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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Regardless of how much the left in the United States despises organized religion, the Founding Fathers were Christian and their faith was the bedrock upon which this nation has flourished.

Everywhere I look in America today, I see Christians circling the wagons, hiding out of plain sight as much as possible.  The principle of "Separation of Church and State", as sound and important as it is, has been used as the ultimate twenty-first century boogeyman, with Christian folks everywhere walking on pins and needles in the fear that they be accused of bigotry.  Let's face it, Christians are an easy target.  When I was a child in the 1970s and 1980s, the liberal academic pressure groups initially forced their brand of Sex Education into our public school system and then picked up the "Separation of Church and State" banner, not bothering to determine first if everyone agreed with their interpretation of that sensitive phrase.  In the beginning, even the Christian groups avoided getting overly involved.  The basic idea of Separation of Church and State is very American, and makes sense to people.  The United States has been seeded with people who left their home countries to escape all sorts of tyranny, including religious oppression.  Its about having the freedom to worship as you choose, and not having to worry about any government introducing a "state religion".  For centuries, most of Europe was Roman Catholic because the ruling monarchies were loyal to the Pope.  More recently, Atheism has been encouraged by some Socialist governments, especially in Africa and Eastern Europe.  Before the end of the Cold War and the fall of oppressive governments in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Baltic States, Socialist and Communist governments openly harassed Christians.  Atheism was the state religion in Albania for many years, as it is today in Communist China.

Excuse the little side trip down memory lane, but a bit of history will help us to understand the balance we try to strike in the United States. The right not to worship is just as important as the right to worship as we choose.  Once the effort to remove some of the more obvious examples of religion within public schools was successful, the left put things into high-gear.  Remember as a child, participating in a Christmas Play that included the Christ child and a manger scene?  What about the plaque emblazoned with the Ten Commandments that was donated by the local chapter of the VFW, and the continued use of the term Christmas, as included in Christmas vacation, Christmas tree, Christmas present, etc.?  If it has anything to do with public school, it has to go.  Most people weren't very happy with the removal of the word Christmas, while others could not see the harm in displaying the Ten Commandments (sometimes you have to remind folks that other religions aside from Christianity are present in our communities).  I believe that the left has done a very convincing job justifying its efforts to remove religion from public schools, and they did so by repeating ad nauseam the Constitutional obligation to make it so.  Have you read the First Amendment to the Constitution lately?  Why not stop reading right here, google and read it, then come on back.

Nowhere in the Constitution will you find the phrase, "Separation of Church and State".  What the  First Amendment does say is that the government shall make no law "respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".  The more I re-examine the Constitution and the separate writings of our founding fathers, the more apparent it is to me that they had no intention of removing religion from the fabric of our nation.  They were, with very few exceptions, practicing Christians, who took advantage of every opportunity to credit God for the success in establishing a free and bountiful nation.  As for the message that was left for us, it seems to me that the Founding Fathers mentioned God in just about everything that was intended to last.  Aside from the documents establishing our political experiment, take a look at your coins and currency; God always seems to make an appearance.  In our Justice system, what book is used to guarantee that the speaker intends to be fully truthful, and what book is used to swear in Presidents every four years?  Of course, its the Bible.  We can surmise the intent of the Founding Fathers, but can we explain why young people today mock and make jokes about people who attend church?  Why has Hollywood and the Entertainment Industry declared war on religion?  You will hear the superstars giving credit to God in their speeches, but how often, outside of the gospel industry, do you hear someone singing about their faith?

Religion has become the enemy because it comes with rules, and the left doesn't believe in rules.  More accurately, the left doesn't believe in responsibility.  We have been through eight years of a Democratic Administration, and it appears likely we will suffer through an additional eight.  One of the most successful campaign tools for the left has been the "you are owed" message.  It goes hand-in-hand with the "it's someone else's fault" mantra.  During the Obama Administration, the National Debt has more than doubled, to nearly twenty-trillion dollars.  Conservatives like to quickly point at the "entitlements" boogeyman, but our debt is an unending stream of giveaways that goes way beyond entitlements.  Social Security has been empty for years, at least as it was originally designed.  Persons collecting Social Security today are borrowing it from someone way into the future.  Add all sorts of welfare, including unemployment, corporate welfare, and the almost criminal never-ending welfare packages paid to farmers (farmers in the United States just can't fail, the government will see to it).  The most recent surge in government dependency has been the increase in persons on disability.  I can't blame the Democrats for all of the giveaway, but I'm happy to dump most of the blame at their feet.  We have raised one, possibly two generations who have no idea how to take responsibility for anything, let alone their own lives.  At the end of the day, this works well for the Democrats, who believe that government must exist, if not control, every aspect of our lives.

I didn't write this commentary in defense of the tele-evangelists  and the Westboro Baptist Church. Hate is hate and its ugly and evil, no matter the source.  I try to keep things simple in my life, and when I noticed so many empty churches, and organizations having no problem misrepresenting the intentions of our Founding Fathers, I went in search of the simple explanation; it wasn't hard to find.  Many young people live their lives with abandon.  To them, life is one short crazy ride that ends with death, so why not experience everything?  Suicide seems to be a pastime for the younger generations, and drug use impacts children more so now then ever.  Its true that young people today seem more politically active than in recent time, but have you listened to what they support?  Free school, free books, free travel for education, everything is free.  The lessons of the recent past, of September 11, 2001, of the Cold War, seem irrelevant.  They have been mislead into thinking that money grows on trees, mostly in Bernie Sander's backyard.  The message of my youth, of family, faith, responsibility, patriotism and kindness, are hard to find.  We are so fortunate to live in a country that does not enforce a national religion, but I am convinced that the left-wing war on organized faith in our nation has been at cross-purposes with many parents.  In most instances (not all), being raised in a Christian household creates responsible, hard-working adults, who would prefer to work than to receive lodging, food and clothing for free.  Sadly, I believe that the numbers are turning in the wrong direction, as the last two Presidential elections have demonstrated.  Donald Trump says he can make America great again.  Although I never realized it previously, Trump claims to be a Christian conservative.  That's great, but we don't necessarily need someone claiming to be a Christian conservative.  We need someone who can set the right example, so that young people will be interested in how they can help build a strong country, with opportunity for anyone willing to sacrifice, instead of preferring to wait for a free ride.  Today, the only time you will hear Barack Obama mention religion, is when he is obliged to repeat the tired clich√©, "our hearts and prayers........".  I hope President Trump won't shy away from talking about faith, and won't avoid saying "Islamic Extremist" when the term applies.  God Bless America.

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