When totalitarian regimes take power and assert their grip over the people, inevitably they target religion and especially Christianity as one of the primary obstacles to their hegemony.
This pattern has occurred over the centuries where the religion itself stands apart from the state, as has the Christian faith. In fact, Christianity is one of the only religions to spend its first three centuries as an illegal, highly persecuted movement, and that was mainly because the Roman state saw it as a threat to its power over the people.
Even when Christianity became the official religion of European states, the church often found itself at odds with leaders who wanted to eliminate its check on their power and to increase their control over their lands and peoples.
Often the tension between state and church reached a head in seemingly minor matters, such as the jurisdiction of secular vs. ecclesiastical courts, and usually if someone was going to die in such conflicts, it was the churchman (e.g., St. Thomas a Becket in the 12th century).
So when the monstrous totalitarian regimes and ideologies of the 20th century began their campaigns of terror and subjugation, they naturally targeted the churches first. The Bolsheviks first dis-established the Russian Orthodox church and then killed dozens and bishops and thousands of priests when they refused to abide by the new anti-Christian laws.
The Nazis also sought to first weaken and then completely eliminate the churches in Germany, especially the Catholic Church, because they knew that Christianity provided the most potent critique and resistance to fascist ideology. Many thousands of Lutheran and Catholic clergy were sent off to death camps along with their Jewish brothers and sisters.
The lesson of history is, therefore, beware governments and politicians who target religion and especially Christianity because such persecution is often followed by much more serious and wide-ranging oppression.
Which brings me to the current Democratic Party and their allies of various ideological stripes. What they all have in common is at least a suspicion of if not outright hostility to Christianity because it stands in the way of certain cherished causes, like abortion and the furtherance of the sexual revolution in our society.
Joe Biden says that when he’s elected, one of the first things he’s going to do is remove the religious exemption for orders like the Sisters of the Poor so that they can be made to support abortifacient contraceptives.
You have a leader of the BLM movement, Shawn King, advocating the destruction of religious art because it’s “racist,” and, unsurprisingly, several statues and other sacred works of art were desecrated in the US following his call to action.
Make no mistake: political movements which advocate the repression of Christianity, much less the destruction of its art or its principles in our society, are not ones that are friendly to the true liberty and well-being of society. Show me a country which has targeted peaceful, traditional religions, and I will show you a land littered with corpses.
Yes, the stakes are that serious. The trappings of our democracy can be tossed aside like so much bathwater if those in power refuse to accept constitutional limitations or enforce previously established laws. We’ve already seen the results of this attitude in the anarchic and violence-plagued streets of many of our cities. The question is: will the election of a Democratic president and legislators make that destruction less or more widespread? I leave it to you to carefully ponder that question.
Peachtree City, Ga.