Focus on the Family Needs to go Back to the Future

Just prior to the recent presidential election, Focus on the Family Action, the lobbying arm of Focus on the Family, an organization founded by evangelical Christian Dr. James Dobson posted an imaginative letter entitled, “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America.”  In this hyperbolic letter, the fictional writer lays out a “possible” scenario of what the United States would look like if Senator Barak Obama was elected President of the United States and both houses of Congress were to be run by the Democrats.  Here are some of the proposed scenarios according to Christianity Today:

-The Supreme Court would lean liberal
-Churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriages would lose their tax-exempt status
-“under God” in the Pledge would be declared unconstitutional
-Doctors and nurses who won’t perform abortions will no longer be able to deliver babies
-Pornography would be openly displayed on newsstands
-Inner-city crime increases when gun ownership is restricted
-Homeschooling would become restricted, so thousands of homeschooling parents emigrate to other countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
– “Since 2009, terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing
hundreds, and the entire country is fearful, for no place seems safe.”
-Euthanasia is becoming more and more common.
-New carbon emission standards drive many coal-powered electric plants out of business. “The country has less total electric power available than in 2008, and periodic blackouts to conserve energy occur on a regular schedule throughout the nation.”

“After many of these decisions, especially those that restricted religious speech in public places, President Obama publicly expressed strong personal disapproval of the decision and said that the Supreme Court had gone far beyond what he ever expected,” the letter reads.

It suggests that younger evangelicals were the tipping point for Obama’s pretend victory.

“Many Christians voted for Obama – younger evangelicals actually provided him with the needed margin to defeat John McCain – but they didn’t think he would really follow through on the far-Left policies that had marked his career. They were wrong,” the letter says.

The author also proposes that every conservative talk show would have to be followed by an instant rebuttal to the program by a liberal “watchdog” group and eventually shut down by 2010. Another hypothetical scenario is that because no Christian is willing to write books critical of homosexuality, many Christian publishers go out of business.

The author suggests that Bush administration officials who had involvement with the Iraq war would be put in jail.

The author writes, “Many brave Christian men and women tried to resist these laws, and some Christian legal agencies tried to defend them, but they couldn’t resist the power of a 6-3 liberal majority on the Supreme Court. It seems many of the bravest ones went to jail or were driven to bankruptcy. And many of their reputations have been destroyed by a relentless press and the endless repetition of false accusations.”

Upon reading this apocalyptic, I thought it might be good to consider another scenario, based in the same factitious quality and tone.  Using another time machine, I chose to take us back to the year 2000,  specifically on November 6th, the day before the election that saw Texas governor George Bush running against Vice-President Al Gore.  Keeping with the spirit of the recent Focus on the Family letter, just imagine if someone, possibly one of those Democratic operatives, were to have written another pretend letter called, “Letter from 2008 in Bush’s America.”  How would those supporting George Bush have reacted?

Perhaps, the 2000 letter would suggest some crazy scenarios like the following.  Just imagine.

If Republian George W. Bush is elected, America will begin a dramatic decline toward chaos not seen since the Great Depression and an obvious manifestation of God withdrawing His hand of protection and favor from this country.  During the next eight years, if George Bush is elected and reelected, the following conditions will occur:

Within a year of his election, the United States will experience the greatest attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor.  This terrorist attack will be against the symbols of US economic and military might, in New York and in Washington, DC.    In response to these attacks, President Bush will launch a massive propaganda campaign that will propel the nation into two wars resulting in the deaths of over 4,500 troops and over 30,000 wounded service personnel.  Aside from these physical casualties to our men and women in uniform, the US taxpayer will foot the bill to the tune of about $600 Billion directly and by extension, about $3 Trillion. This war will become the longest in US history and least supported since the Vietnam War.

In an attempt to keep their eye on terrorists, the Bush administration will move to allow domestic espionage, opening all kinds of opportunities for spying on citizens, some for their religious affiliations.  This action will allow the National Security Agency and others to conduct secret and illegal wiretapping and spying operation against the people of the United States all in the name of national security.

On the economic front, the Bush administration will pass a tax cut that will favor the wealthiest taxpayers and at the same time increase spending at an alarming rate.  The surplus he inherited from President Bill Clinton will turn into the biggest deficit in national history and as a result, the national debt will rise dramatically.  During George W. Bush’s presidency, the national debt will grow by more than $4 trillion. It will be the biggest increase under any president in U.S history.  On the day President Bush takes office, the national debt will stand at $5.727 trillion. By his last year in office, the national debt will stand at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.

Toward the end of his second term, with two wars still being fought, the US housing and mortgage industry will suffer a huge deflation leading to millions of foreclosures, bankruptcies, and the collapse of many large institutional banks and brokerages.  This will require the US Congress to bailout the lending industry, adding about another trillion dollars of debt to the US Taxpayer. Other world economies will suffer equally. Also, during that time, even though George Bush is an oilman, his expertise will not prevent the cost of gasoline and other oil products from more than doubling in his final year.  George Bush’s friends in the petroleum industry will see record-setting profits, while hundreds of business fail due to the high price of energy.  His slogan, “Compassionate Conservatism” will sound quite hollow.

In the midst of Bush’s terms, natural disasters will occur, but due to the weakness of his government, many will suffer for lack of critical government services.  George Bush will be seen as a reactive president, not prepared for the future.

By the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, he will have garnered the highest disapproval rating in modern history.  Due to that in part, a Democratic candidate will win the 2008 election and will be joined by a large majority of Democrats in the Congress and Senate.  States that are normally seen as safe Republican bets will reject the Republican Party, some for the first time in decades.

Although these predictions are only possible scenarios and may seem far-fetched to the rational mind, there is always the possibility, given the character of George Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney that such things could, in fact, occur on George Bush’s watch.  Therefore, be prayerful about your vote.

The sad thing is that there are those who would readily consider and actually believe the 2012 Focus letter, but if they were back in 2000 reading the letter above, would call it a hateful, liberal diatribe, or more directly, an absolute, groundless lie.  To them I would say, “Don’t drink the Koolaid.”

I know I shouldn’t have to say anything, but there are those folks who won’t see the obvious.  So let me clean it up.  In the 2012 letter, Focus on the Family Active is predicting some very dire circumstance to an Obama presidency.  All this without the benefit of God’s stamp of approval.  No one is saying, “Thus saith the Lord.”  Therefore, the predictions should be seen as merely the creation of a fearful mind, not one that relies on the scripture that declares that, “All things work together for good, to them who love God and are called to His purpose.”  Christian should fear not, but be courageous.  The 2012 letter on the other hand is a profession of fear, discord, and faithlessness.  Not one of a sound mind, unity, and faith in the living God.

It has become very clear to me that the actions of Focus on the Family Action is evidence of a para-church organization that is set adrift from the Living Word of God.  Winning the culture wars seem to be tactically, an anything-goes methodology instead of being tethered to the moral code of Christ’s example.  I think the 2012 letter is reprehensible and Focus on the Family should repent for its dissemination.

As for my personal prediction for 2012, I see more Christians relying less on the leadership of the likes of James Dobson, and more on the power of real prayer and love for enemies, real and perceived.

Related Articles”

James Dobson, you owe America an apology – Jim Wallis

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Is it Last Call for the Christian Politicos?

Today I read some great news from a Christian Post article that noted that, “For the first time in more than a decade, a majority of Americans believe churches and houses of worship should keep out of political matters.” The full article can be found below.

The reason I’m happy about the article is that it confirms what I have been predicting for a couple of decades now, that many Christians will become frustrated with the political system as a means to sustaining a moral culture and a positive respect towards Christians in general.  Furthermore, I have continued to say that the surest way to see the influence of the Church erode in culture is to engage the evil in our culture through carnal and corrupt human systems.  

Many Christians are of the opinion that if the political culture is run by Christians, it can only mean positive things will come of it.  Bull!  If that were true then there would be no such thing as church-splits and other ecclesiastic conflicts.  Through my life I have witnessed discord, dissension, hostility, confrontation, and many other unsanctified behaviors by those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.  This includes not only those defined as lay-people, but clergy as well.  They hardly give a credible witness to what they demand of their political leaders.

The Bible says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds.”  Someone needs to tell the leaders of the Christian political movement in America they are trying to fight a culture war wearing Saul’s armor and are leading willing followers to the place where blind leaders always lead the blind.  A ditch.   

I pray that more Christians in America will get frustrated with the political game and realize that Jesus gave his followers real power to change the world, not the impotent and flimsy influence some politically-engaged Christian leaders are selling.  There’s been a lot of hype and vision-casting by too many who have left the apostles doctrine and have chosen to  believe in might and power while rejecting the Spirit.  If America’s moral ship has any chance of being righted, it will not come by crowds of believers amassed on the Mall in Washington, D.C., or through perpetual seminars and conferences, but in the private closets of fervent and effectual prayer.  

Now, for the article:

Most Americans Unhappy with Church, Politics Combo

 

For the first time in more than a decade, a majority of Americans believe churches and houses of worship should keep out of political matters. The change in heart is the result of a shift in view of some social conservatives who are said to be disillusioned with the major political parties.

Fri, Aug. 22, 2008 Posted: 11:10 AM EDT


For the first time in more than a decade, a majority of Americans believe churches and houses of worship should keep out of political matters.

The change in heart is the result of a shift in view of some social conservatives who are said to be disillusioned with the major political parties, according to a survey released Thursday by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Currently, half of conservatives believe churches and other houses of worship should keep out of politics, up from just 30 percent four years ago.

In particular, the survey found the shift is strongest among Americans who are less educated, who consider gay “marriage” a very important issue, and who think the two major parties are unfriendly towards religion.

“To my mind, that spells frustration,” said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, according to The Associated Press. “But by the same token, we know these very same people are not interested in less religiosity in the political discourse. They almost universally want a religious person as president.

“It’s not that they want to take religion out of politics, it’s that their frustrations with the way things seem to be going are leading them to say, ‘Well, maybe churches should back off on this.'”

With this new shift, conservatives now hold similar views with moderates and liberals on the issue of church and politics.

Overall, a slight majority (52 percent) of the public now says churches should “keep out” of politics and not express their views on social and political matters, compared to 44 percent who held this view in 2004.

Also, the sharp divide between Republicans and Democrats on the issue has disappeared.

Now, 51 percent of Republicans say churches should keep out of politics, and 52 percent of Democrats hold this same view. Back in 2004, there was a big gap in view between the two parties on the issue, with only 37 percent of Republicans wanting churches to not participate in politics, compared to 51 percent of Democrats.

Meanwhile, the American public’s opinion has remained relatively unchanged on the belief that churches and other houses of worship should not endorse candidates and that it is important for presidents to have strong religious beliefs.

The survey was conducted through phone interviews on July 31-August 10 from a national sample of 2,905 adults. This is the first time a majority of Americans want churches to stay away from politics since the Pew Forum started asking the question 12 years ago.

Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter

Obama and McCain – Looking for the Christian’s Password

Observing Barak Obama and John McCain’s attempts to lure the American religious communities reminds me of a scene in the 1995 film Babe written by Dick King-Smith where Babe, the pig, seeks to find just the right words to be able to herd the sheep during the annual sheepdog competition. The problem for Babe was that he wasn’t a sheepdog at all, but a pig! Nevertheless, because of the confidence his owner, Farmer Hoggett had shown in him and the capability and competence he had previously demonstrated with the sheep back home, Farmer Hoggett believed that he had a chance to do well in the trials. The challenge for Babe was trying to work a herd of sheep that didn’t know him nor he them. He had to find the secret to connecting with the herd, and quick.

The reason Babe was in the trials in the first place was due to a series of strange circumstances and set of anomalies in his upbringing. Unlike other pigs, Babe had been adopted by a sheepdog. That unique factor created an opportunity for Babe to develop his skills to herding sheep. The name of his adoptive mother sheepdog was Fly, and soon thereafter, Fly begins to train the pig in the ways of a sheepdog. She explains to Babe that sheep are stupid animals and that dogs are smart animals. It’s the dog’s job to dominate the sheep in order to have them perform the farmer’s bidding. One day, however, a sheep named Ma takes sick and is kept in the barn for treatment. Babe meets her and becomes her friend and knows that she is not stupid and knows that he can treat her respectfully.

As time goes by, Farmer Hoggett begins to notice the strange behavior of this pig raised by a sheepdog. One day, Mr. Hoggett takes the pig out to the field in order to see if the pig can be a sheep-pig. Babe, though he is slow, follows orders perfectly. Also, since Babe is so polite and has made a friendship with Ma, the sheep are perfectly willing to obey his requests. They much prefer his manners to Fly’s barking and commands. The farmer continues using Babe to do much of the farm work. One day, though, two dogs attack the sheep. Babe hears their cries and races to the field to save them. Once Farmer Hoggett arrives at the field, he finds Babe with a bloody snout standing over a dead sheep that the dogs had killed. Farmer Hoggett thinks that Babe has attacked the sheep and decides to kill him. Babe is saved, however, when Mrs. Hoggett receives a call warning of two dangerous dogs in the area. Farmer Hoggett realizes then that Babe actually saved his sheep.

Farmer Hoggett then proceeds with his plan to enter Babe in the sheepdog trials. He trains his beloved pig how to guide the sheep quickly and accurately through a course. Fly watched Babe’s progress delightedly, but she worries that the sheep at the trials will not be able to communicate with Babe. Fly has learned some new respect for the sheep since she has witnessed Babe’s interactions with them. She asks them about this potential problem, and the sheep tell her a password that will help Babe to communicate with the sheep at the trials. The magic words that commanded the sheep’s obedience was,

“May be ewe, may be ram, may be mutton, may be lamb, but on the hoof or on the hook, I bain’t so stupid as I look”

Those words tell a lot. The sheep were looking for respect and mutual respect would be the reward. This is secret that gave Babe and Farmer Hoggett an unprecedented victory at the trials, stunning the mocking crowd.

Like Babe, Obama and McCain have been looking for the password that will appeal to the sensibilities and beliefs of the faith community in America. The problem for them however, is that many, if not most on the right side of the theological ledger aren’t buying it. Or, at least they are very skeptical. And rightly they should be. After the revelations of the George Bush administration’s use of faith-based initiatives as a bait-and-switch tactic in appealing to the Religious Right, many in that sector have jaundiced eyes toward any politician using faith as an appeal point.

In my view, God’s Kingdom, at least the one Jesus spoke of in his Sermon on the Mount, is not based on a faith in man nor the ways of the world. Politics, although interesting and often alluring, is not the way to see true peace in the world. Any Christian who gets in the saddle of politics will find his or herself in a corral of enmity, division and contention. These are the works of the flesh, in other words, the world. If the truth of the Gospel is taking a second seat to political expediency, that faith is in vain, built upon the sand. If Jesus had thought politics would bring about peace, justice, and joy, he would have enjoined the political process. The reality is that these things are rooted in the condition of the heart, something politics is totally incapable of providing. Nevertheless, if you are a believer and hold to the idea that either Barak Obama or John McCain can lead the nation toward these legitimately sought after ideals, you should remember that these men and their political policies will only lead you to more empty promises. They certainly have a form of godliness, but deny the power of it. – 2 Timothy 3:5

But here’s the real caveat for anyone seeking political solutions to spiritual problems offered by politicians. It is found in the two verses following 2 Timothy 3:5. ” They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” In a nutshell, desperate people who don’t put their faith in God but in man will be deceived, never coming to the truth that sets free.

Related Reading:

Evangelical Expose: Bush’s Faith-based Fraud

The Obama Snooker

Reed Urges McCain to Appeal to Evangelical Flock

Christian Politics in the 21st Century

Taking America Back for God

During a recent “Speaking of Faith” radio program, Chuck Colson, Greg Boyd, and Shane Claiborne discuss whether there is a “Christian” way to vote. Here’s the segment. To see the complete episode of “Speaking on Faith”, click on the link below the video.

Speaking of Faith

Off With Their Heads! Deja Vu en L’Etats Unis?

As I have perused the newspapers and listened to the talking heads on the radio and the television, it is becoming clear that with increased fuel costs, the mortgage meltdown, government bailouts of major corporations, and the ongoing Persian Gulf conflicts, Americans don’t have much confidence in any government – local, state, or federal. With a widening gap between the rich and the poor, those considered under the poverty line are increasing in large numbers. As former president, Jimmy Carter noted in his infamous “Malaise Speech” given 29 years ago tomorrow,

The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.

With a continued slide into a pervasive distrust and cynicism toward our political and social institutions, anyone with a powerful vision and message of hope will find willing followers and disciples. I think that is why Barak Obama’s message of change and hope is playing quite well. Nevertheless, history is not silent under such circumstances and related political and social environments. There is an environment that nurtures less than civil behavior, and I’m not so sure we can totally assume the government can continue its policy of Bread and Circus forever. “Bread and Circus” is the policy of governments, institutions and businesses, and individual politicians to provide just enough food and fun to placate the masses. Personal freedom is typically the greatest cost to the individual. If the tipping point is reached where the government can’t manage fear, and I don’t know where exactly that is, civility will take a backseat not only to provocative speech, but barbaric behavior as well. Thousands of years of history serves notice.

Today is Bastille Day. Bastille Day has such a strong signification for the French because the holiday symbolizes the birth of the Republic. The French celebrate a new republic controlled by the people, not a monarchy or church. As in the United States, where the signing of the Declaration of Independence signaled the start of the American Revolution, in France the storming of the Bastille began the Great Revolution. In both countries, the national holiday thus symbolizes the beginning of a new form of government.

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!

Those are the words that mark the ideals of the French revolution. To better tell the story I’m providing an entry from StudyWorld that I think sums it up nicely. Also, check out the related articles at the end of the piece.

What were the causes and the effects of the French Revolution? The major cause of the French Revolution was the disputes between the different types of social classes in French society. The French Revolution of 1789-1799 was one of the most important events in the history of the world. The Revolution led to many changes in France, which at the time of the Revolution, was the most powerful state in Europe. The Revolution led to the development of new political forces such as democracy and nationalism. It questioned the authority of kings, priests, and nobles. The Revolution also gave new meanings and new ideas to the political ideas of the people.

The French Revolution was spread over the ten year period between 1789 and 1799. The primary cause of the revolution was the disputes over the peoples’ differing ideas of reform. Before the beginning of the Revolution, only moderate reforms were wanted by the people. An example of why they wanted this was because of king Louis XIV‘s actions. At the end of the seventeenth century, King Louis XIV’s wars began decreasing the royal finances dramatically. This worsened during the eighteenth century. The use of the money by Louis XIV angered the people and they wanted a new system of government. The writings of the philosophes such as Voltaire and Diderot, were critical of the government. They said that not one official in power was corrupt, but that the whole system of government needed some change. Eventually, when the royal finances were expended in the 1780’s, there began a time of greater criticism. This sparked the peasants notion of wanting change.

Under the Old Regime in France, the king was the absolute monarch. Louis XIV had centralized power in the royal bureaucracy, the government departments which administered his policies. Together, Louis XIV and the bureaucracy worked to preserve royal authority and to maintain the social structure of the Old Regime.

At this time in French history, the social classes played an important role in the lives of the people. The social structure of France was divided among three groups: the First Estate, the Second Estate, and the Third Estate. Each social group had a varied type of people within their structure, which presented the different views of the people.

The First Estate was the Church. During the ancien regime, the church was equal in terms of its social, economic, and spiritual power. The First Estate owned nearly 10 per cent of all land in France. It paid no taxes but, to support church activities such as school running and caring for the poor, they collected a tithe, or a tax on income. About one-third of the entire clergy in France served as parish priests. Also included in this estate were the nobles. Some of the nobles lived in luxury in major cities in France, such as Versailles or Paris. Parish priests usually lived a hardworking life. This Estate was the minority of the people in France, having approximately 1 to 2 per cent of the population.

The Second Estate in French life was the nobility. They enjoyed extensive rights and privileges. They made up less than 2 percent of the population. They, like the First Estate, paid hardly any taxes. Economically, the nobility was characterized by great land wealth. Nobles were generally the richest members of the society. Typical sources of income were rents and dues for the use of their farms or estates. The First and Second Estates were grouped together because they had similar political beliefs. The

Third Estate consisted of the commoners. It includedthe bourgeoisie, peasants and city workers. The bourgeoisie, or the middle class, were by far, the wealthiest. In the bourgeoisie, there were the merchants and manufacturers, lawyers, doctors and others similar to those types of professions. Peasants made up the largest group within the Third Estate. They were forced to pay hefty taxes, tithes to the church, and rents to their landlords for the land that they lived on. The last group within the Third Estate were the city workers. They were servants, apprentices, and household maids.

The major cause of the Revolution were the differences these three groups had. However, there was another important factor during these times. France suffered from harsh economic problems. Poor farm harvests by farmers hurt the economy, and trade rules from the Middle Ages still survived, making trade difficult. However, the most serious problem was the problem facing the government during this time. The French government borrowed much money to pay for the wars of Louis XIV. Louis still borrowed money to fight wars and to keep French power alive in Europe. These costs greatly increased the national debt, which was, at the time, already too high.

When King Louis XVI came into power, he realized that these problems existed. At first he did not know what to do, until he found a man by the name of Robert Turgot. He eased the financial crisis of France, but he had difficulties when he tried to introduce a major reform, that of taxing the nobles. He had such difficulties because the king could not tax the nobles unless the Parliament approved of the new tax laws. The people in the courts that voted on these laws were the nobles, called nobles of the robe, and therefore rejected Turgot’s reform. After Turgot was rejected, the king fired him from his office. This led Louis XVI to summon the Estates General in 1789.

The Estates General was the place where representatives from each social class could be represented. Here, many issues would be discussed, and at this time in French history, it would be centered around the economic crisis.

When the Estates General met in 1789, the deputies, or representatives, from the Third Estate demanded that the three estates meet together, with each deputy having an equal vote. That way, the First and Second Estates could outvote the Third Estate. When the king heard of this, he demanded that the three estates meet separately. This caused anger within the Third Estate. The deputies from the Third Estate declared themselves the National Assembly. Louis XVI quickly rejected these deputies from the meeting hall. After a while, Louis XVI decided that it would be best if the three estates met together. He ordered the other two estates to join the Third Estate in the National Assembly.

Although now the three estates met together, there were divisions among them. Some wanted to protect their rights, while others wanted to establish a limited, constitutional monarchy. This sparked some change in the French people.

Immediately after the National Assembly secretly began working on a constitution, the peasants and workers expected relief from taxes and other dues that they paid. Little happened, and they still faced their same problems of unemployment and inflation. Then there were reports that Louis XVI was bringing troops to Paris. This increased the peoples’ fears.

When Louis brought troops to Versailles, many citizens feared that he wanted to get rid of the National Assembly. As a result, they stormed the Bastille. Other disturbances also broke out. People were caught up in what was called the “Great Fear“. Rumors passed from village to village that robbers were destroying homes all over France. When no robbers showed up, the peasants turned to their landlords. They destroyed grain towers, and destroyed tax records, showing that they will never pay any taxes, fines or dues ever again.

These events forced Louis to summon the National Assembly on August 4th. They people discussed possible reforms. On this day, the National Assembly ended serfdom.Towards the end of August, the National Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man. It stated that democratic principles would be the basis for French government. The job of turning these ideas into a constitution still remained.

While the constitution was in the process of being made, an angry crowd in Paris rioted, forcing the National Assembly to recognize their demands. Some of these rioters were women. They were angry about food prices. They also thought that the king and queen were going against the National Assembly. They demanded that Louis return to Paris where they could watch him. To prevent any further uprisings, he agreed.

Throughout France, all ancient customs were thrown away by the revolution. The National Assembly called for freedom of worship and abolished all special activities and privileges of the Catholic Church. To raise money that was needed, the government began selling off church lands, which angered many Catholics.

In 1791, the National Assembly brought forward a new constitution. It made France a limited monarchy and established a system of separation of powers. Under the constitution, the old distinctions between the clergy, nobles, and commoners disappeared.

Few people were satisfied with the constitutional monarchy. Louis XVI was frightened at the actions of the National Assembly. He fled the country with his wife, but he was later arrested and brought back to accept the constitution. After this action by the king, moderate revolutionaries still wanted to preserve the constitutional monarchy, while the radicals distrusted the king and wanted a republic.

These were the causes of the French Revolution. Many peoples’ lives were changed during this time. Peoples’ ideas also changed.

After the war between France and Austria and Prussia, prices increased dramatically, and food shortages occurred. When Louis XVI and his wife fled to the Legislative Assembly, they were imprisoned. They called for a national convention to write a new constitution. The National Convention met in September. The National Convention tried and convicted Louis XVI of treason. He was sentenced to death.

News of his death spread all throughout Europe. Monarchs of European nations feared that the Revolution would spread. By 1793, the French armies occupied the Austrian Netherlands and were about to invade Prussia. But, in 1793, Great Britain, the Dutch Netherlands, and Spain went along with Prussia and Austria in a war against France. With these five powerful nations fighting against France, the French were outnumbered and outmatched. This one war was very hard for France. This war caused many deaths at home due to starvation. At this point in the Revolution, some people thought that the Revolution had gone too far and should be put to an end.

In the effort to restore temporary peace in the society, the National Convention made a constitution that created a Committee of Public Safety. It campaigned against people who were considered enemies of France. Maximilien Robespierre led the Committee of Public Safety. He wanted to create a “Republic of Virtue”. The Committee went all over France to help other groups find traitors to France. During the Reign of Terror, trials for the people were held often. Many people were brought to the guillotine and killed. Most of the victims were commoners. This time of terror had scared the people, and their revolts towards the government ended.

The Committee of Public Safety organized new and powerful armies to protect itself from foreign invasion. The Committee also set limits on prices and salaries.

By early in 1794, the French armies were winning battles again, but supporters were asking if these executions of the people were still needed in society. The National Convention then arrested Maximilien Robespierre, andexecuted him, which ended the Reign of Terror.

Between the years of 1789 and 1794, French life had changed dramatically. There were changes in the lifestyle of the people, as well as in clothes and art. The monarchies were gone, and the king no longer ruled. Le National Convention abolished all feudal customs and ended all slavery. Revolutionary leaders also established the metric system. They wanted to set up free public schools, but that never came about, due to the economic problems.

In 1795, after the total ending of the Reign of Terror, the National Convention established another constitution. It established a new system of government called the Directory. This Directory, however, faced many problems. The legislative deputies begged and “bought” political votes, and prices rose sharply, something which the poor classes of society didn’t like. Along with these problems, it still followed a foreign policy. It built the largest army in Europe during this time. This army were headed by a great military leader, Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 1793, Napoleon won many battles against the British, and at this time, he was a general. He next won battles over Italy, and in 1798, he invaded Egypt. He defeated Egypt’s army, but he had to pay for his victory. At sea, the Egyptian Navy, led by Horatio Nelson, destroyed the French fleet at the Nile river. This loss meant that the fleet could not take the soldiers back to France, so, Napoleon left them there and he went back to France. Unbeknownst to the people of France about the tragedy in Egypt, he was still welcomed as a hero. When talking to the people at home, he found that many people were not satisfied with the Directory. With the help of troops, he overthrew the government in 1799. Under this new government, Napoleon was called the First Consul. His military talents helped him to win popular support. With his support, he was named the dictator of France.

This time in French History was important to the people of France because of the different types of government they had. Socialism, liberalism and nationalism all were results of the French Revolution. It gave people the idea that if they tried, they could reorganize a society whenever it was needed. The greatest legacy of the French Revolution, however, was that people could change anything that they wanted with political ideas, words and laws.

Related Articles & Sources:

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity – Exploring the French Revolution

Causes of the French Revolution

The French Revolution – Columbia Encyclopedia

A History of the Guillotine

A True Look Back at the French Revolution by Mel Brooks…

Buyer’s Remorse in Selling Jesus

One of my favorite laugh-out-loud movies of all times is the Coen Brothers film. “O Brother Where Art Thou?”, a story based loosely on Homer’s The Odyssey, set in the Deep South during the Depression. Suave and fancy-talking Everett Ulysses McGill (George Clooney), dim-witted Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson), and easily-excitable Pete (John Turturro) are serving time together on a prison chain gang. Everett knows where $1.2 million is hidden that’s theirs for the taking, and the three manage to escape; however, a stranger soon warns them that they’ll find treasure, but not the sort they’re looking for. As Everett and his partners hit the road, they happen upon a gluttonous, one-eyed bible salesman, Big Dan Teague (John Goodman); meet up with Baby Face Nelson (Michael Badalucco) as he robs a bank; encounter three Sirens doing their washing; run into Everett’s estranged wife Penny (Holly Hunter), who has told everyone her husband was killed in a train wreck; find themselves in the middle of a heated campaign between political boss Pappy O’Daniel (Charles Durning), and reformist candidate Homer Stokes (Wayne Duvall); and even find time to make a hit record as The Soggy Bottom Boys.

In the meeting with Big Dan Teague, there’s this bit of dialogue:

What kind of work you do, Big Dan?

Sales, Mr McGill, sales! What do I sell? The truth, every blessed word of it. From Genesis down to Revelations. Yes, the word of God, which, let me say,there’s damn good money in during these times of woe and want. People want answers, and Big Dan sells the only book that’s got ‘em. And what do you do, you and your, uh, tongue-tied friend?

We, uh…We’re adventurers, sir,pursuing an opportunity, but we’re open to others as well.

I like you. I’m gonna propose you a proposition. You cover my bill for now, get your dinner wrapped picnic-style and we’ll retire to more private environs, where I’ll reveal how to make vast amounts of money in the service of God Almighty.

Jesus Cleanses the TempleThis conversation could have taken place in any of the many presidential campaign staff planning meetings in the recent contest. Selling Jesus has been good business and politically expedient. But many Christians have seen through the facade and don’t appreciate the blatant money-changing in the temple. I think it’s time to clear the air and let both campaigns know, enough is enough.

In a Christian Science Monitor article by Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of the Interfaith Alliance, he warn the candidates to “Stop Misusing Religion.” Here’s the rest of the article:

Americans will choose a new president in less than five months, but the losers of this election are already clear – the sanctity of religion and the integrity of democracy.

The latest evidence came late last month, when Sen. Barack Obama announced his resignation from his home church. Such an important decision should have been made purely for personal or religious reasons. Instead, it was apparently driven by political considerations.

As a practicing minister, I understand how painful it is for him to leave a church that has been an important part of his life for many years. It is the church in which Senator Obama was married, and it is the church in which his children were baptized. It is a place where he apparently found a community with his neighbors and with his God.

But as president of the Interfaith Alliance, I also understand why Obama found himself in this situation. During the primary campaign, the major presidential candidates engaged in a frenzied rush to prove their religious bona fides.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign went on a self-described “faith tour” of South Carolina, based explicitly upon a verse from the Book of Esther. Senator John McCain got off the Straight Talk Express to pander to the religious right when he gave the commencement address at the late Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

And Obama is equally at fault. Early in the race, his campaign set up a website to feature endorsements from clergy, despite the fact that tax law prohibits religious leaders from making candidate endorsements in their official capacities as men and women of God.

Last fall, he asked a South Carolina congregation to help him “become an instrument of God,” despite the fact that the Constitution says no such thing.

The candidates have sought the endorsements of clergy, and both Senator McCain and Obama are now having some buyer’s remorse. But candidates cannot have it both ways. They cannot continue to use clergy for political gain and then discard them when it no longer fits their agenda.

The problem is not that these presidential candidates incorporated religion into their campaigns. The problem is that the candidates have used religion as a divisive tool, instead of a unifying power.

Rather than printing campaign brochures featuring a picture of Obama in front of a giant cross with the words “committed Christian,” as Obama did, candidates should tell the American people why, how, or if faith informs their policy positions.

Rather than declaring the United States to be a Christian nation, as McCain did, candidates should outline what steps they would take to respect the vast diversity of religious beliefs (and nonbeliefs) in this country.

Rather than asking the candidates to talk about when they have felt the presence of the Holy Spirit – as CNN did during a “faith forum” for Democrats earlier this year – the media should instead ask the candidates to outline their views on the First Amendment’s guarantees of religious freedom.

If the Liberty Bell had not cracked in 1846, it most surely would have done so in 2008 thanks to the US presidential candidates.

If the meaning of the Liberty Bell’s biblical inscription – “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof” – is to ring true in America today, no candidate for the presidency should ever have to resign from or join a particular house of worship in order to be a viable candidate for that high office.

To make such a decision for political reasons dishonors religion and disrespects the Constitution. It makes a sad statement about American politics and an even sadder one about American religion.

Obama is at the center of the storm, but all who wed religion to partisan politics share responsibility for this tragic development.

For the sake of both religion and democracy, we must do better. Our country deserves an electoral campaign which treats religion with the same respect held by those who built the Liberty Bell.

Should I, an Evangelical, be afraid of Obama?

On most days I usually peruse a hefty sum of articles, blogs, and forum entries addressing a host of issues. More than not, I tend to gravitate toward those that are in the genre of the religio-political. It’s where I find the most interesting, outlandish, and mixed-up thinking on the planet.

Since Barak Obama sewed up the majority of the Democratic Party’s cache of delegates last week, the media (of all types) has been abuzz with prognostications. It’s natural that we do this. But my eye has been skewed mostly toward what my peeps (evangelicals) are saying. The responses have filled every part of the spectrum.

On one hand there has been praise for Obama and it seems likely that he will garner a large number of evangelical votes in the fall. Some have suggested that he could get up to 40%. That’s huge!. On the other side of the equation, there are those who not only claim that Obama is dangerous, but claim the he is the Anti-Christ. One writer posted some of these dubious and arguable points in a Topix Forum. (I thought I should add some questions to his facts for clarity.)

Yahaim wrote:

Obama is the Anti-Christ. This is the evidence:

1.– He will come as a man of Peace (Obama promises peace in Iraq, defeat for the US)
When did he promise defeat for the US?
2.- He will come mounted on a white Female horse(Obama mother is white who had 6 African husbands)
Does this mean that his mother was a white horse with 6 black legs?
3.– He will come to deceive( Obama says he’s a Christian but in fact he was born a Muslim, practices the Islamic religion, prays Friday’s facing Mecca)
Is there any evidence that he still prays toward Mecca, not that he claims to be a Christian.
4.– He will make himself the most powerful man on earth, if elected.
Really?
5.– He will try to destroy the Jewish People and Israel( Obama has said he loves the Arabs specially the Palestinians, hates Israel and Jews. Admires Hitler, Osama etc) 1.Try reading some Israeli material that says otherwise. 2. Oh yeah, the Hitler-Osama statement. How about some evidence. There is evidence that Obama admires George Bush and Ronald Reagan though.
6.– He will present himself as good and righteous but in fact he’s Satan himself. Violence is in his heart.
Again, really? Your evidence, please.
7.– Obama will help Al Qaida in its evil projects.
Yeah, that’s the impression I got when Obama promised to hunt down Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
8.– Barack Hussein Obama is the “King of the South” predicted in the Bible.(Daniel .11, Kenya is south of Jerusalem)
So is Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda.
9.– Obama comes to implant muslim Sharia Law upon America.
If Christianity hasn’t been successful in forcing Judeo-Christian theocratic law on a nation that promotes a seperation of church and state, how will Barak Obama?
Obama is the Anti-Christ, beware of him.
Watch him and don’t let you be deceived by Him.
Supporters of Obama: 1.5 billion Muslims, Oprah, Louis Farrakanh, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and all American Muslims.
OBAMA’S GAME IS DECEPTION AND VIOLENCE
A VOTE FOR OBAMA IS A VOTE FOR OSAMA AND KILLER ISLAM!!
YIKES!!!
So, what do I think? Should I be afraid if Barak Obama is elected president? Should I throw up my evangelical, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage hands in surrender. Why, heck no! The fact is that for believers in Christ, who actually trust in, rely on, and cling to Him, there is no fear of the future. God is still in control.
If Barak Obama were to become Christian America’s worse nightmare (and I’m not saying he will be), do you think for one minute that God’s will is going to be undone? Only if God is a actually a man.

In the past two-and-half decades, all too many evangelical and fundamentalist Christian have placed their trust, not in the God who promises to heal their land by humbling themselves in repentance and prayer, but in numbers and political strength. They have fallen into the sin of counting on man’s strength, thinking, and method’s. Isaiah 55:8-9 warns believers that the thoughts and ways of man are contrary to God’s thinking. Naturally, when one’s thinking takes form, that which is formed is also contrary to God’s ways. The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Corinth, “for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

The root problem with most evangelicals who are “fearful” of certain political results and world affairs is that they are rooted in an earthly mindset, not on God’s Kingdom or it’s power. They rely on circumstances and conditions and fail to live in faith. They have not renewed their mind, but have continued in their old thinking. Unfortunately, many believers are being encouraged by politically-minded ministers, evangelists, and other religious luminaries to follow a world view that is born in an emotion that God tells us to cast aside. That powerfully deceitful feeling is fear.

The reason I don’t fear or lose any sleep whether Barak Obama or John McCain becomes president is because I know that God’s love for his people gives liberty. The Bible says, “perfect love casts out fear.” It’s not my love, but God’s love. I have faith in His love, therefore I fear nothing or no one. Furthermore, there are other truths that buoy my faith. I know that the God who is in me is greater that anyone in the world (1 John 4:4), that I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:35-37), that my effectual, fervent prayers avail much (James 5:16), and that, as I learned from my childhood, “in all things God works for the good of those that love Him and are called to His purposes” (Romans 8:28). These passages of scripture provide the framework for being free from fear and being empowered to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God (Micah 6:8) The moral condition of national leaders do not change the efficacy of God’s Word.

So what if Obama is the devil some predict? What do I do? Do I call for his impeachment or God’s swift sword. Nope. God’s word tells me to do the opposite of what man’s thinking resorts to. He calls for me to pray for him, not curse him. (I Timothy 2:1-3)

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions,

and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority;

that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour”

Notice the first (four) things Christians are to do in order to “lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty? They are:

1. Supplications – means to petition or entreat God for something with passion, zeal and a hunger to see the request fulfilled.

2. Prayers – activity motivated by our desire to be in God’s presence and to know His will. Prayer is an acknowledgment of our spiritual poverty and our reliance on God to speak to our poverty.

3. Intercessions – is the act of advocating for someone else. For the Christian, it is the continuation of the ministry of Christ, showing love for those who are sinners.

4. Thanksgivingan acknowledgment of appreciation for a thing received. If we believe that God hears and answers our supplications, prayers, and intercessions, then the proper attitude is one of thanksgiving

“Be joyful always; pray continually (no matter who gets elected); give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Is America a Christian Nation?

One Nation Under God.For many years past and I’m sure, for years to come, the ever reverberating question of whether America is a Christian nation continues to be asked in many circles. I think the question is inconsequential and pretentious. What the heck do we think the value of an affirmative answer could be? Let me get this right. Is the thought behind the question really an attempt to bolster the spurious claim that before 1963, the year they threw out school prayer, America was a reflection of all things godly? Come on now! History and thousands of sermons from before 1963 say otherwise.

In David Barton’s WallBuilders organization, the group’s focus is “to presenting America’s forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on the moral, religious, and constitutional foundation on which America was built-a foundation which, in recent years, has been seriously attacked and undermined.” He states further that “WallBuilders’ goal is to exert a direct and positive influence in government, education, and the family by (1) educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country; (2) providing information to federal, state, and local officials as they develop public policies which reflect Biblical values; and (3) encouraging Christians to be involved in the civic arena.” In those three stated goals, I see nothing that is geared to holiness, a servant’s heart, or seeking the Kingdom of God. At a minimum, Barton’s emphasis on the historical foundations of this country is a distraction from doing real, kingdom work.I have heard from many well-meaning Christians that if we get back to our Christian roots, then the country will be on it’s way to better days. Perhaps, that would work to some degree if you were white and Protestant. Seems to me, when you look back at the history of revivals in this country, those firebrands like Finney were looking “forward” to a better society than what they had back then. One that would acknowledge the dignity of all men, saints and sinners alike. Any Christian that wants to go back to the “good ol’ days” had better think twice. They weren’t that great from what I’ve heard and read . Instead, we need to live our lives in the here and now, demonstrating the grace and power that comes from the Holy Spirit.I’m attaching a report by Christian apologist, Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason that gives his views on the question of whether America is a Christian nation. But before I do, I have to ask a couple of questions of those who actually believe that removing school prayer initiated the “demise of America.” First, if God is a rewarder of righteousness to the righteous, then why and how in the world would God allow school prayer to be removed. The second question is, what’s more important in the eyes of God? School prayer or family prayer? Just wondering.

Now, here’s Greg…

America’s Unchristian Beginnings?

Gregory Koukl

Greg responds to an L.A. Times Op-Ed article by this title (sans question mark), subtitled “Founding Fathers: Despite preachings of our pious Right, most were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus.”divider

There has been a lot of confusion on the issue of whether or not we’ re a Christian nation, and I’m not exactly sure why. But it is hotly debated in our culture right now. The reason I say I’m not sure why is because the historical record is quite clear. I think that Christians, though, often make inappropriate, unfounded, or inaccurate applications of some of the information, and I want to speak to that in just a moment.As to the faith content of those who were our Founding Fathers, there can be absolutely no confusion about the fact that virtually every single one of them shared a Christian, biblical world view. There is some question as to whether every single one of them held to all the orthodox teachings of classical Christianity; but it seems to me that there is very little question as to what their religious persuasions and world views were.There was a piece in the L.A. Times on the third of this August on the Op-Ed page entitled “America’s Unchristian Beginnings.” It is subtitled “Founding Fathers: Despite preachings of our pious Right, most were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus.” There are a couple things that trouble me about this article, the biggest thing is the word “most” in the subtitle. “Most of our Founding Fathers” apparently were deists, according to this person’s assessment. This is a canard that’s been tossed around even by some Christians who ought to know better. This piece was written by Steven Morris who is a professor of physics at L.A. Harbor College and he is also a member of the L.A.-based Atheists United.Some might say, what does a physicist know about history? Just because he is a physicist doesn’t mean that he can’t have an accurate opinion about this particular issue. I take issue with his research. It’ s simply bad.He goes on to reply to the Christian Right, who he says is trying to rewrite the history of the United States in its campaign to force its view of religion on others. His approach is to quote seven different people: Thomas Paine, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Ethan Allen, James Madison, and Ben Franklin. His point is to quote these individuals who he thinks apparently are, first of all, Founding Fathers, and secondly, characteristic of the lot of them in rejection of Christianity and in acceptance of deism.I am frustrated by this because it is characteristic of the way a lot of people want to treat this issue. They think that they can take names that we associate with that period and are well known, sift through their writings and find some things that they think are hostile to Christianity, and therefore conclude that not only these people are anti-Christian, but all of the rest of them are anti-Christian, as well.It’s an example of Steven Morris turning the exception into the rule. Since he can find what he thinks are seven different people that are important personalities during this period of time, who at some time in their lives may have written something that can be understood to be non-Christian, then that characterizes the whole group of them as deists, ergo the subtitle “Most were deists who rejected the divinity of Jesus.”Morris’ sightings are simply specious. Thomas Payne and Ethan Allen, for example, were in no- wise intellectual architects of the Constitution. Rather, they were firebrands of the Revolution. Was that important? Sure, they made an important contribution, but they weren’t Founding Fathers. Period.Now, as for Washington, Sam Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. If one looks at the literature of the time–the personal correspondence, the public statements, the biographies–he will find that this literature is replete with quotations by these people contrary to those that Mr. Morris very carefully selected for us. Apparently, he also very carefully ignored other important thinkers: John Witherspoon, for example, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, John Adams, Patrick Henry. All individuals who were significant contributors to the architectural framework of this country and who had political philosophies that were deeply influenced by Christianity, especially Calvinism.But there is another thing that he completely overlooks in this analysis. Something that makes a mockery out of his analysis, and also answers the question quite simply and directly and in the affirmative for us about the Christian beginnings of our Republic.This issue is actually very simple. The phrase “Founding Fathers” is a proper noun. In other words, Founding Fathers refers directly to a very specific group of people (although I think you could be a little bit flexible and include a little wider group of people). Those who intellectually contributed to the Constitutional convention were the Founding Fathers. If we want to know whether our Founding Fathers were Christian or deists, one needs only to look at the individual religious convictions of those 55 delegates of the Constitutional convention.How would we know that? We look at their church membership primarily, and also at their correspondence. Back then church membership was a big deal. In other words, to be a member of a church back then, it wasn’t just a matter of sitting in the pew or attending once in a while. This was a time when church membership entailed a sworn public confession of biblical faith, adherence, and acknowledgment of the doctrines of that particular church.Of those 55 Founding Fathers, we know what their sworn public confessions were. Twenty-eight were Episcopalians, eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutheran, two were Dutch Reformed, two were Methodist, two were Roman Catholic, one is unknown, and only three were deists–Williamson, Wilson, and Franklin.To heap more fuel on the fire of my point, of the 55, the Episcopalians, the Presbyterians, the Congregationalists, and the Dutch Reformed (which make up 45 of the 55) were Calvinists, for goodness sake! In other words, these weren’t just Christians, these were among the most extreme and doctrinally strict Christians around. Of the 55 delegates, virtually all of them were deeply committed Christians. Only three were deists. Even Franklin is equivocal because, though not an orthodox Christian, Franklin seems to have abandoned his deism early in life and moved back towards his Puritan roots. Indeed, it was 81 year old Franklin’s emotional call to humble prayer on June 28, 1787, that was actually the turning point for a hopelessly stalled Constitutional convention. We have his appeal on record thanks to James Madison who took copious notes of the whole proceeding. His appeal contained no less than four direct quotations from Scripture. This does not sound like a man who was hostile to the Christian religion.But this assessment doesn’ t answer a more fundamental question: Are we a Christian nation? It seems clear that most of the Founders were Christians, not deists. But what about the question “Are we a Christian nation?” I think the answer depends entirely on what is meant by “Christian nation.”Are the theological doctrines of the Bible explicitly woven into the fabric of government? The answer is no. The non-establishment clause of the First Amendment absolutely prohibits such a thing. However, was the Biblical view of the world–the existence of God who active in human history, the authority of the Scripture, the inherent sinfulness of man, the existence of absolute objective morality, and God-given transcendent rights–was that the philosophic foundation of the Constitution? The answer is, without question, yes. The American community presumed a common set of values which were principally biblical. Further, the founding principles of the Republic were clearly informed by biblical truth.A question can be asked at this point. Given the fact that most of the Founding Fathers–either those who are among the 55 delegates to the Constitutional convention or those outside of that number who were significant architects to the Constitution–were in fact biblical Christians and had sworn to that, and those that weren’t were at least deeply moved and informed by a biblical moral view, one could ask the question, “So what? What does that have to do with anything today?”I think that Christians may be a little out of line on this part of the issue, and I want to bring it into balance. Regarding the question, Is America a Christian nation?, if we mean by that that Christianity is the official, doctrinal religion of this country, the answer is of course not. That’s prohibited by the exclusion clause of the First Amendment. If we mean that we were founded on Biblical principles by Christian men who had a deep commitment to the Scriptures by and large, the answer is certainly yes.But then the question is, So what? How does what happened 200 years ago influence what is going on now? I actually have two points to make.This fact doesn’ t give Christians a trump card in the debate on public policy, in my view. Just because Christians were here first doesn’t mean that their views should continue to prevail. Within the limits of the Constitution, the majority rules. That’s the way this government works, ladies and gentlemen.But let’s not rewrite history to relegate those with religious convictions to the sidelines. That is the other half of this. The privilege of citizenship remains the same for all despite their religious convictions. Everyone gets a voice and everyone gets a vote. Christians don’t have a leg up on everyone else because we were here first. Even the Christians who wrote the rules didn’t give us that liberty. They didn’t give us that leg up. They made the playing ground even for everyone, every ideology, every point of Keep it White view.Having said that, though, in writing the First Amendment and the non-establishment clause, they did not have in view this current idea of separation–that the state is thoroughly secular and not informed at all by religious values, especially Christian. This view that is popular now was completely foreign, not just to the Founders, but to the first 150 years of American political thought. It’s absolutely clear that the Fathers did not try to excise every vestige of Christian religion, Christian thought, and Christian values from all facets of public life. In fact, they were friendly to religion in general, and to Christianity in particular, and encouraged its education and expression.As to the durability of this tradition, I suggest that anyone who has any doubts about this simply read Lincoln’s second inaugural address, which is etched into the marble of the northern wall of the Lincoln Memorial. Go there and read it. Face Lincoln, turn right, and there it is. It contains no less than three or four biblical references.After that you can reflect on Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of October 3, 1863. It begins this way: “It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions [By golly, how did that get in there?] in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon. And to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.”I think that pretty much settles it.