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ICC Note: This opinion article from the Christian Post provides several examples of deteriorating conditions for religious freedom in the United States. ICC continues to monitor the environment for religious freedom in the U.S. and believes there is a growing trend of hostility towards the Christian faith.     
By Timothy George, Robert George and Eric Metaxas
01/24/2013 United States (CP) -Today, while much of the nation is still celebrating this week’s presidential inauguration, we want to call attention to another day the president has asked America to commemorate. President Obama recently proclaimed January 16 Religious Freedom Day.
Let’s be blunt: this proclamation has people familiar with the president’s notably poor record on religious freedom scratching their heads. It almost seems like a bad joke.
The proclamation rightly commends founding fathers Jefferson and Madison for their defense of the rights of all men to “profess…their opinions in matters of religion.” And it says, “[R]eligious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe.”
All tremendous words! So the disconnect with the president’s actual record on religious freedom could not be more dramatic and disturbing. Here are just three of several examples:
A few weeks ago, the White House announced that Atlanta pastor Louie Giglio would offer the benediction at the upcoming inauguration. Giglio’s laudable efforts in combating sexual trafficking had earned him the attention and praise of the president. However, when a blog broke the “news” that Giglio had preached the biblical message concerning the morality of sexual relations, he was pressured to step aside. Giglio learned that under the current administration, a pastor holding the positions set forth in the scriptures of Judaism, Christianity and other faiths is disqualified from participating in one of the great ceremonies of our civic life.
In 2012, the Department of Health and Human Resources implemented a rule under Obamacare that forces employers to subsidize the cost of contraception and abortion-inducing drugs. With the narrowest of exceptions, all organizations are required to comply, regardless of any conflict with the mandates of conscience. This includes faith-based hospitals, charities, schools, small businesses and major corporations like arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby and Bible publisher Tyndale, which face huge fines for each day they fail to comply with the rule.
Finally, the Obama administration ordered the Justice Department to cease enforcement of the duly enacted Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Clinton, and ended the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. One not-so-unintended result of these actions is that American military chaplains are being pressured to accommodate and affirm same-sex sexual conduct and relationships despite their religious convictions.

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