America's First Amendment

Today we have a small minority of American Atheists who believe that they have the right to "freedom from religion" and they are willing to sue and throw tantrums to get their way! They want no public contact whatsoever with any religious symbols, teachings, or those who would attempt to teach or advertise their religious convictions. Their aim appears to be boxing religious folks into church buildings or homes so that one not a member would ever be exposed to any religion. The First Amendment to our Constitution simply says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

 Thomas Jefferson's reference in a letter in 1802 to a wall between church and state was never intended to bar religious references. As an example, there are a number of works prominently displayed in the Supreme Court building itself of Moses and the Ten Commandments! Many of these are in stone. The major rulings against religious practices were when religious folks wanted to do things that harmed or had consequences that would harm others. Devil worship of human sacrifices would be an example, as well as the polygamy of the early Mormons.

Unbelievably, in the past few years the first amendment and Jefferson's statement has been morphed into a concept that one can impose his will upon everyone else to the extent that nothing ought to be seen or heard that would mention God or the concept of religion. All the first amendment says is that CONGRESS cannot make laws or impose its will upon citizens that would violate the conscience of anyone in their practice of religion. What part of "no law...prohibiting the free exercise thereof" is so difficult to understand? For example, every president since George Washington and all military personnel have used the phrase "So help me God" in their oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States! An attempt recently was made to remove it, just as some would like "under God" removed from the flag salute and "In God we trust" off the coins and money of our nation!

The facts concerning the attitude and faith of our founding fathers can be easily determined, and almost without exception, they believed, quoted, and encouraged studying and reading the Bible. Even though some of them were Deists, they nevertheless encouraged reading the Bible. The Obama administration has allowed and even encouraged atheists such as Mikey Weinstein to try to purge all references to God, the Bible and Jesus from all literature, oaths, veteran's cemeteries, the military and many other such things. Although this writer does not agree with the Roman Catholic teachings concerning birth control, the Obama administration has used "jack boot" tactics to grind them down. Their strong stand against abortion, which all should agree with, has undoubtedly motivated the administration's many attacks via the "Affordable Healthcare Act."

What are those who believe the Bible to do against the bullying tactics of government? The Jews (see the book of Acts) persecuted Christians in the beginning. They were also persecuted by Rome the first three hundred years of the existence of the church, and by many of the heathen nations. Islam today is determined to destroy Christianity, and we may well face terrorism in our country such as we have not seen and great intimidation by their extremist leaders. If we do, we will be in good company. The apostle Paul wrote, "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Timothy 3:12). Many today think the early disciples reacted strangely, as persecution arose from the Jews, and when beaten and ordered to quit teaching about Jesus, "...they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ" (Acts 5:41-42). They refused to obey the government, because they had a greater command to obey (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 5:29). Since we live in a representative government, we can make our wishes known to every level of government, and we must do so before these religious rights are taken from us!

 Ed Rodgers, Forney, TX