Incrementalsim within the church.
An Ohio school district has agreed to keep a portrait of Jesus Christ off school property and pay a $95,000 fine in the face of legal pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Jackson City School District, located in Jackson, reached a deal on Friday after the ACLU, along with the Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation, sued the district in February, citing “unconstitutional” actions and charging that students and visitors to the school “will continue to suffer permanent, severe and irreparable harm and injury,” according to the lawsuit.
The picture had been hanging in Jackson’s high school since 1947 as part of a “Hall of Honor” display meant to highlight famous historical figures.
“The case could have ended before it began if the school had simply acknowledged that it is not the government’s place to endorse one specific religion in a public school that children are legally required to attend,” said James Hardiman, the legal director for Ohio’s ACLU chapter.
The case, in which the district was being represented by the Texas-based Liberty Institute, was brought before the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Ohio, though the school eventually agreed to the settlement rather than spend taxpayer dollars on fighting the lawsuit, said Phil Howard, the district’s superintendent.
The portrait was removed by April, and both parties announced in July that they had reached a tentative agreement pending a final settlement.
Under the terms of the settlement, the district will pay the money to the ACLU and Freedom From Religion Foundation for damages and legal fees.
Sadly, though, for many the day has absolutely no meaning. It is as any other day. No different and certainly nothing worthy of attention. And to many, the mere mention of Easter brings contempt and loathing.
Throughout most of U.S. history, books such as the McGuffy reader, New England Primer (which taught spelling, reading and the Alphabet using Bible verses), and the Blue Book Speller (which also used Bible verses to teach reading and spelling) were used in everyday classrooms.
Most of our founding fathers were Christians. They believed that religious freedom was of primary importance and they didn’t want government interfering with the right to worship God. Their purpose in carefully constructing the laws governing the nation was motivated by their belief that “the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people.” (Noah Webster)
The U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause “were adopted by the framers for the explicit purpose of promoting, not suppressing religious freedom.” George Washington firmly believed in the indispensability of Christian training for good government. “True religion,” he said, “affords government its surest support. The future of this nation depends on the Christian training of our youth. It is impossible to govern without the Bible.”
Today, we see an outright assault by atheists and progressive liberals to eradicate any form of “religion” in government or public life. In reality, progressives really don’t care about attacking any other ‘religion’ than Christianity, and Jews by extension.
The first crack in the moral school system occurred, in 1925 when the newly formed ACLU paid a teacher in Tennessee to teach Evolution. Biblical creation had been taught throughout the land, and teaching evolution was against the Tennessee state law. While the ACLU lost the case, it set in motion a re-evaluation of teaching science. Within four decades the laws were reversed so that now teaching Creation is outlawed and teaching Evolution is mandatory.
The ACLU then started using the courts to change school policy. In 1948 the Supreme court used the “Separation of Church and State” argument to outlaw a time for school prayer. In 1962 the Supreme Court again declared that prayer in school was unconstitutional. In 1963 the Warren Court stopped schools from allowing Bible reading in classes. In 1980 the Supreme Court declared that posting the Ten Commandments in a school classroom violated the Constitution of the United States.
1A recent national poll showed that 69% of Americans believe that the First Amendment says “Separation of Church and State.” This not only displays a profound sense of illiteracy, by willful ignorance. You may be surprised to learn that these words do not appear in the First Amendment or anywhere else in the Constitution! Here is what the First Amendment actually does say.
The First Amendment :
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.
So where did the words “Separation of Church and State.” come from? They can be traced back to a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote back in 1802. In October 1801, the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut wrote to President Jefferson, and in their letter they voiced some concerns about Religious Freedom. On January 1, 1802 Jefferson wrote a letter to them in which he added the phrase “Separation of Church and State.” When you read the full letter, you will understand that Jefferson was simply underscoring the First Amendment as a guardian of the peoples religious freedom from government interference. Here is an excerpt from Jefferson’s letter. . .
“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, prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.” Read the full text of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association ..
Jefferson simply quotes the First Amendment then uses a metaphor, the “wall”, to separate the government from interfering with religious practice. Notice that the First Amendment puts Restrictions only on the Government, not the People! The Warren Court (liberal) re-interpreted the First Amendment, based on no precedent (in other words they decided on their own they didn’t like ‘religion,’ so through misuse of power, change the meaning), thus putting the restrictions on the People! Today the government can stop you from Praying in school, reading the Bible in school, showing the Ten Commandments in school, or have religious displays at Christmas. This is quite different from the wall Jefferson envisioned, protecting the people from government interference with Religious practice.
And yet, and it hasn’t stop the disdain from liberals who use this phrase as a club to limit, damage, or attempt to destroy, in particular, Christianity.
For example, the ACLU’s war against Christians praying in public schools while obliging Muslims the ability make their noon prayers in a school. Or Vanderbilt University’s discrimination against Christians—forbidding them from meeting on campus if they adhere to their religious principles.
Or how about comedian (I use the term comedian lightly) Kathy Griffen at an awards ceremony: “A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now!”
2 How about Barack Obama’s mocking comments about conservative Christians who” bitterly cling to guns and religion.”
How about Obama’s violation of the “free exercise clause” in the First Amendment by demanding that Catholic hospitals provide free birth control and abortion- inducing drugs, even though that clearly violates their religious beliefs.
Literally every Catholic bishop in America has spoken out against the policy, but of course, the Democratic Party is unmoved. This should shock no one who has seen the Left enthusiastically support government sponsored anti-Christian art, sue Christians who want to mention Christ in schools or courthouses, and even just fight to remove the World Trade Center Cross from the National September 11th Memorial and Museum.
Who isn’t aware when schools renamed ‘Easter break’ and ‘Christmas break’ to spring and fall break, lest someone might be offended. How about the recent news just within the last week of the writing of this article, boys and girls at an Alabama elementary school will still get to hunt for eggs – but they can’t call them ‘Easter Eggs.’ The principal banished the word for the sake of religious diversity. In many places you can’t even utter the devilish words, “Merry Christmas,” for fear of offending someone.
It only takes one person to claim that they are offended by anything (heck, sometimes they don’t even need a person), that remotely has ‘religion’ attached to it, that gives liberals the ammo and justification to rid society of it. They could care less that by their actions they offend millions of Christian. For merely expressing a biblical view, you can be labeled intolerant, or even prosecuted for a “hate crime.”
This website will provide ample evidence to these claims, but you get the idea.
So, what is it about Christianity and specifically, Jesus Christ, that offends liberals so much?
Why is that, by and large, we have raised a generation that knows nothing of the bible (the best selling book of all time), let alone the great contribution Christianity has made toward the betterment of human society, i.e., science, healthcare, music, architecture, literature, and even human freedom itself?
What Christians are experiencing in the world today is not so much a “war on Christianity” as it is rebellion against God, and thus a hatred toward anything that points to God or His Son Jesus… and by extension a hatred of Christ’s followers.
This rebellion is nothing new. Men break God’s commandments, e.g., do not steal, do not lie, do not take God’s name in vain, do not look on another with lust, etc. Man’s sinful nature is to hate authority. Being told you are a sinner, could cause guilt, and god forbid, make you be held responsible for your actions.
In everyday life, our actions are constrained by laws. Laws have penalties. If you speed, you get a ticket and pay a fine. If you murder, you get locked up for a long time or you’re executed. Our laws change and sometimes what was previously thought as wrong is now ok. (relativism).
God’s laws, however, do not change. As creator, what he declares is wrong, is always wrong (absolutes). When you break one God’s laws, you rebel against God himself. And like our court system today, you will be held responsible for your actions. You will be judged not according to man’s relative laws, but by God’s absolute law.
You don’t walk into a courtroom after breaking the law, and have the judge say, “Oh, that’s ok. I’m sure you didn’t mean it.” No, if the judge is fair and right, he will give you what’s due you and what you deserve. The bible says that the just wage due a sinner (one who breaks God’s law) is death (spiritual death).
So is God out to get everyone? Is he the great “‘cosmic killjoy?” Is he the one that is trying to ruin everybody’s “fun?”
No. According to the bible, “All have sinned.” All means everybody, and unless you’re lying to yourself, ‘all’ means you are included in that group. And because you break his laws, God (being a right and fair judge) gives you what you deserve. If that is all He did, he would be fair. But, because he loves us, he provided a way that you don’t get what you deserve. He sent his son, Jesus (whom we celebrate during Easter). He placed your sin, and the penalty due that sin, on Jesus. Jesus paid the debt you owed. And because of that, you can stand right before God, just as though you never sinned or broke his law to begin with.
To prove that God accepted his sacrifice on your behalf, Jesus rose from the dead. God gives the gift of salvation and forgiveness to anyone who accepts that sacrifice and turns from evil (what many refer to as repentance). Of course, being human, we blow it every day and break another or many of God’s laws. But, God wants to restore his relationship with you, so extends love, mercy and grace. You pick yourself up, confess your sin, and move forward.
Many do not want to be held accountable to God, so they rebel, deny his existence, lie, do evil, are prideful, and call good that which God calls evil (such as abortion, homosexuality, sex outside of marriage, etc.) , and evil that which God calls good. Thus, they desire to rid not only God in our culture, but people of faith whose morals and lives stand in stark contrast to their behavior and polluted mind.
To that end, liberals and progressives have been successful. They have co-opted our schools, our media, our culture, and sadly in many places, our churches.
As Christians who celebrate Easter, we should not be surprised. Jesus talked of this time. Keep this in mind: “Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you”. (1 John 3:13, NIV)
Or this: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” (John 15:18-20, NIV).
Easter reminds us of Christ’s return. That is good and bad news: good for those who call upon His name and look forward to His return, but bad for those who, through their arrogance and pride, reject a God who has extended a gracious and merciful plan of salvation through His Son, Jesus.
It doesn’t matter whether or not you believe in God or how you reject Him. Someday, you will be held accountable, judged, and receive what you deserve.
New International Version (NIV)
11 It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’”
Make a choice to turn from disobedience now before you no longer have the opportunity.