GOD AND THE FEDS
Copyright © 2010, 2015, 2018, 2022 by Jim Hull
(Please cite the author if you quote from this work)
"If all the States declare thankfulness to God in their preambles, then why is this government trying to dismantle the name of God from everything?"
They're not "trying"; the country was FOUNDED that way. Putting the word "God" up on a federal portico seems innocent, but it leads directly down a slippery slope to you being persecuted.
There are two good, ancient reasons why the Feds are kept out of religion, and they're to protect YOU and avoid bloodshed. Here we go:
1. States are designed to have much more latitude in how they approach religion. That way, if you despise what your state is doing, you can move to another state that's more to your liking. It's the genius of the American system. (Nowadays, people in Washington, D.C. are trying to usurp those powers in all areas, but at least that's the original principle.)
2. If, as many Christian groups dearly hope, the U.S. government were to espouse religious words or principles, it almost certainly would NOT select YOUR form of Christianity. Eventually you'd be forced to pray, or bow down to, the WRONG religion whenever you visited a government building, AND your congregation would eventually be suppressed, taxed, etc. There are over 30,000 varieties of Christian. What are the odds the YOUR version will win out?
It was precisely this kind of meddling by rulers that caused the deaths of millions between 1500 and 1800 during religious wars in Europe, and it's why the Founders were so afraid of government interference in religious affairs.
The very first words of the Bill of Rights are: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . " It's that important! If the Feds put, say, the Ten Commandments up on buildings, it's only a matter of time before people are fighting in the streets over which translation of the Commandments gets used, or which religion gets to decide what other texts are promoted, and which religion gets special treatment in the Halls of Congress or in the courts, etc etc. (That would be the religion with the most money and the most votes.)
The Founders deliberately took the federal government out of the religion business to protect ALL religions -- especially Christianity in its many forms. (If you think nobody but you is truly Christian, then that's all the more reason you DON'T want the government taking sides, because your group will lose out to the wrong people.) It's much safer for your congregation, and its chances of converting others, if the federal government stays strictly out of religion. Otherwise, you'd almost certainly be chafing in rage at how the government would force you to worship. It wouldn't be the way you'd want to do it.
Do you really want, for example, Obama to be in charge of your religious beliefs? For that matter, will there EVER be a president who agrees with your particular congregation? Far safer, then, to keep the government's nose out of the religion tent altogether.
"But it's just the word 'God' on government preambles!" Sure, and once anything falls under federal purview, it grows and expands until it runs every aspect of that thing in America. If you start with a simple, "We believe in God" statement emblazoned on all federal buildings, it's merely a matter of time until the religion that wins the next election can hang its own banners, i.e., "We the People of the United States, under the Catholic God . . . " or the next administration replaces it with "Y____H" or (in candidate Jerry Brown's case) "Buddha" or . . . get ready for it . . . "ALLAH" !!! And if the Birthers are right, we'd be only a stone's throw away from that word printed on everything federal.
Don't laugh: remember, the entire Roman Empire, at Emperor Constantine's insistence, changed its religion overnight in 312 A.D., and suddenly everyone went from worshipping Jupiter to worshipping Jesus. The Middle East became Muslim in a matter of decades after 632 A.D., as warriors put populations to the sword if they didn't convert. Confucianism swept across China immediately, by government edict, in the second century B.C. And Communism overthrew religion in a matter of a few years in Soviet Russia. There's no reason it can't happen again, especially if the central government has anything to say about it.
So be glad the Feds -- who seem to screw up everything they touch -- are prevented from making any kind of statement about religion on government property. It wouldn't end up as YOUR choice of religion. And literally millions could die before it got fixed.
congregation has vastly more power when the government is silent
than when the Feds take a stance. Don't throw away your
freedom of worship and hand it to a bureaucrat. It's that
* * * *
UPDATE: What might happen if a Christian sect took over the government? Here's one possibility.
COMMENT: The brilliant and ever-interesting Leslie Burkhardt offers her thoughts on faith in the modern world. (You may have to sign in to Google.)
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