America has been forever known as the land of the free, with its citizens being allowed the right of free speech, the right to bear arms, and freedom of religion among many others.  But today's America is fast becoming intolerant of the same Christian principles it was founded upon.

Chick fil A appreciation day FLCredit: wikipedia    One example of this is Dan Cathy's recent statement of his personal belief in traditional marriage.  This one statement became such a hot debate that even some politicians publicly announced they didn't want Chick fil A in their town.  Now I realize this is a very emotional subject on both sides.   But regardless of who is right, or who is wrong....what happened to being able to freely state your belief or opinion without causing this kind of attack?   There is a HUGE difference between thinking something is wrong, and hating someone.  People should have the right to be supportive of gays, after all this is America.  However, the same right belongs to those who believe the opposite.  We are all entitled to our own opinion.   But it doesn't seem to work that way anymore when someone's belief isn't popular with the mainstream crowd.

American Atheists Incorporated recently started a billboard campaign attacking religious faiths.   One sign reads "Christianity: Sadistic God, Useless Savior".   These signs are meant as attacks against Christianity and Mormonism, due to this years presidential race between Romney and Obama. 

Dan Savage, the founder of "It Gets Better" project, went to a journalism high school in California to deliver a speech on anti bullying.  Instead, it turned into a Christian bashing speech.  Many students got up and walked out, while being called 'pansy assed' by Mr. Savage for leaving.   School officials later admitted the speech was not what they had expected, and should have checked into it before allowing him to speak in front of the students.    Some students felt they had actually been bullied by the one who was supposed to be speaking out against it. 

A New York public school is being threatened to be sued by a national atheist group for allowing songs with the word "God" in the music curriculum.   Traditional songs such as 'He's got the whole word in his hands", "Now I lay me down to sleep", and several others.  The school has decided to stand their ground and stated that the songs are taught strictly for educational purposes. 

The owner of a private bakery in Colorado is being harassed for not making wedding cakes for gay marriage ceremonies.  Over 4,000 people have signed a petition asking Jack Phillips to change his policy.  Several have protested outside his shop, holding signs with various statements such as "Let the gays eat cake".   Mr. Phillips stated that he has received a lot of support from others for choosing to run his bakery based on his religious beliefs.  I'm sure this probably isn't the only bakery in town, so why not go somewhere else instead of harassing this person?   Even if he caved in and made the cake, it's clear what his personal beliefs are.  Forcing him to have to take your money is more than likely not going to change the way he feels. 

US flag(110376)Credit: wikipedia

Many other stories like these have happened and continue to happen right here in the USA.   Apparently to some groups, being tolerant only applies in some cases.  And I have to admit, there are extremists out there who do or say stupid things in the name of christianity.   But the point is that we are quickly losing our freedom of speech and religion.   And I think there are many people out there who need to learn the difference between expressing a belief and hate speech, because it is two separate things.  If we want this country to remain tolerant and free, then we must allow others the freedom to express their beliefs without retaliating with hatred.

A well known poem by Martin Niemöller can easily be applied here, regardless of what beliefs a person holds:

First they came for the Socialists,

and I did not speak out--

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists,

and I did not speak out--

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,

and I did not speak out--

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--

and there was no one left to speak for me.