Elitist intellectuals and liberals are waging a religious war against Christians, trying to silence them, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told graduates of Liberty University on Saturday.
"The new left in America is completely intolerant of people of faith," Jindal said. "The left no longer wants to debate. They simply want to silence us."
Jindal said abundant evidence includes the experiences of the Benham brothers and Phil Robertson of "Duck Dynasty."
HGTV canceled "Flip it Forward" - a real estate show featuring brothers David and Jason Benham - before a scheduled October debut after the lobbying group Right Wing Watch labeled David Benham an "anti-gay extremist" and reported on statements he made against homosexuality and gay marriage.
The A&E network briefly suspended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson after GQ magazine quoted him as saying that homosexuals are sinners and that African Americans were happy under Jim Crow laws establishing segregation.
"They have the right to speak their minds, no matter how indelicately they choose to do so," Jindal said Saturday. "The war of religious liberty is the war of free speech."
Jindal and university President Jerry Falwell Jr. spoke during a ceremony that took nearly two hours, The News and Advance of Lynchburg, Virginia, reported.
The university said nearly 17,500 students were graduated from its residential and online programs, with more than 6,000 of them among the 35,000 people at Williams Stadium in Lynchburg.
Jindal said much of American culture has become secular, but religious freedom invented America and faith sustains it.
He urged the graduates to stand up for their Christian education and their beliefs.
"If God is with us, then who can be against us?" he said.