Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a major blow to religious liberty yesterday. In a 5-4 decision the high Court determined that a California law school (Hastings College of Law) can require a Christian group to open its leadership posts to all students, including those who disagree with the organizations statement of faith.

At stake here is a basic question, “What does it mean to belong?” According to the Court inclusion in a population widely defined by the State holds sway over a population narrowly defined by a private organization. In short, a religious body basedwithin a State established institution can not determine its own boundaries. The State now defines identity! So how much more power will the government claim in our own lives and over our private institutions? This decision signals a dangerous shift in the fundamental nature of American life and in particular religious faith.

“God, we thank you for the tradition of religious liberty in the United States. We thank you for the freedom to associate as we choose, to worship as our conscious dictates, and to believe according to the dictates of our convictions. We pray now that you will guard these liberties in an era when our government seems intent on limiting them. Step in by your own direct intervention as well as through the active intervention of your people to stem the tide of governmental intrusion into the spiritual convictions of private citizens. God, we ask for a renewal and revival of faithful passion. Ignite a rising fire of passion in us to stand against this erosion of freedom. Give us courage to defend our rights, and a gentleness and humility to do so with grace and love for those who stand against us. God, bless America, in and under the name and Lordship of Jesus…”

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