Patriot Post Right Start 12-4-13
“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.” –George Washington, First Inaugural Address, 1789
Before America’s constitution, America’s individual states had many blasphemy laws such as the following:
1. In 1636, for instance, the Massachusetts Bay Colony made blasphemy – defined as “a cursing of God by atheism, or the like” – punishable by death.
2. So did the colony of Maryland, in its famous 1649 “Act of Toleration.” We remember that law as granting rights to Catholics, forgetting that it omitted Jews; indeed, the measure made it a capital crime to deny Jesus Christ as the son of God. It also specified death at the stake as the penalty for blasphemy, defined as “acursing or wicked speaking of God.” These laws died slowly after America’s constitution became the law of the land, such as in this case:
Following the ratification of the Constitution in 1788, the First Amendment and most state constitutions prohibited the establishment of an official religion. Nevertheless, states still occasionally prosecuted persons for blasphemy against Christianity. In a typical 19th-century blasphemy case, a man called Ruggles made highly insulting remarks about Jesus Christ and his mother, Mary. The state of New York tried and convicted Ruggles and sentenced him to jail for three months plus a $500 fine. Appealing his case, Ruggles attorney argued that his client could not be prosecuted for blasphemy since there was no state law against it. In 1811, New York’s highest appeals court unanimously rejected Ruggles’ arguments. The court said that New York did not need a blasphemy statute. ‘ words violated the common law inherited from England, which made blasphemy against Christianity the law of the land. Based on this interpretation of the law, the New York court stated that reviling Jesus was a crime since it “tends to corrupt the morals of the people, and to destroy good order.” The court seemingly ignored that New York’s state constitution prohibited the establishment of any government-sponsored religion. Nevertheless, most other states adopted this legal opinion. Although very few persons were prosecuted, blasphemy remained a crime in several states well into the 20th century.
Thomas Jefferson said this:
In 1779, when the Revolutionary War was underway, Thomas Jefferson said that the author (God) of Christianity — the religion of Jefferson — spread his message not by coercion, but only by persuasion, with words alone. Civil punishments of unbelievers or nonconformists would produce only hypocrisy or meanness in them. Jefferson writes: Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested His supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether insusceptible of restraint … All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who, being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in His almighty power to do, but to extend it by its influence on reason alone.
Now let us look at one the outrages acts in today’s America as reported in Fox News by Todd Starnes last week:
American Humanist Association sues teacher who prayed for sick student
By Todd Starnes Todd’s American Dispatch Published November 26, 2013 in FoxNews.com
The latest allegations from the American Humanist Association are shocking, titillating, and (cue the 1950s soap opera organist) downright scandalous.
In a complaint filed by the organization on November 20 a Missouri public school teacher has been accused of praying for an injured student, organizing a project to feed hungry children and (brace yourself) — cavorting with a Methodist.
“Teachers simply cannot participate in prayers with students at school, nor can they promote their religious beliefs in any other way to their students,” the AHA said in a statement.
A Missouri public school teacher has been accused of praying for an injured student, organizing a project to feed hungry children and (brace yourself) — cavorting with a Methodist.
The humanists filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two students accusing Gwen Pope and the Fayette R-III School District of violating the Constitution by allowing a Christian club to meet before the start of the school day. The school’s former principal is also named in the lawsuit.
Mrs. Pope, who is no longer teaching at the school, was the sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Students at Fayette High School. Since 2010, students have voluntarily gathered before the start of the school day to pray and read the Bible in her classroom.
The American Humanist Association said the two unnamed complainants had been subjected to “unwelcome encounters with the classroom prayer sessions.”
It seems her classroom is near the entrance door of the school and apparently non-believing students could see their classmates engaged in religious activities.
They alleged that Mrs. Pope and the students were seen reading Bible verses and (again, brace yourself) praying for the ill.
“When a student was sick or injured, Pope frequently asked the students in attendance to pray for the afflicted student and joined the attending students in prayer by bowing her head, closing her eyes and saying amen,” the lawsuit alleged.
The lawsuit specifically mentions an incident that occurred during the 2010-11 school year when a classmate had been hospitalized for knee surgery.
Mrs. Pope allegedly encouraged the students to pray for the young man. The lawsuit describes in great detail the aftermath of that request.
“She then bowed her head and closed her eyes,” the lawsuit states. “At the end of the prayer, Pope joined the students in saying aloud, ‘Amen.’”
Can you believe a public school would tolerate such diabolical behavior?
The AHA also took issue with a flier that promoted the club’s participation in the “Buddy Pack” program at a local food pantry. The packs are filled with food and given to elementary school students to take home over the weekend.
As egregious as feeding the poor might have been, the humanists were especially troubled by Mrs. Pope’s reading material. She was accused of owning a Bible. Yes, a Bible.
“This display violates the Establishment Clause as a student would reasonably perceive it as her promoting her religious views to her students,” the AHA said in a statement.
So what’s the school supposed to do – round up all the Bibles and host an old-fashioned book burning?
As for the cavorting with the Methodist charge – it turns out Mrs. Pope’s husband is a former youth minister for the local Methodist church – and he was invited to attend the club prayer sessions.
I spoke to the school superintendent on Monday and she sent me a statement noting they had not yet received a copy of the lawsuit.
“The district strives to respect and abide by the constitutional rights of its students and staff members,” the statement read. “It will vigorously defend against any claim that the district has taken actions which violate any persons’ First Amendment rights.
The American Humanist Association wants the judge to end all religious activity at the school as well as award monetary damages to the “offended” students, according to the lawsuit.
This over-the-top attack on Christianity is just unbelievable. Then again, what do you expect from a bunch of humanists who don’t believe in anything that really matters?
America, wake up. How long do you think before this kind of political tyranny and censorship will be in America’s Christian churches if the church remains silent? Remember how Obama was so offended that some in the IRS had went after the Tea Party? He quickly forgot how offended he was and shortly thereafter tried to promote the offenders! He is still so offended that he has proposed more restrictions: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/27/irs-pushes-to-rein-in-tax-exempt-political-groups/ . Knowing Obama, if he can get this approved, given his attitude, the law is what I say it is, he will next apply it to Christ’s church? Look out churches!
Ron Madison at http://www.americaisafallennation.com