Archive for June, 2008

A New Case Before The European Court Of Human Rights

We are currently in Strasbourg, France preparing to file a case at the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of the Plett family.  The Plett’s are a Russian German family that has chosen to home school two of their children rather than send them to the depraved German public school system.

 

I could go into great detail about the problems with education in the German public schools, but it would become pornographic rather quickly.  Suffice it to say that the sex education includes graphic descriptions and depictions even in the early grades.  They include complete acceptance of homosexual couples as normal families.  Of course, the Germans have granted identical status to homosexual and heterosexual couples.  Homosexual couples have every right that heterosexual couples have except the right to a marriage license.  As a result, the normal family discussed in kindergarten and first and second grade classes must include the discussion of families as two men, or two women in classroom settings. 

 

When children tell the teacher that their family does not believe that homosexual couples are families the teacher will often declare that their family is wrong and the teaching is proper.

 

There is also a lot of occult teaching in all levels of school.  This includes out of body experiences guided by the teacher and other occultist classroom events. 

 

The Pletts were fined for home schooling their children.  When they did not pay the fines the local court gave legal custody of the children to the Youth Welfare Office for matters of where the children lived.  In other words, the Youth Welfare Office can place the children in foster care at their sole discretion.

 

The case has gone through four courts in Germany and the Pletts lost at every level because the German system treats home schooling as a crime, including the potential for serving time in prison.

 

During the period of time in court Mrs. Plett moved to Austria with the home schooled children while the father and the remaining children stayed in Paderborn, Germany.  Recently the entire family reunited and moved to Canada to avoid having the children taken by the German government.  The German government insisted that they could have the children taken from the family—even while they were legally residing in Austria.

 

Tomorrow morning we file the Pletts’ case at the European Court.  We are asking the court to rule that Germany cannot continue to persecute home school families.  This case is a long shot, but we must make sure that we work to bring the full force of the law to protect this family.

 

Please pray for this family and our work.  You can support us through our web site www.ihrg.org.

Next Up

            I am getting ready to head back to Europe.  Even though I have only been home for a little over a week I have to be back in Strasbourg, France to file our second case at the European Court of Human Rights–in less than four months.  This case is from Germany and involves the rights of parents to control the education of their children.  Then I head to Oslo, Norway for a criminal trial involving two missionaries who were arrested for sharing their faith in public in Norway.

 

            Recently I was meeting with a Christian man who understands how the world works.  I was sharing with him regarding the battle that German is waging on home school families.  Though there are only three or four hundred children being home schooled in Germany, the German government has for reasons unknown, declared war on these children and their parents.  The question I was asked left me thinking.  This man wanted to know “why is the German government fighting such an insignificant group of families?” 

 

            At first I did not have an answer, something that is unusual for me.  After a couple of minutes of contemplation I suddenly understood what was going on in Germany.  It is like an example I have given to explain the French Secte Reports.  There the French released a list of names that labeled a variety of groups dangerous sects.  This list contained over 170 different organizations.  Most of the organizations on the list were indeed organizations that needed to be on a list like this—at least in a world where a list of any kind makes sense.

 

            The example was simple; cut off the fringe and move the edges of the piece of cloth closer to the middle.  Eventually there is nothing left of the cloth, in France the cloth represents the Church and the end result is the eradication of religion from public life in France and ultimately Europe.

 

            In Germany the case is somewhat different.  Here the goal is to completely secularize the culture; this is the spiritual war that is going on in most of the western world.  The Germans are attacking this small group of families for the reason they are small.  Most of these families seem strange to the average German and therefore there is no one who is going to think there is anything wrong with solving this “problem.”

 

            Once this group is out of the way the German government can quietly move to the next fringe group and continue their destructive ways.

 

            What most people fail to realize is the value of these fringe members of any society.  You see, one of the lessons we should have learned from Hitler is that how a society treats its fringe elements is good insight into how it will treat the rest of its people should its power become unlimited. 

 

            We must learn to respect the least of these among us.  The weakest link among us will be the one that reveals how enlightened we really are.

The Eradiction Of Christianity From Our Culture

We are in the midst of a great war.  The fact that most of us do not see soldiers on the street does not change the fact.  That we do not hear bombs exploding does not change the fact.

 

The war has been going on since the Garden of Eden and continues today stronger than ever.  In fact, today, for one of the first times in the history of man, the planet seems to be somewhat united in the belief that we have outgrown a need for God.  After all, we can create life through cloning.  We can build ships that travel across the solar system—never mind the fact that we keep sending out equipment that does not work right.  Nowhere have we found any evidence that God is out there.  There was time when we knew God existed because we could feel His presence around us.  We knew He existed because we could see that creation screamed His presence.  Now science explains it all and it simply does not require God.

 

The war came home to roost during the French Revolution—the Age of Enlightenment became the prevailing worldview.  Until that time, and even for some time after the Revolution, man’s worldview, even when he was not a Christian, was influenced and dominated by a Christian understanding of the world around us.  Science was content to look for explanations that explained how God’s principles controlled everyday existence.  Then came the Age of Enlightenment and man became the dominant force in the Universe. 

 

Part of the French Revolution was a battle to destroy the influence of the Church in France.  Some of it was justified as the Church was part of the problem.  The divine right of kings and the class system it spawned were clearly part of the problem.  Unfortunately for the revolutionaries, the Church was too strong to eradicate.  So they were only able to dilute the power of the Church rather than destroy it.

 

Now, a couple of centuries later, the revolution continues.  The French Secte Report was designed to further weaken the influence of religion in general and the Church specifically.  This report screamed that enlightened man should question all religion.  Man is too intelligent to be lead around by old wife’s tales.

 

And the battle continues today—not just in France, and not just in the ideas of the Revolution.  America was greatly influenced by the Age of Enlightenment.  Thomas Jefferson and other of our founding fathers believed in its principles, even though they could not completely eradicate the Christian worldview from their minds.

 

Now the battle has taken the form of political correctness.  There are certain things we can longer say.  We are no longer allowed to be considered racist in any matter.  We are no long able to hold contrary views on a number of issues.  People no longer want us to speak about these issues in public.

 

A pastor was arrested in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for sharing the Gospel on the sidewalks during Spring Break.  After all, we do not want to disturb the right of our college students to have their drunken drug-induced fun—that would be un-American.

 

Now the police were not so stupid as to actually charge this pastor with preaching the Gospel illegally.  Instead, they charged him with blocking the sidewalk.  That is even more interesting given the fact that at the time he was accused of blocking the sidewalk he was actually talking with the police officer about his constitutional rights.

 

This is one battle in the larger war.  The first phase of the war was to convince us that religion is a private matter.  We should not be on the sidewalks trying to tell people about God.  We should not be using our faith to influence our culture.  That is what lead to the taking down of the Ten Commandments and other references to God and particularly Christianity in our public areas. 

 

We have the right to use government money to pay for a crucifix immersed in urine as an art project. We have the right to use government money to pay for sex education that teaches that sex, with anyone of any sex, is good and moralless.  Yet, we cannot allow the posting of plaques in public places if they have a reference to God.

 

The next phase of the war is to remove the ability of Christians to share their faith in public.  It might sound like the impossible dream at first, but it is already being methodically introduced into our culture.  We have started by taking the most extreme cases and hassling them.  Anyone who preaches that God has exact standards that cannot be modified by man is finding the public arena to be a hostile place suddenly.  The first step is to say that you should preach a kinder message.  Why don’t you talk about God’s love?  Who are you to speak about what God considers sin?  After all, we are enlightened and God will not judge us for those things that we honestly believe are okay.

 

When these extreme prophets of God are threatened with arrest or even arrested our initial response is that they are bothering us with there message and it does disturb our peace.  I was only attending a ballgame or a concert and looking to have some fun.  Why do I have to listen to someone questioning my moral standards?

 

The idea is fairly palatable.  They are only cutting off the fringe.  They are not trying to stop those who will preach about God’s love or the need for us to love the earth more.

 

The trouble is that this is a true slippery slope.  After you have cut off the fringe preachers the standard for what is fringe has been moved further in.  Now the next group begins to sound fringe.  So, we will have to cut them off eventually.  Then, once again, the fringe is moved in further.  So we have to cut off that fringe and move the fringe in closer.

 

Eventually, we get to the place where the only place religion is an appropriate discussion is within the four walls of the Church.  The end result, as hard as it is to believe is that at some point we reach a point where we step inside the Church and declare that some or all of the message is incompatible with the culture.

 

It sounds like an impossible stretch to get all the way to inside the Church from where we are, but it has already begun to happen in Europe.

 

A pastor in Sweden was charged with a crime for reading scriptures from the Bible that condemned homosexuality.  It was considered a message that was incompatible with modern society.

 

During his court hearing the judge actually told this pastor that he should get a modern version of the Bible that properly dealt with homosexuality.  He was found guilty after the judge declared that he did not have the right to say, in his own pulpit, that homosexuality was considered a sin by God.

 

Eventually the courts in Sweden corrected the problem by overturning his conviction.  This is the first shot in the battle.  It will not be the last one.

 

We have to stand strong.  We can no longer give into a culture that is more and more finding our faith old fashioned and judgmental.  This does not mean that we should not find better ways to present our message.  It does mean that we should not compromise the message for the sake of the culture.

 

We are called to be salt and light.  If we do not continue to answer our calling with courage we will find our faith something is only shown in museums—at least until those museums become too offensive and our faith is hidden from view.

 

At that point the Church will be like a bad rapture movie

The Task Before Us

In December of 2007 I found myself in Hamburg, Germany with three pastors.  I like traveling with pastors because they are the heart of the solution to the issues that are before us.  While in Hamburg we had the chance to visit the apartment complex where Muhamed Atta led a terrorist cell that spent a lot of time planning attacks against the west.  Out of this cell came Atta and several other men who flew planes on September 11th in America.

 

This nondescript apartment on Marienstrasse in Hamburg, has become ground zero for the global war that we are in the midst of right now.  I am not talking about the war on terror.  I am talking about the religious war that is facing the west.  This war is not a war of guns and bombs, at least not from the Christian standpoint.  God has not won a battle in church history through the use of violence.  The early church was careful to lay down their lives when faced with choices.  They were brave and they realized that our side of this war is only spiritual.

 

Politics will not save us.  The military will not save us.  American democracy will not save us.  Our salvation comes from the Lord.

 

That does not mean that we are to do nothing.  We have been called to walk by faith and perform works in keeping with the calling we have been given.

 

What this does mean is that we must learn to fight in this war through spiritual weapons.  Weapons formed in heaven are our only hope.  We have to move forward in love, loving not our lives even unto death.  I am not eager to die.  I am not saying you should be eager to die.  I do not think that is what the scripture is talking about.  What it is talking about is a mentality of not seeking after our own gain.  It is talking about seeing others through the eyes of God and loving others the same way we would be like to be loved.

 

The real way to win this war is with boots on the ground, just like the military in an invasion scenario.  The army cannot win a war simply by sending in bombs, there have to be soldiers to win and maintain the peace.

 

What does this mean to the church?  It means it is time for us to move back into Europe.  For too long we have been drawn to other continents where the fields were easier to find the harvest.

 

Europe has become the spiritual dark continent.  It is a place where there is still a remnant of the Christian faith.  In some places the Catholic Church is strong, in other areas the Orthodox Church is strong, and in other places the Lutheran Church is strong.  We need to see an Evangelical presence that is strong.  We need to be planting churches that have a vision to reach their community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Churches that are supported by American Christians, but churches that are European at their heart. 

 

We have to get to the place that we want to use the church to transplant our culture.  American culture is one culture among hundreds of cultures around the world.  Some things we do better; some things we do worse.  We have to give up the need to control what we create or what we support.  We need to get to the place where we are willing to be used to create something new, evangelical churches with their own vision to make a difference in their own cultures.

 

At the IHRG we are working with churches to get involved with local churches in Europe.  We are encouraging pastors to get the vision and start planting churches in Europe.  These churches will be American by necessity in the first generation.  Our plan is to plant churches that plant churches.  The second generation churches will be European with little influence from American churches.

 

At the same time, we are continuing to fight for religious freedom.  Where religious freedom exists open societies can thrive.  Where there is no religious freedom there is little hope for freedom.  When governments and churches believe in the right of everyone to believe as he sees fit, including the right to not believe, then they inherently respect the other rights that make freedom so dear.

 

The combination of planting new churches, shoring up existing churches, and keeping the door open for the proclamation of the Gospel is a way for us to bring lasting change to Europe—change that will see a new Reformation in Europe.

 

This is the only hope for the Continent.

Hanging From The Wall Of Life

I know we all have days like this, when we feel like a tree growing out of a stone wall, fifteen or twenty feet above the ground with no hope of every standing on solid ground.

 

I am going through one of those times.  I know I am doing the right thing.  I know am doing it the right way.  I know I am answering the call on my life.  Yet, here I am hanging above the ground afraid to fall, afraid to hang on.

 

One of the greatest lessons we can learn is that life is often like this.  This is the proving ground.  Here is where we find out what we are made of.  It is easy to serve and work when everything is level ground.  The only problem with a life like that is that we never get refined in the fire.

 

I heard a preacher one time say that if you are walking down the track of life and never run into the devil perhaps you are walking in the wrong direction.  In other words, we should expect difficulties.  We should expect hard times.  Hard times make for hard people.  

 

The question is what kind of hard person are we going to be.  Are we going to be hard people who close themselves off from the world around them?  People who become cold and nonresponsive to the pain of others around us.  These people cannot experience life because they cannot see past their own pain.

 

We all have pain.  In the words of Jim Morrison of the Doors, “no one here gets out alive.”  We are a people bound by a common fate—we are all going to die and stand before our Maker.

 

The right kind of hard is the hard that led the pioneers to head out into the wilderness and build a nation.  This hard is one that makes us hard to the agonies of life, but not hard to the people around us.  These are the people we often turn to for guidance.  When we have trouble we want to talk to someone who has been hanging on the wall.  We want the voice of experience.

 

It is no fun to get help from someone who has heard of the wall but never been there.  Experience is sometimes the only way to grow.  Lessons learned the hard way are often the best lessons we ever learn.

 

So, here I am, hanging on the wall, looking down, longing for better days.  The question is: am I going to learn from this experience or am I going to merely hang on until better days come, blindly living through the pain with no real gain.

 

The greatest harm I could do for myself is to endure the hard times and learn nothing from the experience.  I have determined to endure the hard times with the strength of looking to the future and the joy that comes from learning to trust God when the times are hardest.

 

Rather than wishing away the hard times, I am determined to live through the hard times finding the silver lining of God’s wisdom in the midst of impossible situations.

 

What will the outcome be?  I do not have any promises that I will not be harmed.  I only have the promise that I will be a better person if I let God teach me what He wants to teach me in these hard times.

 

I will survive.  And I am going to be a better person because of the hardships.

 

That is a promise I can live with.  Join me on the wall!

September 11th, A Beginning Of Sorts

When the first plane the World Trade Center I was getting my hair cut in Strasbourg, France.  It was a normal day for me.  I was the Executive Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice, an organization that was dedicated to fighting for religious freedom in Europe using the court systems of the Continent.  I was just months into my assignment—fulfilling a lifelong ambition.

 

Like every other person in the western world I knew that our world changed radically on that day.  I was four or five thousands miles from home with a pregnant wife and a six year old son.  We were immediately cut off from home—every plane headed into America from anywhere in the world was grounded for nearly a week.  Phone systems were shut down from the volume of calls.  We sat in our apartment and watched the twin towers collapse.  We watched the Pentagon burn.  We watched a field in Pennsylvania burn. 

 

We were devastated, we were filled with fear.  On the streets Muslims paraded.  They chanted anti-American slogans and were generally empowered in their hopes of bringing Islam to the west.

 

This was not the beginning of the war on western culture by Muslim fanatics.  Europe had been experiencing the effects of this war for decades.  Bombs on subways had long been a reality of living.  Some of the bombs were from local terror groups and some were from Muslim fanatics.  Regardless of the source, the bombs have had their effect.  The question they raise to me now is: “Are we prepared to be so committed to our faith?”

 

By this question I do not mean are we willing to kill others for the benefit of our beliefs.  I mean are we prepared to live in such a way as to die to ourselves for the sake of the Gospel.

 

It took me several years to regain my place.  I struggled with the aftereffects of terror for those years.  Many days I sat in my office fighting anger, fear, sadness, and other negative emotions begun that day in September.  My family suffered with me.  They knew I was struggling.  They knew I was fighting to regain my equilibrium. 

 

Their faithfulness and prayers are what got me through those troubled times.  I was troubled for a number of reasons.  I would like to say they were reasons of great struggle with the larger spiritual issues surrounding the new world we found ourselves walking through.  It would not be true, however.

 

My struggles were primarily over the ruins in which these events had left my dreams.  I did not respond immediately by rising up and determining to find my place in the new world.  Instead I did what many of us did.  I wondered through the new world in a daze.  Many days I literally sat in front of my computer lost in thought, not working, not moving forward—mourning the loss of a dream.

 

Like God does so often, He took those dark days and built in me a strength for the future.  I came out of this fog, after much prayer, stronger than I went in.  I came out determined to make a difference in our world like never before.  Not a difference made by doing huge things for God, but a difference made by doing the little things that were placed in front of me.

 

Now, nearly seven years later I am working in Europe continuing the fight for religious freedom.  I am much leaner, with my own ministry rather than attached to a big ministry.  Many would look at my efforts and declare that you cannot fill an ocean by spitting in a hole in the ground.  I would say to those people that they do not understand the nature of God.

 

God is big, bigger than we have ever been able to imagine.  He does not require big men and big ministries to make big differences.  He requires men with big hearts and big trust in Him.

 

As a result of this new direction I have begun an ambitious campaign.  It is not ambitious in terms of the big ministries, it is ambitious to me because between June and the end of September 2008 I will be out of the country five times on ministry trips.  I am helping with two trials in Europe. 

 

The first trial is in Oslo, Norway. The second trial is in a small town in eastern Germany, just over the Polish border.  The ambition is not the trials, or even the trips, even though the trips will be hard on my family.  The ambition is that we are beginning this summer totally depending on God to supply the needs.

 

He will have to supply our needs; we do not have a huge fund-raising machine.  He will have to supply the strength; international travel is very draining—even more so when the finances are not struggling.

 

I am doing this out of obedience to God.  I know what He has called me to.  I know what my job is. 

 

I am also doing this out of a sense that someone has to stand up for the helpless.  Many of the people we represent do not have anywhere else to turn.  At times when I have thought the road was too hard, too long, or too lonely, I have been revived by the thought of those men and women we are standing with.  Who will help them if we do not stand for them?

 

I particularly remember a short conversation I had with a family in Germany.  They dropped me off at the airport in Frankfurt.  As I prepared to grab my bags to fly home to my family, the wife pulled me to her.  As she hugged me she said quietly to me:  “Please do not forget us.”

 

That one statement has begun to define my calling in ministry.  I cannot forget these gentle souls who have no one to stand up for their rights.  They have no one to be there for them if we are not there.  Their stories are not juicy.  They are not the stories that always inspire the funders.  They are the stories that will decide how religious freedom continues in Europe.  We must be there.

 

I must be there.  I am compelled by my calling to be there.  I will be there.

Four Thirty AM in Wengen, Switzerland

It is four thirty in the morning in Wengen, Switzerland—dark, raining as it has for the past day.  Jet lag is holding on and I find myself wishing to sleep but too restless to comply.  What should be beautiful view of the Alps is lost in fog when the sun comes up.  This quiet restful town offers no solace to the weary traveler tonight.

 

Tomorrow promises to be more of the same.

 

I am here getting ready to do our work—protecting religious freedom at Euro 2008.  This is what we know as the European Cup Soccer Championships.  Switzerland and Austria are abuzz with the tension of thousands of soccer fans gathered to gather to cheer and cry for their teams as they seek one of the most prestigious championships on the planet.

 

Missionaries are here from around the world to share their faith to the thousands who have gathered to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

 

There are a number of matters to be taken care of yet.  I know the law, there is what should be an unqualified right to express your religious views in public.  As of now, that right is still protected in Europe.  There have been rumblings of that right fading.

 

Just recently in England two evangelists were threatened with arrest for sharing the Gospel in public places.  Just a month ago two evangelists in Norway were arrested for sharing their faith in a public pedestrian way.

 

Both of these instances are signs of potential change coming to Europe.  The reasons for both instances are different, but the results are the same.  We are finding Europe to be less open to the message of the Christian church.

 

In England the situation is the most dire.  It is here that the Gospel message is not being permitted because the area where the men were sharing their faith is a Muslim community.  In an age of tolerance the only thing it seems that is not being tolerated is the Christian message.  Maybe the reason is really just an inane desire to keep the peace.  After all, if we offend the Muslim community they do not just complain.  They often take to the streets in protest.  And their protest in recent years has included signs that call for the destruction of England.  Or they call for the overthrow of democratic government, demanding that it be replaced with Sharia law for everyone.

 

Some would say that the problem between the west and the Muslim world is that we have invaded their territory and they are only looking to be left alone.  England shows that logic to be false.  In merry ole England we have Muslim immigrants who have no desire to fit into the existing culture.  They have been asking for the last few years to have their own law determine their own disputes within their community.  Recently they have begun to show signs of not being willing to accept such a minor solution.  It seems their desire is to have England bow to the Muslim community and force everyone to follow their rules—the same as is currently required in the Muslim countries of the Middle East.

 

It makes the argument that we should leave the Middle East alone so they will leave us alone ring hollow.

 

So, when Christians in England preach their message in such a way that it reaches the Muslim community they threaten violence.  The do not merely threaten violence against the missionaries but against the entire culture.  Perhaps it is time we understood that their worldview divides the world into two groups of people—those of the true faith, Islam, and the rest of us.

 

Unfortunately for the rest of us, simply by being the rest of us they believe anything that happens to us is justified.  We are, after all, infidels.

 

The problem in England is not, however, the Muslim community.  The problem in England is the British community.  A people who once ruled most of the world have suddenly become incapable of ruling their portion of the island that is left to them.  It seems they do not have the strength to preserve their own culture.

 

In a Darwinian world the British will not continue to survive for much longer as they are no longer the fittest. 

 

A friend of mine, a human rights advocate and barrister in England, told me that he was slated to do an interview with the BBC on this case.  At the last minute the interview was cancelled and the BBC does not want to talk about the case publicly.  A cursory review of the situation might say this is a good decision, but we cannot look at these issues in a cursory fashion.

 

A close look at Holland is a good example of what happens we do not keep the peaceful Muslims happy.  They feel like their religion is defamed and they do not respond by writing editorials.  They do not respond by staging a quiet, or a loud protest to show their dissatisfaction.  Instead they respond by threatening to kill the offending party.  And then, as in the case in Holland, they carry out those threats with bold, mid-day murders on public streets.

 

Think of where western culture would be if everyone of us responded to offense by issuing death threats and then followed through on those threats.  It used to be like that in America—it was the old west and we spent decades fighting to bring that culture into control.  Sure, now we glorify those days with movies about outlaws and lawmen who lived by the rule of the gun—but that is merely a Hollywood version of the past and we all are thankful that you can now ride through Tombstone, Arizona without the fear of being gunned down for any reason or no reason at all.

 

One of the hallmarks of our democratic societies is that we resolve our disputes peacefully.  Anyone who does not resort to peace will find themselves in detention.  We consider that to be justice. 

 

Now in England that is not the case.  A threat of violence from the Muslim community brings a silencing of a message that has been considered valid and free for centuries.

 

And then, to take it a step further, we do not even want to allow the discussion of the issue in public.  Free speech is the victim in this situation.  Ultimately, the loss of free speech will also lead to the destruction of religious freedom as well.

 

England now hangs in the balance and we must be diligent not to let England become the victim of their own short-sightedness.

 

In Norway the situation is different.  Freedom of speech is not under attack out of the fear of a backlash from the Muslim community.  There the situation is perhaps even more frightening.  In Oslo the battle is over the compatibility of the Gospel message with public life in general.  The problem is that many people in the post Christian world do not consider a public discussion of religion to be legitimate at all.

 

When Petar Keseljevic and Larry Keffer were in public pedestrian areas sharing their faith by holding signs and speaking to people passing by they were told that the nation’s celebration of their independence were not the place for a discussion of religion.  Several people complained that they were celebrating their independence and should not have to hear a discussion of religion at all.

 

The police agreed and arrested the two evangelists.  Not for sharing their faith—rather they were arrested for that great bastion of a free society, the failure to follow a police order.  The police order was simple—your message is not wanted here, if you do not leave we will arrest you.

 

And arrest them they did.  It was all very civil.  Calmly, the police arrested the two and took them to the station where they were processed and released awaiting trial.

 

Post Christian Europe does not want to be reminded of their Christian past.  They do not want to hear about their Christian future.  We are much too enlightened to think in terms of God anymore.  We are too enlightened to declare God is dead any more.  We simply live in such a way to prove the premise.

 

A foundation of western society is our belief in free speech and freedom of religion.  The Supreme Court of the United States has declared religious freedom to include the right to believe anything we choose about God.  More importantly, they have added that religious freedom also includes the right to not believe.  That is the battle we are fighting in America right now.  One the side of religious freedom we have always fought for an even playing field—even when the other side wanted to use the freedom they have to try and stop our message from being proclaimed.

 

The price of freedom is that sometimes you have to hear things you disagree with.  That is the mark of any free society.  We cannot only support the ideas we agree with and be considered free.  We have to permit dissent.  That is one of the problems with the politically correct ideals.  Political correctness says that some ideas are not worthy of public discourse.  That is merely another name for the suppression of free thought and public discourse.

 

We are a better people than all of this.  We have learned to live with a number of different cultures and belief systems in peace.  To stop now would only take us backwards instead of forward.  While it might make for a better moment it will not make for a better society.


Books Worth Reading

C.S. LEWIS--Mere Christianity; CLAIRE BERLINSKI--Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis is America's Crisis, Too; BRUCE BAWER--While Europe Slept: How Radical islam is Destroying the West from Within; DAVID LEVERING LEWIS--God's Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215; THOMAS SCHIRRMACHER--The Persecution of Christians Concerns Us All; PHILIP JENKINS--God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis

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