For decades there’s been a debate over whether or not America is a Christian nation, or a nation founded on the purely secular ideas of the Enlightenment. This debate is at a fever pitch in this second decade of the twenty-first century, as Americans are divided and polarized to a point seen few times in our nation’s history. There are days that it seems we share no common allegiance, and no set of consensus values in this country. This has the potential to be devastating for the future of freedom because, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out in his 1858 speech, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The ability for America to govern itself is contingent on our common acceptance of shared concepts of right and wrong. If this consensus collapses, so does our foundation of limited government and human freedom.
The political left is intent on radically redefining the values that make America, well, America. The American Creed is based on the belief that the rights of man come from God, not government, and that, as a result of this belief, those same rights are unalienable to each of us. If our nation abandons this core tenant of our system of self-government, then the whole house will come crashing down upon us. Nevertheless, that seems to be the design of the secular-progressive movement, as their hostility toward traditional values been fully displayed in the recent controversy over Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy was simply asked about the company’s commitment to Christian values by The Baptist Press, to which he replied “we are very much supportive of the family – the Biblical definition of the family unit.” This, however, was not the liking of the radical Left, who have now made Cathy target number one in their campaign to route freedom of religion from American life.
The radical redefinition of values in this country is moving us precipitously close to “freedom from religion” as opposed to “freedom of religion.” This was not the intent of our nation’s founders, and it is anathema to the American experience. Take, for example, the assault on Chick-fil-A that Democratic Chicago Mayor, and former White House Chief-of-Staff, Rahm Emmanuel launched last week. The Mayor indicated that because “Chick-fil-A’s values aren’t Chicago’s values” he was going to try and deny permitting in city limits for Chick-fil-A locations. Even UCLA constitutional law professor Eugene Volokh points that that “denying a private business permits because of such speech by its owner is a blatant First Amendment violation.” Nevertheless, Emmanuel has threatened to go forward undaunted and unabated. Such is the disrespect of the Left, which seems to know no law higher than itself.
For the better part of the past half century Americans have watched as an activist judiciary has done the bidding of secular progressives. What the Left couldn’t win at the ballot box, they attempted to win in court. We may well say that the courts “softened up the beaches” for an all-out onslaught against traditional values in America with ruling after ruling that eroded religious freedom and turned the intent of the First Amendment on its head. In fact, David Barton notes, out of approximately 7,000 cases filed in Federal court under the First Amendment over the past several decades, over 4,000 of them cited the metaphor “separation of church and state,” which is not even part of the First Amendment, as the justification for undermining Americans’ religious liberties. Less than 3,000 of these cases actually quoted the First Amendment itself, which simply states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Somehow, the Court has flipped the original intent of the First Amendment on its head, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Now, it appears to be open season on the First Amendment rights of all Americans. We’re moving closer and closer to such censure that is eerily similar to the state control over religion from which our forefathers fled. It may be accurately stated that America’s “First Freedom” is the freedom of religion, and that this “First Freedom” is under absolute assault. Mark my words, if the “First Freedoms” of the First Amendment are eroded, then freedom itself will falter and fail in America. We will no longer be the “land of the free” and the hope of man on Earth. Lovers of liberty, we must stand for our values of faith, family and freedom while they may still be defended.
Unfortunately, Christianity is being treated as un-American, in spite of the fact that it is the foundation of American freedom.