Charles Campbell, a director of Church Planting in southern Illinois, has grown more and more familiar with this issue. He said:
These types of laws are basically unconstitutional. Having said that, they are the law for now in some places and this guy may end up going to jail for what he believes. He won’t be the first or last. I do believe the church will continue to face these types of challenges going forward in our society. We should expect it, quite honestly.
The government is now making it very clear that our freedom of religion can now be trumped by things like zoning laws, ObamaCare regulations, and tax codes.
J. Christian Adams, former DOJ attorney and author of the eye-opening Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department, has written extensively on the deterioration of religious freedom for Christians in America. When I asked him for his take on the pastor’s imprisonment, he gave a chilling response:
Christians freely exercising their faith inside the privacy of their homes is apparently not a civil right worth protecting to Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez and his boss Eric Holder. We have entered a disturbing age when Christians must hide from their government to discuss the Bible like they did in Gottwald’s Czechoslovakia or Emporer Valerian’s Rome. The Free Exercise Clause trumps local zoning laws.
John Whitehead, Salman’s lawyer, works for The Rutherford Institute. Whitehead admits that many house churches may break zoning laws, but questions if this is the just way to handle such issues:
The question for the government is: “What are you going to do with those types of people?” I have a blueprint for them, and what you don’t do is send police into their home. I think that’s an issue here: How far can the government go to regulate this kind of activity?
In For Greater Glory a key character comes to an important realization. One film critic summarized this moment by saying the “the state soon has him considering that religious liberty is the first and most important freedom of all as all others spring from it.”
Will we make the same realization or will we continue to let our religious freedoms be cast in prison?