Much has been made of the variety of beliefs held by the founders of this country but their words and convictions remain not only on the paper they penned these words on but also in the hearts of the people. America has always been a nation ‘under God’ and ‘freedom of religion’ has been a primary right of its citizens.
One only has to visit Washington DC and look at all of the messages etched in stone to realize how much faith in God has been as part of the American experiment and experience. Stroll into the Jefferson monument and view the different references he made to the Creator. Yet he is supposed to be the champion of ‘Separation of Church and State’ and progressive thought.
We now live in a generation when some are challenging those rights and liberties in the name of ‘separation of church and state’. Some would even like to remove all vestiges of religion or faith from the public square. Every week we find new challenges to our religious liberties.
I have seen many changes over the course of my life when it comes to religion in the public square. When I started school in the 50’s every day began with a prayer and the pledge. Also, I can remember studying the Bible in elementary school and when it came to Christmas all of the traditional Christmas carols were naturally sung. Prayers were still given at my baccalaureate, commencement, and even before some of the football games in the 60’s. None of the public displays of faith seemed out of place then.
Now that is all gone from the public schools and really no way that it can be recovered.
Growing up, I can remember that every family went to some church or another on Sundays except for the next door neighbor who was a Seventh–Day Adventist and the Jewish family down the street who preferred Saturdays for their worship instead.
It had been much the same way in America when my parents grew up and my grand parents also. In fact my mother told me that the readers they used in school (1915-20)actually taught them how to read using Bible passages. How foreign that would be today in our current schools.
It was also a time when America rose up and took its place among the top countries of the world on many different levels. This country has been tremendously blessed by God.
If God is erased from the public square and discourse of America, then what will be the new basis and foundation of our freedoms? So much of what we have was actually built upon the foundation of Christian civilization that owed its very existence to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus and his disciples. What will be the new standard if any that assures the continuity of freedom in America if not the Creator?
Shall we be left to rely upon politicians and judges and the sifting sands of popular notions? Or will scriptural principles continue to light the way like this NT passage did?:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” –Galatians 3:28-29
All distinctions were done way in Christ and American society eventually has followed suit and provided equal justice and freedom for all.
What kind of America will my grandchildren and great grandchildren be living in? Will America continue to lead the world in freedom, commerce, and faith or will it decline into the dust pan of history?
I pray that Americans will continue to respect and worship God from whom all of our blessings and liberties flow.