"Gradually, that which had become the basic thought form of modern peoplebecame the almost totally accepted viewpoint, an almost monolithicconsensus. And as it came to the majority of people through art, music,drama, theology, and the mass media, values died."
Those are the words of one of my mentors, the late theologian Francis A.Schaeffer, in his seminal book, "How Should We Then Live?"
Schaeffer was lamenting the fact that Christian ideals and traditionalmoral standards that had defined this nation for most of its great historywere gradually being replaced by arbitrary absolutes that have no basis inhistory or religious doctrine.
The result was an ever-changing system of standards that could be easilymodified as unconditional social policies were altered. Subsequently,abortion became the law of the land, the theory of evolution became fact inacademia, and sexual deviancy became conventional behavior in secularsociety. In addition, biblical standards that were central in definingAmerican law and social guidelines were treated spitefully by those whoadhere to situational ethics and readily flexible moral beliefs.
As we celebrate the 227th birthday of America on Friday, we do so grievingyet another crucial court decision that has wounded our once diligentlyprotected religious freedoms.
The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed this week with a federaltrial court that the Ten Commandments memorial placed in the rotunda of theAlabama Judicial Building by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Mooremust be removed.
Judge Moore authorized the memorial as a reminder that the biblical lawsstand as the moral groundwork of American law.
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in AnnArbor, Mich., responded to the decision by noting that the Ten Commandments"clearly form the basis of the judicial code of this country, and it isproper and permissible for a display to appear on public property thatincludes the Ten Commandments." The Law Center argued that the FirstAmendment "mandates an accommodation of religious faith and is notrestricted to only the secular."
Edward L. White III, associate counsel with the Thomas More Law Center,observed that the Eleventh Circuit's decision came less than one week afteranother federal appellate court, the Third Circuit (based in Philadelphia)upheld the display of the Ten Commandments on the wall outside of acourthouse.
Our Founding Fathers consistently spoke of the need for utilizing the Bibleand Judeo-Christian values in defining and preserving this nation:
I could observe a host of similar examples confirming that America wasfounded as a Christian nation with sincere respect for and adherence tobiblical values.
Last year, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) gave a "Special OrdersSpeech" before his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In that speech, he asked, "Are we better off today? Since we banished Godfrom public life ... and allowed a vocal group of humanist activists to tellus our faith is dangerous to [the] liberties of this nation - are we betteroff?"
I say the answer is a resounding no!
May Christians in this nation rise up and reclaim the religious freedomsthat our Founders assured for us. If we do not, as Francis Schaeffer soclearly noted, the values of our forefathers will surely die.