Every American who loves freedom should shudder at the precedent the government is trying to establish by denying Hobby Lobby the full protection of the First Amendment. This case is nothing less than a landmark battle for Americas FIRST freedom, the freedom of religion and the freedom from government intervention in matters of conscience. Religious liberty is often called our First Freedom because it is the first phrase of the first sentence of the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights. Freedom to practice your religion is listed before the freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and the right to bear arms. The first American settlers, Pilgrims, came to America for this very reason seeking the freedom to PRACTICE their religion, which they were denied in Europe. This is the freedom that made America unique from all other nations.
Today, the government has tried to reinterpret the First Amendment from freedom to PRACTICE your religion, to a more narrow freedom to worship, which would limit your freedom to the hour a week you are at a house of worship. This is not only a subversion of the Constitution, it is nonsense. Any religion that cannot be lived out at home and work, is nothing but a meaningless ritual.
What do YOU think?
Is this Hobby Lobby situation a real red flag, or is it overblown?
The Christian community, indeed, the entire American faith community, can no longer tolerate this persisting and escalating gun violence against our people. Enough is enough,” said Hall, who is the dean of the cathedral… The best way in my thinking to mourn the Sandy Hook shooting is to mobilize the faith community for gun control.”Mike Huckabee:
When we ask why there is violence in our schools, but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability?Max Lucado:
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence. Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene. Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won’t you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger. This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.Evangelist Ray Comfort hopes people will watch his new internet movie to find the answer:
‘Genius’ points to what every murderer has in common, something the ‘experts’ either don’t recognize or avoid talking about. But it’s there… Something tragic is happening in our country, and most people don’t know what it is. Those who want to understand why these tragedies are occurring–and are likely to continue to occur–should watch the free movie.John Piper:
…the murders of Newtown are a warning to me — and you. Not a warning to see our schools as defenseless, but to see our souls as depraved. To see our need for a Savior. To humble ourselves in repentance for the God-diminishing bitterness of our hearts. To turn to Christ in desperate need, and to treasure his forgiveness, his transforming, and his friendship.Brady Boyd (Pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, site of a deadly shooting a few years back):
I am a gun owner and have been all my life, but I realize it is too easy for some disturbed people to buy them in our sporting good stores. If there can be helpful conversations between the mental health community and our legislators resulting in laws that could eliminate this from our society, then count me in for support… Let’s have these difficult conversations, starting in our homes and across the table from our friends, but let’s make sure we are tackling the root of the issue and not just the fruit.Albert Mohler:
The Christian must affirm the grace of moral restraint, knowing that the real question is not why some isolated persons commit such crimes, but why such massacres are not more common. We must be thankful for the restraint of the law, operating on the human conscience. Such a crime serves to warn us that putting a curve in the law will inevitably produce a curve in the conscience. We must be thankful for the restraining grace of God that limits human evil and, rightly understood, keeps us all from killing each other.Greg Laurie:
“The experts will opine on why this happened. All I can say is this was pure evil. The heartlessness and wickedness of this man that did the shooting is really unimaginable…I know from personal experience that the pain of losing a child is a fate worse than death for a parent… At times like this we must reflect on the essential message of Christmas which is Immanuel has come. Immanuel means God is with us.”How has this story affected you and your church? Did you take time out of your services yesterday to deal with this story? Is your church taking any additional steps to monitor security or reach out to the people affected by this tragedy? I’d love to hear your story… Todd
“There was a time when there was a Ten Commandments in every classroom, there were prayers in public places,” he said. “So having gone from that position of considerable influence, even though we might actually have more influence than churches in … other parts of the world, the sense is that it’s slipping from our hands.”My first thought… when will we stop decrying the lack of the ten commandments and public prayer as the center points of Christians losing influence? The ten commandments on a wall was how we showed our influence? We based our influence on a prayer at a high school graduation? Really? I’ve heard a lot of times from a lot of people how this national has gone to hell in a handbasket since we took prayer out of the schools. Â I admit that this pre-dates my schooling years. Â But my guess is that much of this country was going to hell in a handbasket when people WERE praying in school, and when the ten commandments were on the classroom wall. Is society bad today? Â Absolutely. Â Was is pristine in the 50s? Â Nope. But there was a whole different set of problems then there there are today. Â Some of today’s problems could be worse… but most probably, they’re just different. When I read some of the things that happened in the Old Testament, it makes today’s society look pretty darn Christian. Again from the study: Â About half (53 percent ) of U.S. leaders said the state of evangelicalism is worse than it was five years ago, and nearly as many (48 percent) said they expect it to grow worse in the next five years. I’m not quite sure how to read into this. Â I guess if our hope to make things better are political solutions to make Christianity more acceptable (like getting prayer back in schools), then we should be depressed about our future. But the scary thing to me is that nearly half of our leaders think it’s going to get worse. The article here does talk about some of the reasons behind the trend; and does do a good job at presenting both sides, including whether or not Christians should try to change culture through politics. It’s a good read. But how about you? Â Do you think Christianity’s influence is declining? Â If so, why? Â And are you optimistic about the future of reaching people for Jesus in the U.S.? Todd