The Sinking Ship

Listing Ship

Once upon a time, a passenger ship struck a reef and tore a hole in its hull.

As the ship began to sink, it listed to the starboard (right) side.  The passengers on the left side were unhappy.  They got rid of the captain, and replaced him with a new captain who turned the ship so that it listed to the port (left) side.

The people on the right side were now unhappy, so they got rid of that captain.  They replaced him with a captain who turned the ship so that in now listed to the right again.

The passengers on the left and the passengers on the right began to argue over whether the ship would sink faster listing to the right, or listing to the left.  Each side would get rid of the opposite-leaning captain, and replace him with one that would turn the ship to their side.  Each time the direction of the ship changed, it listed further and further to either the left or right.  As the ship swung further to the right, then the left, the passengers on each side became angrier and angrier.  Each side became convinced the ship was sinking because it was the other side’s fault.

Eventually the ship sank, not because it was listing, but because everyone ignored the gaping hole in its hull.

The sinking ship is the United States.  And we’re sinking fast.

 

The problem is not that we have swung too far to the liberal left or the conservative right.  The problem is that we have a gaping hole in our foundation that neither side is willing to recognize and address.

The United States was founded on biblical principles.  The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were based on biblical concepts.  Granted, we have never completely followed those principles in actual practice – we did allow slavery and we did exterminate millions of indigenous people, among other things.  Nevertheless, we generally acknowledged right and wrong based on biblical principles, even though we often failed to follow those principles.  Our foundation was based on God’s truth, even if we didn’t always follow the truth.  God blessed us as a nation, because we acknowledged Him.

Somewhere along the way, we began to reject the truth.  Cracks appeared in our foundation, and God’s blessing began to diminish.

We swung to the left under F.D.R. and Truman.  We swung back to the right under Eisenhower.

A little further to the left under Kennedy and Johnson.  Back to the right under Nixon and Ford.

Hard swing left under Carter, with an ever harder swing to the right under Reagan and Bush 1.

Clinton swung us left again, Bush 2 back to the right.

Obama has nearly capsized us to the left.

Now we’re fighting over whether to allow Hillary to push us further left, or whether to have Trump jerk us completely over to the right again.

The problem is, the cracks in our foundation have become gaping holes, and we’re too blind to see it.  And, we’re reaping the consequences.

Americans no longer have a biblical foundation for their worldviews.  Both the left and the right openly defy God.  The left openly mocks biblical truth regarding sex and marriage.  The right has abandoned biblical truth regarding the poor and greed.  Although many on both sides give lip service to God, the vast majority of our leaders and most of the population live as though God is irrelevant.  Because we have rejected God, we are reaping what we have sown.  We are reaping terrorism, racism, hatred, and fear.

America is sinking fast.  Unless we repent and turn back to Jesus Christ, we will destroy ourselves.  We must plug the gaping hole in our national foundation.  It won’t matter if we capsize to the left, or to the right.  The result will be the same.  We will be destroyed, unless we turn back to God before it’s too late.

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Great Big Stupid World – A Reading Test

readingAre you smarter than a fifth grader? The following reading comprehension test is written at approximately a fifth-grade level.

Directions: Read each of the following passages. Answer the questions that follow.



The First Amendment of the United States Constitution states, in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”



  1. In this passage, the word establishment means:
    1. a commercial organization
    2. official recognition as a national institution
    3. allowing public expression
    4. permitting
  2. In this passage, the phrase free exercise means:
    1. unrestricted practice
    2. fitness without cost
    3. limited if it offends someone
    4. practiced only in private
  3. The First Amendment states that which of the following is prohibited?
    1. free exercise of religion
    2. respecting religion
    3. praying at public events
    4. Congress imposing an official national religion
  4. What is the main idea of the passage?
    1. Citizens may not express their religious beliefs publicly.
    2. The government may neither force a specific religion on citizens, nor limit how citizens practice religion.
    3. The government must reject all forms of belief in God.
    4. Religious expression is prohibited on government property, at government funded events, and by government employees.

    The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution states, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”



  5. In this passage, the word arms means:
    1. weapons and ammunition
    2. hunting rifles
    3. body parts
    4. “gun-free” zones
  6. According to this passage, what is to be well-regulated?
    1. guns
    2. people
    3. militias
    4. ammunition
  7. According to the Second Amendment, people have the right to bear arms in order to _____ .
    1. hunt deer
    2. form militias
    3. protect themselves from burglars
    4. shoot at clay pigeons
  8. A militia is:
    1. an army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
    2. a hunting organization
    3. a law that restricts gun ownership
    4. the police department
  9. In this passage, the best meaning for the word infringed is:
    1. permitted
    2. the hem of a garment
    3. expensive
    4. controlled
  10. What is the main idea of the Second Amendment?
    1. Guns must be controlled to keep whackos from killing children
    2. Only government military and police should have assault rifles.
    3. All citizens have the right to unrestricted weapon ownership so they can form militias.
    4. People can own guns so they can hunt, shoot targets, and threaten bad guys.

Answers:

  1. B
  2. A
  3. D
  4. B
  5. A
  6. C
  7. B
  8. A
  9. D
  10. C

Scoring:

9 – 10 correct: You can read and understand what you read. You do not allow bias to cloud your judgment.

8 correct: You may need to brush up on your reading skills, or else use them more objectively.

6 – 7 correct: You either lack basic critical reading skills, or fail to use them when you don’t like what you are reading.

0 – 5 correct: You are either illiterate, or you are blinded by political ideology.



What does the Second Amendment Actually Say?

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

~ Second Amendment to the United States Constitution

Assault RiflesThe battle over gun control has heated up again. On one extreme side of the battle are those who wish to completely eliminate gun ownership. On the other extreme are those who want no restrictions at all. Between these two extremes is a broad range of ideas, from limiting only high-powered assault rifles, to only having registration and background checks, to limiting the number of bullets a gun can hold, and so forth.

Those on both sides of the battle have brought forth impressive sets of statistics to bolster their positions. Both sides have paraded a steady stream of victims and their families with powerful, emotional testimonies from about how guns have either taken or saved their lives, or the lives of their loved ones. Both sides have well-funded, powerful lobbies in Washington and in all fifty statehouses, and both sides have demonized the other in the media.

How should Congress respond to the question of gun control? First and foremost, all laws in the United States, including gun laws, must conform to the United States Constitution. The Constitution is the foundation upon which all other law must be based. Since the Second Amendment directly addresses the issue of gun control, all other laws must be consistent with it.

militiaInterestingly, the Second Amendment is the only amendment to the Constitution which states a purpose: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…” The right to keep and bear arms is not about hunting rights, as some have claimed, nor is it simply about personal protection. It’s about the ability to raise a militia.

What is a militia? According to George Mason, who was a statesman and a delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention, and who is called the “Father of the United States Bill of Rights” (along with James Madison), “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.” (George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788). According to the American Heritage® Dictionary, a militia is:

  1. An army composed of ordinary citizens rather than professional soldiers.
  2. A military force that is not part of a regular army and is subject to call for service in an emergency.
  3. The whole body of physically fit civilians eligible by law for military service.

So, the purpose of the Second Amendment is to ensure that ordinary civilian citizens have weapons suitable for military usage in the case of an emergency. This completely destroys the argument that so-called “assault rifles” and automatic and semi-automatic weapons are not covered by the Constitution; it is precisely the right to keep and bear these types of military-grade weapons that is specifically the protected by the Second Amendment. Ordinary citizens, the Second Amendment argues, have the right and responsibility to own military-grade weapons so they can be called upon to defend the security of the state.

What does it mean that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed?” Again, according to the American Heritage® Dictionary, to infringe means:

VERB:
in·fringed, in·fring·ing, in·fring·es
VERB:
tr.

  1. To transgress or exceed the limits of; violate: infringe a contract; infringe a patent.
  2. Obsolete To defeat; invalidate.

VERB:
intr.
To encroach on someone or something; engage in trespassing: an increased workload that infringed on his personal life.

bill-of-rightsTherefore, the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be transgressed, exceeded, violated, or encroached upon. Yet, this is precisely what most gun-control legislation does – it limits who can own weapons and/or which weapons they can own and use. Gun-control, by definition, infringes on the right to own and bear arms.

What about the argument that the mentally ill and felons should not have the right to own guns? First, the Second Amendment does not allow for it – this constitutes “infringement.” And secondly, how society determines what constitutes “mentally ill” and what it classifies as a felony is constantly changing. I would agree that violent offenders and those with violent mental states should not have access to weapons. However, defining such individuals is extremely difficult. Does simple depression constitute mental illness, and disqualify one from gun ownership? Does the willingness to shoot an attacker in self-defense constitute a “violent tendency?” Could belief in the Biblical mandate against homosexuality eventually become a felonious “hate crime?” The legislation of exceptions to the right to keep and bear arms is a very slippery slope that is not allowed for in the wording of the Second Amendment.

Regardless of one’s position on gun control, the Second Amendment clearly opposes those who wish to limit gun ownership. There are only two ways to pass legislation to control the ownership of guns: either ignore or “reinterpret” the Second Amendment, or repeal the Second Amendment. All gun laws so far have done the first. However, ignoring or reinterpreting the Second Amendment has thus far been limited by the courts; this is why a number of gun-control advocates are beginning to call for repeal.

The Founding Fathers understood that private citizens need guns not only for personal self-protection and hunting, but also so they can organize into militias to defend themselves militarily in an emergency. The current push to limit ownership of certain types of guns violates this important right.

Gay Marriage and the Biblical Response

On May 9, President Obama became the first sitting President to endorse homosexual marriage.

The issue of gay marriage has become one of the key flashpoints in American politics.

Liberals generally believe homosexuality is a genetic trait and that gay marriage is a fundamental right. They would generally say that marriage is the union of people who love each other, and it should be legal for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, to ensure equal rights for all.

Conservatives generally believe that homosexuality is a personal choice and that gay marriage is an oxymoron. Requiring citizens to recognize same-sex relationships as marriage violates the moral and religious beliefs of millions of Christians, Jews, Muslims and others, who believe marriage is the union of one man and one woman for life.

In announcing his endorsement of same-gender marriage, the President framed his view as a Christian belief:

“This is something that, you know, we’ve talked about over the years and she [Michelle Obama], you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

Mr. Obama paraphrases the Golden Rule to claim his position is “Christian.” However, pulling a single Biblical concept out of the context of the whole of Scripture, while ignoring the rest of the Bible, does not make a belief “Christian.”

The Bible and Homosexuality

Is there any Biblical basis for gay marriage? Some supporters, like the President, would argue, yes there is. However, when one looks at the Biblical text in a straight-forward manner (no pun intended), the text clearly condemns homosexual practices, and defines marriage as being between one man and one woman for life. Consider the following:

Leviticus 18:22

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

Leviticus 20:13

13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:26-28

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

These verses have been dissected, debated, reinterpreted, and argued for years. I’m not going to get into all the arguments and minutia – they have been covered ad nauseum in numerous other websites, books, and journals. The bottom line is, when taken at face value, these passages all clearly state that homosexual behavior is a sin. The Bible is the Word of God; and God, being omniscient and omnipotent, is perfectly capable of communicating His truth in a plain, straight-forward manner that doesn’t require one to have a degree in Greek or Hebrew grammar to understand. God doesn’t need our help to explain what He was actually trying to say; He has already said it plainly.

Not only is homosexuality a sin, but all sexual behavior outside of marriage is sin. Jesus defined marriage very clearly in Matthew 19:4-6:

4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Very clearly, when one looks at the Biblical passages without inserting one’s own preconceived notions into the text, the Bible teaches that in God’s eyes, there is no such thing as gay marriage. Marriage is between one man and one woman for life, period. All extra-marital sexual behavior is sin, whether heterosexual, homosexual, bestiality, adultery, pre-marital, rape, incest, or other.

A “Christian” Nation?

There is a popular misconception that the United States was once a “Christian Nation,” and that we no longer are. I contend that the United States has never been a “Christian” nation at all. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution contains two clauses pertaining to freedom of religion.  The first, known as the Establishment Clause, reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”  The second, known as the Free Exercise Clause, reads, “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Establishment Clause makes it clear that the United States has never been a “Christian” nation. While it is true that the vast majority of the Founding Fathers were Christians, or at least had a worldview based on Biblical principles, the United States was never based on the Bible itself; it was actually based on religious humanism. The Bible was never the authority; human understanding has always been the ultimate authority. Over the years, as human understanding has shifted away from the Biblical foundation it once had in this country, our morality, behaviors, and laws have also shifted. The problem is not that we are no longer “Christian;” the problem is that the country has always been humanistic, believing that human understanding is our final authority. Human understanding is relative; it changes over time. In the United States, the predominant worldview is shifting away from a Biblical foundation. This is the reason for the “culture war” over gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia, drug usage, pornography, and other moral issues. Because we began with the faulty foundation of humanism rather than the Bible, the foundation has crumbled.

Should Same-Sex Marriage be Legalized?

As a Bible-believing Christian, my answer is a resounding NO. Homosexual behavior is sin, and marriage is defined as between one man and one woman for life. In fact, divorce, pre-marital sex, adultery, and all other forms of extra-marital sexual behavior should be illegal.

The problem is, the United States is not a Christian nation. We are a humanist nation. Our legal system is only loosely based on the Bible; in reality, it’s based on human reason. God is but one small factor out of many in our legal system. Within the humanistic framework of the United States Constitution, there is no basis for defining “marriage” as anything other than however the prevailing worldview at the time decides to define it.

Same-sex marriage is not the problem; it is merely a symptom of the problem. The problem is that the vast majority of Americans have suppressed the truth of the Word of God. Consider the following from Romans chapter 1:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them…
24 
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

Because our country has rejected and suppressed God’s Word, God has allowed us to suffer the consequences of our choices. The turmoil over same-sex marriage is part of that consequence. The chaos and unrest that has been escalating for the last few generations is a direct result of our abandonment of God. Romans 1 continues:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

We have reaped what we have sown.

While Christians need to stand firmly against issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and euthanasia, we need to understand that the moral decline of the United States is only a symptom of a more foundational problem: We have rejected God. This problem cannot be solved through the political process, because the political process is built on the wrong foundation. The solution is to change the foundation. And, the only way to change the foundation is to bring people to a relationship with Jesus Christ. The problem is a heart issue, not a political issue. The only way to change people’s hearts is to bring them into a relationship with the Living God through placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Only then can the foundation of people’s thinking be shifted from the shifting sands of humanism to the solid rock of the Word of God.

The issue of gay marriage will not go away, and Christians need to continue to fight against it. But, the real battle is for the souls of the lost. God is judging our country for rejecting Him. The solution is to bring individual people to a relationship with Him, so that they can willingly submit to His authority.

Intolerant Toleration

Tolerate  verb \ˈtä-lə-ˌrāt\

2 a : to allow to be or to be done without prohibition, hindrance, or contradiction
    b : to put up with <learn to tolerate one another>
synonyms:  let, permit, allow

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tolerate

One of the most highly overused buzzwords in American culture today is tolerance, along with its antonym, intolerance.  According to many people, intolerance has become the greatest evil.  Anyone who disagrees with abortion, homosexuality, universal health care, gun control, open immigration, or welfare is intolerant; anyone who supports the death penalty, big business, or public expression of religious belief is intolerant.  The list could go on ad infinitum.

It’s interesting to note that the words tolerate, toleration, and intolerant, do not appear anywhere in the United States Constitution, nor in any of its amendments.

What is Toleration?

What does it really mean to tolerate something or someone?  According to the dictionary definition, toleration involves allowing or permitting things with which one does not agree.  It means that a person puts up with ideas and practices they may disagree with or find offensive.  For example, I am personally offended by the odor of fish; I despise eating fish, and the smell is disgusting to me.  To me, the odor of fish is about the same as the odor from a gym shoe that has been left in a locker for far too long.  However, I tolerate other people who eat fish in the lunchroom at work.  I don’t ask them to leave because they are violating my right to a fish-odor free work environment.  If the odor becomes too offensive to me, I simply find someplace else to eat.

When the word tolerate is used in most political or religious discussions, it means something very different.  When the argument is made that Christians are intolerant of gays, what is usually meant is that Christians disagree with the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) lifestyle.  The meaning of the word “tolerate” is shifted from “to allow to be” to mean “to agree with and endorse.”  If a person believes the LGBT is immoral, they are labeled as “intolerant.”  If a person does not agree with and endorse the beliefs of others, they are labeled as intolerant.

Is it Always Wrong to be Intolerant?

There are times when it is obviously wrong to tolerate certain beliefs or behaviors.  For example, if a 2-year-old wants to play in the middle of a busy street, it should not be tolerated.  Nearly everyone would agree that rape, child abuse, and armed robbery should not be tolerated.  These things should not be permitted or allowed under any circumstances.  Clearly, tolerance of child molestation would be immoral; therefore, intolerance is not always a bad thing.

The problem arises in the fact that our culture does not have a universal standard for defining morality and ethics.  Most people, regardless of their political or religious persuasion, would agree that society should not tolerate immoral and unethical behavior.  Where we disagree is in defining what is immoral and unethical.  In general, liberals consider abortion and gay marriage to be basic human rights; conservatives consider them to be abhorrent.  Conservatives generally consider gun rights and competitive capitalism as basic freedoms; liberals consider these things repugnant.  Americans do not have a consensus on the morality or ethics of most issues, and as a result, the divisions between Americans have never been greater.

The Consequences of “Tolerance”

Judges 17:6 (NKJV) 6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

In Israel, the king stood for an absolute standard.  When there was no king, or when the king tolerated it, the people always chose to do whatever they felt they could get away with.  They worshipped idols, murdered each other, raped the women, and committed other atrocities.  When they had a king who followed God’s Word and refused to tolerate open sin, the people lived in peace.

In American culture today, there is no absolute standard, and people are doing whatever they think they can get away with.  Crime has skyrocketed; the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer; teen pregnancy, drug addictions, child abuse, poverty, and many other evils are at or near their all-time highest levels.  The economy has tanked, hatred has risen, and there is no peace.

Because in America we have come to view tolerance as our supreme value, we are suffering the consequences.  America was founded on Biblical values, and the country thrived.  However, now that we have largely abandoned those values, America is a land of discord and upheaval.  We have reaped what we have sown.

Intolerant Toleration

Dan Savage

What bothers me most about the entire “tolerance” movement is the hypocrisy.  Let me give an example.  At a recent National High School Journalism Convention, journalist Dan Savage, who is gay, was scheduled to give a speech on tolerance and bullying.  What he gave was an intolerant, mocking rant against Christians and the Bible.  When students walked out on his speech, Savage publicly called the students “pansy-assed” for leaving.  Apparently it’s intolerant and bullying to believe homosexuality is a sin, but perfectly acceptable to publicly mock and verbally bully Christian teens.

LINK TO VIDEO OF SPEECH

There is a modern myth that believes that true tolerance consists of neutrality. It is one of the most engrained presuppositions in a society based on relativism.  In reality, however, there is no neutrality; the presupposition of relativism is itself a non-neutral bias.  In effect, the doctrine of tolerance leads to the view that all beliefs must be accepted – except the belief that some things are absolutely right, and others are absolutely wrong.  It’s OK to be intolerant of intolerant people.  The logical silliness of this position is that, by being intolerant of intolerant people, one becomes an intolerant person.   It’s a self-refuting, unworkable, hypocritical belief.  All worldviews, beliefs, and behaviors should be permitted and embraced – except those that disagree with this position.  Such incredible hypocrisy!

The Christian Response

As a Christian, how should I respond to the issue of tolerance?  In the Romans 12:18, Paul exhorts the Christian: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”  Those who follow Jesus Christ are called to love all people, despite their lifestyle, sexual orientation, or beliefs.  However, we are not to accept or endorse sin.  It sounds cliché, but Christians truly are called to love the sinner, but hate the sin.  God hates sin; but, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Unfortunately, some who call themselves “Christians” haven’t gotten this through their thick skulls yet.  Idiots like Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist “Church” are even more evil and hypocritical than people like Dan Savage.  Both ignore God’s call to love your neighbor as yourself , but if one claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ, yet still hates people, I can’t help but doubt that they’re actually saved.  Jesus said we would know the true believer by their fruit; when a “Christian” is full of hatred and intolerance, their fruit says they aren’t true Christians.

How should a Christian engage the political process regarding the issue of “tolerance?”  I think it’s important to oppose abortion, poverty, homosexual marriage, euthanasia, corporate greed, and similar moral issues.  It’s also important to stand up for our rights under the United States Constitution to believe as God has directed, and to publicly express those beliefs. Ultimately, however, we need to realize we cannot create moral behavior through legislation.  The only way to restore the Biblical values that America was founded on is to change people’s hearts and minds, one person at a time.  It is only by the saving power of Jesus Christ that sinners’ hearts and minds can be changed; it is therefore the Christian’s prime responsibility to share the Gospel.  America can only be restored when Americans once again turn to God as the foundation for their worldview, and this will only happen when individual Americans receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Yes, we need to continue to influence the political process with Biblical principles and practices, but our true impact will be to see people come to Jesus Christ.

Evangelical Christians also need to be very careful that they do not embrace un-Biblical beliefs simply because they are “conservative.”  Because we hold to conservative moral beliefs, there is a tendency to uncritically adopt other conservative principles without searching the Scriptures to see if they are valid.  The words of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are no more the Word of God than the words of Dan Savage or Barack Obama.  Christians must base their beliefs on the Bible, not the ideas of men, or else they will end up just as hypocritical as any non-Christian.

Governmental Attacks on Religious Freedom

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

~ The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America

The First Amendment has been under attack for a long time.

The First Amendment contains two clauses pertaining to freedom of religion.  The first, known as the Establishment Clause, reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”  The second, known as the Free Exercise Clause, reads, “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

The Federal Government has been gradually stripping away the rights of most religions, including Christianity, while at the same time granting and establishing special protection for other religions, especially Secular Humanism.

The U.S. Supreme Court cited Secular Humanism as a religion in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins (367 U.S. 488).  This allows Secular Humanists the same rights as any other religious people under that Free Exercise Clause.  Secular Humanist organizations are tax-exempt as religious organizations.  Followers of Secular Humanism cannot be required to take oaths to God, and can file for conscientious objector status based on their religious beliefs, and are otherwise free to exercise their beliefs free from governmental intervention.

Yet, in Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School Dist., 37 F.3d 517 (9th Cir. 1994), the 9th Circuit Court ruled that Secular Humanism is not a religion under the Establishment Clause.  This means that Secular Humanism can be taught in public schools.  Public school teachers can actively attempt to convert students to Secular Humanism during instructional time, but are prohibited from initiating any discussion of other religions.

The courts have absurdly determined that Secular Humanism is a religion for free exercise clause purposes, and it is not a religion for establishment clause purposes.  This, in effect, allows the government to establish Secular Humanism as the de facto state religion, which it has done.

This is why evolution is taught in public schools, but creation and intelligent design cannot be; why relativistic morality is taught, but absolute morality cannot be; why teachers can assign readings from Darwin, Freud, Dawkins, and Asimov, but not the Bible; and why commencement speeches can be on any topic, except belief in God.

The recent Obama administration ruling requiring all employee health care plans, including religious organizations, to cover birth control, including drugs that induce abortion, is another example of the attack on religion by the government.  This ruling is a direct attack on both the Establishment Clause – the government is establishing access to birth control as a right – and the Free Exercise Clause – the government is forbidding religious organizations from freely exercising their belief that providing birth control is immoral.  In effect, the Obama administration is usurping the free exercise of certain religions by establishing the values of the religion of Secular Humanism as law.

Some people would like to frame the attacks on religious freedom as a conflict between Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives.  I disagree.  It is a battle between God‘s people and the Devil:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12, NKJV

I do agree that, as Christians, we must use the political process to defend our rights under the Constitution of the United States.  The pressure from religious organizations and from constituents in both the Republican and Democratic parties seems to be forcing the Obama administration to back down from its policy of mandating coverage for contraception in the health care plans of religious organizations.  However, when the fickle winds of public opinion blow in a different direction, there is nothing to prevent this administration – or another – from reinstituting this policy in the future.

I believe that it is far more important to remember that, ultimately, the problem is not political, but spiritual.  Satan has declared war on God’s people.  In order to halt the attacks on religion and reverse the decline of Christianity in America, Christians need to be on their knees, in repentance and supplication before God, and must actively and persistently work to change the hearts and minds of those around us, to lead people to a relationship with Jesus Christ, and to help them become His doctrinally sound, mature disciples.  This is the only viable, Biblically-sound solution to the attacks on Christianity.