According to the good Rev. Emily C. Heath of the United Church of Christ. FWIW, the UCC is about the most radically left leaning denomination of Christendom. It was a UCC pastor who once said she just didn't see how people could think God cares about us on a personal level. It was a UCC pastor that told me she was hip to the whole gnostic gospels of Judas as a viable alternative to those dusty old sexist and racist things most Christian endure. It was the UCC that put out a deplorably intolerant and judgemental series of commercials a few years back, in which it made clear that if you didn't completely support and celebrate the glories of homosexuality, then you probably hate mothers, babies, blacks, Jews, and any other group under the sun. So in short, the UCC straddles dangerously that fence that is on the opposite side of the field from the Fred Phelps expression of religion. Really. Any Christian who says you are an evil racist if you don't conform to liberal values is basically the same thing, right? For to exploit racism in order to advance an ideology is no better than racism itself.
Anyway, over on the always fair and balanced Huffington Post, she has posted a quiz to debunk the idea that Americans are losing their religious freedoms. The quiz itself is a rather humorous thing, that if it were put out by a Fundamentalist group would (and should) illicit endless guffawing. But because its basic premise is the increasingly popular notion on the Left that Freedom of Worship is alive and well as long as you keep your religion to yourself and out of the public arena, it's garnering serious consideration by those on the Left. It's not surprising that it's her most flagrant expression of this ideal that gets the praises and celebratory high-fives of the ironically titled Friendly Atheist.
The gist of the quiz is that if you answer a select number of heavily weighted questions, and A is in any of your answers, your religious liberty might be threatened. The one that our friendly Atheist posts, and the one that screamed Warning Will Robinson, was this little gem:
"4. My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to pray privately.
B) I am not allowed to force others to pray the prayers of my faith publicly."
Note the qualifier. I am not allowed to pray PRIVATELY (emphasis all mine). Privately. Because nothing screams liberty like being forced to do something privately. That is, of course, the hallmark of old time Soviet style religious freedom. In the USSR, everyone was guaranteed the freedom of worship. What people living there soon found out was that meant you had best keep your religion under a bushel or invest in some heavy layers of thermal underwear, if you're lucky.
And yet, that phrase in becoming increasingly embraced by the post-liberal Left. From the White House's use of the phrase in the HHS mandate debacle, to this, it is keeping in step with the evolving understanding of the Constitution that suggests what it really did was ensure us the right to sex, drugs, bathroom humor, and the right to abort snot nose brats so I can continued to indulge in unabated hedonistic narcissism. All that freedom of speech and religion garbage just meant that Congress shall establish a secular leftist nation by brutally censoring the right to fail to conform to the secular left thereof.
And I can't think of anything that shows this more than the idea that as long as we can do something enshrined in the Bill or Rights in private, we must be free.