The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Archive for the ‘Freedom of Religion’ Category

United in Prayer

Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007

Americans are an eclectic lot. Although rich diversity is among the nation’s tremendous assets, it also contributes to factions that unnecessarily alienate and divide the citizenry. The National Day of Prayer is an ideal opportunity to set those differences aside and come together with a collective, unified voice.

The 56th Annual National Day of Prayer took place Thursday, May 3. The theme for this year, “America, Unite in Prayer,” was based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, which states: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

“A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength, and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge,” President George W. Bush said in the this year’s proclamation from the White House. “On this National Day of Prayer, we acknowledge God’s grace and ask for His continued guidance in the life of our nation.”

Although the National Day of Prayer was established in 1952, when President Harry Truman signed it into law, the first request for such a day pre-dates the nation itself. In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. Roughly a century later, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, too, called for a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer.” In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.

The National Day of Prayer has great significance for the United States as a nation. It enables contemporary generations to recall and to teach the way in which America’s founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. National Day of Prayer stands as a call for everyone – across all walks of life – to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for the leaders and His grace upon the citizens as a people.

Furthermore, the unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning. This year’s “Prayer for Our Nation” was written by Dr. Charles R. Swindoll.

2007 Prayer for Our Nation

Almighty God, we pause to reflect on Your character as we seek wisdom for such a time as this.

In these unsafe days,
You remain all-powerful and able to protect;

In these uncertain times,
You remain all-knowing, leading us aright;

In the unprecedented events we’re facing,
You remain absolutely sovereign.
Our times are in Your hands.

Therefore, our dependence on You, is total, not partial
. . . our need for Your forgiveness is constant
. . . our gratitude for Your grace is profound
. . . our love for You is deep.

We ask that You guard and guide our President
and all who serve the people of these United States.
May uncompromising integrity mark their lives.

We also ask that You unite us as truly “one nation,
under God.” May genuine humility return to our ranks.

And may that blend of integrity and humility
heal our land.

In our Lord’s name we pray,

Amen.

Source:  www.centerformoralclarity.net

Posted in abraham lincoln, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, christians, CMC, congress, constitution, continental congress, day of prayer, freedom, Freedom of Religion, God, harry truman, national day of prayer, pray, prayer, reagan | Leave a Comment »

Will the Justices Defend Free Speech?

Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007

A decision in two historical cases, FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life and McCain v. Wisconsin Right to Life, is expected to be handed down any day as the U. S. Supreme Court approaches the end of its term, which concludes June 30. The central question in these cases – which have been consolidated for one ruling – is whether organizations like Wisconsin Right to Life can air legitimate grassroots lobbying ads during the blackout periods created by the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law.

In 2004, the Wisconsin Right to Life organization ran a television spot encouraging residents to prevent anticipated filibusters of President George W. Bush’s federal judicial nominees by calling Wisconsin U.S. Senators Russell Feingold and Herb Kohl, both Democrats. Timing of the political advertisements raised eyebrows at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) because Feingold was up for re-election at the time. So the FEC banned the right-to-life group’s ads in the weeks leading up to the November election.

The McCain-Feingold Act, named after the two senators who sponsored the legislation, regulates contributions to federal candidates in an effort to control the influence of special-interest groups on elections. The act is enforced by the FEC. Specifically, the law prohibits unions and corporations from using corporate money to pay for advocacy advertisements targeted at a specific candidate within the designated blackout period 30 days prior to a primary election and 60 days before a general election.

In response to the ad ban, Wisconsin Right to Life sued the FEC, arguing that the ban violated the First Amendment by regulating campaign speech. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of Wisconsin Right to Life in December 2006, stating that it is unconstitutional to prohibit the airing of such ads. The Federal Election Commission and Sen. John McCain, along with other members of Congress, appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments on the cases April 25, 2007.

Here’s an indication of how Americans feel about restrictions on their free speech: A broad coalition of groups representing a wide spectrum of political ideologies filed briefs supporting Wisconsin Right to Life.

The Center for Moral Clarity concurs that the McCain-Feingold law’s “electioneering communication” prohibition should not be applied to grassroots lobbying. Such a limitation stifles citizens’ constitutional right to petition the government. The right to communicate with elected officials should not be suspended during election season.

The nine justices on the nation’s highest court have an opportunity to uphold the First Amendment, which gives citizen organizations a right to participate in self-government by asking other citizens to petition their members of Congress regarding upcoming legislative action. Christian activists are praying that they will do so.

Source:  www.centerformoralclarity.net

Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, CMC, Equal Rights, Freedom of Religion, pro-life, Recent News & Events, right to life, Rod Parsley, supreme court | Leave a Comment »

Religious Symbols Have a Champion

Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007

The American Legion, which has a membership of 2.7 million wartime veterans, joined forces this month with two legal groups in a campaign to defend religious symbols on veterans’ memorials. This is a Christian nation; and it will continue to be one unless people of faith relinquish the guarantees bestowed by the U.S. Constitution.

Click here to urge Congress to pass the Public Expression of Religion Act.

The brave men and women of the military who defend this nation deserve to have their faith in God expressed on the monuments erected in their honor. Not surprisingly, the American Civil Liberties Union and other secular organizations disagree; and they are challenging the placement of crosses at memorials in San Diego and the Mojave Desert.

If atheists use the courts to remove crosses from memorials, how long will it be before religious symbols are barred from military cemeteries? A soldier’s final reward should not be encumbered by restrictions on one of the most important freedoms that he – or she – helped to preserve.

“This nation is becoming a place where atheists and the organizations they run are prepared to challenge almost every expression of our Christian heritage,” said Pastor Rod Parsley. “These groups scan the national landscape looking for opportunities to file lawsuits in the name of ‘separation of church and state.’ The focus of these suits ranges from stopping prayers at school sporting events, to having Christian symbols removed from city seals, to keeping nativity scenes off public property at Christmas, to having “under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.”

The controversy involves the Mount Soledad cross in San Diego. Erected in 1954 on city property, the cross is part of a Korean War memorial. In 1989, an individual backed by the civil-liberties group sued, claiming the symbol was an unconstitutional establishment of the Christian faith. Additionally, a court challenge by the ACLU forced officials to board up a cross at a Mojave Desert war memorial erected in 1934.

Clearly, the secularization of America is well underway. Thankfully, there are patriotic groups, such as the American Legion, that understand how drastically different America would be without its religious roots. To the American Legion’s credit, the national commander says they won’t stop with crosses; the veterans also intend to defend other religious symbols placed at memorials.

The American Legion is a strong supporter of the Public Expression of Religion Act – H.R. 725, which would put an end to such frivolous lawsuits. The Center for Moral Clarity also advocates passing this legislation.

Click here to urge Congress to pass the Public Expression of Religion Act.

Click here to view other bills pending in Congress that are important to values voters.

source:  www.centerformoralclarity.net

Posted in american legion, Center for Moral Clarity, CMC, congress, constitution, freedom, Freedom of Religion, public expression of religion act, Recent News & Events, Religion/Politics, Rod Parsley, Separation of Church and State, Separation of Church and State--the First Amendment, values voters, voting rights | Leave a Comment »

Texas Protects Students From Secularists’ Harassment

Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007

Texas students will have greater freedom to express their religious views on school campuses under the Religious Viewpoint Anti-Discrimination Act, a measure signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on June 8.

Under the new law, religious beliefs expressed in homework, artwork and other assignments are to be judged by traditional academic standards. Students can’t be penalized or rewarded because of the religious content of their work.

Supporters say the measure is needed to protect students from censorship and school districts from lawsuits. There are plenty of cases to illustrate the degree of religious discrimination that exists in America’s public schools.

Perry earned the respect of many Christian parents in April when he acknowledged at a news conference that teens’ religious speech was quashed at public school. The governor cited examples of students being prohibited from wishing troops overseas a “Merry Christmas” or told they couldn’t distribute religious bracelets at recess.

Along with granting students freedom of religious expression, the new law also requires schools to establish a “limited public forum” at all school events in which students speak. Of course, schools will have to develop a neutral method for selecting pupils to speak at school events and graduation ceremonies, and officials must provide a written or oral disclaimer that the student’s speech was not endorsed by the school district.

It all seems like a lot of unnecessary machinations just to extend a basic right that’s already guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Still, Texas lawmakers should get a gold star for going the extra distance to make sure school is not a place where children are harassed by secularists who can’t respect Christian views.

Source:  www.centerformoralcalrity.net

Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Anti-discrimination, Center for Moral Clarity, christians, civil rights, CMC, Education, Equal Rights, Evangelism, freedom, Freedom of Religion, Mission / Evangelism, moral, moral values, Preaching, public school, Recent News & Events, Religion, Religion/Politics, Rod Parsley, school, texas | Leave a Comment »

Making Mockery of Christianity

Posted by thelamp on April 20, 2007

They called it a “drill,” but police in Burlington, N. J., accomplished little more than inciting fear and divisiveness recently when they portrayed “Christian terrorists” during a school-safety exercise. The activity purportedly was designed to prepare students, faculty and administrators for reacting to emergency situations on school property.

So, here’s the scenario they concocted: two angry Christians storm a school and gun down several students. The reason for their rage? The gunmen came to get justice because one of their daughters had been expelled for praying before class. Yeah, right. Can anyone even imagine the fallout if the police had pretended to be gays angry about being denied the privilege of going to the homecoming dance?

Everyone knows that practice makes perfect, which is why emergency exercises should be based on realistic situations. The purpose is to allow those in authority to evaluate plans and procedures. Does anyone believe this is a realistic scenario? Burlington residents should be quivering in their boots right about now, if there is a plan or procedure for taking out Christians in public school hallways.

The characterization of Christians as gun-toting extremists is particularly disturbing. Yes, evangelical students have sought the right to pray, distribute faith-based literature and even sing a song of praise on school campuses. There is no record, however, of Christians taking a public school under seige as a means of securing their constitutional rights.

Youth raised on a steady diet of popular culture instead of the Bible can’t make such a claim. Think back to 1999, when the worst school massacre in U.S. history left 15 dead and 23 wounded at Columbine High School. The first to lose her life was a young lady who proclaimed her faith in God. This is reality.

Those who talk of tolerance are quick to create programs that make homosexuals comfortable and welcome in America’s public classrooms. Apparently, the secular world believes Christians don’t warrant the same compassion or courtesy.

Source:  www.centerformoralclarity.net

Posted in burlington, Center for Moral Clarity, Christian Hypocrisy, Christianity, Christianity and Homosexuality, christians, CMC, constitution, Education, Evangelicals, Evangelism, freedom, Freedom of Religion, Gay, God, guns, Homosexuality, homosexuals, new jersey, public school, Recent News & Events, Religion, Rod Parsley, school, terrorists | Leave a Comment »