Dear Partner, Over the past couple of decades, Americans have watched as their individual and religious freedoms have slowly been eroded, taken away, or replaced by governmental mandates and legislation.
The situation we are currently facing reminds me of the frog that is placed in a cold pot of water. When the water slowly heats up, the frog has become so comfortable there that he doesn’t even realize that he is being boiled alive!
As Christians in America, we have a lot of freedoms for which we should be continually grateful. Our Constitution promises us that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
However, it is our responsibility to stand up for these liberties that we enjoy and make sure that they do not slowly disappear! Our present actions will directly affect the future reality for generations to come – this fact alone should prod us forward in defense of what we believe and what makes this Nation so great.
Here at Advocates, I regularly see examples of how our fundamental constitutional liberties are being challenged:
Hostile Attacks on Christianity in the Courtroom – Such as the case of Chad Farnan, a high school student who endured almost daily anti-Christian and anti-religion rants from his Advanced Placement (AP) European History teacher. We took this case to court, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals eventually ruled that the teacher could not be held responsible, simply because there was no law or clear precedent that a teacher is liable for his or her statements in the classroom.
Even though the final decision in this case is not what we had hoped for, I am extremely proud of Chad and honored to have fought with him. We believe that this case was vitally important because, for years, we had heard from teachers who were being admonished or even disciplined for having Bibles on their desk, wearing a Christian-themed t-shirt, or praying with a student. We felt that it was imperative to stand up for students on the other side of the coin – those whose religious ideologies were being attacked consistently in the captive arena of the classroom.
Silencing Christians – Three men, including a pastor, went to their local DMV to read the Bible aloud to passers-by, something that they had done previously as a ministry. On this day, however, the men were arrested by an officer who, after ripping the Bible from the pastor’s hands, said that the men could not “preach to a captive audience” and eventually charged them with “trespassing.” We are defending these men because we believe that, as Americans, we possess freedom of speech. Even if we would choose a different method for sharing the Gospel, we believe that Christians must defend their right to spread the Good News. If we don’t protect this right now, we very well might find our options for sharing the Gospel greatly restricted in the near future.
Why We Christians Must Take a Stand – You may have heard of the recent incident at Florida Atlantic University, where a professor instructed his students to write the name of Jesus on a piece of paper, put it on the ground, and stomp on it. This instruction was given as a classroom “exercise.”
After the media storm that ensued, the university put the professor on academic leave and banned the “stomp Jesus” exercise from all future classes.
This is a great victory, and it happened because Christians were outraged by the incident and spoke up. What would have happened had local pastors, reverends, and Christians stayed silent?
Sometimes, it can be difficult to take a stand for what we believe to be truth, based on God’s Truth. It can feel like we are in the minority or that we are alone in the fight. But, that is not a reason to stay silent.
If we don’t stand up for our God-given liberties and constitutional freedoms – right now – who will? And, what will the future hold for the generations of Christians to come?
National Day of Prayer is May 2nd!
“In His name the nations will put their hope." Matthew 12:21
We encourage you to take a moment with your family on this day and pray for America, our president, our legislators, and the hardships that we are facing in today’s economic environment. Also, let’s remember to bring thanks to God for all of the freedoms that we enjoy in our Nation. God Bless America!
God bless you,
Associate General Counsel