Point to Ponder: Living Pluralistically?
©2005 Sharon Hughes
Is America a pluralistic nation? Think about it.
It wasn't but a few months ago that the internet was hit with a flurry of articles and alerts, and the nightly news frequently reported, regarding incidents of anti-Christmas bias. Courts, city councils, department stores and school districts banned mangers scenes, singing Christmas carols, even using the word Christmas.
I was reminded of this during my interview with Professor William Wagner this past week on his new book, "How Islam Plans to Change the World." We talked about an example in the Michigan town of Hamtramck where Muslims can now hear their five daily calls to prayer over loudspeakers throughout the city which the City Council unanimously approved. See http://www.islam-online.net/English/News/2004-04/23/article04.shtml.
We all remember incidents, following September 11th, where schools were not only teaching about Islam, but, as in the junior high school in northern California, had students dress in Muslim clothes, pick a Muslim name, bow down on prayer rugs to Allah, play Jihad, etc., regardless of their personal religious beliefs. Yet, a teacher was recently reprimanded for teaching his students from some of our original founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence because he pointed out the (Christian) religious faith of those who wrote these documents. See http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=41623.
A year before that schools and courthouses in Kentucky removed any displays of historical documents, such as the national motto, "In God we trust", the Mayflower Compact, and an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence that refers to God, to comply with an order from Federal District Judge Jennifer Coffman, who declared the displays a violation of the First Amendment.
What's wrong with this picture?
Does America still allow freedom of religion? It's becoming questionable in my opinion.
Even though history proves that this nation was founded on Christian principles, America has allowed individuals the freedom to choose their religion or to choose none at all, unlike many other countries around the world, such as Saudi Arabia and China for example. The First Amendment is one of the greatest pillars of our nation. But this seems to be changing.
Are we paying attention? As the bumper sticker says, "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention".
Outraged about what? Outraged that the very founding principles that have made America the greatest nation on earth are being erased! We can't just blame activist judges or the liberal media and education establishment for the changes that are taking place. One of the major reasons this is happening is because of passivity on the part of many Americans. The price of freedom is still eternal vigilance, not just by the soldiers on the field, but by all of us here at home.
Fortunately there are some who are willing to stand toe to toe with the crazy politically correct thinking of our day. Like the group of pilots at Caldwell, Idaho's airport who, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune, ordered 150 yard signs with the Ten Commandments printed on them for their hangers. Why? Because another pilot reported to the city's mayor about such a sign that was hanging in the airport office, complaining 'you can't have religious symbols on tax-supported public property.' The major ordered the sign removed, because 'its installation violated a town ordinance on temporary yard signs.' Even though the airport manager complied several pilots disagreed with the action and had the new signs made for any pilot on the field who wanted one.
So, have we moved from a predominately Christian worldview as a nation to a pluralistic religious worldview? Or have we become something else? We must ask ourselves why every religion is granted freedom of expression in America today, except...Christianity. We must ask why, because this is a major shift in national worldview. And we must ask, is this what we want?
I recommend that if you missed my show with Professor Wagner that you listen to it online (dated 3/2/05) at our Broadcast Archives page at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/changing_worldviews/
Archives.asp . He confronts the fuzzy rhetoric surrounding this issue.
Sharon Hughes - Sharon is the President of The Center for Changing Worldviews, and hosts Changing Worldviews TALK Radio which is heard on KDIA AM1640 San Francisco; KGDP AM660 Santa Maria, CA and WITA AM1490 Knoxville, TN, as well as online daily at Oneplace.com. Her column appears on several online news sites including CaliforniaRepublic.org, ChronWatch.com, Ediblog.com, chNews.com, NewsWithviews.com, RenewAmerica.us and others. For further information visit her: Website www.changingworldviews.com Blogsite http://changingworldviews.blogspot.com Contact: email@example.com