Who Do You Pledge Allegiance To?
Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States
All it took to stir up the nation and cause the Supreme Court to consider whether or not the Pledge of Allegiance is constitutional was one man. Fortunately, he didn't succeed this time.
On Monday, June 14, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case of Newdow v. U.S., as reported by the Associated Press: "The Supreme Court at least temporarily preserved the phrase 'one nation, under God', in the Pledge of Allegiance, ruling Monday that a California atheist could not challenge the patriotic oath while sidestepping the broader question of separation of church and state.
The decision leaves untouched the practice in which millions of schoolchildren around the country begin the day by reciting the pledge."
Christianity in America is under attack. If one man was able to bring this issue to the Supreme Court, it won't take many to make it into a new law. As we prepare to celebrate our freedom this July 4th, we can't forget the men who made it happen - or the God they served. They didn't want to force their faith on the country, but they understood, as Christians, that true freedom meant freedom for all.
Separation of Church and State is Not Constitutional
"In God We Trust" first appeared on the 1864 two-cent coin
There is much talk today about separation of Church and State, but most of what you hear is taken out of context. This all began with a rumor that was started in 1801 regarding a "national denomination." The Danbury Baptists made their concerns about this known to the Presidency. Thomas Jefferson responded with a letter that included a now-familiar phrase.
He said, "I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."
When read in context, it is obvious that the intent was to mean that the Church (any Church) would always be protected from the State. In the 1947 Supreme Court case of Everson vs. Board of Education, the meaning of this phrase was changed forever. Citing only Jefferson's eight words ("a wall of separation between Church and State"), a new weapon against Christianity in America was born: The belief in a separation of basic religious principles (Church) from public life (State). Too many people take this phrase to mean that the State is to be protected from the Church, when it was really meant to be the other way around.
Words of Wisdom
Can you name the presidents on Mount Rushmore?
The men who founded the land of the free and the home of the brave have been grossly misquoted, misinterpreted, and misrepresented. We must remember the true spirit that led these men to venture out into a new world in the search for true freedom. We must remember their words, for they are the key to their hearts and beliefs, which is what our powerful nation is founded on.
George Washington said in 1796, "Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion."
Benjamin Franklin made the assertion that "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters."
Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration and a leading thinker of that period, said that "The only foundation for a Republic is to be laid in religion. Without this, there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty."
What Will You Do?
God told Ezekiel to speak to a rebellious nation, and not to fear their faces or their words. Ezekiel 2 As followers of Christ, and those who freely do His will, we must not be afraid to share His gospel with this rebellious nation. Celebrate your freedom this July 4th - and everyday. Our freedom comes from God, and we must continue to lift Him up.
No matter what your plans are for this Fourth of July, a worship service at the Rock can be a part of them! With five services available throughout the day, at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel on Harbor Island Drive, one is practically guaranteed to fit your schedule.
God Bless America!