A far-right Christian blog exaggerated the language of a Democratic National Committee resolution expressing support for people who do not practice any religion, painting it as an attack on the Christian faith itself.
Those most loudly claiming that morals, values, and patriotism must be defined by their particular religious views have used those religious views, with misplaced claims of “religious liberty,” to justify public policy that has threatened the civil rights and liberties of many Americans, including but not limited to the LGBT community, women, and ethnic and religious/nonreligious minorities
According to The Stream, alluding to measures like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — which sparked widespread criticism against Indiana lawmakers when it was passed there in 2015 for allowing businesses to turn away LGBTQ customers on the basis of their gender or sexuality — constituted “hostility toward Christian beliefs and values.” The bill was quickly amended.
The tactic itself is far from new, as the advocacy group People For The American Way (PFAW) points out:
Religious Right organizations have long equated criticism with persecution, and portrayed legal and political defeats as attacks on Christianity and religious freedom. Efforts to frame opposition to reproductive choice and LGBT equality as religious liberty issues picked up steam with the issuing of the Manhattan Decoration in 2009. This manifesto, co-authored by right-wing Catholic intellectual Robert George, pledged that its signers would refuse to “bend” to “any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”
According to the site Right Wing Watch, which is produced by PFAW, The Stream is funded by evangelist James Robison. Robison, an advisor to President Donald Trump, has repeatedly tried to cast Trump as representing evangelical Christians by calling Democratic Party lawmakers “mentally deranged.” He has also accused media outlets of treating Trump “like a dog.”