My father, Howard Stevens, was in the Army during World War II. He served in both the European Theater of war and also the South Pacific Theater of war. Each time he shipped out for one of those destinations he and all of the other soldiers were given a small 8” X 14” American flag so they could keep it with them while fighting our enemies. (I currently have one of his flags framed and mounted on my office wall.) The soldiers were also given a small pocket-sized Bible to help them in their spiritual fight. This is when America was fighting for its very survival and the survival of the free world. This is when America was still considered a Christian nation.
In 1954, under the direction of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, our nation reaffirmed our belief in the principles of our Founding Fathers. We were founded in the establishment of Judeo-Christian value. Two simple words were added to our Pledge of Allegiance; “Under God”. This truly shows that the people of this great nation were still on the moral footing established by God.
The Ten Commandments are on display in the Supreme Court Building in Washington D.C. The display is huge right at the top of the building…you can’t miss it!
As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building, a row of the world’s law givers. Each one is facing the one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view . . . it is Moses and he is holding the Ten Commandments!
This was a time of plenty and happiness in America. We maintained the moral compass established by the teachings of Jesus Christ. As we prospered as a nation, we also grew closer to God. God was everywhere; our homes, our courthouses, and our buildings of government. Our churches were sacrosanct, our homes were blessed, and our leadership was all about the people . . . . Or so we thought!
We have been hearing from our political leaders that we are not a Christian nation. It seems we are heading that way. Our children can’t pray in school, displaying the Ten Commandments in a courthouse is being challenged and we can’t even have the Cross displayed on government land! Just recently I read that an atheist group wants to have all crosses removed from a Veteran’s Cemetery, because it is on government land. The list goes on and on.
Our Founding Fathers and many of our past leaders certainly understood this truth, and from the beginning of the founding of our nation, until recent history, stressed the relationship between a sound education based upon biblical truths and the future of the nation.
“To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.”—President Theodore Roosevelt.
In Supreme Court decisions rendered in 1962 and 1963, which struck down religious activities, such as school prayer and Bible reading, in major activities of daily student life in public schools redefined the way our children are being taught. The courts determined that to have a prayer at school functions, such as sporting events and graduation ceremonies was “unconstitutional”.
It was the first time in the history of the United States that any branch of the federal government took such a stand, censoring religious activities long considered an integral part of education.
This sudden restructuring of educational policies was precipitated by the Court’s controversial reinterpretation of the phrase “separation of church and state” as it relates to the First Amendment.
This simply states, “Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.”
The Court decided that the First Amendment includes a prohibition against including religious activities in public affairs, inviting skyrocketing numbers of lawsuits that challenge any presence of religion in public life. The Court has already delivered far-reaching decisions to:
Remove Student prayer—Engle v. Vitale, 1962
Remove school Bible readings—Abington v. Schempp, 1963
Remove the Ten Commandments from view—Stone v. Graham, 1980
Remove benedictions and invocations from school activities—Graham v. Central, 1985; Kay v. Douglas, 1986; Jager v. Douglas, 1989; Lee v. Weisman, 1992. (76)
“Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.”—Proverbs 22:28
The actions of the U. S. Supreme Court have been in direct contradiction to what the Founding Fathers intended. Prior to 1962 the high court has always ruled in favor of the religious intent of the Founders. Now with the liberal leaning of the courts in the 1960’s we have eliminated one of the key strengths of our nation, the belief and faith in Almighty God.
Look at our nation now. We have never been so divided in recent history. Christians and Jews alike in this country are truly being persecuted as never before. Churches and synagogues are being burned. We are told to keep quiet about our faith because we might offend someone…well I’m offended by that!
The Rainbow of Noah, was God’s Holy promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood has now been perverted into a symbol that is a true abomination to God.
Wherever you look there is division and conflict. Racial, religious, class, sexual, political; all areas are under attack!
Just as Peter and the other disciples were forbidden from preaching in the name of Jesus by their religious leaders, we too are being forbidden from honoring Jesus in public by our government and some atheist groups. We must be like the apostles and pray, worship, and honor God no matter what the government says. No matter what anyone says!
We must change our government so we can truly be like the apostles.
“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
How can we expect the grace of God to return to America if we do anything less than what Peter and the other apostles did?
America must walk with God in order to be blessed!
~End of Part Two~
Preview of Part Three~
While Americans cry out against weapons of mass destruction, abortion claims millions of lives. Dullness of heart compounds the dullness of mind. As with each generation, the new citizens of America became more unable to live by the words of the apostle Peter:
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”—1 Peter 3:15
Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. How can they defend hope which they no longer have?