We recently celebrated Independence Day, that day in 1776 when our Founders signed a document which not only stated principles that were to guide this country once it became independent, but declared our independence from the world’s greatest superpower of the day, Great Britain.
It’s a miracle that we succeeded, given the odds of doing so. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are revolutionary for their day, and have guided many countries since then. However, none of these countries have succeeded in implementing them to the extent we have. I believe we have been blessed by God as a nation for his purposes.
Despite our many blessings, we as a nation have gone astray, and we need to keep in mind the following passage:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. (2 Chronicles 7:14-15, NIV)
In addition, the courts, lead by the Supreme Court, have been misinterpreting and misusing the First Amendment in ways that go against its original intent. The original intent of the Constitution and over 150 years of court precedents have been ignored, starting with the decision in Everson v. Board of Education in 1947. Rather than protecting the free exercise of one’s faith, the First Amendment is now being used to hinder and limit it. Aggressively anti-Christian organizations such as the ALCU use this revisionist misinterpretation of the First Amendment to eliminate any references to God in this country.
I want to discuss this situation for three reasons:
(1) So you know your rights and can’t be bullied;
(2) So you know how to pray for your country and Christ’s Church in the United States;
(3) So you can write your representatives to support legislation in favor of religious freedom.
This is a large subject, so I will only be able to discuss it in a summary manner. If you want to know more about this, you can do some research concerning current court cases by going to the American Center for Law & Justice website (aclj.org) or The Alliance Defense Fund website (alliancedefensefund.org).
The book The Myth of Separation gives the historical perspective, and much of this discussion is based on it. I’m sure there are other books out there as well. Future postings will go into more detail about the original intent of the First Amendment.