I don't mean to start out arguing with people, but I'm sure you've been in the same situation. You know something to be true, and then some wisenheimer comes up and challenges you with a circular argument. You add new information supporting your side, yet this person keeps repeating, ad nauseum, the same diatribe over and over. Only, with each counter, they get more and more insulting.
I seem to attract the snide and self righteous. They like to call me "sweetie" or "honey" like I'm some bubble headed twit in Junior High who isn't nearly as well read as them. I hate that. It raises the hackles and makes me wish I could get away with shaking them until their marbles fall out.... that is, if they had any.
So, what has gotten me all irritated? Well there is this group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation that has made it their personal mission to obliterate the evidence of faith in our country. They claim it is a question of legality and constantly quote "separation of church and state" as their basis, as well as court cases they have won. They deny the faith of our founding fathers as well even though they quoted scripture liberally, and declared a national time of fasting and prayer during the Revolutionary War.
The beginning of my quest to more fully understand the 1st Amendment and Establishment Clause was due to a disturbing mass hysteria among the FFRF members, over a statue of Jesus that is at the top of Whitefish Mountain in Whitefish, Montana. It was a monument requested by returning WWII veterans, after time spent in Europe, where they saw many icons similar to it, in the mountains. The Knights of Columbus here in the Flathead Valley, requested to lease the land from the US Forest Service and have renewed the lease every 10 years without fail or objection. They maintain the statue and 25X25' ground it sits on. It is in essence, a war memorial.
It quickly became a favorite meeting spot for skiers on that particular run and many pictures have been taken of it. It's become a tourist stop, and even a place for reflection for some skiers. One skier, in an interview in a local paper, stated he stopped there from time to time to think about his mother who passed. No one goes and worships the statue. No religious ceremonies are officially held there. I know that ashes have been spread there, though that's unofficially, off the record. It has become part of the culture in our community and now, it is under attack.
What is infuriating, is that members of the FFRF like to claim this is just a legal matter, though their Facebook page is peppered with insulting quotes and cartoons that mock the Christian religion (only Christian). One member stated "I am giddy for the day the court rules in our favor and you are forced to tear that monstrosity down!" Nice. I thought they were above personal feelings and just out for justice? Guess not.
I found an interesting newsletter that is mostly about the teachings of ID, which I do not agree with, however they touched on the issue of "separation of church and state" since the government will not hear of metaphysical sciences being taught in school and give preference to Darwinism. This person claims, correctly as far as I can tell, that Darwinism is the state declared religion. But that argument is for another day. However, what caught my attention was a lengthy explanation that included citations from a well known court case and quotes from Jefferson, quoted within context, rather than out as the FFRF likes to do. Here is the summary:
In summary: The fiction of "separation of church and state" is a legal monstrosity. It is not the meaning of the clear simple words in the first amendment. It is counter to the intent of the easily ascertainable thoughts of the founders. It is based on the words of Thomas Jefferson written 14 years later in an incidental letter not specifically on the Constitution. Jefferson was not in the country at the time of the drafting of the first amendment. His meaning was the opposite of that interpreted by the Judge. He was referring to a sermon in which the "wall" protected the church from the state and not the state from the church. The first amendment had been properly understood for a century and a half. A former Klu Klux Klan member sat in judgment on the Supreme Court and passed a judgment that happened to coincide with the views of the Klan that his son said he supported. The judge wrote those words in direct and purposeful contradiction to the majority opinion that he was supposed to be expressing.For further reading: Separation of Church and State Not In the Constitution
So, my conclusion is that either knowingly or unknowingly, they have taken up a grudge by a racist KKK member and run with it. They pervert the language of the Constitution and truly desire to scrub our history clean of all mentions of faith because they personally have a dislike for it. I can't tell you how many times I've been told that the founding father's were deists, as though that meant they had no intention of including God in our government. However, I submit the following as proof, straight from our government pages (Religion and the Founding of the American Republic)
- At its initial meeting in September 1774 Congress invited the Reverend Jacob Duché (1738-1798), rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, to open its sessions with prayer. DuchéDuché.
- On July 4, 1776, Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams "to bring in a device for a seal for the United States of America." Franklin's proposal adapted the biblical story of the parting of the Red Sea. Jefferson first recommended the "Children of Israel in the Wilderness, led by a Cloud by Day, and a Pillar of Fire by night. . . ." He then embraced Franklin's proposal and rewrote it. Jefferson's revision of Franklin's proposal was presented by the committee to Congress on August 20. Although not accepted these drafts reveal the religious temper of the Revolutionary period. Franklin and Jefferson were among the most theologically liberal of the Founders, yet they used biblical imagery for this important task.
- Congress proclaimed days of fasting and of thanksgiving annually throughout the Revolutionary War. This proclamation by Congress set May 17, 1776, as a "day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer" throughout the colonies. Congress urges its fellow citizens to "confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and by a sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease his [God's] righteous displeasure, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain his pardon and forgiveness." Massachusetts ordered a "suitable Number" of these proclamations be printed so "that each of the religious Assemblies in this Colony, may be furnished with a Copy of the same" and added the motto "God Save This People" as a substitute for "God Save the King."
- The war with Britain cut off the supply of Bibles to the United States with the result that on Sept. 11, 1777, Congress instructed its Committee of Commerce to import 20,000 Bibles from "Scotland, Holland or elsewhere." On January 21, 1781, Philadelphia printer Robert Aitken (1734-1802) petitioned Congress to officially sanction a publication of the Old and New Testament which he was preparing at his own expense. Congress "highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion . . . in this country, and . . . they recommend this edition of the bible to the inhabitants of the United States." This resolution was a result of Aitken's successful accomplishment of his project.
Many would like to deny that our country was founded on Christian principals, and much of that information has been withheld in schools for a long time. Universities that employ leftist and atheists who are antagonistic towards Christianity are ripe with religious intolerance.
The reason this concerns me, is because I feel that if we as Christians, do not fight (peacefully) against this trend, that we hasten the time when we are openly persecuted with violence. Because we know, that this is what it all leads up to in the end. It is already happening all over the world. Now, there are many who are demanding our government be destroyed and rebuilt as socialist/communist. Do you know what they do with Christians in communist China? There are also many working very hard to put into place Sharia Law in our US courts. Do you know about the brutality that is suffered by Christians in Islamic run countries?
So, it begins with a statue of Jesus. A memorial to WWII veterans returned from war. This is what they want destroyed, now, after 58yrs with no complaints. A group, out of Wisconsin, is gunning for this historic, artistic memorial. Will you stand up and say, "No!" to government sanctioned oppression and persecution? Here is their counterpart's Facebook page: Save Jesus In Whitefish Montana and if you are interested, here is the Knights of Columbus website. Congressman Denny Rehberg has come to the rescue with a page (Mountain Jesus: Let Your Voice Be Heard) where you can have your comments sent to the Forest Service. I urge you to do so if you are in support.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;... "The so called "wall of separation between church and state" isn't Constitutional either. Rather, they are some incidental words written by Thomas Jefferson - obviously a founder - written in 1802 that spoke of this "wall" between church and state. A Baptist community in Danbury Connecticut had written a letter to Jefferson in 1802 congratulating him on his successful election to president. As part of his response Jefferson celebrated that the American people had passed the first amendment and that that amendment gave the protection to the Baptists that they desired. That is, the amendment protected the church from the state. Here is the snippet.
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
Ironically, Jefferson intended for his letter to the Danbury Baptists to reassure them that the new federal government would not endanger the free expression of their religion. This is widely known. But what is not well known is that Jefferson did not actually coin the phrase "separation of church and state." (The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian, p 56, 2005).So now we have another mystery. Who was Jefferson quoting and what did that person mean? The answer is that they were words from a sermon written by Roger Williams, a prominent Baptist.
That sermon, rendered by Roger Williams (the founder of the Rhode Island Plantation colony, and a Baptist), depicted the church as a garden, the world as a wilderness, and the wall as a device of the Creator's invention that protected the garden from being overrun by the wilderness. Williams explained that, from time to time, for the purpose of disciplining sin in the church, "it hath pleased" the Almighty to break down the wall. Thomas Jefferson, ever the politician, knew when he communicated with the Baptists that "The Garden And The Wilderness" was well known and widely read nearly two generations later. He appealed to them in the terms of their own great man's idiom. (Jim Henderson, letter to the editor, *Whistleblower* magazine, December 2003, 43.)So now you see, what a mess one man made of our judicial system by using phrases out of context and reinterpreting the 1st Amendment. Because our public school system derives it's textbooks via approval by the government, people in power who use their position freely to suit an agenda that is to destroy religion, it's historical context within our country's founding and the expression of it publicly, we have generations of people who don't know any better. I urge anyone who reads this to seek their own answers from unbiased sources. Do not just trust websites. Look for your answers in textbooks and also let your heart guide you. Pray about any information being received and for discernment to know what is truth and what are lies.
|Snow Jesus: The Skiers Mascot|