- written by Russ Jones, Christian News Service
While a recent poll indicates American opinions over NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s actions are split, a national clergy group is condemning government surveillance as a precursor to restricted religious freedom.
A June 12 Gallup poll finds that Americans are almost evenly divided in their opinions over whether Snowden did the right thing. Some laud him a hero, while others view him as a traitor.
However, those surveyed on whether the government was right or wrong in spying on Americans is more clearly defined; 58 percent believe the government has stepped over its bounds, while just 37 percent approves of government spying on individuals.
Regardless of partisan politics, the question most concerning to Sam Rohrer, president of the Pennsylvania Pastor’s Network (PPN), is how some embrace a philosophy of justification whereby Constitutional protections and the rule of law are routinely ignored.
“There is a very grave concern that what is happening is a profiling and a targeting of a certain class of Americans that is in violation of the Constitution and ultimately becomes a limitation and violation of First Amendment rights, plus others we enjoy under our law,” said Rohrer.
Rohrer believes the Obama administration has repeatedly profiled conservatives and Christians on the same terrorist watch lists as Al Qaida. Furthermore, first amendment freedoms are being directly and dangerously violated as Christian organizations are closely observed and monitored.
“There is no doubt that the United States of America, as we have always known it, is under siege - before our very eyes,” said Rohrer. “The Church who holds the key to turning God’s hand of judgment is called upon to stand up and speak out – after they first kneel down. Power and strength comes after they humble themselves, seek God’s face, repent, and turn from their wicked ways and ask for His mercy. God then promises to forgive our sins and truly heal our land.”
Rohrer concludes saying when patriotic and religious Americans are defined as terrorists by the same government sworn to protect them, those in government have crossed the line and become chargeable of the same offenses they say they are attempting to prevent.
The Pennsylvania Pastors’ Network is a group of biblically faithful clergy and church liaisons whose objective is to build a permanent infrastructure of like-minded clergy who affirm the authority of Scripture, take seriously Jesus’ command to be the “salt and light” to the culture, encourage informed Christian thinking about contemporary social issues; examine public policy issues without politicizing their pulpits and engage their congregations in taking part in our political process on a non-partisan basis.