Religious leaders in America have been whining a lot lately about the government interfering with their churches and their beliefs. They don’t want the government telling their flocks that they have to do something which is against their faith. They don’t want government meddling with their religion.
They don’t want the government telling them they can’t discriminate against students at public universities; or telling pharmacists they must provide certain products which they find objectionable on religious grounds.
But wait a minute.
On the other side of the coin they desperately want the government to support and promote their religion. They want “In God We Trust” to be America’s national motto engraved upon all government coins and currency. They want the Ten Commandments posted prominently in every courthouse and government building.
They want government displayed nativity scenes in front of public buildings at Christmas time. They want Christian crosses erected on public property. They want a government God; a Christian government God; they don’t believe in any separation between church and state; they don’t like the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
They want every little public school child to pledge allegiance to “one nation under God.” If they had their way the government would go back to sponsoring prayer and teaching creation from the Book of Genesis in public schools like it did not so long ago. They cried pitifully when the Supreme Court struck that down. That’s because they want the government to teach all the kids religion.
Can they have it both ways?
Hell yes, the preachers and the Bible thumpers demand from their pulpits.
Right now they are meeting in Washington, D.C., for the National Religious Freedom Conference and their Rising Threats to Religious Freedom event organized as part of what they call a battle against the trampling of religious liberties in the public sphere.
"This debate is not just about contraceptives, but about coercion. It's not about Catholics it's about conscience," declared Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. "It’s about principle, not pelvic politics."
"This is the uniting of the faith community to declare that we're going to fight back to defend religious freedom," proclaimed Former Utah Gov. Michael Levitt. The conference announced plans to create religious freedom caucuses in every state, an effort designed to bridge the gap between politics and religion.
They’re demanding to have it both ways.
They want the government to promote their God to everyone, believers and non-believers alike, Christians and non-Christians alike, but they don’t want the same government to mandate that their hospitals and universities offer insurance coverage to employees for birth control.
They want “In God We Trust” on the government currency but they don’t want Christian pharmacists ordered to carry birth control products at stores open to the public.
They want public school children to recite the “one nation under God” pledge, but they don’t want public school sponsored student religious groups to be open to all students. They demand the right to discriminate in public schools.
In Texas they issued a government license plate that declares Texas "One State Under God." The plate also features the words and image of the Crosses at Calvary, the site where the Crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred.
Kelvin Wade, assistant director to Glory Gang, a group that works with underprivileged children, where some of the license plate proceeds will be going said that “To have the government’s hand too deep into the church would change the very nature of what the church is all about,” but added: “I have a problem with the separation of church and state here in this area and worldwide.”
"We believe the new plate will appeal to a lot of Texans who believe as we do – who will like knowing that sharing a Christian message from their cars will also help kids in need," Glory Gang board member Matt Rocco told The Christian Post.
They want it both ways and don’t mind saying so.
Ditto, says a group of California’s Camp Pendleton marines who planted two 13-foot Christian crosses atop a remote hill in the middle of California's Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base.
Ditto, say the Bible thumping government authorities in the small Alabama town of Sylvania, population 1,800, who insist on posting four welcome signs on the public highway which display Bible verses: “Sylvania Welcomes You; Ephesians 4:5 – One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the town demanding that they remove the signs because they violate the First Amendment Establishment Clause. The town removed them but put them back later.
“We’re putting the signs back up and we’ll see what happens,” said acting mayor Max Turner ”If we don’t stand up for something, it won’t be long before we’ll have to go to the woods to have church.”
It’s time to draw a line in the sand and fight back against the FFRF, he declared. “I had itchy feet to start with… But we’re ready to have it. I’m not afraid to take a stand. We as Christians have got to stand up regardless of what the world might say about us… We as Christians should stand up for what we believe in as much as them people stand up for what they believe in,” he said, noting that he was prepared to “go down trying to defeat the Devil.”
The United States of America is a Christian nation says the Mayor, and Sylvania Alabama, our American town is a Christian town. There ain’t no separation of church and state in Sylvania; ain’t no First Amendment Establishment Clause here, but they’ll be Hell to pay if the government tries to meddle with our religion, he proclaims out of two sides of his mouth.
To Hell with the United States Constitution, the law books in some Bible thumping states still mandate.
To Hell with the “No Religious Test Clause” in Article VI, paragraph 3, that provides:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Arkansas, Article 19, Section 1:
No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.
Maryland, Article 37:
That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.
Mississippi, Article 14, Section 265:
No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.
North Carolina, Article 6, Section 8
The following persons shall be disqualified for office: Any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.
South Carolina, Article 17, Section 4:
No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.
Tennessee, Article 9, Section 2:
No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.
Texas, Article 1, Section 4:
No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall anyone be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.
I ask you: What is better proof that “God” is imaginary than a state government constitutional declaration that you are persona non grata unless you believe in the government God? Why else would such a provision in a government constitution be necessary except to confirm the existence of that which is certainly imaginary?
Church and state in America: The Bible thumpers definitely want it both ways.