Many of you of you may have heard that Christians have had their freedom trampled upon - again - because AZ Governor Brewer vetoed a bill that would have legalized
the ability to discriminate a Christian's god-given right to refuse to do business with icky homosexuals anyone on the basis of their religious convictions. The first amendment of the Constitution allegedly protects the religious freedom of all Americans. Just read the religious freedom clause:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...
Despite the language that clearly protects the rights of every person of faith to practice their religion without interference from the government, Christians have been marginalized and attacked for their beliefs for centuries in America. You may find this hard to believe, but it's all perfectly true. Consider, for example, the first god-given right that was taken away from Christians in America:
The Right to Persecute Witches
Before the constitution was written, Christians freely exercised their religious beliefs regarding the necessity to kill demonic witches. Consider perhaps the most famous example of the freedom to exercise one's religion in American History: the Salem Witch Trials.
From June through September of 1692, nineteen men and women, all having been convicted of witchcraft, were carted to Gallows Hill, a barren slope near Salem Village, for hanging. Another man of over eighty years was pressed to death under heavy stones for refusing to submit to a trial on witchcraft charges. Hundreds of others faced accusations of witchcraft. Dozens languished in jail for months without trials.
Those were literally the good old days. Sadly, after the Constitution was ratified, the record of Christians freely exercising their right to eradicate witches from our great nation essentially ended. Coincidence? I think not. Just try to find a state where Christians are permitted to lawfully try and execute the many witches in our midst. You can't! Witches are even a protected class according to the US courts! What better example exists of the current atmosphere of persecution and discrimination against the Christian religion by the Government? Witches can cast their spells and curses and true believers in the Risen Christ can do nothing to protect themselves from these witches evil influences on our nation.
Imagine yourself as a good Christian man (or woman) today, who, by happenstance or the many demonic influences that run rampant in our society, has the misfortune to run across a witch (or any number of other, similar devil worshiping practitioners of the dark arts). Can you take out your trusty Bushmaster XM-15 or other firearm and shoot them dead right there on the spot? Of course you can't, at least not if you claim you shot them in the exercise of your religious faith. Sure, you could lie and claim you acted out of a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm and thus shooting that witch was a justified act of self-defense, but honestly, should a God-fearing, Jesus-walking believer have to lie merely to pursue the dictates of his or her faith by sending said witch straight to Hell? Yet that is precisely the position in which today's Christians find themselves.
However, taking away the right of Christians to rid the world of witches was only the beginning of numerous instances where the Government denied the rights of Jesus' followers to put their faith into practice. Follow me below the orange stylized pentagram (* shudders involuntarily *) for the rest of the story.
The Right to Own Slaves
Now I know what some of you are going to say, that slavery is immoral, cruel and savage, and that no one - ever - should be allowed to buy and sell human beings as if they were cattle. In response all I can say is that it's in the
damn (forgive me Lord) Holy Bible! It's God's own word that some of us are intended to be slaves and others to be slave owners, and when you mess with God's plan for mankind, you set yourself up for a world of cow manure. It's pretty clear that slave owners back in the day were just practicing their faith as they saw it. You want proof? Here's your proof right at ya from Josiah Priest (a Godly name if there ever was one), from his book "Bible Defence of Slavery" published in 1853!
[S]ee Genesis ix, 24—27, as follows: "And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him: and he said, cursed be Canaan (Ham); a servant of SERVANTS shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan (Ham) shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan (Ham) shall be his servant."
...[Bishop] Newton maintains ... that the curse of Noah upon Ham, had a general and an interminable application to the whole [negro] race, in placing them under a peculiar liability of being enslaved by the races of the two other brothers.
The curse, therefore, against Ham and [the negro] race was not sent out on the account of that one sin only. But as the deed was heinous, and withal was in unison with his whole life, character and constitutional make, prior to that deed, the curse, which had slumbered long, was let loose upon him and his posterity, as a general thing, placing them under the ban of slavery, on account of his and their foreseen characters. [...]
The appointment of this race of men to servitude and slavery was a judicial act of God, or, in other words, was a divine judgment. [...]
... The great and everywhere pervading fact of their degraded condition, both now and in all time, more or less, is the very climax-witness that, in the above conclusion, we are not mistaken—namely, that the negro race, as a people, are judicially given over to a state or peculiar liability of being enslaved by the other races.
Hey, you don't mess with divine judgment, if that's what you believe. Now I am well aware of all the prominent so-called 'anti-slavery' Christians of the time who vehemently argued that slavery was against God's will, but they were free to exercise their right not to own slaves based on their religious beliefs. Christians who believed that slavery was divinely ordered by God, on the other hand, had their right to own slaves ripped from the cold dead hands in the terrible War of Northern Aggression. Why were the abolitionists' religious beliefs tolerated, while the faith of so many good Christian slave owners disregarded and their property rights stolen by the same Federal Government that tolerated the beliefs of Muslims, Jews and "Liberal Christians" (which we all know are not true Christians - but I digress). Hypocrisy, thy name is Abraham Lincoln!
Of course, after the end of that terrible war, other Christians have fought many losing battles in defense of their right of religious freedom. For example:
The Right to Take More Than One Wife
The Mormons (okay, I know they're heretics, but in this one instance let's accept that they are at least semi-Christians) were coerced into accepting monogamy before the State of Utah was permitted to join the Union.
...Church president Wilford Woodruff wrote in his journal on Sept 25, 1890,
“I have arrived at a point in the history of my life as the president of the Church…where I am under the necessity of acting for the temporal salvation of the church.” On that date, just four months after the fateful decision of the Supreme Court, President Woodruff issued the “Official Declaration” which proclaimed the end of polygamy among the Mormons:
Inasamuch as laws have been enacted by Congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws, and to use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise.
In the October 6 session of the general conference of the church, the congregation “unanimously sustained” this declaration as “authoritative and binding.” Polygamy no longer had official sanction.
Losing the right to
enjoy the sexual favors take more than one wife might not have been as bad as losing all of one's slaves, but it was still a persecution of people of faith and a denial to practice that faith as they saw fit. And, if that meant denying 60 year-old patriarchs from marrying thirteen year old girls, well so be it.
A Brief List of Other Examples of Christian Persecution
Well, I could go one forever (and I would if I had the time and energy), but a brief list of other rights the federal and state governments have taken from the faithful should be sufficient to make my point.
Christians no longer can pray to God to heal their children, but instead face imprisonment for practicing their beliefs regarding spiritual health care.
Defense of Christianity from Baby Killers
The right to execute abortionists and bomb abortion clinics has also been denied the most devout followers of Jesus Christ. Whatever happened to "Onward Christian Soldiers?" Apparently they are all deemed terrorists now instead of freedom fighters.
The Gay Agenda to Stick It to Christians
And of course, the latest blow, Gov. Brewer's veto of a bill that would have protected the right of any individual to practice his or her religion by discriminating against teh Gay. One can only hope that our Lord will be merciful, and not punish the State of Arizona with a plague of toads or possibly an ever worsening drought for failing to allow his people to follow his dictates and not force themselves to become servants to Sodomites.
Why All the Hate For Christ's Most Devoted Followers?
One must ask oneself, where did our great nation, founded on Judeo-Christian principles (mostly Christian, no offense to the Jews), go so disastrously off track when it came to protecting the rights of Christians? Well, the answer to that question, as to most issues that plague us, was an activist Supreme Court. Specifically the Supreme Court of 1878, which decided the case of Reynolds v. United States when it interpreted the free exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment as narrowly as possible. Naturally the case involved a Christian (okay, a Mormon, but as previously noted we'll stretch the definition of Christianity in cases like these). The case involved a man charged with violating the law against polygamy. he argued protection under the first amendment. Of course, the Court found a way to screw him over. Here is the core of their decision:
Accordingly, at the first session of the first Congress, the amendment now under consideration was proposed with others by Mr. Madison. It met the views of the advocates of religious freedom, and was adopted. Mr. Jefferson afterwards, in reply to an address to him by a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association (8 id. 113), took occasion to say:
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions -- I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore man to all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties."
Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order.
Let me remind you that this same Supreme Court held
heathen Indians members of the Native American Church could be discriminated against when they smoked peyote as part of their "religion." Then our liberal Congress turned right around and changed the law to permit them to smoke peyote as often as they wished as part of their religious rituals.
So, taking psychedelic drugs if you're part of some cult (or a resident of Colorado and the Socialist State of Washington) is okay, but obeying the commands of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and his Father, get spit upon. I mean, what is more subversive of good order than gays
flamboyantly prancing around and holding orgies in front of the kids spending their tourist dollars at desert resorts and spas while young people get high (legally in Colorado and Washington)? No wonder our country is in such a mess.
All I can add to this, is God* help us.
* By which I mean the true God of the Bible as revealed by scripture, prophecy, and broadcast to millions every day by outstanding evangelical preachers like Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham and others too numerous to mention.