They Know Not What They Do

Greg Forster | August 1, 2014

It is vitally important for American Christians to understand why threats to religious liberty are growing in our nation. Of course, those called to political activism must understand this trend in order to plan more effective strategies for championing religious liberty. However, it’s just as important for the rest of us to understand if we want to avoid the twin dangers of being naïve about our neighbors’ sins or resenting them. There is a key social dynamic at work.

The open persecution of explicitly anti-Christian tyrants, while harder to endure, is easier to understand than the more complex attacks on the church in America today. From Nero to Kim Jong-un, tyrants have always been more or less the same. Lying behind all their actions, you will find some combination of traditional cultural superstitions, cynical political manipulations, and that special breed of insanity that absolute power always seems to nurture in those who possess it. Small consolation this may be to those who suffer under tyranny, but there are few puzzles about how and why tyrants do what they do.

What we face is different. True, many of those who control the institutions at the top of American civilization seem to…

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