Faith

A Conversation with Erick Erickson About Religious Liberty in America

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Erick Erickson hosts Atlanta’s Evening News with Erick Erickson on WSB Radio, the number one talk radio station in the country. He recently left a position as editor-in-chief at RedState to found his own site, The Resurgent, which features uncompromising, unapologetic conservative reporting and activism.

Erickson’s new book, You Will Be Made to Care, co-written with Bill Blankschaen, just released this week. I had the pleasure of talking with him about the book and the larger issue of religious liberty in America.

Chris Queen: What inspired you to write the book?

Erick Erickson: I’ve been thinking about these issues for a while, writing about them first at Red State and now at The Resurgent, and people kept telling me that I needed to write a book about the issue of religious liberty. Finally, Matt Lewis told me that he was going to take my title and write the book if I didn’t.

CQ: How difficult was it to find examples of religious liberty in peril?

EE: The worst thing was, there were too many examples, and they kept pouring in. I spoke with some of the organizations on the forefront of the religious liberty issue – the Becket Fund, Alliance Defending Freedom – and I found out about even more stories, including ones right here in Georgia. You’re not hearing about most of them in the mainstream media, and the examples are astonishing and egregious.

CQ: What do you want people who read the book to walk away with?

EE: I hope people who read the book will understand what doesn’t get covered in the media, that there is a real war on the freedom to believe. One of the things that most people don’t know is that many of these acts are intentional.

CQ: In your opinion, where does religious liberty rank among the issues we face in 2016?

EE: Religious liberty should be at the top of the issues this year, especially with the death of Antonin Scalia and the void he left on the court. It needs to be.

CQ: How has our society gotten to the point where so many religious people – particularly Christians – are under siege?

EE: It stems from the rising tide of secularism and the collapse of the family. As fewer and fewer people are getting married and fewer married couples are having children, it has been easier for certain forces to move our society from one that places its faith in God to one that puts its faith in government.

CQ: What writers, pastors, and men and women of faith inspire you?

EE: Russell Moore – definitely. And John Piper. I’ve been really inspired by my professors at seminary – people like Bill Davis, and Derek Thomas of First Presbyterian in Columbia, SC.

CQ: You’re passionate about getting people involved in the fight for religious liberty. How can people get involved?

EE: It starts with having people over for dinner, as flippant as that sounds. The organizations and people who are fighting against religious liberty are leading people to feel like they’re alone in supporting freedom. Surround your family with like-minded people so that they will know they’re not alone.

Discernment in choosing leaders is important, too. Voters have gotten to a point where they’re voting out of anger, which leads to acting on emotions, which leads to bad decisions. Voters need to vet the candidates on what they believe and not just what they say on the campaign trail.

With the Resurgent Action Center, we’ve made it easy for people to get involved directly. Folks can go to theresurgent.com and sign up for the daily email. When issues arise, they can receive action alerts by text message and email with ways they can engage directly with their elected officials.

CQ: Thanks Erick. I appreciate your time.

EE: Thank you, Chris!