I hate bringing up the religious right and their repeated claims that this is a Christian nation instead of a free nation with many Christians in it. But I keep coming across stories like this that scare me because I can imagine what a truly Christian nation would mean. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” could actually become a law in a Christian nation.
Can the Alabama ‘Ten Commandments’ Judge Rise Again?
Some excerpts from the article:
Moore has not retreated from his advocacy of a society ordered by his version of biblical law. Instead, he is using his forced retirement from public office — and his infamy — to fuel a crusade aimed at spreading misinformation about church-state separation.
Just before the Fourth of July, he wound up as the main attraction at a Religious Right gathering in Severn, Md., where he and a string of far-right activists peddled “Christian nation” rhetoric, bashed Islam, belittled American culture and the federal government and displayed an alarming affinity for the neo-Confederate states’ rights cause.
There is so much misunderstanding about church-state separation that I can’t get into it here. Just suffice it to say it doesn’t mean Christians can’t be Christians, they just can’t use their God and the Bible as the basis for laws and judicial judgements.
On the event’s opening day, Peroutka said it was his mission to introduce attendees “to the enormity of the problem before us. We love our country, but when my country is inebriated or acting so, it’s my job, it’s my duty, to set it right.”
Setting the nation right, in Peroutka’s view, apparently means a radical dismantling of secular democracy and the creation of a fundamentalist theocracy. Peroutka and his attorney brother, Stephen, operate a Maryland group called the Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), which claims America was founded “as a Constitutional Republic of Sovereign States with a central government of purposely limited powers based on Biblical principles.” The group, which lists U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) on its board of advisors, disseminates reams of material by David Barton, a “Christian nation” activist.
Peroutka decried public schools for teaching evolution and wondered how youth could be taught self-respect if they are instructed that “we are just descended from primordial ooze.” He also blasted law schools, higher education in general and the media for perpetuating a false picture about the form of American government.
“We have a republic, and the source of authority in that republic is God,” said Peroutka. “A revolution has happened in America. It has happened over the past 150 years. Evolution is at the bottom of it, and some very un-American people have been and are behind it.
“The purpose of the revolution,” he continued, “is to stop you from being able to think and believe like an American any more …. It’s been a calculated and evil anti-God, anti-Christian revolution.”
Peroutka assailed the “tyrannical consolidation of power” within Washington, D.C., and charged that the revolution could not have been successful without convincing Americans that the Constitution requires a separation of church and state.
Peroutka called church-state separation a myth and a lie and claimed the Constitution, in reality, mandates just the opposite. He said he hoped the conference would provide attendees with the necessary tools to help set America right. Those tools, Peroutka said, include “an accurate knowledge of unrevised American history” and a “biblical worldview that acknowledges Christ’s authority over all things.”
Christ’s authority over all things? Well, he has no authority over me and many others so that is definitely at odds with what America is really about.
Transitioning, somewhat jarringly, from the Crusades to modern times, Eidsmoe, a professor emeritus at the Jones School of Law at Faulkner University, bemoaned America as losing its way and morphing from a republic into an “empire.” He added that, regardless of America’s alleged failings, it should be recognized that “God can use the empire” for worthy causes, primarily wars.
“In the 20th century, I believe God used the American empire to defeat Nazism and then to defeat Communism,” Eidsmoe claimed. “And in the 21st century, maybe He will use the American empire to defeat Islam.”
That is exactly my fear, that the War on Terrorism is viewed by some Americans as a war between religions to defend Christianity and defeat Islam.
On the Maryland conference’s final day, July 3, attendees at the Severn church were treated to a defiant rant from a Maryland state legislator. Del. Don Dwyer Jr. (R-Anne Arundel) kicked off his speech by alerting the gathering that he would not “speak in politically correct terms.”
He wasn’t kidding. The state lawmaker seemed to relish trashing secularists and progressive politicians, and he depicted an America awash in sin, while promoting his religious beliefs as superior to all others. Dwyer seemed to be really, really angry and, indeed, toward the end of his over-the-top lecture, he acknowledged that anger.
Dwyer groused about not being permitted to open House sessions with prayers in the name of Jesus Christ. He vowed that if he were ever allowed to give an invocation, he would do so his way, which means acknowledging Jesus.
Sure, we need representatives in government that promote their religious beliefs as superior to all others. That’s exactly what government should be about, right?
“The law is what God says it is, first and foremost,” continued Dwyer, “The foundation of law. No law created by man that is not in concert with God’s law can be any law at all.”
Dwyer said he had learned “what the truth is” from Peroutka, Moore and other “godly men that served in the public realm.”
That truth, however, has alternately made Dwyer both offensive and offended.
“I’ve learned what the truth is, and I’ve learned how to go and offend people,” he continued. “I am very offensive, and I make no apology for it. Because don’t you think that God is offended? Aren’t you offended as people of faith?
“You can’t post the Ten Commandments, you can’t post the Nativity scene at Christmas and they refer to the Easter holiday in public school calendars as the spring break,” Dwyer said, with his voice on the rise. “Give me a break. You want to talk about offended. I’m offended. And you ought to be offended, because He is offended.”
You can post the Ten Commandments, the Nativity scene, and have an Easter holiday… on religious lands and your private property. You can practice your religion how you want and for the most part where you want. It’s just that in that shared public space of government we all need to get along and the rules there will be a little different and a little restrictive.
No one wants to attack or restrict Christianity for the citizens of this country. We just want to preserve true religious freedom by not allowing it to be brought into the government and forced on everyone else. The more Christian our government appears, the more likely we will become a Christian nation and Christianity becomes a mandatory part of citizenship. Unfortunately, some people do like that idea and that is apparently their goal to make their version of Christianity mandatory for all.