Hal Lindsey is the best-selling non-fiction writer alive today. Among his 20 books are "Late Great Planet Earth," his follow-up on that explosive best seller, "Planet Earth: The Final Chapter" and "Everlasting Hatred: The Roots of Jihad." He writes this weekly column exclusively for WorldNetDaily.More ↓Less ↑
At the time of the American Revolution, and irrespective to the claims of the historical revisionists, religion played a vital role in both daily life and the reasons for the Revolutionary War.
Ministers served in many capacities during the War of Independence; some were chaplains, others served in the legislature, many took up arms as officers of the Continental Army.
The War of Independence split religious denominations the way it did families, most notably within the Church of England, or Anglican denomination. Until the Revolution, the Church of England was the officially established and government-supported church in nine of the 13 original colonies, as it was in England. Since the king of England was the titular head of the Church, its members had to swear an oath of allegiance to the king.
In 1786, Thomas Jefferson led the fight for religious freedom by pushing the passage of the “Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom of 1786.” The statute provided that no man “shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
In Jefferson’s words, there was now “freedom for the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindu and infidel of every denomination.”
When the First Amendment to the Constitution went into effect in 1791, freedom of religion was enshrined as the law of the land.
The First Amendment says, “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.”
The historical context of the First Amendment was that of separating the state from becoming entangled with a particular church or denomination.
It is unimaginable that Thomas Jefferson – or any of the Founding Fathers – ever intended it to mean freedom from religion. It was intended to free the state from allegiance to a particular religion, by guaranteeing that all religions be respected equally.
As to the question of religion itself, the Constitution forbids the Congress from either establishing one religion over another or oppressing another. However, in the same sentence, it forbids the Congress from preventing ANYBODY of ANY religion from freely expressing their faith.
Moreover, the Founders expressly linked the free expression of religion with freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
What does that mean? It means that a person of any religious background is guaranteed the right to say whatever he wants to and to associate freely with anyone he chooses.
Modern interpretations of the First Amendment have protected the rights of pedophiles, seditionists, atheists, Muslims, Nazis, white supremacists, racists of all colors.
Incredibly, the only people in America today who are not protected by the First Amendment are Christians. This was never, ever the intention of the First Amendment. But the radical liberal left has managed to divorce the meaning of the First Amendment from both its historical context and the way history verifies it was understood by the highest political figures of our country for at least the first 150 years of our nation.
Christians, when will you get tired of singing “Standing on the Promises” while sitting on the premises? Will you ever rise up and fight for your God-given rights? History shows that evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
Time is short, and the enemies of Christianity are determined to still the voice of every Bible believing Christian.