Friday, October 19, 2012

This Christian is unable to support a God-less party

The recent news concerning a certain political party’s decision to first remove the name of God from their platform and then reluctantly reinsert it, has raised some issues for me. I am a Christian who believes that my duty here on earth is to honor God above anything else. This means that, if my political party (or any organization with which I might be connected) decides to align itself with Godlessness, I should either disconnect myself from that group, or remain in the group but seek to change their stance on said issue.

First, what individual or group raised an objection to the name of God being part of their political platform in the first place? Was there some recurring underlying conflict going on in which there existed some question as to whether or not this political party wished to be viewed as friendly to God? Why was the issue raised in the first place?

Secondly, the hesitancy with which the decision to remove God’s name was reversed makes me wonder even more about the spiritual state of those who comprise this certain political group. The vote had to be taken three times before it was decided to put the name of God back into the party’s platform. However, the vote was far from unanimous and actually amounted to little more than a ho-hum affirmation with several loud shouts of rejection still ringing in the air afterwards.

The Christian’s allegiance should be to God above anything else. I have personally chosen to vote for the party who is at least less anti-God than the other one. I am not na├»ve enough to think the other political party is pro-God; they are only less anti-God than the other party. Neither party puts their responsibility to God ahead of political gain or greed. Truly it will be the lesser of two evils.

Assuredly, there must be committed Christians existing within the ranks of both political parties, but when one party goes so far as to remove the name of God from their platform (regardless of whether or not they voted it back in), the committed Christian should reevaluate their commitment to that party.

This article may be viewed as bitter or harsh, but it is simply the unvarnished truth. The act of removing the name of God from a political party’s platform is symbolic of the actual removal of any allegiance to God by that same platform and its adherents. It is only a step away from openly rejecting God in a real and complete manner. This country will fail if it finally and fully turns from God. Politicians, political parties, nor government can keep this nation whole once it rejects the God who gave it life.

"...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14 ESV).

Actions of Texas cheerleaders not 'bullying' or 'unconstitutional'

Mr. Michael Stone reports, in his article Christian cheerleaders bully secular students, the case of some Texas high school cheerleader’s desire to display Christian themed banners at their football games. Mr. Stone says that this should be viewed as ‘bullying’ those non-Christian students who attend games where these banners are displayed.

This is a shameful misapplication of the word ‘bullying’. There is real bullying going on in schools, the kind of bullying that involves malicious verbal, and too often literal physical, abuse. When we define bullying as “expressing one’s opinion in public contrary to the wishes of others” we trivialize the seriousness of real bullying.

Mr. Stone writes, “…such a display is unconstitutional. The banners, because they are displayed in a context implying school endorsement, violate the establishment clause contained in the First Amendment to the US Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."

Mr. Stone writes that the action of these cheerleaders is, “an assault on the US Constitution”. Once again, the ‘establishment clause’ of the First Amendment is brought up in an attempt to stop any and all mention of God in the public arena. Atheists and other anti-God proponents, are quick to focus on the part of the Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”, but they conveniently try to hide the second half which says, “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Let us look at the facts; the Amendment says that “Congress shall make no law”. Did Congress make a law stating that these cheerleaders should/could/must/must not display Christian banners at the football games? No, they did not. There is nothing unconstitutional about this situation at all. This is simply how atheists vent against God and those who represent Him. Mr. Stone interprets the First Amendment in the liberal self-serving way most atheists interpret it. Many humanists believe that the Amendment prohibits any mention of God, either audibly or visually, in or around any public place that is not privately owned. This is simply a blatant misinterpretation to serve one’s own agenda.

Mr. Stone thinks the Constitution is on his side, he continues, “The Constitution is clear, the government cannot endorse nor deny any specific religion.” It may be clear in Mr. Stone’s imagination; however, that is not what the Constitution says. It says that Congress cannot make a law establishing one religion over another. However, it also says that Congress cannot interfere with the expression of religion. These cheerleaders are expressing their beliefs in a peaceful, non-threatening way. They are well within the limits of the law.

Mr. Stone appears to think that he knows how God thinks, “To think that a Christian god would care about a high school football game while other children suffer only serves to demean and belittle the Christian faith and those that cherish it”. It is not the football game that He is involved in, it is hearts and souls of the people who play it. God is glorified anytime He is worshiped, even more so when that worship touches the hearts of others. The Bible tells us that God cares about each and every one of us (Matthew 6:25-34). If the heart of Mr. Stone, and others like him, was not so hardened by his steadfast rebellion against God, he would know life cannot be complete apart from God.

Mr. Stone even attempts to use the Bible against Christians when he writes, “Indeed, one wonders if the Cheerleaders and their supporters have even read the Bible, given their blatant failure to recognize and honor Mathew 6:5: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.”” This verse, that Mr. Stone cites in order to ridicule believers, is directed to those who pray in public in order to promote themselves. Their motives are stated right in the verse quoted “…to be seen by men”. There is nothing hypocritical in wanting to share the love of God with others.

The Constitution does not prohibit public displays of religious liberty on public or private land, at public or private functions, government or otherwise. That belief is a twisting of the First Amendment which simply serves to limit the reach of Congress. The high school cheerleaders in this case are merely exercising their right to freedom of speech and expression which is their Constitutional, and God-given, right.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Abusing the Establishment Clause in the case of the Christian cheerleaders

Mr. Michael Stone, The National Humanist Examiner, has written an update to the story of the Texas cheerleaders who write Scripture on the banners that their high school players run through before a game. Due in part to complaints from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the cheerleaders were forced to stop this practice. They have since filed a lawsuit to get the right to display the banners reinstated.

In a sparkling display of anti-Christian spin and following the axiom ‘if-repeated-enough-times-a-lie-begins-to-sound-like-the-truth’, Mr. Stone attempts to posit the view that the cheerleaders were not only engaged in offensive activity, but they are also violating the Constitution. He writes, “In essence, the cheerleaders want to promote Christianity at public school events by holding Christian prayer banners for football players to run through while entering the stadium. Yet many find the prayer banners offensive, and many believe the activity constitutes an assault on the US Constitution.”

What Mr. Stone, and those sharing his view, is really saying is this, “The Freedom from Religion Foundation, which not only rejects God themselves but tries to force everyone else to, finds the cheerleader’s actions offensive. And they believe that you should believe they know what they are talking about when they say that they believe this is an ‘assault on the US Constitution.” Confused…they hope so.

When will those who keep bringing up the Constitution, and the establishment clause, actually learn what it says? Instead, they merely interpret it the way they want it to read and then carry on as if that were actually what it means. This is not how reality works. Mr. Stone writes, “Many legal scholars and other observers believe the banners, because they are displayed in a context implying school endorsement, violate the establishment clause contained in the First Amendment to the US Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion..."”
There are at least two issue here: (1) Congress is not involved in this issue at all, let alone making a law pertaining to it, and (2) once again, the second half of this Constitutional phrase (the Free Exercise clause, which reads “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”) has been conveniently ignored. This is a common tactic of the disingenuous; to cherry pick phrases that they can use against opponents while conveniently leaving out those phrases which go against their claims. Using the Constitution in this manner is a deception, a lie. The establishment clause was created to limit government’s power, not to increase it. Atheists, agnostics, and any others who reject God, are attempting to use something that was meant to increase our freedom as their personal muzzle for anyone who disagrees with them.
Those who object so vocally to any and every expression of religion are not merely rejecting those who are doing the expressing, they are rejecting the God who created them and Who is worthy of their worship. Sadly, they try to convince others to rebel against God also. Jesus told His disciples to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV).
Christians must not let the deceptive tactics of the godless in our world deter us from this mission.