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SOUDER: A wake-up call for good men (and women)

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We are missing the point on many topics.

By Chuck Souder

I have a confession to make: I am tired. Specifically, I am tired of lies masquerading as truth. I am tired of darkness being called light. I am tired of supposedly smart people saying incredibly stupid and demonstrably false things and no one calling them out on it. I am tired of the revisionist history that tries to erase the influence that Christianity had on our nation’s founding.

I am tired of people who claim to speak for God confusing people by saying things that are totally contrary to what God has already said. I am tired of the political correctness that doesn’t allow the use of the words “terrorist” and “Muslim” in the same sentence, yet suggests that Bible-believing followers of Jesus or other so-called “radical right-wing” groups should be designated as such.

I am tired of not calling things by their right names.

I am tired of being continuously warned of the dangers of global warming even when it snows in October. I am tired of having to explain things that should be obvious. I am tired of evil people purposely deceiving gullible people.

I am tired of all these things, yet I am not surprised by any of them. In fact, the Bible tells me that I should expect just those sorts of things.

However, the Bible also records Jesus’ words to his followers that we are to “salt and light” in an increasing dark and tasteless world, improving things wherever we can by bringing the truth to bear on our culture.

Perhaps you have heard the oft-cited quote from 18th Century Irish philosopher Edmund Burke. who said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

I, for one, am tired of good men doing nothing and allowing evil to triumph. But although sometimes such inactivity may be the result of indifference or laziness, I believe that it is more often born out of a lack of awareness. In other words, I believe good men (and women) do nothing because they simply don’t know what is happening.

So if you are a follower of Jesus –or even just someone who is concerned about the state of things in our country – there are two separate but related things currently in the news of which you need to be aware. Both items concern the recent attempts by a small but vocal anti-Christian minority to push Christians to the margins of society, and both could have incredibly negative effects.

The first item is the case of Greece v. Galloway that will be heard this week by the U.S. Supreme Court, which deals with the question of whether or not the public prayer held before a town meeting violates the First Amendment. The fact that this is even being considered as a serious question (and was already ruled to be unconstitutional by the 2nd District U.S. Court of Appeals) shows just how fall we have fallen as a nation.

Of course, the irrational “rationale” that is being used to argue against public prayer is that such prayer constitutes an “endorsement” of religion by the government and so therefore runs afoul of the First Amendment (never mind that the First Amendment only precludes an “establishment” of religion – not an “endorsement”).

However, it may surprise some to learn that not only did our early statesmen and presidents endorse public prayer (and participate in it often), in September of 1782 the Continental Congress actually recommended a specific, printed-in-America version of the Bible to its citizens.

In a resolution they wrote, “That the United States in Congress assembled highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken [the publisher] as subservient to the interest of religion…they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States, and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.”

It’s a good thing that the ACLU wasn’t around then to tell them they were “endorsing” the Christian religion and therefore violating the First Amendment that they would craft just a few years later.

Of course, until just very recently, everyone understood what the words of the First Amendment meant, and that Thomas Jefferson’s infamous “wall of separation between church and state” (which, by the way, isn’t in the Constitution) was meant to keep the state out of the church’s affairs and not to prohibit Christian speech in the public square.

To cite just one of numerous examples, Supreme Court Justice William Douglas wrote in a 1952 decision that "we are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being,” a reality that until that time was so obvious it went without saying.

As recently as 1983 the Supreme Court has already ruled that legislative bodies can open their meetings with prayer, something many (if not most) of our government institutions have done for over 200 years.

And it’s worth repeating: The very people who wrote the First Amendment didn’t seem to think praying before (or during) their sessions was an issue, but of course they couldn’t possibly have been as smart as we are now.

The second item that should be of interest is the report this week that soldiers attending a recent pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood, Texas, were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

As recounted on townhall.com, a soldier who attended the briefing said the counter-intelligence agent in charge of the meeting spent nearly a half hour discussing how evangelical Christians and groups like the American Family Association were “tearing the country apart.”

Michael Berry, an attorney with the Liberty Institute and former Marine Corps JAG officer, put it this way: “The American public should be outraged that the U.S. Army is teaching our troops that evangelical Christians and Tea Party members are enemies of America and that they can be punished for supporting or participating in those groups.”

Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident, as similar events have taken place in recent months.

Indeed, good men (and women) should be outraged. But more than being outraged, good men (and women) need to take action so that evil will not prevail.

Pushing Christianity and God into the margins of society will have continued extremely negative effects on our country. And even though I know that God will set things right in the future, I am tired of allowing evil to triumph in the present.

I am tired of many other things as well, but I am tired of writing them down.

 

Chuck Souder is on staff at Shelby Christian Church. He can be reached at csouder@shelbychristian.org. Find other columns by Souder at www.SentinelNews.com/columns.