An organization that had been feeding the poor and helping the homeless for more than 30 years was told by a state agriculture department official that they would not be allowed to receive USDA food unless they removed portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that read “Jesus is Lord” and stopped giving Bibles to the needy.
In 2011, two men were arrested and charged with misdemeanor offenses for reading the Bible outside a DMV location.
The owners of a Christian bakery who refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple are facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and have closed their business after they simply declined to make a cake for a gay wedding because it conflicted with their Christian beliefs. They learned that’s now illegal.
A student was told by his professor to write the name “Jesus Christ” on a piece of paper and stomp on it. The student refused, and in retaliation a formal disciplinary action was started against him.
A public schoolteacher was forbidden to leave a Bible sitting on his desk “where students might see it.”
A 10-year-old girl who brought her Bible to school to read on the bus was told by the school principal to “leave your Bible at home.”
A fourth grader was told she could not draw crosses in her art project.
A 17-year-old was caught passing a note to a friend between classes. An assistant principal saw and demanded the note (an invitation for the friend to attend an off-campus meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes). The “guilty” student was threatened by said principal with suspension from school for “possession of Christian materials.”
I could go on, but you get the picture.
Lest we forget, let us look back at the origin of what has become the rallying cry of a relatively small minority that is radically changing America.
In 1962, a parent, Steven Engel, alleged that a neutral, nonsectarian 22-word prayer violated his child’s First Amendment rights. His attorneys argued this (completely voluntary) prayer constituted “an establishment of religion.” Long story short, the Supreme Court ruled for him in the 1962 Engel vs. Vitale case and God was officially removed from schools, and now He is being banished from every inch of the public square.
Of course, since we all know exactly what the Constitution says, let me ask a question: Where are the following two statements found?
1) “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
2) “In order to ensure citizens freedom of conscience, the church is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship is recognized for all citizens.”
When asked this question, many people who saw the phrase in statement 2 which reads, “the church is separated from the state,” concluded this is the famous “separation of church and state” principle they have heard about ad nauseum. Facts of the matter are, statement 1 is, indeed, found in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Statement 2, “the church is separated from the state” is also from the constitution – the constitution of the now defunct Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR, a political system specifically founded on atheistic principles.
After an objective look at what is happening in many of our courts and schools today, one might be forced to conclude the U.S. Supreme Court and other institutions are basing their decisions on the constitutional principles of the old USSR.
Let me reiterate – nowhere in the U.S. Constitution can you find the phrase “separation of church and state.” It simply is not there. Instead, a careful and unbiased reading clearly reveals the founders’ intent – not two separate clauses but one simple statement: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion OR prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (emphasis added).
The moment you tell me I cannot have free, voluntary acknowledgement of God, under the “establishment clause” (so called), you immediately violate my right to do so under the “free exercise” clause.
In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law passed by a state legislature that allowed privately funded posters of the Ten Commandments to be hung in classrooms to “acquaint students with the moral pillars of the legal code of their culture” (not promote religion).
The Supreme Court struck down the law, and the real irony is, guess what is inscribed on the east side of the building where they read their decision: Moses holding both tablets of the Ten Commandments, one in each arm.
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