I sometimes make reference to things like Daylight Savings Time, the Super Bowl and the fact that for the past five or six months it never quits raining. Most of my readers are in the United States and these cultural references are obvious to them. Since I only write in English that narrows down the number of people in the world that can read it at all.
Having said that, I realize there are other readers from all over the world on a daily basis. Just like most readers are American it makes sense that Canada and United Kingdom are next in terms of numbers. In other nations around the world there are people who are multilingual, missionaries, American business people and military personnel serving abroad. There are Christians around the world as well, some in places friendly to them and others in the underground church movement. I just want to say that I know you’re out there. Continue reading →
The goal of terrorism is to disrupt the normal activities of a group by paralyzing its members with fear. A decade later we can look back on the terror attacks of 9/11 with both historic and Christian perspective.
The World Trade Center towers in New York represented the financial strength of capitalism. The Pentagon in D.C. is the headquarters of our nation’s military prowess. And while the target of Flight 93 is subject to speculation, the White House and Capitol buildings are the literal seat of our Federal Government. Not only would large numbers of individuals be injured and killed, our very institutions would also be under attack. Nearly 3,000 lives ended as a direct result of terrorist action, a reality that should not be downplayed. But in another sense the ultimate goal of the 9/11 terrorists was never achieved. Continue reading →
I read an e-mail just moments ago that started with these words: “A Christian Nation cannot put up a Christmas scene of the baby Jesus in a public place, but the Muslims can stop normal traffic every Friday afternoon by worshiping in the streets.” After a couple more paragraphs, several images are shown of Muslims bowing to pray on Madison Ave. in New York. I’m trying hard to ignore certain things so that I can focus on having a coherent point and not go off on some tangent rant. Such as pointing out there is no such thing as “normal traffic” in New York City. The Muslims haven’t stopped traffic from moving; New Yorkers did that back in the 70’s.
Where is this so-called Christian Nation? Because we don’t live in one. Continue reading →
Many of us in the United States are so richly over blessed that we are out of touch with the rest of the world. I remind my students a few times each year that America is not the world, and it happened again today. Continue reading →
Memorial Day is next week (May 25), and I’ve been thinking about what that means. Memorial Day is traditionally the first long weekend of summer, so maybe for you it’s just another excuse to break out the grill and water toys. If you have to work that day, maybe it’s an inconvenience that that the Post Office and banks will be closed. Some people will simply sleep in that day and not care why. The American dream lives on.
The real reason for Memorial Day is so that we remember. In this case, we remember the men and women who died in miltary service to our country. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it began following the Civil War and was expanded to honor fallen soldiers of all wars during World War I.
So, Memorial Day is strictly American and has nothing to do with the Bible, right? Continue reading →
I recently posted this article about the state license plates in Florida and South Carolina that have set off recent separation of church and state arguments. I basically assert that to protect the division between church and state, we sometimes compromise our first amendment rights, namely freedom of speech and also of religious expression. Again, you can click here for that article; for this post I have some new information.
I was discussing the establishment clause over dinner with my department head (it’s a small town). I mentioned that “separation of church and state” is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, etc. He asked me if I knew where the statement did in fact come from. I honestly did not. I have been informed – by a history teacher with more education and experience than myself – that the term separation of church and state was first used in a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson authored the Declaration of Independence, the document that first declared there was a United States of America. A Baptist church was concerned that the Federal government was going to institute the Congregational Church as the state appointed church, and Jefferson wrote a letter to their minister saying there was enough “separation of church and state” that it wouldn’t happen. That letter was lost to the ages until sometime in the 1950’s when someone dug it up. Since that time, because of that letter, the establishment clause of the Constitution has been interpreted to mean separation, and the Supreme Court favors that document – a private letter between two citizens – over the Constitution wording and other legal documents.