Darrow Miller and Friends

A New Castro, A New Attack on Religious Freedom

For many people, the name “Castro” evokes tyranny and the stifling of freedoms: religion, conscience, the press, assembly, speech.

All these principles we hold dear in the United States. All were enshrined in the First Amendment to the constitution.

Now a new Castro has made a frontal attack on religious freedom in the US.

I speak of Martin Castro, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He’s no fiery revolutionary. (Go here to see his picture.) He wears a smile instead of a frown, a suit and tie in place of military fatigues. But don’t let the superficial differences between him and his Cuban counterpart fool you. He’s a revolutionary of equal intent.

Nothwithstanding their different styles and demeanors, both Castros seek to rid the world of free speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion.

These very freedoms, guaranteed in the First Amendment, have contributed to making the United states one of the freest, most prosperous nations in the world. Fidel Castro, and tyrants of his ilk, forbid such freedoms. Martin Castro is undermining the US First Amendment on behalf of the current administration that he serves.

Two Jewish rabbis are drawing attention to this. In an opinion piece titled “Team Obama launches a shocking broadside against religious faith,” Abraham Cooper and Yitzchok Adlerst write:

Castro, an Obama appointee, released a report on September 7 on protections against discrimination. His finding, in part, is that Americans need to be protected from Bible-thumpers, and anyone else whose beliefs run afoul of the administration’s PC police. Religious folk need not apply.

We have written about this increasing threat here and here. But now more policies and laws will be propagated to stifle free speech, as well as freedom of worship and conscience.

How did such freedoms ever appear on these shores? Because our founding documents were born out of a Judeo-Christian worldview that led to theconstitution1se immortal words in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is that Judeo-Christian worldview that lay behind the nation’s founding and its greatness (greatness, not perfection; the nation has been far from perfect). Yet Martin Castro and those who appointed him are working from the same ideological CLOTH–Atheistic Materialism–from which Fidel’s tyrannical rule was cut. For the fundamentalist atheist, God is dead and the state sovereign. And ideas have consequences. When a nation denies the God who endows all human beings with dignity and freedom, all that is left is raw power. Coercion replaces persuasion, slavery replaces freedom. Witness the Soviet Union, communist Russia, Cuba and fascist Germany and Italy.

Cooper and Adlerst continue:

Commissioner Castro has another vision. In the letter addressed to the president, the vice president, and the Speaker of the House, he wrote, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon these civil rights.” [the writers’ emphasis]

For more on this read Team Obama launches a shocking broadside against religious faith.

Castro has written,

The phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.

In other words, “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” have no meaning or standing. They are simply “code words” that cover for discrimination. People who put God’s word over the state are by definition bigoted racist, sexist, homophophic, etc. The state, not God, is sovereign. Castro’s position evokes that of ancient Rome: there can only be one god, and it will be the state. The state has decreed that “the right” of choosing your own sexual identity, denying birth and biology, supersedes the rights of free speech and religious freedom.

Make no mistake, this is the proverbial nose of the camel under the tent. It is the beginning, not the end, of tyranny.

The ideology of atheistic materialism leads invariably to a secular state, and a secular state to tyrants, whether a communist like Fidel Castro or a fascist such as Adolph Hitler.

barack_obama_addresses_joint_session_of_congress_2009-02-24The current president of the United States, who hired Mr. Castro, revealed his thinking about God-fearing people.

It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

One of the 2016 presidential candidates called such people—i.e., those who have a different vision for America—a “basket of deplorables.” The secular elites stand in judgment of people of faith, people who know that religious liberty and freedom of speech are God-given rights, that these freedoms mean something. They are not mere words. They do not merely cloak some hidden agenda.

Mind you, it is not Martin Castro and his policy statement that is the root issue. No, the real issue is the atheistic-materialistic foundation underneath the policy. Instead of a vision of a free, self-governing people, this “new” vision seeks a powerful state that rules the people “for their own good.”

Beware of anyone in a suit with a tyrannical agenda.

  • Darrow Miller

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Darrow is co-founder of the Disciple Nations Alliance and a featured author and teacher. For over 30 years, Darrow has been a popular conference speaker on topics that include Christianity and culture, apologetics, worldview, poverty, and the dignity of women. From 1981 to 2007 Darrow served with Food for the Hungry International (now FH association), and from 1994 as Vice President. Before joining FH, Darrow spent three years on staff at L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland where he was discipled by Francis Schaeffer. He also served as a student pastor at Northern Arizona University and two years as a pastor of Sherman Street Fellowship in urban Denver, CO. In addition to earning his Master’s degree in Adult Education from Arizona State University, Darrow pursued graduate studies in philosophy, theology, Christian apologetics, biblical studies, and missions in the United States, Israel, and Switzerland. Darrow has authored numerous studies, articles, Bible studies and books, including Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Culture (YWAM Publishing, 1998), Nurturing the Nations: Reclaiming the Dignity of Women for Building Healthy Cultures (InterVarsity Press, 2008), LifeWork: A Biblical Theology for What You Do Every Day (YWAM, 2009), Rethinking Social Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion (YWAM, 2015), and more. These resources along with links to free e-books, podcasts, online training programs and more can be found at Disciple Nations Alliance (https://disciplenations.org).