This week we had a meeting of the Advisory Committee of Alliance Defending Freedom International. We received detailed reports of suppression of both freedom of religion and freedom of speech in both India and Europe.
In India, the Hindu-nationalist regime is growing increasingly repressive. Anti-conversion laws are being bolstered and expanded. Freedom is diminishing at an astonishing rate.
In Finland, a member of Parliament is being criminally prosecuted for a 17 year-old pamphlet and a two year old tweet. She dared to ask the question why her own church denomination would support a gay pride parade since the Bible teaches that this is sin.
Other examples of repression are exploding all over the world including instances from Australia and multiple countries in Europe.
And we all know from first hand experience that a spirit of repression is growing in the United States—especially from the federal government, big tech, and other segments of woke capitalism.
Only Christianity holds set of a foundational beliefs that can sustain freedom. The suppression of Christianity is essential for the suppression of freedom itself. Biblical Christianity believes that the soul and minds of men belong to God. Governments, therefore, have no jurisdiction over what men say, think, or believe.
Moreover, Christianity alone teaches that we are made in the image of God and there is intrinsic value in every person. Flowing from this fact of our inherent dignity is the correlative truth that God gives us all inalienable rights. (Yes, there were seasons of history where Christian institutions got this wrong. But since the Great Awakening, that trend was largely rejected.)
When I took my course work in Human Rights Law from the University of London, the first article we read aimed to answer the question: Why are human rights universal?
The scholar reviewed every major theory and found them all internally inconsistent because of a common flaw. If human rights are a man-made construct, then they cannot be universal. What men create men can change.
The author did admit that the original theory of universal human rights did not have this flaw. It was Christianity. And the author explained that God-given rights could indeed be universal.
However, the author said that Christianity is only a bunch of fairy stories so it can’t be the actual explanation even though it was the only one that made sense. His conclusion was that human rights are universal even though we don’t know why.
Now the academy has taken the next step. The majority embrace the idea that rights are only a construct made by man and they intend to remove any theory of rights contrary to their preferences. And now such removals are in full swing.
Repression is growing worldwide. But it cannot sustain itself. In the heart of every human being there is a desire for freedom. That desire for freedom is a facet of the God-sized vacuum in the heart of every person. Just as there in an innate need for God, there is a desire for the attributes of God—including the attribute of freedom (where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.)
Christian thinking led the founders of this country to defend freedom of speech and religion for all because to do otherwise rejected God’s jurisdiction over the heart and mind.
The world is spiraling into a dark age of repression. It is our duty to be the light of the world and show all people the path to God and the freedom and inalienable rights that only He can deliver.
Michael Farris is the former President & CEO of Alliance Defending Freedom. He served in this capacity from 2017 until 2022.
Before joining ADF, Farris was founding president of both the Home School Legal Defense Association (1983) and Patrick Henry College (2000) and continues to serve as chairman of the board of HSLDA and PHC and is chancellor emeritus of PHC.