Saturday, November 13, 2004

Article One...

What makes America so great? Is it the military, technology, wealth, or even the Constitution? All of these facts are a component to America's greatness, but it really isn't where America's greatness comes from. America's greatness comes from the Bill of Rights Article One which states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." America is great because her people can practice their religion in peace, without fear of discrimination. The US government will never recognize any particular religion. Yes, this fact alone is where America's greatness resides. However, something has been eroding the foundation of America's greatness for too many years now---the separation of church and state.

Nowhere in the Constitution of the United States is this particular phrase found. The phrase actually comes from a private letter Thomas Jefferson wrote just before he died. But, nevertheless, this phrase is being used to promote an atheistic society. America's society, ever since the Civil War, has been constatly eroding and in the years following World War II, the erosion has only intensified. One can clearly see the erosion taking place by the fundamental changes to America's government in the past fifty years. America has taken prayer out of schools, legalized abortion, stopped the tradition of opening congress or any government meeting with prayer, and it also is seen by the fact marriage has to be defined now as a union between one man and one woman.

Are we to say as Christians the separation of church and state is a good thing? Absolutely not! The First Amendment Right of every American citizen is the right to practice his or her religion freely. Nowhere in the amendment does it talk about government not supporting religion. Government cannot fund or support any particular relgion above another, but government can promote faith-based organizations. The problem with society today is by using the phrase, "separation of church and state." America is turning into a society where all religions are tolerated except Christianity. Oh, you are gay, that's fine. Oh, you're a Mormon, Hindu, Muslim, or Satanist, that's fine. Oh wait, did you say you're a Christian? Make sure you don't speak about God in public, or offer your views to anyone publicly or privately for that matter. It's cool you are a Christian, but don't tell anyone or do anything that will show anyone you are a Christian.

Is that what this society is turning into? I tend to think it is. When did a cucumber become a sex-aid teaching device instead of just a vegetable that one eats? People are telling me it is okay to teach children that all lifestyles are okay; sex is good as long as you use protection, but it's not okay to teach children the principles America was founded on. This is compelling evidence that the greatness of America is being eroded away.

Since this is unacceptable, what must Christians do in the face of such opposition? The answer is easier said than done. Christians must activly get involved in politics. Anyone who thinks the Christian vote is in the minority clearly didn't learn anything from the Presidential election in 2004. The Christian vote single handedly swayed the Electoral College vote to George W. Bush. Secondly, Christians must not accept anything less from their elected leaders. If a leader isn't doing something morally right, remove him from office. If he isn't supporting an issue that needs to be supported, remove him from office. Make the politicians work for the betterment of society instead of the betterment of them. And, lastly, Christians need to bring their concerns before the Throne of the Almighty. The Bible makes it very clear God has elevated three institutions above all others as having a special or sacred worth to society: family, the church, and the government (A Table in the Presence 154). If God has given the role of government a special place in society, then all the more reason to pray to Him to keep the leaders focused on Him.



Roger R. said...

Only in America?

It’s a good thing the courts are pressing same-sex marriage, says Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson of the ELCA Lutherans. “It’s an issue for the whole culture; it helps us to see that this isn’t something that we are doing in isolation.” Apparently some people thought the ELCA had come up with the idea of same-sex marriage. Their presiding bishop assures them they have good company; it’s a cultural thing.

Those familiar with H. Richard Niebuhr’s “Christ of Culture” model will relish his further statement: “Now, the question for us as people of faith is when, out of conscience, do we challenge civil society as being wrong and when do we embrace the decisions of civil society as it orders its life hopefully for the sake of order and justice.”

Apart from the fact that the courts and not civil society are making these decisions, one wonders if it has eluded the bishop’s notice that “people of faith,” unlike the courts, are to decide in obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Or are we on a slippery slope in the whole Western World?

Bob & Claire said...

We love the guest commentator! Keep his articles coming! : )