This past week, I read a blog post that noted how prayer was banned at a high-school graduation in Indiana but not in Alabama. Then I read another news report, this one about a California high school that changed its graduation "opening prayer" to "a moment of silence." No big shocker there.
Tragically, these types of devaluing religious news stories are a dime a dozen today. Spiritual regression is not only a trend but also an epidemic.
The Fuller Youth Institute just reported that 40 percent of even churchgoing high-school seniors "significantly struggle with their faith and with finding a church after graduation." And other statistics show that by the time they end their college education, 90 percent will have dropped out of church.
Attrition in church attendance and faith in God is definitely on the rise. And so is animosity toward America's Judeo-Christian heritage.
Removing God from the public square is not new, but its pace is progressively increasing at alarming rates. Omitting any reference to God is pervasive not only in textbooks but also now at historical sites, including in Washington, D.C. In 2006, the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia, to which tens of thousands of schoolchildren come each year to learn about the first English colony in America (13 years before the Pilgrims at Plymouth), omitted from its tours the first purpose mentioned in the 1606 charter: to spread the Christian religion. In 2007, the U.S. Mint "accidentally" omitted the words "In God We Trust" on the first 50,000 or so George Washington presidential dollars. The same year, the National Park Service covered up and omitted the words "Praise be to God" on the capstone replica display in the Washington Monument. Then, in 2008, the new 580,000-square-foot Capitol Visitor Center suffered a series of religious oversights and corruptions in various historical displays of our Capitol and country's heritage. Is it any coincidence that the most recently erected memorials in D.C. contain no references to God, either? And of course, the Texas textbook wars include battles over omissions and revisions of America's godly heritage in public-school curricula.
Speaking of our culture's devaluing of religion, only weeks after television's Comedy Central's executives nixed a program because of its controversial depiction of Muhammad, the founder of Islam, the network announced a sacrilegious and shameful new series titled "JC," a comedy about God and Jesus Christ, who (in the programs) will be "JC" -- a regular guy who moves to modern-day New York to "escape his father's enormous shadow." And God is portrayed as a lethargic man and deadbeat father. Isn't this political incorrectness and hate language at its core? Does America really need to stoop to such deplorable depths and dung for a laugh?
Is it just me or do others not see the major movement to whitewash God from our culture? Do our governing officials really think eliminating the Almighty is any answer to our problems? Don't they see omissions of God are also avoidances of the very being who can help us out of or through our troubles? Or do we believe that our country can experience true recovery and success without God's intervention or blessing? Does America believe it can graduate without or from God?
Right now, needing our patriot assistance is Rep. Randy Forbes, whose congressional address on America's Judeo-Christian heritage has received more than 3 million views on YouTube. Forbes, along with the members of the bipartisan Congressional Prayer Caucus, has reintroduced H. Res. 397, "America's Spiritual Heritage Resolution." The resolution would recognize our nation's spiritual heritage milestones, reject current attempts to erase all religious history from public buildings and educational resources, and establish a week for Americans to remember and reflect on the spiritual principles upon which our nation was founded. The resolution has gained bipartisan support, with 79 co-sponsors. Has your representative sponsored or supported the resolution? If not, please contact that person today to ask that he/she does so.
George Washington gave a very wise and timely word in his Farewell Address to all Americans (including all government officials) who even entertain the thought that they can graduate from God. It also serves as a great "commencement address" to all graduates this spring: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."
America, don't ever forget: Your Founders expected you to graduate with God, not from him.
Next week, in Part 2, Chuck will discuss "the No. 1 advocate for a godless society."