You Will Be Made to Care Explores Religious Liberty in America
I've been a fan of Erick Erickson for about half a decade now. I knew his work at RedState, but I genuinely became a fan when WSB Radio in Atlanta—the highest rated talk radio station in the country—gave him a show of his own. I think of Erickson as a sort of Rush Limbaugh for my generation. He has a unique, effective way of explaining the conservative take on issues and does so with good cheer and humor.
Over the last year or so, Erickson's life and career have made some changes for the better. He began attending seminary, which has helped him articulate his Christian faith more effectively. He left RedState and started his own impressive new site, The Resurgent. He has even done some cooking demonstrations around Atlanta.
And now, Erickson has published his second book. You Will Be Made To Care, written with Bill Blankschaen, takes its title from a phrase Erickson coined to describe the modus operandi of the radical Left in their attempts to squash religious freedom. Erickson shares anecdotes of Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and Mennonites who have faced challenges to their liberties at the hands of gay rights activists and proponents of abortifacient drugs. (It's worth noting that the greatest threats to religious freedom have come at the hands of activists on sexual issues.)
These individuals, organizations, and businesses have faced threats to their livelihoods and reputations when these new-found sexual freedoms appear to trump the centuries-old First Amendment right to freedom of religious expression. Erickson tells these stories vividly and compassionately. Some of these accounts will sound familiar to anyone who follows the news regularly, while others are lesser known incidents.
There's a certain sameness to the stories of religious discrimination at the hands of the Left. The episodes sound a little similar to each other, and some of the same attorneys and organizations are helping the victims. This observation isn't so much a criticism of Erickson's writing as it is notice that scenarios like these are taking place all over the country.
As bleak as the state of religious freedom looks on so many fronts these days, Erickson does not wallow in despair. Though he is no Pollyanna, Erickson remains a happy warrior. As his fans know, he holds on to his hope in Jesus Christ and knows that, though Christians may lose battles here on earth, for believers, the war is already won.
Erickson also makes the most effective—and succinct—case for conservatism among Christians (and Jews) I've ever read. In a passage contrasting the understanding of fallenness due to sin to which believers in the God of the Bible subscribe with the victim mentality of the Left, he writes:
Most of us are honest enough to admit that we are sinners, that we fall short of being the person we know we should be... I am a conservative because I am a Christian. I know that we are all sinners, and so I want those in charge to have strictly limited powers over the rest of us.
I couldn't agree more, and I couldn't have said it better myself.