In the heads of secular liberals in America these days, the First Amendment has been relegated to a quaint notion no longer applicable when it conflicts with the "superior" moral decrees of modern enlightened government.
I am sorry to say it, but if you are a Christian in America today and you want to follow your conscience on, say, something as easy to understand as killing pre-born babies, then you best lay low. Get back to the catacombs. Big Brother knows best. Big Brother is watching. And, Big Brother will punish.
For more on this advancing idea in America's culture war, allow me to direct you to this stellar piece by Timothy P. Carney this morning.
He stakes out the position that in the eyes of the current government social conservatives "impose" their morality on society "if they dare exercise their religion in public. Christians are intolerable rebels if they try to operate institutions outside of government."
He then cites two examples of the secular liberal ethic targeting Christians.
First: " 'I'm tired of religious groups operating secular enterprises (hospitals, schools),' writer Kevin Drum fumed in the liberal Mother Jones, 'hiring people of multiple faiths, serving the general public, taking taxpayer dollars -- and then claiming that deeply held religious beliefs should exempt them from public policy.' "
Second: "Washington Post religion writer Lisa Miller probably made it clearest with her op-ed blasting the 'smug fecundity' of Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. You see, they have too many kids. She sneered at their 'family photos, with members of their respective broods spilling out to the margins.' "
I'm not sure what's so hard to understand about Congress shall make NO law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. But somewhere along the way, too many secular liberals missed that key American principle.