Some seem willing to settle for a moment of silent prayer in government schools, a type of religious Miranda right, in which believing students have the right to remain mute. Others are willing to place their God as co-unequal with almost anything, just to have his name publicly mentioned, even if that tends to dilute him so much he wouldn't recognize himself, much less be familiar to others.
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor defended the "under God" clause in the Pledge of Allegiance case the court dismissed last year, calling those words "ceremonial deism." She defined the term as the use of religious idiom for "essentially secular purposes," thus satisfying the court's requirement that basically says Rudolph, Santa and Jesus may co-mingle on public property at Christmas (X-mas?) and Rudolph or Santa may be displayed separately or together, but not Jesus alone.
Is this what conservative Christians wish to settle for: a governmental genuflection or acknowledgement that they exist? Do Christians wish to permit government not only to set the parameters for the pubic expression of their faith, but to define the faith itself?
The courts have been wrong for at least half a century in their limitation of religious expression, but the way to win back that right of expression is not mainly through courts, but through hearts.
The first option offers limited power and no guarantee of compliance. The other offers unlimited power and the possibility of changing lives. Which seems better from a biblical standpoint? WWJD (What would Jesus do)? WWMT (What would Moses think)?
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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