Friday, March 28, 2014

Church and State

I've long held the belief that the First Amendment has been perverted by the liberal left portion of our nation.  One only needs to ask, "What does a voluntary prayer have to do with the establishment of laws," to see the fantastic stretch of imagination that is required to be a liberal supporter of what has become the modern day "separation of church and state." 

A series of Supreme Court cases, beginning with Everson v. Board of Education, has perverted the First Amendment, and led to a slippery slope of rabid condemnation of our country's foundation of beliefs.  This nation was not founded by atheists, nor was it founded by muslims.  It was founded by Christians who had a strong desire to escape religious persecution in England.  Now, Christians face religious persecution in America, while muslims, who openly seek the destruction of our nation, seem to be a protected species; what an ironic twist. 

Everson v. Board of Education led to the belief that there must be separation of church and state; I dispute that belief.  I believe that the First Amendment was intended to prevent the establishment of a national (or state) church.  It was NOT intended to prevent kids from praying in school, or the display of the ten commandments in front of a courthouse (no laws passed in either case, right?).  The perversion of this court decision (and the others that followed) is absolutely disgusting.  It is now assumed that any mention of God by a member of any government body is an official, state recognition of a particular religion.  Nobody even acknowledges that Everson v. Board of Education started out as an argument about funding school buses.

We now live in a nation where Christians are actively ridiculed by members of their own government for simply being Christian.  Our President even poked at Christianity when he lamented that certain red states cling to "...their guns and bibles."  This is a sad state of affairs.

I believe that our nation is speeding down a path that will be difficult to backtrack upon.  We only need look to Europe (which we fought to become independent from) to see our future; it's pretty bleak.


Dan O. said...

John, I am not, nor have I ever been a Christian (even 8 years of catechism didn't change that), but I agree with you completely. I am smart enough to understand the principles this country was founded on and I don't have a problem with them.
When in public or in private, when asked, I bow my head as the invocation is recited. It is possible to have courtesy without having the same beliefs. Atleast, for me it is.

mark said...

Can I make a few correction to this post? It seems to have some common misconceptions and since I have had to study this matter, I'll be happy to address them.

Indeed the first settlers were Christians. Not any Christianity we would recognize today, but Christians.
They were indeed "persecuted" in Europe, but not for the reason we often think. They left Europe not to seek "freedom of Religion" but to impose their own brand of religious oppression against anyone that was not them. They got kicked out because they thought that oppressing other Christians was their duty.

Anyway, that really made little difference for the founding of the USA since by that time the founding fathers had lived through the enlightenment. They were a long way from the puritans. In fact, some of them were Deists, not Christians. Thomas Jefferson wrote the "Jefferson Bible", a version where anything supernatural was removed.

Everson v. Board of Education

Indeed the 1st amendment prevents the institution of a state religion. It also prevents the state from telling a religious entity what to do.

Contrary to popular belief, it is not prohibited to pray in schools, read the Bible or do all those things Christians think they are being persecuted for (as long as it does not interfere with the teaching which is something I think we can all agree on).
If teachers want to pray, they can pray. If students want to pray, they also can pray. They should do it like Jesus said in Matthew 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 others."

It's when teachers round up the kids and tell them it's time to pray that things go sideways. It is also illegal when zealous teachers conspire with certain students to make it look like the students initiated prayer. I find that very sad as a Christian that we have to lie and coerce to defend or promote our religion.

These decisions may feel like intrusion of the state into our beliefs, but think of it from another angle.
Let's say that in 60 years Dearborn Michigan will have some districts that are majority Muslim.
Let's also assume that your Kid's kids will be attending.
Let's also say that those that misunderstood all these ruling somehow won their day in court and it's now legal for a school district to impose a specific brand of religion on the student body.

Well, this is a "How do you like them apple" moment especially when your Kid's Kids are forced to prostate toward mecca in the gymnasium and they are told that "90% of us are Muslim, we don't have to accommodate your beliefs".
It could happen, as it could happen that in Utah, today, an unchecked school district could make Christian students follow Mormon rituals.

That's what the 1st amendment is there for. Put the shoe on the other foot and imagine for a minute that your friends were not the ones in charge. How would you react?

Best of luck to you.

Just John said...

Hi Mark,

Good points, but you seem a bit uninformed about prayer in schools; many students are indeed prohibited from praying in school, and certainly most teachers, mostly as a result of administrators caving in to the complaints from the chronically offended. The same type of professional victims are to blame for the restraints that we see today.

I'm not sure where you're finding any support for mandated prayer in my post...reaching a bit?


As a Jew, let me say "Thank you, my Christian brother, for that heartfelt essay".