David Limbaugh

Courts have expanded it to prohibit all kinds of religious expression in state-funded venues, on the grounds that if religious expression occurs in such places, the government -- state or federal -- is indirectly funding or supporting a particular religion and this constitutes an establishment of religion.

This strained interpretation is absurd in light of the purpose of the clause, to prevent the establishment of a national church. But the Turner story takes it beyond absurdity. It's ludicrous enough to say the federal or state government is establishing a national religion when a publicly funded official (e.g., a teacher) promotes a particular religion, but this was a student, not a teacher, and this was a reflexive blessing, not an act of proselytizing.

Please understand: The purpose of both religion clauses was to promote religious liberty. That is abundantly obvious with the free exercise clause, but it should be just as clear with the establishment clause. The only reason our framers would have prevented the establishment of a national religion is to protect religious liberty.

But courts have twisted the establishment clause into a weapon against religious liberty. To argue that blessing a sneezing classmate constitutes the government's establishing or even supporting a particular religion is surreal.

Further examples abound -- enough to fill up another book. In the name of protecting religious liberty (for Christians, anyway), the secular left, at every turn, is choking and smothering it.

But it's not just these constitutional issues that should concern us. There is an increasing hostility toward Christians and Christianity in our culture, the liberal media, Hollywood and our universities.

For the record, if the secularists were concerned about the government's taking sides on such questions, they would also object to the rampant secularization of the curricula in schools and universities, including the demonization of our Christian heritage. They would be concerned about the preferential treatment often given to Islam. But it's not the Constitution these people are fighting for; it's Christianity that they are fighting against.

The "tolerant" left has zero tolerance for Christianity, and all Christians and all lovers of liberty would be well advised to be vigilant against this societal assault on Christianity that uses the Constitution as an excuse.

To those Christians who casually dismiss all this as beneath them because they want to focus on evangelizing and not politics, please understand that your ability to evangelize would evaporate in the absence of political freedoms. So if you want to be removed from the fight, I won't object, but please don't condemn those who willingly engage in this struggle so that you can continue to focus on evangelism.

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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