Many reject the notion that a good segment of our popular culture and of our political class is at war with Christianity. But this is a real war -- not a phony one, such as the left's manufactured "war on women."
This hostility toward Christianity is a global phenomenon. Radical Muslims are targeting, persecuting and, in many cases, slaughtering Christians in numerous countries around the world. But I want to talk about a softer form of hostility -- though nevertheless of serious concern -- that is occurring in the United States.
I filled an entire book with examples of discrimination against Christians in this country about a decade ago, and since then, there has been little or no abatement of this practice.
For example, a student in Dyer County, Tennessee, was suspended because she committed the unforgivable sin of saying "bless you" when a classmate sneezed. High-school senior Kendra Turner said her teacher told her such expressions are for church. Turner said, "She said that we're not going to have godly speaking in her class, and that's when I said we have a constitutional right." It was this objection and the student's being "disruptive and aggressive" that reportedly led to her suspension by an administrator.
Well, it seems to me that the disruption, aggressiveness and inappropriate behavior came from the teacher, not from Turner. Indeed, Turner's youth pastor, Becky Winegardner, implied that this was about not insubordination but rather the teacher's apparent hostility toward faith. "There were several students that were talking about this particular faculty member there that was very demeaning to them in regard to their faith," said Winegardner.
The secular left, the humanists, the anti-theists and sometimes the militant homosexual lobby aggressively challenge Christian expression in the public square, arguing that our Constitution mandates a strict separation of church and state. That is grossly wrong and leads to much confusion and sloppy thinking on the issue.
The First Amendment contains two religion clauses -- the free exercise clause, which guarantees that we may freely exercise our religion, and the establishment clause, which prohibits the federal government from establishing a national religion or national church.
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptists, used the expression "wall of separation between Church & State," but that language is not in the Constitution. The establishment clause is the provision that secularists and activist courts have used to argue the Constitution dictates this separation. But it was never intended to and, though courts have dramatically expanded it beyond the framers' intent, still does not require any such strict separation.
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