Should Christian American Churches, like Christian American Conservative Bloggers, such as myself, have the right to express our concerns about the direction that America is taking, by framing it in the context of traditional Christian American Faith and Values?
Or, should Christian Americans keep our faith out of the Public Arena of Ideas, like the “Smartest People in the Room” keep insisting?
Well, they can keep on “insisting”.
Because, today, President Donald J. Trump is taking a stand for the First Amendment Rights of Christian Americans.
Foxnews.com reports that
The executive order President Trump is expected to sign Thursday will be focused on the Johnson Amendment and allow non-profit organizations to deny certain health coverage for religious reasons, administration sources told Fox News Wednesday.
The three main points of the executive order, according to a senior White House official, will declare “that it is the policy of the administration to protect and vigorously promote religious liberty,” direct the IRS “to exercise maxim enforcement of discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson Amendment,” and provide “regulatory relief for religious objectors to Obamacare’s burdensome preventive services mandate.”
The timing and contents of the order, which would come on the National Day of Prayer, are still “very fluid” and there are still several drafts, according to a senior administration official.
The Johnson Amendment, named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas and enacted into law in 1954, essentially regulates tax-exempt organizations such as churches, and religious groups from being too politically involved.
Trump previously campaigned against the amendment, and in February said he would “destroy” the amendment that conservative groups claim restricted political speech by tax-exempt churches.
“I think how the president feels about Johnson amendment is that politicians and unelected bureaucrats shouldn’t have the power to shut up their critics just because they are church leaders or charities,” a senior White House official told Fox News.
In addition, sources tell Fox News the executive order will also allow non-profit organizations, hospitals, educational institutions, and businesses to deny certain health coverage for religious reasons,. That would entail protecting Christian groups like Little Sisters of the Poor from being forced to pay for abortion services.
An early draft of the order, leaked in February, would have established broad exemptions for people and groups to claim religious objections under strong language. Vice President Pence has been a proponent of the plan, and his office has been reportedly pushing for it for months.
While governor of Indiana, Pence signed a similar state law on religious liberty that stirred up controversy across the country, but was seen as a legislative win and rallying cry for social conservatives.
Progressive critics have argued the executive order would allow discrimination against the LGBT community at the federal level.
“The ACLU fights every day to defend religious freedom, but religious freedom does not mean the right to discriminate against or harm others,” Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement Wednesday. “If President Trump signs an executive order that attempts to provide a license to discriminate against women or LGBT people, we will see him in court.”
A senior White House official however pushed back on the criticism saying the order “is not about discrimination.”
‘We don’t have any plans to discriminate, we’re about not discriminating against religious organizations,” the official said.
“Everything that is legal stays legal, everything that is illegal stays illegal,” the official added.
Before I get started with my analysis, please allow me this disclaimer:
I am a member of a Contemporary Evangelical Church, which I attend regularly, before I go to work on Sunday.
My faith is not marginal. I stand on The Solid Rock, not shifting sands.
America is a Constitutional Republic, not a Theocracy. And, as such, Americans, including the 75% of us who declare that Jesus Christ is our Personal Savior, must each make our own individual choice as to whom would best represent us as the Leader of the Free World, based upon both logic and the Spiritual Gift of Discernment.
Logic dictates that I will support those running for public office who will keep my family, my friends, and my country safe, secure, prosperous, and free.
During the Republican Primary Season, I was called everything but “a Child of God”, simply because I wrote factual posts about Donald J. Trump and stated that I would pencil in the bubble beside his name as my choice to fill the Office of President of the United States of America.
According to some people at the time, you were not truly a Christian, if you were willing to make that choice.
However, I beg to differ.
Of course, the Liberal Trolls on the Internet still love to tell me and my fellow Christian Americans that we are not Christian if we do not believe as they do.
But, I digress…
That being said, Christianity, the faith of the overwhelming majority of Americans has played a part not only in the birth of our nation, but also the shaping of its Domestic and Foreign Policies.
To deny that fact is to attempt to rewrite history.
There is no such codicil in the Constitution of the United States of America as “The Separation of Church and State”.
Per the website, usconsitution.net,
One of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, is directly responsible for giving us this phrase. In his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptist Association, then-President Jefferson used the phrase — it was probably not the first time, but it is the most memorable one. He said:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, [the people, in the 1st Amendment,] declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.
Jefferson did not have a hand in the authoring of the Constitution, nor of the 1st Amendment, but he was an outspoken proponent of the separation of church and state, going back to his time as a legislator in Virginia. In 1785, Jefferson drafted a bill that was designed to quash an attempt by some to provide taxes for the purpose of furthering religious education. He wrote that such support for religion was counter to a natural right of man:
… no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
Jefferson’s act was passed, though not without some difficulty, in Virginia. Eyler Robert Coates wrote that the act was copied in the acts or constitutions of several states, either in words or in concepts. Jefferson himself was in France by the time word of the act reached Europe, and he wrote back to America that his act was well-thought of and admired.
However, unlike the tyranny in England that our Founding Fathers escaped from, no one in this presently free nation has ever been forced to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
And, that fact is extremely evident in some of the comments one sees on Facebook Political Pages and Political Websites.
But, again, I digress…
In recent times, especially under the Previous President, Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm), a concerted effort was to marginalize Christian Americans, putting us in a box if you will.
A lot of Liberals and “libertarians” seem to believe that Christianity Americans should only practice our faith on Sunday Mornings from 9 – 12, and be seen and not heard the rest of week.
To which I personally answer, with two quotes from the Bible,
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. – Matthew 27:5 (NIV)
…”Go and do likewise.” – Luke 10:37 (NIV)
And, boys and girls, that is MY right as an American.
For decades, American churches, like the black congregations in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, have invited local politicians to speak from their pulpits. while Modern American Liberals have had conniption fits over white churches around the country doing the same thing, they have not said a mumblin’ word about the actions of a constituency which historically votes Democratic.
The Johnson Amendment was a violation of Christian Americans’ Constitutional Rights to begin with, whose selective enforcement has been an intentional act of self-serving hypocrisy by the Democratic Party.
President Trump was exactly right in what he told that meeting of Evangelical Christians some nine months ago:
They took away the voice of people that want to see good things happen. It’s not like they took away a bad voice, an evil voice. They took away a voice.
Today, President Trump is giving Christian Americans our voice back.
Until He Comes,