Jesus was born and grew up under the shadow of a tyrannical government. The religion He practiced would have been persecuted by the government if there had not been a special exemption granted to the Jews in order to keep the peace in Palestine.
When Jesus’ public ministry began, the people were hungry for relief from the taxation of the Roman government. They were waiting for the prophesied Messiah, a military savior that would overthrow the tyranny of Rome.
Jesus was not the messiah the Jews were expecting. He promised an overthrow of the tyranny of sin and death. His followers saw the Truth in what He taught. When He was crucified, He had a devoted following who were committed to preaching His gospel to the world.
Since the gospel was not what the “Establishment” Jews expected, Jesus’ followers were persecuted. One man in particular struck fear into the hearts of the followers of the Way, Saul of Tarsus. He was a Pharisee and a Roman citizen. When he would arrive in a town with a budding Christian community, he would have them executed. However, God saw a purpose for Saul. He knocked him off his horse and struck him blind so that Saul would see the light. When Saul converted to Christianity, he took the name Paul. He truly believed that God called him to repent and to preach the gospel, not to the Jews but to the gentiles.
In the first century the followers of Jesus were few in number compared to the fast following that Jesus has today. Now, in the 21st century, the Christian church is again being persecuted by tyrannical governments. Even in the United States where the Constitution states that freedom of religion is protected from government interference, Christians are constantly under fire for their beliefs. Their holidays are marginalized, and the gospel can no longer be taught to children in government schools.
Saint Paul was called to preach the gospel as is this current generation. One of the last things Jesus said to his followers before He joined the Father in heaven was that we are to bring people to know Him. What is being done today? Churches are more like social clubs and networking sites rather than houses of worship. When Jesus came upon the secularism in the Temple in Jerusalem, He took a whip and drove them out.
A wise man once said that there are three criteria upon which God judges a nation: child sacrifice, worship of idols, and tolerance of homosexual behavior. One can look around and see how far our nation’s culture has strayed from God’s will for His people. Women line up in droves at abortion clinics to sacrifice their first born children to the god of convenience. Money has become god to many rather than a tool for fulfilling needs and being generous. The media is rife with content that encourages people to accept same sex relationships as normal.
One may ask, “What can be done?” Many believe that they may be in the minority. Some devout Christians have had to compromise their beliefs to remain friends with people or to be accepted by their families. Others may choose to keep silent about immorality in order to maintain their employment. We must be willing to sacrifice for Jesus. Jesus gave his life to rescue us from sin and death. Paul was imprisoned for preaching the gospel. The founders of the United States gave up everything to fight for freedom from tyranny. The greatest generation fought against the empires of Japan and Germany to keep their tyranny from invading our shores. It is now up to this generation. Citizens must rise up and speak out against the tyranny that has been slowly creeping into our local, state, and federal governments. They must stay in contact with their elected officials to let them know what they think about what they are doing. They must not stop until the job is done.
The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution refers to the establishment and practice of religion in the United States. It says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” The 14th Amendment has been interpreted as expanding the Bill of Rights to state governments. The last sentence of Amendment 14, Section 1 states, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the U.S.; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
Nowhere in the Constitution is it stated that there should be a separation of church from the state. It simply states that no national religion can be established and that the government cannot stop people from practicing their religion. The phrase “wall of separation between Church and State” is from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptists who were afraid that the government would make their denomination illegal, as had been practice in many colonies before the U.S. declared independence from Britain. Jefferson used the wall analogy to reassure them that the government would have nothing to do with religion because it is a matter of conscience between man and God. He never said that religion shall be removed from government or public life. Prayer and Christian worship services were conducted in the halls of Congress. The Christian religion was taught in public schools. There was even concern about how teaching science outside the context of God could cause students to become atheistic. Mandatory chapel attendance was a fact of life in universities like Harvard and Yale.
Fast forward to what has occurred in the last century, focusing on the last 40 years. Progressives have added interpretation to the 1st and 14th Amendments that are not there and have twisted Jefferson’s words to mean that the “separation” means that religion has no place in the public realm. This belief has led to the elimination of the Christian religion of all denominations from public schools, while the tenets of Islam are being taught openly. Pastors are prohibited from preaching on political issues because of tax laws. Teachers are prohibited from teaching Christianity in public schools which flies in the face of “free exercise” because teachers are not allowed to fulfill the Great Commission given to all Christians by Jesus in the Gospels.
History has shown how eliminating religion from the state actually mutates the state into a religion. Ancient Romans persecuted Christians because they refused to worship the Caesar as a god or any of the other state sponsored gods. Communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe and the Nazi Third Reich in Germany are two other glaring examples of how government becomes a national religion. Religion became heavily regulated and persecuted by the State. These governments wanted their citizens to fully rely on them, not a Supreme Being.
In conclusion, laws and court rulings that limit the free practice of religion in the public realm are unconstitutional. Students in government schools are being taught that Christianity had nothing to do with how the Founding Fathers developed the fabric of our government. Christian children in many schools are not allowed to pray openly or wear clothing that reflects their beliefs because what they do may be offensive to religions that may be in a minority or non-existent in the school. Christians have to compete with atheists for the opportunity to display the story of Jesus’ birth during the Christmas season. When governments take religion from young people while telling them to question everything their parents teach them, they can manipulate these children into believing that the government is the source of all that is good, not God.
President Barack Obama’s administration and the Democrat Party in Congress have guaranteed the end of the American Dream in the United States. This dream in the 1800s was that anyone, no matter their financial situation could achieve wealth in business. The dream has been mutated to mean financial equality for everyone. This equality applies now to the middle and lower classes.
With the advent of Obama Care and the most recent showdown over the Continuing Resolution and the debt ceiling, the policies being proposed by the President and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will guarantee that no one in the middle class will move into the wealthy class.
The mandate on employers to provide health insurance for their full time employees will guarantee that small businesses will remain small. Full time has been redefined from 40 hours to 30 hours per week. This mandate also applies to employers with 50 or more employees. Now employers will move to cut full time employees to part time to avoid paying the approximately $6 thousand per employee insurance premium. Growing businesses will not hire more than 49 employees to avoid paying the premiums as well. This stifles small business growth and limits them from expanding their businesses.
The tax increases that came down the pike this time last year
with the expiration of the Bush Era tax cuts are another factor that will keep people in the middle class. According to the proposal, tax rates have gone up for all earners making more than $200 thousand per year. People in the middle class will avoid earning this much income to keep from moving into the higher tax bracket. The highest income tax bracket is 39.6%. The corporate tax rate is 20%. The estate “death” tax increased to 45% on estates with $3.5 million or more in assets. These tax rates will be devastating to small businesses, especially those who were to be passed down to future generations.
In conclusion the Progressive elite have assured that they will remain the elite and keep the middle class “in its place” with these two policies alone. People must hold their congressmen accountable if they vote on policies that kill the American Dream. We also must support our state legislatures as they work to nullify Obama Care. When the people re-elected Obama as president and did not elect a Republican majority in the Senate, they put a spade in the ground to dig the grave for the True American Dream.