David Limbaugh

There has been no cessation of hostility in the secularists' war against Christianity. The enemies of religious freedom are still operating at full force, and we must keep our eyes on them.

Just a few months ago, a California court flagrantly interposed itself in the private, internal affairs of a Lutheran Church in Fresno. The conflict began when certain members of the Free Evangelical Lutheran Cross Church there stopped attending church services because they didn't appreciate what the pastor was preaching.

The church elders decided they would revoke the memberships of the absent congregants but would first give them an opportunity to be heard at a formal meeting. Instead of appearing at the hearing, the members filed suit against the church, contesting its right to terminate their memberships.

The court, appallingly, ruled in favor of the members and against the church, basically saying that the church doesn't have the right to enforce its own rules of discipline.

If the secularist warriors in our culture held themselves to a consistent standard, we could expect their outrage over this decision. After all, their rallying cry is "separation of church and state."

Forget that the Constitution says nothing about separating church and state and that activist judges judicially "wrote" the provision into the Constitution. The point is that the secularists swear by the principle of church-state separation and insist that our freedoms, including our religious freedoms, are dependent on it.

They contend that unless we adhere to this principle, we will forfeit our religious liberties and our pluralistic society will fall prey to religious totalitarians. But the California court's decision betrays both religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Yet we hear not a peep from the secularists about this decision.

The secularists tell us with no small degree of passion that the reason we must keep church and state separate is that if the state, with its enormous power, endorses a particular religion, it will, in effect, be chilling the religious freedom of those of other religions. The state, in other words, must keep its nose out of religion.

But let's look at how they apply the principle in practice. In public schools, for example, they tell students they can't pray even on their own time and in a nondisruptive manner, such as when a kindergarten teacher prohibited two kindergarten students from praying at the snack table. Similarly, school officials have enjoined more than one high school senior from discussing his or her Christ-centered life in a valedictory speech to the student body.


David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

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