Monday, December 7, 2009

Merry Xmas, All Good People!

I'm already tired of the whining claims of martyrdom Christians put out this time of year. What is the purpose of public displays on the holidays? Ministry? Missionizing? If such displays are for personal benefit, isn't display in the private home enough?

I particularly enjoy this writer's use of Anabaptists as justification of religious tolerance in the public square! Few understand better than the Anabaptists that compassion is an action demanded by faith, not lauded from a soap box and that religious freedom is best protected by government favoring no one religion. Separation of church and state is the best way to protect individual faith. Uh, can you say Radical Reformation?

And can we get some over-sized posters of Jan Luyken's Martyrs' Mirror engravings on Main Street, please?! A little graphic blood and gore suits my taste for the holidays just perfectly!

So what is one to make of the new campaign sponsored by atheists that says, “No God? That’s good. Let’s be good for goodness sake.” Who could argue with the last part? After all it comes from that famous Christmas carol, Santa Claus is Coming to Town. But what are we to make of the first part?

How do you argue in favor of something that doesn’t exist? Having a manger scene in the public square next to a menorah is not the establishment of religion on the part of the government that is prohibited in the Constitution. But demanding that all signs and symbols of religion be banned from the public, to me, comes pretty close to the state establishment of a religion called secularism. What was the point of the First Amendment prohibition of the establishment of religion?

Religion and America

The atheists will argue that a manger scene on public land is contrary to the establishment clause. How so, I ask? Specifically what religion is it establishing? Christianity? One of the reasons that the Founders created the establishment clause was to protect freedom of religion. Christianity is too broad a term to be considered an organized religion. If you don’t believe me, ask the Pilgrims, and the Quakers, and the Catholics, and the Menonites who fled the persecution that came with not swearing allegiance to the Church of England. They are all Christians and that was the whole point. The Founding Fathers did not want the new nation of the United States to form an official state religion and a specific form of worship and tyrannize anyone who did not adhere to it. Having a belief in God and adhering to a particular way of practicing it are not the same. It is easy to see that the Founding fathers manifestly believed in the former while protecting everyone’s rights to the latter. So the very argument that the atheists and the ACLU are making should be pointed at themselves, for they are demanding that everyone follow their religion to keep the public square naked.

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