No, it was not "accidental." We do hours of research before
typing the first words of any issue. It seemed reasonable
to us from everything we read and heard that terrorism
was "alive and well," and that further attacks might well
be expected. We reasoned that the real dangers went well
past the "gut feeling" which the Secretary of Homeland
Security shared with his fellow Americans.
On last Wednesday, concurrent with the release of our
issue on the subject, the likelihood of terrorist attacks
in the not-too-distant future was widely discussed in just
about every news media as a reasonable expectation.
From a Christian viewpoint, and that is a major factor
in all of our reports, there is more to be considered than
the evil of terrorism or the rise or fall of one of the nation’s
financial score boards or the cruel hobby of one of the
country’s multi-million dollar athletes or the potential
jailing of one of Hollywood’s "celebrities"of the moment.
The following comment is from one of our readers:
"Who would have thought 50 years ago what America
was on the verge of becoming now!!!"
It is indeed a sobering thought.
It merits an organized response, and in more detail than
the restraints of time and space permit here. But certain
clear and unavoidable facts can be briefly presented with
respect to our reader’s concerned comment.
First, considered historically – and we must never in
any "rush to judgment" ignore or brush aside as having
no meaning the facts of history. A review of such facts
discloses that without question America was intended to be,
was formed to be, and did in fact begin as a Christian nation.
Under the nation’s first President, and Commander in Chief
of our armed forces, military officers were required to attend
church regularly, an indication of Washington’s own personal
views of the Christian faith. In taking the oath of office as the
first president, he voluntarily added, "So help me, God."
On various occasions during those early years these quotes
from President Washington are preserved, "It is impossible
to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
"What students should learn in American schools above all
is the religion of Jesus Christ." "To the distinguished character
of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more
distinguished character of Christian."
The nation’s second president, John Adams, was equally firm
in his expression of his Christian beliefs: "We recognize no
Sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus." "The general
principles upon which the Fathers achieved independence
were the general principles of Christianity." Patrick Henry,
known as the "Orator of the Revolution," said, "It cannot be
emphasized too clearly and too often that this nation was
founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religion,
but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Helping to establish that non-debatable fact is this quote from
Governor Morris of Pennsylvania, known in history as the
man who actually "wrote" the Constitution: "Religion is the
only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should
teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward
God." And in 1780, Noah Webster, often called "America’s
Schoolmaster" for his efforts in establishing sound education
in America, wrote: "In my view the Christian religion is the
most important and one of the first things which all children,
under a free government, ought to be instructed."
That is the America our founding fathers intended
this nation to be. And that is the America this nation was,
for more than a century and a half. But our reader asked
concerning the America of 50 years ago – or 1957.
Interestingly enough, it was in April of 1957 that a major
religious conference was held in Nashville, TN on the theme,
"The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation’s Chief Moral
Dilemma." In a broad survey, it was agreed that tremendous
progress had been made in many areas. The conferees said
that scientific and technological advances astound us and
stagger the imagination. Skyscrapers reach ever higher into
the sky . . . while space exploration goes beyond all earthly
bounds . . . the airplane has shrunk time and distance from
days or weeks into hours . . . diseases once totally fatal are
being treated with benign results . . . and with all of these
advances have come unprecedented achievements in our
economic growth as we developed the greatest production
system the world had ever known. As the unquestioned No.
1 military power in the world America was respected and
admired for our willingness to lead the world to victory in
two World Wars. The ill effects of the generally unpopular
Korean conflict of 1950 - 1953 (labeled by President Truman
as a "police action") were only starting to be felt. Despite
almost the sole exception of the still lingering effects of
racial discrimination, the portrait of this nation developed
just 50 years ago was an extremely favorable one.
But our reader’s question included the word "now."
The situation has changed dramatically since that
generally favorable evaluation in 1957 – just 50 years ago.
In 1947, just 10 years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court made
a decision, erroneously (in many people’s minds) which
established a "separation of church and state," based upon
the First Amendment’s so-called "establishment clause."
From that one decision, a list of other decisions based upon
it leads directly into the unfavorable situation in which our
nation finds itself today. Without listing all, or even most,
of those decisions, these few may be noted: in 1948 all
religious instruction in public schools was banned; in
1962 any form of prayer in schools was banned; in 1973
abortion was legalized, with the result that since that
date more than 50 million children have been killed; in
1976 any mention of God in writings by school board
members was banned; in 1980 posting of the Ten
Commandments on school properties was forbidden; in
1987 teaching of creation science was banned; in 1992
no clergy were allowed to pray at any school event.
And that is only a partial list of the fall-out resulting
from the Court’s 1947 decision on the separation of
church and state.
The former Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court,
William Rehnquist, in 1985 said of that decision: "There
is simply no historical foundation for the proposition
that the Framers intended to build the ‘wall of separation’
that was constitutionalized ... The ‘wall of separation
between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad
history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide
to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned."
Thus there are several steps in the response to the
concern our reader expressed. Historically, America
began as a nation based on traditional Judeo/Christian
principles. For a century and a half those founding
principles made America strong and successful. By 1957,
right in the midst of what had been hoped to be the time
of "America’s mid-century revival," things began to fall
apart, with an organized rejection and turning away from
God and Christianity, led by the liberals, atheists and
homosexuals and organizations like the ACLU. In 2004
Massachusetts became the first state to make homosexual
marriage legal, a major advance in the destruction of the
traditional American family life. This is not the America
our founding fathers intended, but it may be the America
we are going to get by default. Read on . . .
The Barna Group (Ventura CA) regularly conducts surveys
on the American way of life, with all of its ramifications.
One of the most recent (July, 2007) disclosed that most
Americans (75%) are "very open" to alternative moral
views, but a huge majority (92%) support the traditional
family values . . . and this results in another huge majority
(86%) who are concerned about the moral health of the
nation. Encouraging? Yes . . . but here is the "default"
possibility mentioned above: only one out of four adults
(25%) is concerned enough to try to convince other
people to change their views. Now that’s scary!
And now arises the familiar question: "What can
I, as just one Christian, do?" In all candor, the answer to
that question does not change from week to week. From
a personal standpoint, as a Christian, you have a directive
from Jesus Christ to go and preach the gospel – share
your faith with everyone. You know that directive as the
"Great Commission." It is found in the last few verses
of the last chapter in the books of Matthew and Mark.
And from a national standpoint, as an American, you
have an opportunity that people all over the world
would give their life to have: you can vote freely and
without fear to choose the kind of government under
which you want to live, and the kind of people you want
to run that government.
A thought for today: and as always, a good one from
Gary Bauer in his "End of Day" column: "Sadly, we live
in a time when our military is at war, but the American
people are not. While our best and brightest literally put
life and limb on the line fighting the jihadists, too many
of the rest of us are more concerned with the latest
Hollywood loser in the headlines, fattening our bank
accounts, and avoiding sacrifice or inconvenience of
Afterthoughts . . .
$11 billion annually, that’s what Americans spend for
bottled water. But now Pepsi, the distributor of Aquafina,
one of the more popular brands, has disclosed that what
the people are buying is really "tap water" – or as the
label now explains, it is from a "public source." Bottled
water averages out at a cost of $6.40 per gallon (and
you thought gasoline was expensive!) while tap water
from your kitchen sink costs about $.01 per gallon. Oh
yes – Pepsi isn’t the only company selling tap water
in bottles. Read the labels. And you might even think
of a better way to spend those billions each year.
And speaking of liquids, in the state of Utah, an auto
owner paid for the so-called "vanity" license plates for
his maroon colored car (OK – it is wine red) bearing the
letters MERLOT. The state is forcing him to remove the
plate on the grounds that it advertises or promotes the
sale of intoxicants. The car’s owner insists it refers to
the color of his car. Here in our city, a glance at the
local telephone directory discloses that Merlot is a
family name, and that there are several families with
the names Beer and Wine. You have to wonder how
a state can rule a person’s surname is objectionable.
Another unique achievement for San Francisco.
As if being represented in Congress by Nancy Pelosi,
the first female Speaker of the House, were not enough,
as of May 9 of this year the President of the San Francisco
Police Commission is Theresa Sparks, a trans-gender
person who was formerly a man. Before becoming a
female, he/she was married and fathered three children.
When not involved in Police Commission duties, Theresa
operate a sex toy business. Catering to people who – well,
catering to people who like sex toys.
An upcoming potential affront to the "Christian
Right." It is reported that CNN is planning to release a
three part documentary series totaling 6 hours on 3
successive nights, in August. Hosted by Christianne
Amanpour, the series will be titled "God’s Warriors"
and will apparently discuss the "impact of religious
fundamentalism as a powerful political force around
the world." Bob Knight, director of the Media Research
Center’s Cultural and Media Institute fears it will be an
effort to equate evangelical Christians with Muslim
fanatics. Fortunately we can always move to another
and if enough other people do so . . .
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