It might have been that day in 1959, when 13-year old Bill Murray stood up in class and announced that he would not recite the Lord’s Prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Normally, in most every school in the country in 1959, such a stunt would have been rewarded with a paddling at school, and whipping at home. Bill Murray was not a normal kid. How could he be normal; his mother was Madalyn Murray O’Hair.
It could have been June 17, 1963, the day the Supreme Court decided O’Hair’s lawsuit, Murray v. Curlett. That’s the day prayer in public schools became “unconstitutional.” It probably actually started long before either of these two events, but since these events, American has been spiraling in a free-fall from Grace.
On Mother’s Day in 1980, Bill Murray renounced his mother’s atheism and became a Christian.
He later wrote: “In the three decades since this landmark case, the nation has lost its moral center. Violent crime has increased from 16.1 to 75.8 incidents per 10,000 population. Juvenile violent crime arrest rates have increased from 13.7 to 40 per 10,000 population. Teen pregnancy has almost tripled from 15.3 to 43.5 per 1,000 teen-age girls. Almost half of these pregnancies end in abortion. For a startling 28 percent of all live births in America today, the mothers are unwed. The teen-age suicide rate has increased 400 percent since 1963.”
Michael Newdow, another atheist, did not want his daughter to be exposed to the Pledge of Allegiance because of the words “under God.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled “unconstitutional” the 1954 law which inserted the phrase into the Pledge.
How can a law be constitutional for nearly 50 years, and then, suddenly, become unconstitutional? Neither the Constitution nor the law changed. But something did.
Judge Roy Moore, a devout Christian, was elected Chief Justice of Alabama by an overwhelming majority of his constituents, largely because of his defense of the Ten Commandments in his lower courts. As custodian of the Justice building, he chose to install a granite sculpture of the Ten Commandments and other significant writings on which our system of law is founded.
But no. Again, anti-God forces went to federal court where the monument was found to be “unconstitutional.”
Since 1935, a sculpture of the Ten Commandments has guarded the East entrance to the Supreme Court Building. Is this building now “unconstitutional”? Congress, as well as the Supreme Court, begins each session with a prayer to God. Is this practice now “unconstitutional”?
“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free expression thereof. …”
This nation is in the throes of deciding whether we are, in fact, one nation under God. Until 1963, we were one nation under God. We certainly were not a nation of one religion under God. We were a nation that recognized the existence of God, man’s dependence upon God and man’s individual freedom to recognize, define and worship God – or not.
The spate of court decisions since 1963 reflect, not a change in the Constitution, nor in the laws that authorize the words “under God” in our Pledge and “In God We Trust” on our currency, but a change in our attitude about, understanding of, and belief in God.
Our founders recognized that God is much more than any particular doctrine or religion and that man’s individual sovereignty is endowed by God: that no government has the right to dictate the particulars of any man’s relationship to his God.
The federal government cannot force any particular doctrine or religion on anyone. Nor can it prohibit the free expression of any particular doctrine or religion by anyone – unless the people allow it to do so.
School prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance should be the business of the parents of the local school children, not the Supreme Court. How Judge Moore decides to furnish the building he was elected to be responsible for is a matter for the people of Alabama, not the Supreme Court.
These and several other recent Supreme Court decisions go well beyond the plain language of the Constitution. By these decisions, the Supreme Court is changing the Constitution to guarantee freedom “from” religion, rather than the “free expression thereof.” In so doing, they are driving our society away from the knowledge of God. God is not diminished by these decisions; America is diminished by the absence of knowledge of God.
Why we are falling from Grace
God is not affected by decisions of the United States Supreme Court. As different as all the great religions of the world may be, they all come together on this basic belief: God is that force which causes all life to be. God is personalized in the hearts and minds of all who acknowledge that life is a gift from an external power. Worship is an attempt to demonstrate appreciation for that gift, and it is expressed differently by individuals and cultures around the world. Over time, patterns of worship have evolved that are differentiated as “religions” with labels such as Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and countless others.
In America, Christianity has long been the dominant religion. Although there are hundreds of different doctrines within the Christian religion, all share a few common elements. Among these is the belief that each person is a sovereign being, that man is the crowning jewel of God’s creation, who has dominion over the earth.
This belief is no longer acceptable to a growing number of people.
In every religion, and particularly within Christianity, man’s perception of God changes over time. As sovereign beings, men have no problem redefining the God they worship, casting off old beliefs and adding new ones. God is changeless – the force that causes all life to be is also the force that governs the continuation of life. Regardless of what man perceives God to be, or how God may be described, or what rituals may be devised, or what laws may be constructed in the name of God, God continues changeless.
The belief that man is a sovereign being who has dominion over the earth is in direct conflict and, indeed, is incompatible with another belief system that has swept the world over the last half-century. This belief system has evolved over time, but has not yet achieved the status of a recognized religion. This belief system sees man to be but a part of a much bigger whole, with no special value or status; not a sovereign being, but a subject of a single sovereign government that has dominion over all men and the earth.
In order for this new belief system to prevail, Christianity has to be abolished or transformed.
Supreme Court decisions that ban recognition of God in public life have the effect of abolishing Christianity in public life and discrediting Christianity in private life. These Supreme Court decisions are driven by organizations such as American Atheists, the group founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hair in 1963, the American Civil Liberties Union and many others.
Transformation of the Christian Church is driven by organizations such as the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, the Earth Charter Campaign, and a host of other organizations around the world.
While there are hundreds of different doctrines within this new, emerging, yet-unnamed religion, there are a few fundamental, common elements by which it is being defined:
All species of life are of equal intrinsic value;
Human activity must be managed for the common good; and
Authority for managing human activity must be universal.
At the heart of this new, emerging religion, is the gaia hypothesis, the belief that the earth itself is the giver of life, not created by an external God. In this belief system, God is extraneous, a distraction, an obstacle to be overcome, either by re-education, ridicule or Supreme Court decision. To fit this new hypothesis, man’s role has to be redefined.
Dr. Robert Muller has articulated this new role for humans most effectively. Muller, assistant secretary-general to three secretaries-general at the U.N., believes that every human being is a cell in the organic body of earth. Like individual cells in the human body, each person has a specific function to perform in sustaining the life of the living earth. He believes that the gaia hypothesis is an enlightenment, an evolution of knowledge. He believes that the creation of the United Nations reflects the evolution of the earth’s brain, and the people who work at the U.N. are the individual cells of the earth’s brain. ( Robert Muller, “A Cosmological Vision of the Future,” World Goodwill Occasional Paper, October, 1989.)
Few of the forces working to expel God from American life will admit, or perhaps even recognize, the source of this new belief system. The new belief system, and all that it implies, cannot prevail in the face of Christianity or the God Christianity worships. This is why America must fall from Grace.
God remains unaffected by this foolishness. God is changeless; it is the people who suffer when individual worship and pursuit of understanding is commandeered by the group, or by the government, and forced into yet another mold fashioned by the newly enlightened.