco Elias Calles who founded the Mexican political party we know today as the PRI.
That war and the persecution that brought it on touched my family personally; my uncle was born in 1926 and instead of being baptized a Roman Catholic in a grand Roman Catholic Church in Mexico City, he was baptized in an alley by a priest wearing civilian clothes who used rainwater to baptize him. The government had closed churches, forbidden religious practice of any sort and prohibited priests and nuns from wearing religious garb.
Thousands of people died in rural Mexico where religion was second only to eating as daily experience. The Mexican army was, at that time, one of the most experienced armed forces in the world. Its field officers had been involved in combat on one side or another for a decade and a half. As for the rebels, without the leadership of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, both of whom had led more or less successful peasant armies in Mexico’s North and South in 1910-1920, a revolt had little chance to succeed.
The government was led by experienced politicos that had survived a world-changing decade of revolution and civil war.
The “Cristero” fighters, too, were experienced but their resources were limited. It was a wonder they were able to fight for three years. Their biggest resource was their religious faith. Faith, however, is no substitute for bullets. Faith is no substitute for overwhelming political power.
Americans see that in Colorado where special interests have captured the government and persecuted one man who exercises freedom of religion, freedom to practice their faith and freedom of speech.
A cake maker – “artist” Jack Phillips — refused to decorate a cake for a same-sex couple’s celebration of their same-sex wedding. He doesn’t believe in same sex marriage, his belief is based on his religious faith. He was fined by a local political commission for denying the same-sex couple some imaginary right they have to force someone to decorate a cake. He went to the United States Supreme Court; he won.
He won his case in the highest court of the democratic world, he is now being persecuted again by another practitioner of a lifestyle the baker doesn’t believe in and the Colorado authorities are trying to punish him despite his victory in the Supreme Court.
The freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution’s First Amendment, that of freedom of religion and the freedom to practice one’s faith are, in the case of the Colorado cake maker, being attacked by Colorado authorities.
By the same token, the Roman Catholic Church is under attack, again, as it has been since the U.S. was founded over two twenty hundred years ago. This time it is in Pennsylvania by a grand jury that wrote a report that alleges criminal activity and a major cover-up of that alleged activity by some now dead churchmen.
While a constitutional tool, grand juries are generally useless relics left over from Jolly Old England that more often than not are simply weapons by political power to attack and prosecute whomever is out of favor by the establishment.
Is there anyone that isn’t aware that a “Grand Jury” can indict a “ham sandwich” with a crime?
One wonders how many Americans know that the Constitution is very specific that “no religious test” shall be applied for public office holders (even public notaries).
If no “religious test” can be used on public officers, how can a religious test be applied by government to a cake maker for refusing to decorate a cake? How can a grand jury allege crimes and allege guilt of people who died decades ago, people who cannot defend themselves.
Simple explanation: Religion in America and the free exercise thereof is under attack as it was in the 1920s in Mexico when my uncle was baptized in an alley with rainwater. So far the courts have restrained some local, state and federal authorities from trampling on our traditional freedom.
It should be remembered, however, that in 1844 White Anglo-Saxon Protestants rioted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and killed Roman Catholics and burned a Catholic church to the ground for the “crime” of preferring to use the Roman Catholic bible. The Ku Klux Klan also targeted Roman Catholics and still does.
The 1924 United States Congress manifested its hatred of Roman Catholics and Jews by limiting immigration from Catholic countries like Italy and Jewish populations of Eastern Europe by essentially “banning” immigrants from those regions by “quotas.” The White House by “banning” some Muslims from entering the United States as immigrants, refugees or even tourists reflects the anti-immigrant 1924 Congress.
Evangelical cake makers, Roman Catholics and Muslims are specifically targeted by people that hate the First Amendment of the Constitution.
The struggle continues.