America is at a Crossroads
I’m posting an article today that I read at our Thanksgiving communion service yesterday. Our nation has a strong Christian heritage. It’s what made us great. But we have removed God from our civic life, and if He does not intervene, we are headed for a big fall. Our children will pay a heavy price. I’m asking God for a great awakening in our country. It has to start with us the church. I say, Lord, let it start in me!
This is a long article, but it’s worth reading…give me your thoughts…
A RELIGIOUS PEOPLE VERSUS A GODLESS GOVERNMENT
BY BRANNON HOWSE
America is at a crossroads, and the path that is chosen will have a lasting impact on the future of this nation. We will continue to see a downward trend in our nation’s morality as long as our citizens continues to permit the only accepted form of bigotry permitted today to continue – religious bigotry.
Americans need to stand up for and reaffirm the faith of our fathers. Today, a civil war rages in Congress, in the courts, and in our schools.
Why do I believe that this battle for religious freedom will so greatly affect the future of this nation? Because as a nation we can only embrace and govern on the basis of one of two worldviews. We as a people will either embrace the Christian worldview or the secular humanist worldview. There is no middle ground.
This is not a new battle. In fact, it has been on-going since the Garden of Eden. This conflict of the ages has always been between what is right and what is wrong, what is just and what is unjust, what is good and what is evil, what makes men free and what makes them slaves.
The Christian worldview was the basis and foundation on which the founding fathers built the United States of America. Lenin, however, used the secular humanist worldview to base his ideology.
A Religious People
Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his book, Crime and Punishment, wrote, “If God is dead, then everything is permitted.”
If there is no God, then humanism, which is based on the belief that man is god, is the moral standard. In other words, man can decide for himself what is right and what is wrong through a relativistic, humanistic worldview.
If, however, there is a Creator, as America’s founding fathers believed and wrote in the Declaration of Independence, then man is not god and is subject to set standards as prescribed by the Creator. Man is also obligated not only to live, but to govern in a manner consistent with God’s laws and standards.
The standards prescribed by the Creator are spelled out in the most important book of our western culture, the Holy Bible. Those who believe in God the Creator and His moral standards of right and wrong, i.e. the Ten commandments, are embracing the Christian worldview either knowingly or unknowingly.
Those of us who believe in God and seek to follow and live out the Judeo-Christian faith realize that we are not the minority that the media and cultural elite would have us to believe. Gallop surveys over the past two decades reveal that fully 85 percent of Americans consider themselves to be following the Christian faith. On an average Sunday in America, 106 million Americans attend church.
Americans need not apologize to the cultural elite for their religious convictions, no matter how strong. Indeed, it was a group of gun-toting, church-going Christians who gave us the greatest nation on the face of the earth.
If you doubt me when I say that this nation was founded on the Christian worldview by people who considered themselves to be following the “Christian faith,” then you do not know the facts.
Dr. D. James Kennedy in his book, Character and Destiny, provides interesting data about the people who founded our nation:
As late as 1776, fully 98 percent of the people in this country professed to be Protestant Christians; 1.8 percent said they were Roman Catholics; and .2 percent said they were Jewish. Now, if you add those numbers up you will find that 99.8 percent of the people in this nation declared themselves to be Christians.
As an indication of the beliefs of all thirteen colonies at that time, the Constitution of the State of Delaware required that all office holders swear in public, “I do profess faith in God the Father, and in the Lord Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost . . . and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine inspiration.”
In 1892, the Supreme Court ruled in the case, Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, that:
Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian. . . . This is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation . . . we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth . . . these, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation.
Again, in 1931, the United States Supreme Court declared, in the case ofUnited States v. Macintosh, that “we are a Christian people.” And in 1952, even the liberal justice, William O. Douglas, declared from the bench that “we are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.”
Who Gave Us Liberty?
In 1774, while serving in the Virginia Assembly, Thomas Jefferson personally introduced a resolution calling for a day of fasting and prayer. Later, while serving as the Governor of Virginia (1779-1781), Jefferson decreed a day of: “Public and solemn thanksgiving and prayer to the Almighty God.”3
Engraved on the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. are these famous words by Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and our third President:
God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
We must recommit ourselves as a nation and a people to the convictions of our Christian worldview.
John Adams, who served as our nation’s first Vice President under George Washington for eight years and then as the second President of the United States, so believed in the relevancy of the Bible that he wrote the following in his diary on February 22, 1756:
Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow man; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God. . . . What a Utopia, what a Paradise would this region be.
John Adams also said, “We have no government capable of dealing with an irreligious people.” In other words, those who disregard religion are disregarding what makes America, America.
I could fill hundreds of pages with quotes from our founding fathers proving that they both publicly and privately believed in and possessed the Christian worldview. Many of our founding fathers were convinced that as long as we as a nation held onto and protected our Christian heritage, we would flourish. Likewise, they also believed that if we denied and rejected our Christian heritage, it would be the death of this nation they so loved.
George Washington wrote “We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained.” He also wrote “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
Benjamin Franklin wrote: “Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world.”
On June 20, 1785, James Madison wrote, “Religion [is] the basis and foundation of Government.” Several years later, on March 4, 1809, President James Madison said in his Inaugural address, “We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations.”
It is overwhelmingly clear from these few examples that our founding fathers knew just how important it was to the preservation of our nation that our Christian heritage and foundations not be eroded.
Even though our founders knew how important our Christian heritage was – and with a 99.8 percent Christian majority – still a state religion was not mandated. Our founders wanted freedom of religion, not freedom from religion, as the liberals claim. The founders did not want our nation to deny its heritage, but they wanted everyone to be free to practice and express their religious convictions and beliefs.
The “Separation” Myth
The “wall of separation” between church and state is a myth. In recent years, this myth has gone from protecting us from a state-mandated religion to denying people their constitutional right to practice their religion publicly. The ultimate result of the myth of separation has been the creating of a state-mandated religion, best known as humanism.
In two different cases, the United States Supreme court has written in footnotes to decisions handed down that humanism has a religious tone. Today, this religion is not excluded but promoted aggressively in our nation’s government schools at your expense.
My friend and mentor, Dr. D. James Kennedy, put it best when he said,
The idea of separation of church and state has been abused by judges and juries for the past 50 years, but one thing is undeniably clear: If teachers in public schools can’t teach Johnny about Christianity and if they can’t say that Jesus Christ is alive today or that faith in God is a good idea, then they certainly cannot teach their students the exact opposite, either.
Yet, our schools continue to promote and teach the humanist religion that denies God as the Creator and sets man up as his own god.
Despite what the liberal American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says, the religious foundation of our nation gave more liberty to everyone, not less as they would have us believe. Our founding fathers did so for good reason. They knew the lessons of history, as Dr. D. James Kennedy writes:
History teaches that great nations are seldom if ever destroyed by invaders or other outside forces. Wars and invasions may be involved in their final collapse, but nations fall because of compromise of their own foundational beliefs, loss of faith in the values that made them great, and the lawlessness and disorder that arise as a result.
Public schools are now government schools that forbid the posting of the Ten Commandments. Bible reading, even from a historical standpoint, is prohibited, and prayer is banned along with any Judeo Christian symbols.
We have compromised our foundational beliefs as a nation and a people, creating a society on the verge of moral collapse – one where crime is rampant in our streets, babies are legally murdered in their mothers’ wombs, and divorce is as common and easy as ordering a pizza.
Safety Net or Hammock?
Part of our Christian heritage has always been personal responsibility and morality. With these two characteristics missing, America has become a welfare program out of control. Unwed mothers are financially rewarded for having more and more children out of wedlock. Couples who get married and have children are assessed a heavy tax for simply choosing to do the respectable and responsible thing.
Untold numbers of welfare and entitlement recipients are having their immoral and irresponsible lifestyles funded by a government that has chosen not to hold individuals to a high standard of personal responsibility and decency.
Psychologists and other misguided “professionals” only worsen the problem by “discovering” a new disorder or disability for every negative human failing. Sure, there are those who have problems and disabilities, but such real problems end up being ignored or not taken seriously by the general public because of the over-use of psycho-babble terms and victimization grouping and labeling.
This nation is being destroyed from the inside. How much longer can our nation continue down this road before we realize that the damage we are doing is increasingly irreversible?
America needs to recommit itself to the heritage that made it great – a heritage that was clearly based on a Christian worldview, a strong faith in God, and in His moral principles and standards of hard work, personal responsibility, right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust.
Certainly we need to have compassion, but today’s welfare programs are based not on compassion but on socialism. At times there are those who need a little help to get back on their feet, but as one talk show host has said, “The safety net has turned into a hammock.” There is a clear difference between compassion and encouraging and rewarding irresponsibility, immorality and laziness.
Rights Without Responsibilities
The same individuals who scream that you and I are not compassionate enough are the same group of liberals who have been behind cases where compassion, understanding, and the protection of Constitutional rights have been extremely absent.
The rights of many Americans – which are so basic that the framers of the Constitution called them self-evident – have been denied. Yet, if you and I are in favor of welfare reform, we are accused of depriving certain individuals of their so-called “rights” even though these “rights” are not granted nor protected by the Constitution.
As Dr. D. James Kennedy has written, today’s young people “have been taught that their heritage of freedom gives them plenty of ‘rights’ but very few responsibilities.”
Liberals who steal our Constitutional rights are hailed by the liberal press as being advocates for equality. Yet, when a conservative tries to defend the Constitution and limit special privileges and treatment for a few, which is often times not in the best interest of the majority, we are called mean-spirited hate-mongers.
In some cases, states and/or the federal government has aggressively attached and harassed conservative groups or individuals with audits, law suits, and threats. Often such harassment is leveled at those who have – with great strength and courage – dared to stand up and defend the Christian worldview on which this nation was built.
Why should America be forced to become a secular nation when the majority of Americans are not secular in their religious beliefs? In addition, there is nothing beneficial about being a secular nation. In fact, history proves that it is detrimental to the future of a nation to reject certain principals and standards just because they can be traced back to a religious foundation.
Time magazine published a cover story on December 9, 1991, titled, “One Nation, Under God,” in which they asked the question: “Has the separation of church and state gone too far?” The writer for Time obviously felt it had when he wrote:
For God to be kept out of the classroom or out of America’s public debate by nervous school administrators or overcautious politicians serves no one’s interests. That restriction prevents people from drawing on this country’s rich and diverse religious heritage for guidance, and it degrades the nation’s moral discourse by placing a whole realm of theological reasoning out of bounds. The price of that sort of quarantine, at a time of moral dislocation, is – and has been – far too high. The courts need to find a better balance between separation and accommodation – and Americans need to respect the new religious freedom they would gain as a result.
Religion plays an important part in every nation’s history and destiny, as Dr. D. James Kennedy explains in his book, Character and Destiny:
Every nation that has ever existed has been built upon some sort of religious foundation. Whether it is the Hinduism of India, the Islam of Saudi Arabia, the Confucianism of China, the Shintoism of Japan, the Judaism of Israel . . . every nation had some form of religious commitment that contributed to its greatness. But while the government, the courts, the ACLU, the liberal American Bar Association, and the Trial Lawyers of America are doing everything in their power to strip away our moral values and religious rights, the government is stripping Americans of their property, their incomes, their rights of self-determination, and ultimately their hopes for the future.
This is exactly where we find ourselves today.