Reprinted with permission from Falwell Confidential.

"Gradually, that which had become the basic thought form of modern people became the almost totally accepted viewpoint, an almost monolithic consensus. 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 traditional moral standards that had defined this nation for most of its great history were gradually being replaced by arbitrary absolutes that have no basis in history or religious doctrine.

The result was an ever-changing system of standards that could be easily modified as unconditional social policies were altered. Subsequently, abortion became the law of the land, the theory of evolution became fact in academia, and sexual deviancy became conventional behavior in secular society. In addition, biblical standards that were central in defining American law and social guidelines were treated spitefully by those who adhere to situational ethics and readily flexible moral beliefs.

As we celebrate the 227th birthday of America on Friday, we do so grieving yet another crucial court decision that has wounded our once diligently protected religious freedoms.

The U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals agreed this week with a federal trial court that the Ten Commandments memorial placed in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore must be removed.

Judge Moore authorized the memorial as a reminder that the biblical laws stand as the moral groundwork of American law.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Mich., responded to the decision by noting that the Ten Commandments "clearly form the basis of the judicial code of this country, and it is proper and permissible for a display to appear on public property that includes the Ten Commandments." The Law Center argued that the First Amendment "mandates an accommodation of religious faith and is not restricted 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 after another federal appellate court, the Third Circuit (based in Philadelphia) upheld the display of the Ten Commandments on the wall outside of a courthouse.

"Because there appears to be a conflict between the decisions of these appellate courts, we hope the United States Supreme Court will review these cases and reaffirm government's ability to acknowledge in public our religious heritage, especially the moral foundation of our law," Mr. White said.

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

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

  • President John Adams stated, "The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code. These are laws essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every Nation which ever professed any code of laws. Vain indeed would 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 lay down." (Note that the American Bible Society was started by an act of Congress and John Adams, our second president, served as its first leader.)
  • President George Washington said, "It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible. Of all dispositions and habits that lead to political prosperity, our religion and morality are indispensable supporters."
  • In 1782, the U.S. Congress voted in favor of a resolution recommending and approving the Bible for use in the schools.
  • Henry Laurens, fourth president of the Continental Congress, stated, "I had the honor of being one who framed the Constitution. In order effectually to accomplish these great constitutional ends, it is especially the duty of those who bear rule to promote and encourage respect for God and virtue."
  • Patrick Henry, first governor of my beloved Virginia and a member of the Continental Congress, stated, "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very 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 was founded as a Christian nation with sincere respect for and adherence to biblical values.

    Last year, Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) gave a "Special Orders Speech" before his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    In that speech, he asked, "Are we better off today? Since we banished God from public life ... and allowed a vocal group of humanist activists to tell us our faith is dangerous to [the] liberties of this nation - are we better off?"

    I say the answer is a resounding no!

    May Christians in this nation rise up and reclaim the religious freedoms that our Founders assured for us. If we do not, as Francis Schaeffer so clearly noted, the values of our forefathers will surely die.

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