On Thursday evening, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivered a speech on the “Silent War” against religious liberty in America. Jindal criticized the Obama administration, liberal elites, the HHS Mandate, and the infringement experienced by such businesses as Elane Photography, a business facing civil fines for refusing to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony. It’s a welcome exception to the sight of national leaders increasingly unwilling to address religious liberty for fear of pushback by liberal interest groups.

Jindal delivered some hard-hitting one-liners aimed at the Obama administration and liberal elites. A few highlights of the lines designed for maximum impact:

  • “It is unmistakable that most of the Obama Administration’s attacks on religious liberty are aimed at conservative Christians.”
  • “Our religious liberty must in no way ever be linked to the ever-changing opinions of the public.”
  • “Make no mistake: the war over religious liberty is the war over free speech, and without the first there is no such thing as the second.”
  • “The government doesn’t get to decide who can preach the gospel.”

Jindal urged national and state lawmakers to be vigilant against attacks on religious liberty and to pass legislation that protects the conscience of America’s faithful citizens—regardless of creed.

Jindal finished his remarks drawing attention to the remarks of President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast. The President’s remarks were well received, according to most, but bordered on myopic and contradictory by others because of the policies emanating from the White House, such as the HHS Mandate. According to Jindal,

Last Thursday, exactly one week ago, something truly bizarre occurred.

The person who is at the tip of the spear prosecuting this quiet war on religious liberty spoke at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The topic he chose to speak about was defending religious liberty.

I was stunned, and I bet the President of Hobby Lobby, who was in the audience, was stunned as well. Yes, President Obama did wax eloquent, as he always does, about the horrors of religious persecution that are occurring beyond our borders. And good for him.

To be clear, churches in America are not being burned to the ground, and Christians are not being slaughtered for their faith. There is really no comparison to the persecution of people of faith inside our borders and outside.

Yet, it is stunning to hear the President talk of protecting religious liberty outside the United States, while at the very same time his Administration challenges and chips away at our religious liberty right here at home. Once again, there is a Grand Canyon sized difference between what this President says and what he does.

Here is what the President said last week, no doubt playing to his audience: “History shows that nations that uphold the rights of their people — including the freedom of religion — are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful.” Well said Mr. President, I couldn’t agree more.

So I leave you with this — the President is very concerned about religious liberty . . . and also, if you like your religion you can keep your religion.

No one is quite sure of Jindal’s 2016 intentions, but his speech was likely an attempt at connecting with the concerns of America’s Christian population. Other politicians would do well to take note.

Even accepting that politics were involved, Jindal also spoke with obvious conviction. He went places in his speech that most politicians won’t dare to touch, and for that, he deserves the appreciation for all conservative Christians who feel that their government and their culture are leaving them behind—and doing so with hubris and mockery. Sometimes, it’s necessary for politicians to take the gloves off and deliver an eye-popping rebuke to the Powers That Be. Jindal did just that. Read his speech for yourself.

Articles by Andrew Walker

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