By Doug Newman
December 4, 2005
Posted at Liberty Post, Trumpet America, Duke's Global Links, The Price of Liberty and Old Right Pundits.
The next time the ACLU prevails on a federal court to declare some public expression of Christianity unconstitutional, the defendants in the case should just ignore them.
Yes, just ignore them.
I was at a bible study the other evening when someone suggested that we could really hack off a lot of folks at the ACLU if we each sent them a Christmas card. Oh, how they hate the very mention of His Name! Perhaps I take things too seriously, but I did not think this was that funny.
It is not the fault of the ACLU that our religious freedoms are evaporating in this country. It is the fault of Christians who obey all the restrictions placed on their religious freedom by the courts at the behest of the ACLU. It is not the fault of the ACLU that liberal judges legislate from the bench. It is the fault of all the Christians who treat these court decisions as actual laws.
If some federal judge told you to do 75 pushups, would you just obey? Or would you say, “I don’t think so. Where do you get off ordering me around like this?”
Yet this is how most Christians treat the courts in this country. First, the ACLU takes a case to court and the court rules against religious liberty. Then most Christians, led by their pastors, follow right along.
We just commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of Rosa Parks igniting the civil rights revolution by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man. The late Ms. Parks displayed courage that is unthinkable to most Christians today.
We hear a lot about how America was “founded on Christian values.” The men who founded this country – REAL MEN who sacrificed enormously so that you and I could live in freedom – were, among other things, smugglers, tax resisters and militia members who engaged in armed shootouts with their government.
In the Old Testament book of Daniel (3:17-18), Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego proclaim that they will not serve Nebuchadnezzar’s god even at the risk of incineration. In Daniel 6, Daniel is thrown into a den of lions for defying the king’s decree that no one should petition any entity but the king for a 30 day period.
In Acts 4:19, Peter and John disobey the authorities’ order not to teach about Jesus. In Acts 5:29, Peter and the apostles again defy the secular authorities and proclaim that they ultimately answer to Higher Authority.
In its first few centuries, Christianity was an outlaw religion that grew and thrived in the face of horrendous persecution from Rome.
In raw numbers, Red China has more Christians than any other nation on earth. Most of these are in the underground church, which exists in defiance of the regime in Beijing’s wishes.
Today, around the world, millions of Christians willingly and knowingly risk imprisonment, torture and death for practicing their faith. Yet here in America, the purported home of the brave, Christians bend the knee before a bunch of nudenik lawyers and judges.
What is going to happen if some high school teacher says “under God” when leading the Pledge of Allegiance? Will hundreds of machine gun toting storm troopers from the Prayer Enforcement Administration storm into the classroom spraying bullets?
What is going to happen when some mayor defies a court order to remove a nativity scene in the park across the street from the town hall? Will federal goons lay waste to the town just like Sherman laid waste to Georgia?
Somehow I don’t think so.
A year ago, in my church, I committed what I will call a sandbox act of civil disobedience. When I was called on to explain my actions, my first words were, “I answer to a higher authority than you.”
I eventually left that church. I profoundly believe that someday I will be arrested for some act of civil disobedience. I don’t know what it will be yet, but I believe this will happen. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of seeing Christians allowing themselves to be used as doormats. I, for one, refuse to perpetuate it. Christians are losing their religious liberty in this country not because someone is robbing them of it, but because they are willingly relinquishing it.
Adolph Hitler was aided and abetted in solidifying his rule over Germany by a populace that was more than willing to give up its freedom for the feeling of security and by pastors who thought he was such a wholesome and noble man.
Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian Jew, who became a Christian and, in turn, became a pastor. In 1948, when Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu was solidifying his iron-fisted rule, he held a conference of pastors from all over Romania. One by one, these pastors stood up and swore allegiance to Ceaucescu.
Wurmbrand’s wife commented that these pastors were “spitting in the face of Christ” and that Wurmbrand needed to speak out against it. Wurmbrand told his wife that if he did so, she would not have a husband. His wife replied, “I will not have a coward for a husband.” Wurmbrand stood up and gave a speech proclaiming the supremacy of Jesus over all earthly rulers.
His reward for doing this was 17 years of imprisonment and torture. In 1965, a Norwegian group arranged for his release. Wurmbrand would found Voice of the Martyrs, one of the leading ministries to the persecuted church around the world.
It does not need to come to this. American Christians do not have to endure persecution because of their beliefs. However, there is no ironclad guarantee that this will never happen here.
If it does happen here, it will not be the fault of the courts or the ACLU. It will be the fault of Christians who bent to the will of ungodly authority. Jefferson once remarked that “Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.” When Christians fail to resist tyrants, they spit in the face of Christ.
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Freely Speaking: Essays by Doug Newman