Monday, SCOTUS said in a 5-4 decision that local officials may continue to open town council meetings in prayer – saying it does not violate the Constitution.
As reported by Fox News, the majority said,
“The prayer opportunity in this case must be evaluated against the backdrop of historical practice. As a practice that has long endured, legislative prayer has become part of our heritage and tradition, part of our expressive idiom, similar to the Pledge of Allegiance, inaugural prayer, or the recitation of ‘God save the United States and this honorable Court’ at the opening of this Court’s sessions.”
This is one of those issues that non-Christian people don’t understand. There are many Americans, I know, that are big on saying, “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!” “LETTING CHRISTIANS PRAY OPENLY VIOLATES ALL OTHER RELIGION’S FREEDOM OF WORSHIP.”
I hear those people, but to them, I’d argue this – exactly HOW does this infringe upon your religious freedom? Not one Christian is suggesting that we force the Christian religion on the country or that we force people into salvation or worship. Also, the whole “separation of church and state argument” is very misused. The founding fathers were OBVIOUSLY not opposed to including God in the America’s founding (see quotes below). They were opposed to the government forcing religion on its citizens. That’s what that means.
Anyone who argues that maintaining our history of prayer is violating the rights of all other religions…I mean – I guess I can see how it might be disheartening to live in a country with a culture and history of prayer to a God you don’t believe in, but it’s literally part of who we are and it’s not violating anyone’s rights. It’s the WHOLE reason America was founded! So that the pilgrims could separate from the Church of England and worship God freely.
If you’ve not seen it, I encourage you to watch Kirk Cameron’s documentary on America’s founding – Monumental (purchase it here).
Cameron traveled to England and interviewed a bunch of historians – read a bunch of original text, visited a bunch of Gospel-themed statues, and proved that America was founded on Christianity.
I know that I’m biased because praying to the Lord is MY personal faith, but as libertarian-leaning as I am about most issues, it’s just undeniable that our country’s foundation was formed around Christianity and Christian values.
Here are just a handful of quotes from our nation’s founding fathers:
John Adams: “Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited! Every member would be obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God … What a Eutopia, what a Paradise would this region be.”
–Diary and Autobiography of John Adams, Vol. III, p. 9.
Thomas Jefferson:“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.”
–Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, p. 237.
“I am a real Christian – that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”
–The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, p. 385.
John Hancock: “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”
–History of the United States of America, Vol. II, p. 229.
John Quincey Adams: My hopes of a future life are all founded upon the Gospel of Christ and I cannot cavil or quibble away [evade or object to]. . . . the whole tenor of His conduct by which He sometimes positively asserted and at others countenances [permits] His disciples in asserting that He was God.
The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the Divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. And may the associated distribution of the Bible proceed and prosper till the Lord shall have made “bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God” [Isaiah 52:10].
The great, vital, and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and the divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
John Hancock called on the entire state to pray: “that universal happiness may be established in the world [and] that all may bow to the scepter of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the whole earth be filled with His glory.”
John Dickinson: “Rendering thanks to my Creator for my existence and station among His works, for my birth in a country enlightened by the Gospel and enjoying freedom, and for all His other kindnesses, to Him I resign myself, humbly confiding in His goodness and in His mercy through Jesus Christ for the events of eternity.”
“[Governments] could not give the rights essential to happiness… We claim them from a higher source: from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth.”
That first quote by John Adams says it all. Christianity is not a religion of violence. It’s not one of forced worship. It’s not one of bondage. Although we can look back in history and see record of Christians persecuting non-Christians -that is a perverse practice that was not at all Biblical. Actual Christianity produces, as Adams said, a people who are “obliged in conscience, to temperance, frugality, and industry; to justice, kindness, and charity towards his fellow men; and to piety, love, and reverence toward Almighty God.”
We are at a point in history where our religious rights are being squashed. Leftists are trying to stamp out a Christian’s right in the name of sexual equality. Moral relativism is what the government supports and what Hollywood pumps into our entertainment. So, the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of keeping prayer is wonderful news. All’s not lost.