Reprinted with permission from Falwell Confidential.

"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.

"Because there appears to be a conflict between the decisions of theseappellate courts, we hope the United States Supreme Court will review thesecases and reaffirm government's ability to acknowledge in public ourreligious heritage, especially the moral foundation of our law," Mr. Whitesaid.

Our Founding Fathers consistently spoke of the need for utilizing the Bibleand Judeo-Christian values in defining and preserving this nation:

  • Twelve of the original 13 colonies incorporated the entire TenCommandments into their civil and criminal codes.

  • President John Adams stated, "The law given from Sinai was a civil andmunicipal code as well as a moral and religious code. These are lawsessential to the existence of men in society and most of which have beenenacted by every Nation which ever professed any code of laws. Vain indeedwould be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad,so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments laydown." (Note that the American Bible Society was started by an act ofCongress and John Adams, our second president, served as its first leader.)
  • President George Washington said, "It is impossible to govern the worldwithout God and the Bible. Of all dispositions and habits that lead topolitical prosperity, our religion and morality are indispensablesupporters."
  • In 1782, the U.S. Congress voted in favor of a resolution recommending andapproving the Bible for use in the schools.
  • Henry Laurens, fourth president of the Continental Congress, stated, "Ihad the honor of being one who framed the Constitution. In ordereffectually to accomplish these great constitutional ends, it is especiallythe duty of those who bear rule to promote and encourage respect for God andvirtue."
  • Patrick Henry, first governor of my beloved Virginia and a member of theContinental Congress, stated, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or toooften that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but byChristians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For thisvery reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity,and freedom of worship here."
  • 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.