George Weigel is one of the very best contemporary Christian non-fiction writers in our time, especially on issues related to faith and culture. Weigel is not only insightful, and a careful scholar as well, but a wonderful writer whose style easily engages you in his prose. His biography of John Paul II, Witness to Hope, is my favorite biography of the late pontiff. It is a long book but worth the time and effort to read it. Weigel explains Karol Wojtyla, before and after his election to the papacy, as well as any volume I have read. Weigel has authored a number of other very useful books including:
When George Weigel writes on a contemporary subject that influences all Christians everywhere I usually pay close attention. Given my recent blogs on church and state, and the whole issue of religious freedom, I found Weigel’s recent comments on how religious liberty is being threatened by the radically political homosexual agenda to be both informative and insightful. Weigel correctly says:
Religious freedom, rightly understood, cannot be reduced to freedom of worship. Religious freedom includes the right to preach and evangelize, to make religiously informed moral arguments in the public square and to conduct the affairs of one’s religious community without undue interference from the state. If religious freedom only involves the freedom to worship, then, as noted above, there is “religious freedom” in Saudi Arabia, where Bibles and evangelism are forbidden but expatriate Filipino laborers can attend Mass in the U.S. embassy compound in Riyadh.
In its glory years, the State Department’s human rights bureau was a stalwart friend of those brave men and women in communist countries who were asserting, in addition to their right to worship, their rights as believers to be fully participant in society. That noble legacy should cause the present guardians of U.S. human rights policy to think very carefully about the path they seem to be taking in this field.
Make no mistake about it. The radical promotion of this politically correct agenda regarding gay rights in the West will lead to a denial of religious freedom. Weigel has correctly seen this link in his article. The one freedom that this radical homosexual agenda most wants to remove is religious freedom. If religious freedom is lost then political freedom will likely be close behind. The history and development of freedom in America demonstrates just how intimately these two freedoms actually are. This is why I wrote my posts on the separation of church and state and went so far as to urge atheists to stand with believers in protecting the one freedom that allows them as atheists, and us as believers, to protect each other’s civil and religious rights.