“Freedom of Religion” or “Freedom from
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over 200 years, we have celebrated our independence--our freedom to govern
our own lives. What a wonderful country we live in--despite all its faults
and failures, what wonderful freedoms are offered to us as citizens of
One of those freedoms is what the Bill of Rights calls—FREEDOM OF RELIGION.
We can believe and worship God without punishment or treat.
Many Christians around the world die for that right each
and every year. Yet in America--a country established
for that very right--many will not give God the time of
What has happened that made millions now celebrate the
"Freedom from Religion" instead of the "Freedom of
Religion?" Many have tried and succeeded in getting God
kicked out of our public places.
In an edition of Reader’s Digest, an article by former
Secretary of Education William Bennett entitled "What
Really Ails America" had this to say ... "Today, much of
society ridicules and mocks those who are serious about
their faith. America’s only respectable form of bigotry
is bigotry against religious people. And the only reason
for hatred of religion is that it forces us to confront
matters many would prefer to ignore.”
To a great extent our society has gotten what it wanted
- A society without God. But what good has it done?
Since 1960, while the gross domestic product has nearly
tripled, violent crime has increased at least 560
percent. Divorces have more than doubled. The percentage
of children in single-parent homes has tripled. And by
the end of the decade 40 percent of all American births
and 80 percent of minority births will occur out of
In 1940, teachers identified the top problems in
America’s schools as: talking out of turn, chewing gum,
making noise and running in the hall. In 2000, teachers
listed drugs, alcohol, pregnancy, suicide, rape and
We have become inured to the cultural rot that is
setting in. People are losing their capacity for shock,
disgust and outrage.
What is the answer? Bennett concludes with these words. ”Today we
must carry on a new struggle for the country we love. We must push
hard against an age that is pushing hard against us. If we
have full employment and greater economic growth-if we have cities
of gold and alabaster-but our children have not learned to walk in
goodness, justice and mercy, then the American experiment, no matter
how gilded, will have failed.”
How can we turn this nation back to God? The Bible says, "If my
people which are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear
from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (II
Can America return to God? YES! But what this passage actually says,
is, “If God’s people will return to him.” “My people!”
Yes! It’s a reference to Israel … but can it be applied to us today?
Can America return to God? Maybe the better question is: Will people
who call themselves Christian return to God?
[Ron Otto, Lincoln Christian Church]