The Lamp

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Archive for March, 2007

Mint Sends God to the Sideline

Posted by thelamp on March 24, 2007

A coin program launched this month by the U.S. Mint has Christians on edge. The new $1 coin was meant to honor the men who have served as presidents of the United States. The tribute, however, is overshadowed by the relocation of four important words: In God We Trust. Departing from a tradition that began during the American Civil War, the face of this coin will not carry the inscription. This is not insignificant. Sidelining the national motto is an indication of the vanishing presence of God in society.

Click here to see the new, barely visible, location of “In God We Trust.”

Click here to send an e-mail asking Congress to repeal the Presidential $1 Coin Act.

As part of the presidential coin program, approved by Congress in 2005, the government will mint and issue four presidential dollar coins per year, featuring the images of the commanders in chief in the order that they served, beginning with Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison in 2007. The face of each coin will have a reverse design featuring a rendition of the Statue of Liberty. The presidents and Lady Liberty are unequivocally American icons worthy of commemoration.

All have shaped the culture. It’s disturbing, though, that Congress and the U.S. Mint are simultaneously celebrating history and denigrating it. Christians have ample reason to be angry by this offense to the nation’s Christian heritage. “In God We Trust” is America’s motto. It was adopted in the early 19th century to indicate that this is a Christian nation. Well, America was a Christian nation.

The phrase first appeared on a two-cent coin minted in 1864. The move was a result of a spiritual awakening and an increased devotion to religion by Americans. It’s hard to imagine in the current anti-Christian climate, but two centuries ago lay and religious leaders begged the government to recognize America’s appreciation of God. Then-Secretary of Treasury Salmon P. Chase consented and ordered the placement of the motto on all coins.

“No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense,” wrote Chase in an 1861 letter. “The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.”

Apparently, the government feels the nation’s sentiment toward acknowledging God has diminished. If it takes a magnifying glass to read the words, what does that say about the significance of the statement?

CMC is urging people of faith to show their disapproval by lobbying Congress to repeal the Coin Act, the 2005 legislation permitting the insulting design. The national motto should be prominent and visible on all legal tender in the United States. America still trusts in God.

Click here to send an e-mail asking Congress to repeal the Presidential $1 Coin Act.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, CMC, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

One Nation Under God

Posted by thelamp on March 24, 2007

During four days, April 26 – 29, Christians will gather in Virginia to rededicate America to God. The 400-year-old covenant was formed by the Jamestown colonists, who planted the cross of Jesus as they birthed this great nation. The Assembly 2007 is the quadracentennial celebration of America’s founding and the amazing legacy of faith and prayer that changed the world. “Take your place in history, and take America back for God through the power of prayer,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, who is one of the event’s featured speakers on Saturday, April 28. All CMC members and friends are encouraged to support this event and hear from Pastor Parsley.

Click here for more information.

On April 29, 1607, Pastor Robert Hunt and the Christian colonists who formed Jamestown planted a cross at Virginia Beach and dedicated the new world to Jesus Christ creating a covenant that has blessed every American. Contemporary followers will have the opportunity to rededicate the nation to God and reaffirm that America still belongs to Him.

Join with national leaders and thousands of believers in this historic prayer of rededication and witness a historic reenactment of the first landing event. Bring your own cross and plant it in the sand for future generations to remember the dedication of your family, your church and your nation to God!


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, CMC, God, Recent News & Events, Religion, Religion/Politics, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

Faith Is a Qualification

Posted by thelamp on March 24, 2007

The biblical philosophy for rearing kids is simple. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” instructs Proverbs 22:6. Unfortunately, America’s youngest pupils are being subliminally taught that God’s influence ought to be confined within the walls of a church sanctuary; and that dangerous lesson in secularism is being reinforced by Congress.

Click here to see all of the current legislative issues important to values voters.

Last week, on a 24-13 vote, the House Labor and Education Committee rejected a common-sense amendment to H.R. 1429, a bill reauthorizing Head Start – the popular federal early-childhood education program. The measure would have allowed churches and other groups receiving government funds to take religion into account when hiring teachers and other employees.

Since it was established in 1965, Head Start has always been open to faith-based providers. However, in 1972, federal law barred Head Start providers from hiring on the basis of religion. On several occasions, including during the 109th Congress, the House of Representatives has voted to remove this restriction. Each time, though, the Senate has blocked the bill from passing.

Those who erroneously believe church and state must exist as separately as oil and water claim it is unconstitutional for federal dollars to fund job discrimination. These folks are wrong; faith is a legitimate qualification for employment within any service provided by a religious organization.

Hiring men and women of like minds is essential to maintaining the nature and character of a faith-based program. Religious providers who want to participate in Head Start should not have to surrender their religious character in order to help give low-income children a solid start on their educational journeys.

Participating in the Head Start program gives Bible believers an avenue to make a vital contribution to local communities and the broader society. Putting up a roadblock here impedes underprivileged youngsters who could benefit from these valuable programs.

“This division between the secular and the spiritual, which so many Christians carry around today, is an artificial one. It is a distinction that is completely foreign to the thinking of Jesus, Paul or the founders of our nation,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “We have to bury, once and forever, the old myth that Christians must set their faith aside when they engage the broader culture. Nowhere is this more important than in programs that are molding the next generation.”

Contrary to the separationists’ argument, such a restrictive policy would violate the religious freedom of religious social-service providers by expecting them to follow the same rules as secular groups when they are receiving government funds. There’s historical precedence to support this perspective.

The landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act explicitly protects the rights of religious organizations to take religion into account in their hiring practices. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the freedom to hire applicants with shared beliefs in a 1987 decision, Corporation of the Presiding Bishop v. Amos.

In that case, the nation’s highest court ruled that a “law is not unconstitutional simply because it allows churches to advance religion, which is their very purpose. For a law to have a forbidden ‘effect’ … it must be fair to say that the government itself has advanced religion through its own activities and influence.”

Once they enter the public educational system, children lose the privilege of praying together at school. They should not also be denied the guidance of instructors who believe in and follow the Lord merely because the program in which they are participating is wholly or partly funded by tax dollars.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, bible, Center for Moral Clarity, Children, Christianity, CMC, Education, moral, moral values, Recent News & Events, Religion, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

‘Frank’ Disagreement Over Online Gambling

Posted by thelamp on March 24, 2007

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., informed several news outlets last week that he plans to introduce legislation to roll back the federal ban on Internet gambling. Outrageous!

Last year, Congress passed and President Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, a prohibition on Internet gaming Web sites. This law outlaws financial gaming transactions, effectively making it illegal for American citizens to gamble online – even if the servers running the gambling site are located in another country. The Center for Moral Clarity supports this ban, and Pastor Rod Parsley, CMC’s founder and president, has urged President Bush to oppose the expansion of gambling – whether it is on the Internet, through state lotteries or the introduction of table games at race tracks.

“Gambling hurts families. It’s addictive and a misuse of important resources that could be better spent on debt reduction, education or even family-friendly recreation,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “As a pastor, I’ve counseled people who were addicted to this awful habit and I can tell you, like pornography or drugs, it is something that can tear a family apart.”

So what’s Frank’s problem with the Internet gambling ban? It was too successful. The immediate impact of this legislation on offshore operators was overwhelming: online gaming businesses listed on the London stock exchange lost more than $7 billion in market capitalization in a single day – the day after Congress passed the bill.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Frank described the ban as “preposterous” and said it was one of the “stupidest” pieces of legislation ever passed.

The president and his administration are now tasked with ensuring strong and effective implementation of the law’s regulations. U.S. prosecutors have launched a probe into Internet gambling. The U.S. Department of Justice has demanded information from some of the world’s biggest investment banks as part of the investigation.

Yet Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, wants to halt the progress. Clearly, there’s no reason to turn back now.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, CMC, congress, Democrats, Democrats & The Left, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »

Exorcizing Religious Freedom

Posted by thelamp on March 24, 2007

The Department of Justice has launched the First Freedom Project, a program designed to protect religious rights in America. CMC applauds the effort to reduce threats against the free exercise of religion.There are two religious-liberty provisions in the First Amendment: no establishment and free exercise. Establishment-clause battles over “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance or the Ten Commandments in a courthouse grab news headlines. However its the restriction on free exercise of faith that has the most impact on daily life for Americans who follow Christ, discrimination against religious expression in the workplace, schools and land use, for example.

The First Freedom Project includes a number of facets to ensure that this precious right, guaranteed by our laws and Constitution, is recognized and protected:

  • A commitment to continued expansion of enforcement of civil rights statutes protecting religious liberty.
  • Creation of a Department-wide Task Force on Religious Liberty, chaired by the Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division, to review DOJ policies impacting religious liberty, coordinate religious liberty cases, and improve outreach to stakeholder communities.
  • Initiation of a series of regional seminars to be held around the country to educate religious, civil rights, and community leaders, as well as attorneys, government officials and other interested citizens about the laws protecting religious freedom enforced by the Department of Justice and how to file complaints.
  • Increased outreach to religious organizations, civil rights organizations, and other groups and individuals concerned with religious liberty issues through meetings, speaking engagements, and distribution of informational literature.

When U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced the program, he also released a report titled, “Enforcement of Laws Protecting Religious Freedom: Fiscal Years 2001-2006.”

Click here to download the report.

“The right to religious freedom is a foundation of America,” President Bush said in the proclamation for last year’s national Religious Freedom Day. “Our Founding Fathers knew the importance of freedom of religion to a stable democracy, and our Constitution protects individuals’ rights to worship as they choose. We reject religious discrimination in every form, and we continue our efforts to oppose prejudice and to counter any infringements on religious freedom.”

The recently released DOJ report documents the Bush administration’s efforts to take religious discrimination seriously. Since establishing the first-ever special counsel for religious discrimination early in the administration, the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division has dramatically increased enforcement of federal statutes protecting religious rights.

In education, for example, the DOJ reviewed 82 cases and conducted 40 investigations from 2001 to 2006. This record clearly reflects heightened interest in religious freedom when compared with the years 1995-2000, when the DOJ reviewed one case and made no investigations.

If you face religious discrimination in America, it helps to have the DOJ on your side. Ask the Christian student in New Jersey who won the right to sing a religious song at the school talent show, or the Jewish congregation in Florida that won the right to rent worship space in its city’s commercial district.

Americans who care about protecting the free exercise of religion owe a debt of gratitude to these and similar efforts to uphold religious rights.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, CMC, Freedom of Religion, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley, Separation of Church and State, Separation of Church and State--the First Amendment | Leave a Comment »