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  • Morning Bell: Religious Faith Is Still Good News for America

    The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible. Leland Ryken, a scholar of Christian literature and the Puritans, describes this as one of the most important cultural developments in the history of the English-speaking world. In his new book The Legacy of the King James Bible, Ryken records its sweeping influence on our language, education, religion, and culture.

    The King James Bible has been “the greatest vehicle of literacy in the English-speaking world,” by one account. Statesman Daniel Webster credited his famous oratory to its shaping: “If there be anything in my style or thoughts to be commended, the credit is due to my kind parents in instilling into my mind an early love of the Scriptures.”

    For almost four hundred years, the King James Bible provided for England and America what Ryken, quoting a sociologist, calls “the mythology of a culture”: “the framework of beliefs, values, expressive symbols, and artistic motifs in terms of which individuals define their world, express their feelings, and make their judgments.”

    That framework is no longer pervasive in America, much less England. Instead, recent decades have been marked by challenges to religious liberty in both nations, efforts that misconstrue the role of religion in the public square, and an increasing pluralism that makes it harder to achieve moral consensus on public policy.

    But an even more serious challenge to religious liberty is emerging in America, according to Heritage visiting fellow Thomas Messner. As Messner writes in his recent paper, “From Culture Wars to Conscience Wars: Emerging Threats to Conscience“:

    Today, religious liberty issues are more complicated than simply freedom from government interference in religious worship or teaching. In many cases this is because, at the same time our society is becoming more pluralistic on questions of basic morality, the government continues to intrude more than ever in both public and private areas of social life. Another factor is an increasing number of incidents in which private citizens and society at large demonstrate intolerance of and hostility to orthodox religious and moral viewpoints.

    One example is the challenge to the conscience rights of health care providers. David Addington, Heritage vice president for domestic and economic policy, describes one such case in a paper that asks, “Why Does the Illinois Government Oppose the Religious Liberty of Pharmacists?“ For six years Illinois bureaucrats have sought to force two pharmacists, contrary to their religious convictions, to dispense the “Plan B” or “morning-after” drug or close their businesses.

    In 2005, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich threatened, “If a pharmacy wants to be in the business of dispensing contraceptives, then it must fill prescriptions without making moral judgments.” Earlier this month, however, the  Seventh Circuit Court of Illinois ruled in favor of the pharmacists, vindicating (for now) their religious liberty.

    Despite the victory, conflicts continue.

    “Regrettably, there are many in America who express contempt and disdain toward those who bring their faith to bear on their politics,” write Heritage scholars Ryan Messmore and Tom Messner.

    That has been most visible recently in the debate over the definition of marriage. Many individuals and churches have faced backlash for defending the institution of marriage on moral or religious grounds, catalogued in Messner’s paper on the California marriage ballot initiative, The Price of Prop 8:

    Arguments for same-sex marriage, although often couched in terms of tolerance and inclusion, are based fundamentally on the idea that preserving marriage as unions of husband and wife is a form of bigotry, irrational prejudice, and even hatred… As increasing numbers of individuals and institutions, including public officials and governmental bodies, embrace this ideology, belief in marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman likely will come to be viewed as an unacceptable form of discrimination that should be purged from public life through legal, cultural, and economic pressure.

    Clashes such as these may be “signs of the times” (to quote a King James Bible coinage) in an increasingly pluralistic society. But contrary to secularist conventional wisdom, tolerance and respect won’t be achieved by imprisoning religion within the sanctuary walls. Instead, our civic life would be well served by once again drawing on the religious, and specifically Christian, heritage of the American republic.

    “At the center of the Christian truth claim is a man on a cross, dying for his enemies, praying for their forgiveness. Anyone who thinks out the implications of that will be led to love and respect even their opponents,” writes Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.

    Good Friday marks the event that, in Keller’s words, “best fulfills the yearning of our pluralistic culture for peace and respect among people of different faiths.”

    The cultural implications of a kingdom not of this world understandably trouble tyrants. That’s why 20th-century totalitarian states could not abide the presence of the church and why the rise of Christianity in China makes its communist leaders nervous.

    But in America, a land for people yearning and still learning to breathe free, the Christian gospel memorialized in the week culminating in Easter ought always to remain good news.

    In the spirit of the religious liberty we enjoy in America, we at The Heritage Foundation extend our wishes for a Happy Easter and Happy Passover.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Morning Bell: Religious Faith Is Still Good News for America

    1. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      4 – 22 – 11 FROM – Ken Jarvis

      Ben C., Ann Arbor, MI on April 21st, 2011 at 11:57am said:
      I highly recommend “Tax Breaks for Millionaires and Billionaires “~ by Larry Walker Jr. which can be found on Google. It is a concise and well researched article on the fallacy of the “tax the rich” scheme for which some are so fond. It clearly documents the tax liability of all and who will actually pay the bill. Someone has to pay for the “free lunch” or “low cost medical care” admired by Ken.
      ===
      TO Ben – Thanks –
      The REASON Medicare brings cost down is because
      they are Negotiated.
      In the Public Sector – Nobody KNOWS what HCare services cost. They could care less. Insurance pays it.
      Therefore, cost go up – If the GOP can END Medicare
      At 70 Your Monthly Premiums will be $1,836 a Month – $33,514 a year.

      If you know how to do a SpreadSheet you can do it yourself.
      I guess Ryan doesn't know how to use one.

    2. jbspinoza says:

      Is it not ironic that a country which by its constitution grants religious freedom and guarantees the separation of church and state should 'revert' back to a singular religious model for the guidance of not only its society but its political life as well? What should be advocated instead is a return to the primacy of law in our society. After all, the main differentiation between Democracy and Authoritarian regimes is the rule of law instead of the rule of one or a few. The Old and New Testaments represent political constitutions from another time. They outlined the power relations of the time; between subjects and their rulers. Their piety should have no bearing on the polity of our society since ours has a new power balance; between citizens. Just as the state has no right to tell individuals how to practice or believe their piety (provided they do not hurt or infringe on another right) no religious piety can have influence over the directions of state. Reason alone is the only way to enact a law that people of all religions will follow. This is how American law has been practiced and the Constitution and many legal precedents can support this fact.

      However, I think it would be prudent for America and Americans specifically to act on true principles of Jesus Christ; charity, asceticism, brotherhood and sisterhood, generosity, benevolence and honesty. It is more convenient however to talk to the talk. Many who extol the virtues of Christianity in the public square do not practice true Christian philosophy in their political works. They merely sings the praises of the gospel for support and then proceed to pervert the ideals that they championed.

      http://psqr.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/publicsqr

    3. Ronald J. Sakowski says:

      Please remember on this Good Friday that the sanctity of human life comes from God which is why recognition of God is under assault. When God does not exist, the "State" comes in to fill the void. It is the State that gives and taketh away life, and it is the State that maintains that an idividual's value is in proportion to what he does to serve the State and the common good as defined by the State. Those who have studied carefully our President know that, in spite of his declarations, he is not a Christian which entails more then assigning oneself a label. His political philosophy denies "human dignity." He is in reality anti-Christian. Beware of wolves in sheeps' clolthing.

    4. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I am somewhat expert on this subject. Though I thoroughly enjoyed your Article for how far you went in your analysis, I would like to posit the thought that these Progressive Liberals are very busy behind the scenes with a religious Jihad of their own! Humanism is a Religion and these atheists on the Left have the most profound Blind Faith in it. No good reason, really, even for Communism to fear Religion. We can have Communes if we want in America. The hippies proved it again, Communism never ever worked! It is Blind Faith these Progressives have, they still want it!

      The United States of America is a Christian Nation! That's why Justice Elena Kagan doesn't like the Declaration of Independance! She must have the Humanist Religion (like a mental illness), because Justice isn't threatened by Christianity. Justice is threatened by Totalitarians (EPA, HHS, FCC, FAA, NLRB, et al, Government Agencies doing Dictatorship here!) It is Amazing to me! Glenn Beck is right about Huckabee being a RINO, he is blind to the Half Vast Left Wing Conspiracy! Gov Huckabee's answer to Glenn Beck proves he is a RINO.

      This is not the time to go soft on Citizen Sovereignty, tell Huckabee to open up his eyes! That's all. Religion is NOT served, as you say by the humanist Religion imposed by the Progressives! It is our Citizen Sovereignty that is threatened by the First Lady, Over Regulating our Kids! If you cannot see how Christianity and Freedom of Religion are undermined by Government Mandated Humanism? You ARE a RINO! You are blind and run around stomping out fires! (The DINOs light the fires!) Chubby kids are victims of the Nanny State that Judge Vinson calls "Noblesse Oblige!" Dispicable!

    5. Michael Hoyes, Yorkt says:

      "Religious faith" is more than "good news" for America…it is the ONLY hope for America, or any land… 2Chron7:14–if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

    6. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I have to rebut Ken Jarvis, the Ryan plan doesn't wreck Medicare. Nobody can pay $30K for Insurance, so the Market crashes! See? Joe Blow won't have Insurance because Obama crashed the Market! How? With Fifty Years of Over Regulation! We pay more for Administrative Costs and Government Interferance than we pay the Doctors! The cost of Medicine isn't for Medical Care at all!

      Deregulate Medicine! All the way back to the Stone Age! It would be better than what the Communists at Apollo Alliance have in store for Grandma!

    7. Rev. Richard A. Boll says:

      In the areas of moral judgment not everything should be tolerated. For decades now, the ACLU and those supporting them, have pressed through the courts for principles that uphold individual rights, but almost always at the expense of the good of our culture.

      Religious freedom has been, and continues to be seriously eroded by the courts and sometimes legislatures. The belief in the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman, the clear distinctions between male and female, and the very ability to even engage in honest, public discourse regarding the ethics and morality of such subjects has been caste under a shadow of so-called "hate speech", or "homophobia", thus truncating dialog and demonizing those who hold to traditional, biblical values.

      Tragically, I can foresee only a continued denigration of traditional values and those who hold them. We seem quite willing to sacrifice the unity of our culture in matters of morality and ethics on the "altar" of political correctness, inclusiveness, and diversity, in favor of a tyranny of enforced intolerance toward anyone or any religious faith which dares to express its own views.

    8. Denise, Utah says:

      Ken, you need to quit putting all your faith in the Federal Government. Those of us who do our own thinking know that the Federal Government has a terrible track record for being efficient. The reason heath care, college tuition, energy, home prices, cars, etc. are so expensive is because of government meddling. Medicare is broke, by the way, as are all the other entitlement programs you are so fond of. Health care innovation should be bringing down the costs of health care. The government refuses to initiate tort reform. With all the malpractice suits going on no wonder doctors are ordering tests and procedures that patients don't really need. Government and its programs are NEVER the solution. Wise up!!!!

    9. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      If there is one definitive thing Obama and 'the bell' have done for religious people in America is they have stimulated a tremendous increase in prayer.

    10. JoAnne, Milwaukee, W says:

      "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother."

      Mark 10:18-19

      "And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." John 12: 47-50

      Immortal words to us and proven to be "life everlasting".

    11. Molly Dow Dillard Or says:

      With respect to religious commentary, Jesus prayed "Father forgive them" – - quite different meaning than 'prayin for their forgiveness', wouldn't you agree.

    12. MS VEDAPUSHPA --BANG says:

      RELIGIOUS AFFIRMATIONS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME BY THE ORDINARY FOLKS OF ANY NATION BECAUSE IT IS SIGN OF 'INDIVIDUAL'S INNER STRENGHT' – WHICH GETS CONSTANTLY – THAT SPURIOUSLY SO – BY THE FAMILY /COMMUNITY AND STATE FOR ALL SORTS WRONG REASONSOR FOR THE FACT OF DOING AWAY WITH 'ABOVE AVERAGE INDIVIDUALS'.

    13. Lee, Illinois says:

      And, in the spirit of religious liberty, I thank you, and wish you all at the Heritage Foundation a Happy Easter also

    14. Robert, North Richla says:

      A great message for a great weekend. The free church was the cornerstone of our nation's founding. No other organizations have suffered the effects of big government more than our churches. Working families provide over 95% of the churchs' income – and working families are paying more than 50% of their earnings to taxes. Rising energy costs are making the burden even heavier. And yet, silence. Think how much the power of the American church has eroded in less than 100 years. The same church that enabled Prohibition laws to be enacted can't even protect prayer or the Ten Commandments. If we ever succeed in returning our nation to Constitutional government, it will start in the churches – and in the states. The states don't want to lose their precious "federal dollars" regardless of the costs of crime, drugs and free medical care. I don't know what the churches are waiting for.

    15. Frank, Florida says:

      I was recently asked in a survey what I deemed to be the #1 problem in the USA today & I said the financial crises (sky rocketing debt, sky rocketing interest on the debt, the printing up of trillions of "funny money" to help "paper over" the budget gap, the inevitable kicking in of inflation which will rob us all of buying power & the impending loss of the US Dollar as the worlds reserve currency which will automatically cause at least a 25% decline in our standard of living). I said that the financial crises was #1 because if we collapse financially (which could be very soon, perhaps immanently), the country could plunge into chaos and then nothing else would really matter. But truly, our #1 problem is spiritual, not economic. Our nation was founded upon Biblical principles & the Bible was the most frequently quoted book by our early Congress & leaders. As we, on the whole as a nation, have turned our back on the Bible & the God of the Bible, we have, in effect, turned our back on our nation's Founding Principles. Of course, logic would then demand that it would inevitably lead to some sort of crises in the USA as we would be fighting against our own Founding Principles.

      One crises was the issue of slavery that led to a Civil War. The Bible teaches we all are descendants of Adam & Eve and therefore by necessity we are all created equal as descendants from our common parents & should have common rights & value. If we had only taken the appropriate steps early on to ensure the equality of all in early America, we could have avoided the bloody Civil War.

      Now we face the perhaps equally grave danger of a financial collapse because we have lived beyond our means for too long & have burdened our descendants with a perhaps impossible debt & interest on that debt. Again, a violation of some basic Biblical principles along with a violation of basic common sense that every individual & household knows.

      I do not have time & space to enumerate all the Biblical principles upon which our Constitution was founded upon or upon all our early laws passed by our early Congresses. Our laws must be based upon something and Biblical principles have served us well in the past and we pay heavy prices when we violate them. Why fight success and place the wisdom of man above the wisdom of God? But that is what we are increasingly doing nowadays and why we will continue to pay very high prices.

    16. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      The First ammendment states"Congress shall no law respecting the establishment of religon, nor the free practice threre of".. There is no statement about seperation of church and state, this comment came from a letter which merely expressed an opinion and did not carry the force of law. The phrase Nor the free practice thereof is extremely germane here. This means that anyone can practice their religeon at any time or place as long as it doen not infringe on anyone elses rights.If someone does this in public, and if it does not substantally violate these rights that person should simlply ignore or walk away.whether or not they agree or disagree. If they want to protest it is their right to do so as long as laws are not vilated or the person that they are protesting agianst does not have their rights violated. It should be this simple. Please excuse the spelling errors.

    17. Margaret Crichton... says:

      Thank you for reminding us of the place the Bible took in the education in this country.

      We heard the Bible read each morning before school began and prayer by the teacher and then pledged allegiance to the flag and sang America.The ten commandments were displayed on the wall.We celebrated Christmas and Easter and read these events from the Bible.NO One complained because we have always been a Christian nation and I pray we will never forget this…God Bless America!!!!

    18. Jason Georges, Corun says:

      Great observations concerning the influence of the King James Bible. As many scholars are saying today, it truly has made our world. In the midst of political turmoil, a bi-partisan resolution was introduced in the House on April 12, 2011 recognizing the 400th anniversary of the KJV. House Concurrent Resolution 38 is a great opportunity to remind our elected officials of “the framework of beliefs, values, expressive symbols, and artistic motifs in terms of which individuals define their world, express their feelings, and make their judgments.” that the KJV provided. Your readers can learn more about this resolution and the national celebration taking place May 2-3, 2011 on the national mall at http://www.KingJames400.com

    19. Tom Jackson, Tampa says:

      It is appropriate, on this Good Friday, to acknowledge Christ's suffering and revere his capacity to extend forgiveness. But Pastor Keller misstates what is at the center of the Christian faith, reflecting a sloppiness (or perhaps timidity) too often associated with today's cutting-edge clergy.

      At the time of His crucifixion, Jesus' followers largely cowered and scattered — lest they be next. They were demoralized and disenchanted. But, in short order, something profound happened to renew their faith, their energy and, come what may, their resolve to spread the message of forgiveness and love delivered from the cross that, according to the Gospels, most of them weren't around to hear.

      It is that uniquely profound event, celebrated Easter Sunday, that is truly at the center of the Christian faith. Without Christ's resurrection, there is no divinity in Jesus, no demonstration on this Earth of God's omnipotence. Whatever other good works He performed before the crucifixion, without the resurrection, there is scant proof that what he told his disciples — "I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me" — was anything more than self-aggrandizing hubris.

      Pastor Keller exalts the man, as well he should. But Christians know their faith pivots on the fulcrum the good (and indispensable) news of His resurrection — the man become God.

    20. Kaydell Bowles, Brig says:

      Religion to many believe that it is a secular group or belief . Many fail to acknowledge that religion is a system of beliefs concerning man's orgin and relationship to the universe as well as his relationship with his fellowmen. The later in most important. For it defines us as a person or nation. We have gone down the road where civility, crimes such as rapes, murders, stealing, have only increased. The question is why? The attach on religion in last decade has left us with our love of fellow man but only the love of self and money. The last two–love of self and money seem to be the religion of today.

    21. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      Pluralism, diversity, multiculturalism, compromise, whatever one calls it, it is better known as the seeds of destruction. Starting with Babel, then Babylon, then the Roman Empire, the British Empire, and the United States of America today, (likely the Babylon of The Revelation) one and all were destroyed from within because of this divide and conquer condition. The United States started out as a Protestant Christian (a revived church) nation. However not unlike Israel of old, when they came into the promised land and begin to compromise with the world around them; so the United States was compromised by the world around us, we welcomed in millions from early on until now, those with a declared goal to destroy the revived Christianity in the land.

      And even worse the church has went down the same road that the synagogue did becoming completely corrupted, or as the Lord put it "a den of thieves", or as in the Bible concerning our day apostate i.e. lawless.

    22. mike hutchings says:

      how much anti-religious culture is as deep as comments heard on late night talk shows? how much is actually well thought out?… to not believe in a creator or a god….you must not see creation as a whole and your self as part of it…..the reason religious culture is under attack in the west is the very tolerant inclusivness of modern christian thought that allows opposing beliefs…as in every political operation bent on total control…they see this as weakness….secular socialism uses the charitable aspect of faith as a smoke screen to achieve power….power not for goodness sake…but power for powers sake…in the full knowledge that their new eden will be anything but… mankind was not thrown from the garden….it escaped someone else's nightmare for a better life…god doesnt make these gardens….people do and the moment comes when you realize…you're the pulling the weeds and doing the chores with no choice in the matter…a socialist serf if you will at the behest of an earthly master….freewill is a gift of god and god is the simple but complex reality of what can't be grasped fully or explained….as yet anyway….but must be articulated as life evolves freely as it was meant too….freewill means you have a choice and a responsibility to the truth….and recognition of the truth means something must be done when you embrace it and abandon the notion of all of us as fallen creatures who deserve nothing but command by an elite corp of faithless miscogynistic intellectual power brokers chained to the garden gate of some past reptilian eden.

    23. mike hutchings says:

      this may be extranious….but examine the tenents of the progressive command culture striving to supplant an american culture of free will and private property… and you'll find that their crusade saves no holy place.. they have none… other than the idol worship of their latest pop master with a big picture and a forum in the evening news….climate change… cooling and warming devils that somehow can be brought to heel by obiedience to unaccountable judges who know best how you should live…this crusade of theirs used to to be called playing both ends against the middle to keep the top on top and the the bottom predictable by gutting the competition that always comes from the middle….its a religion now fully cannonized in the popular media..how about a list of green comandments to observe mounted on an altar of good intentions with teeth in them…posed by bad people to control good ones….

    24. Don DeHoff, Boone, C says:

      First, let me say that I have no doubt that there is a significant, perhaps superior, "force or entity out there", I have stood on top of Pikes Peak in Colorado and have frequently flown jets around the world, both as a pilot and a passenger and I see far too much rhyme and reason for "it" just to have occured as a random event, but it is or was not God as prerceived by the Jews, Christians and Muslims. I doubt that this force or entity will ever be seen, known or be fully understood. It is obvious this force does not get involved in day-to-day events or activities. I also acknowledge that this force "out there" may be some other unknown devine source, or a source from outer space (aliens), pure evolution, or as Stephen Hawkins states, "four or five mathmatical formulas". If it is a devine source, I trust it (?) will have a sufficient sense of humor to forgive me for equating it to a mere mathmatical equation. It is all too evident that the Jewish and Christian Bibles are rampent with errors, conflicts, copy and recopy errors and in some cases complete forgeries. with the unfortunate result that there is is no documented "devine spoken word(s)" in existence anwhere. With human frailities being what they are, common sense and logic dictates that the Islamic religion has similiar errors, the most obvious being the Muslim claim that the Islamic God and the Christian God are "one and the same". One does not have to be a PhD to see they are as different as night and day, to the further extent that even a grade school child can see the difference. The Muslims go to great lengths (volumes) to deny that there are copy, recopy, intentional and unintentional errors in their holy book, but their claims just cannot stand the test of logic, reason and comon sense. Of particular note is their acknowledgement that Muhammad could neither read nor write and had to rely upon many scribes, copiers and recopiers to record his revelations over a 20+ year period. Addition cause for disagreement is the Islamic "abrogation" revelations and supporting documents, wherein the "infallable" Koran prohibits changing even a single period or sentence, yet about half of the "peaceful, loving, forgiving and understanding" revelations (pertaining mainly to "nonbelievers") in their Koran have been "abrogated", yet the abrogated (superceded) provisions have not and can not be removed from the Koran. No "all knowing god (AKG)" would have made a single change to his revelations (AKGs do not make mistakes), let along the many changes that are contained in Surahs five and nine. That leads many people reading the Koran, of all faiths, to believe that the Islam is still a religion of peace and caring. We blindly ignore the continued very barbaric and rampent bloodshed Islam is perpatrating upon the masses of all faiths. It is also obvious that the Christians and Muslims have very different conceipts of the qualities and attributs of a god—Islam was born in an era of tribal and clan warfare, violence, highway (camel trail?) robbery, pillage, booty, rape, beheading of male captives, enslavement of captured women and children and killing of innocent none-belivers (which they still frequently do). Little has changed over the hundreds of years. They even have and "edict of death" for any and all who, in their eyes, commit "blasphemy" against their religion. That in itself is ungodly as an AKG would have peaceful methods of solving such problems. They have many other ancient barbaric edicts. We need to be able to sit down with our Muslim friends(?) and in a civil and rational manner discuss all of these issue and make it clear, that while in American "do as Romans do" and put aside their conflicting philosophies of life, if they are to remain with us. I am writing a book on this subject, so I will end this now.

    25. gary sheldon AZ says:

      I am so glad that God the Father accepted the sacrifice of God the Son as payment if full for all of my sins and those who trust Him for their eternal life as demonstrated by the Triune God resurrecting the body / tent inhabited by GOD THE SON on RESURRECTION SONDAY. The Bible tells all and includes the warts of His saints.

      The simplicity of His truth has been watered down today to a degree that there is no distinction between religion/ ritual and relationship with the Creator. Pluralism in our society has become unrational to the point where the U.N. and some in the Soetoro Regime want to employ attorneys to ensure that even lower forms of life have rights BUT NOT UNBORN INFANTS. Heaven has many of these little "flowers".

    26. Daniel Sprankle, Los says:

      This nation was founded on John Locke, Montesquieu, property rights, and Deistic principles–not Christianity. It is because the Founding Fathers were largely guided not by religious principles but by secular principles that we have a free society. If they had committed the same errors as the truly religious of our history (the Puritans, etc.) we would have the same horribly authoritarian cultures we now claim to deplore. Muslim states like Iran are highly religious and that is why they are so authoritarian and despotic. Long live the Wall of Separation between Church and State!

    27. Zach, VA says:

      Great article and amen Michael!!

    28. Gilbert Doan, Ardmor says:

      Well done.

      As usual.

      Maybe this will help a few victims of today's schooling and colleges –

      help them finally to GET IT, that is!

    29. Patty McLaren Amelia says:

      As a former Protestant I appreciate the religious comments, but after studying history & religion I have to comment that with the Bible being written in all people's common language, unfortuantely what happened was the thousands of different personal opinions resulting in the thousands of different church interpretations with more forming each day (over 30,000 different protestant denominatins in USA alone). Thats why Jesus made Peter his rock upon the church should be built so that we would have a religious leader and qualified men ( the original apostles and their successors) to help guide us. Also Martin Luther disagreed with 7 books and removed them. Yes your Bible was written and completed by the year 400 A.D. by the Christians (Catholics) and now presented to you not in its entirety and a few words changed if Martin didn't approve according to his, and not all the Christians(Catholics) opinions for 1500 years before him. I don't mean to insult you but please check on all this for accuracy as I did and boy was I shocked to find out the truth past 40 years of believing the lies the Protestants tell about Catholicism. The reason masses and bibles were in Latin is that was the literates universal language in 1500. Now it is in English, I guess they got the hint past massive Catholics becoming Protestant!

    30. Dave Burnett, Salt L says:

      Most people who claim to be of any denomination (Catholic, Baptist, Jew, whatever) don't actually believe in God, their "faith" being just a shadow that disappears in the light. They deceive no one except like people who also know nothing of what the scriptures teach, even though the Word of God hasn't changed since the days of Adam. Relatively few souls have diligently studied enough or have earnestly prayed enough to be worthy of the gift of understanding of spiritual things (ie, a testimony). They spend years improving their golf strokes, their jump shots, their bridge game, and their smooth moves, but only give lip service to God, who, with infinit love and mercy, allows them to keep breathing (as he does me).

      Wake up America. The blessings and power that await you by living the commandments will transform this land, chosen before the earth was made, to truly be the land of the free and home of the brave – forever. Come to know the true and everlasting God, and His son, Jesus Christ, whom He sent to be the Savior of mankind, and then it's judge. It's not THAT hard, and well worth the journey.

    31. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Not if you're with the ACLU.

    32. Lorna Dia, Philippin says:

      My Christian upbringing helped me a lot in becoming a good citizen. I may not agree with others but I respect their faith and beliefs. Personal life is relative to our professional life.

    33. Scott Smith, S.C. says:

      I believe in the Constitution. I also believe in Jesus as a Baptist. You can have both without any merging of conflicting agendas. Here is my point. Abortion is not and should not be an issue at all under our laws. We have the freedom to have abortions but also, the doctors have the rights to refuse that kind of care without prejudice from the government or the people. That being said, the real issue is our PERSONAL MORAL OBLIGATION to ourselves and others. The same concept applies to every religious versus government conflict that we as a nation endure. If we concentrate on our religious and moral ethics on a personal level then the bigger subjects such as abortion will solve themselves. If you dont want to participate in or see a Christian Holiday, then look the other way like we do to preserve the peace between us. I love God, my family and my nation. May everyone be safe and enjoy this celebration of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us.

    34. Tomas, DC says:

      The problem with god is that he is unreliable. He takes tens of thousands in a tsunami in Japan, starves millions of children in Africa, and gives good people cancer. Yet he allows Donald Trump and Glenn Beck to prosper. Those really are mysterious ways, his wonders to behold.

    35. Bob, Maryland says:

      Aw, really??? Denise from Utah, "Government and its programs are NEVER the solution." "NEVER"???? Gee, I though that government program we had to raise an army and navy were pretty good solutions to defeating the Germans and Japanese in World War II. And that's only one example. Sometimes a government program is the best way to do things; other times it is the only practical way. Stop being so simplistic, Denise.

      And then you said "Health care innovation should be bringing down the costs of health care." Wow. That has sure worked well over the last 60 years or so. We've had lots of health care innovation, but costs have gone up faster than the general increase in the cost of living. If you want to get medical costs down and still provide care to people (and maybe even to all the people who can't afford it now), lets get all the unnecessary billing and insurance bureaucracy out of the equation. Get rid of all the profit, too. Institute single payer non-profit health care for everybody. We'd save money and provide more comprehensive care.

    36. Richard Pratt, PA says:

      This Easter Sunday demonstrates to Christians what true humility to God the father can obtain, ever lasting life, as demonstrated by his only begotten son Jesus. When, as we live on this earth and become unto ourselves God, this is is the arrogance of the ego, not the humility of the spirit. We all go down this road of life, we are nourished for this trip with our religion.

      May the peace of Jesus, God the Father and Holy Spirit be with you!

    37. sam says:

      I am a member of the protest wing of the Protestant Church.

    38. ThomNJ says:

      "In 2005, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich threatened, “If a pharmacy wants to be in the business of dispensing contraceptives, then it must fill prescriptions without making moral judgments.” Earlier this month, however, the Seventh Circuit Court of Illinois ruled in favor of the pharmacists, vindicating (for now) their religious liberty." – This is indeed, an example of the war on religion, and especially on Christianity. Whatever happened to taking one's business elsewhere if the place one goes does not meet one's needs? Nope, the other side has to force one to conform to their view of things and force one to violate one's beliefs – they do that to know and show they have won – even if it is a small thing. But that's how it is done, slow encroachment over time – and a heaping of twisted logic or lies to go along with it. Like Blagojevich's statement. Clearly the pharmacists in question are NOT in the business of dispensing contraceptives; otherwise the so-called moral judgement issue would not have arisen. Saying that they wanted to be in the business of dispensing same is a lie.

    39. ThomNJ says:

      Daniel Sprankle – while you are somewhat on the right path – you need to do some more studying – the country was indeed founded on CHRISTIAN princeiples, not deistic, and there never was intended to be a wall of separation between church and state. There was intended to be NO STATE SANCTIONED OR ENFORCED religion; as some of the colonies did, indeed, have at their earlier stages. The secular order of the government came about because of the will to have the government serve all the people by representatives who functioned in their lives under Christian guidelines.

    40. Daniel Sprankle, Los says:

      ThomNJ–maybe the problem here is what is meant by Christian principles. If by Christian principles is meant a reliance on Jesus as a personal savior, rule of law following the guidelines set out in the Bible, a repudiation of all other religions in favor of the "true" religion, then we are not a Christian nation. If you mean that Protestantism paved the way for a stress on individual choice when it comes to one's own conscience which led to individualism, or a reliance for doing for oneself and not waiting for sanction from on high, or even the use of some beliefs taken from the Bible as a guide for law (but that can also lead to different types of governments–and has–so it is somewhat debatable), then maybe you have a point. John Adams famously said in the Treaty of Tripoli, "We are not a Christian nation" (and he is one of the more religious of the Founding Fathers).

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