|The Culture War
|Outline for this chapter:
Culture war, intro
The Source of Freedom
The First Amendment
State recognition of God
Separation of church&state
Fight for liberty
Education: the front line
our tax money at work
what to do about it
| I stood in a bookstore, reading the preface of a book I picked up. I wanted to keep reading, but something stopped me. Something didn’t seem right, so I went back to the beginning of the paragraph. “Our nation gives us unalienable rights which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I didn’t recognize it the first time, but now the error glared out at me from the page. What’s this? Our nation gives us rights? It was an obvious reference to the Declaration of Independence with one key figure omitted and replaced with “our nation.” This isn’t what our founders taught. This isn’t what we believe.
This is a key issue in what people describe as the “culture war.” It’s the question as to what authority creates and gives us rights. Humanists believe that we create our own rights while theists believe that God gives us rights. Humanists see the state as a provider of rights while theists see the state as a protector of rights that God already gave us.
Our nation’s founders were not perfect, but they had something right when they acknowledged our Creator as the giver of rights. Our founders taught that the only basis for liberty is faith in God. Jefferson made this clear; “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis – a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever.”
Perhaps the first word we think of regarding America is “liberty.” Our founders built a system for the highest amount of individual freedom, because they considered this freedom a gift from our Creator. By his authority they claimed independence.
Now I see another declaration of independence, an independence from God himself. Humanists want to outdo our founders by achieving freedom from God.
Freedom from one thing means bondage to another, and the new religion is Humanism, whose idol is the secular state. We the people establish a state to give us what we want.
I never called this a godless nation. I never believed that we were stuck on an unalterable course. I have always hoped that the tide would turn.