David Limbaugh: discrimination against Christians surging
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Christmas got the boot from New York City public schools, but Jewish, Islamic and Kwanzaa celebrations and symbols got a free pass.
School administrators at Colorado's Columbine High School, the site of the 1999 student massacre, picked through and pried loose more than 90 of the 2,100 ceramic tiles in tribute to those killed and placed in a hallway above student lockers. The offense? The tiles were painted with messages such as "God is Love" and "4/20/99 Jesus wept" and were deemed "objectionable."
An "Easter Can Drive" sponsored annually by a Warriors for Christ club at a Hampton, Va., high school was changed to "Spring Can Drive" by administrators because they found the word "Easter" potentially offensive. The can drive was to raise funds for the local YMCA women's shelter.
A middle school in Elk Grove, Calif., sponsored a pro-homosexuality event involving several single-person skits. The subjects included the rape of a girl and a gay football player who emphasized that he was "born" that way. Parents were not notified of the event and one parent related that his son had been told at school, "It's okay if you don't like girls, because that means you're gay."
These and other examples of attacks against religious liberty fill the pages of David Limbaugh's book, "Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity" (Regnery Publishing). Chronicling contemporary discrimination against Christians is Limbaugh's stated purpose for writing the book, and the hundreds of documented examples give the reader the impression that the 352 pages of text could have run to the thousands. It is difficult not to conclude that there is an intentional effort to subdue then eradicate Christians from American culture.
What Limbaugh makes plainly evident is that the same individuals who scream for tolerance and diversity exercise extreme intolerance toward Christianity and devalue a Christian perspective. "Anti-Christian discrimination in our society is getting more blatant and more widespread every day," Limbaugh writes. "The cultural assumptions of our society influence changes in the law, and the culture is moving against the public expression of Christian belief."
The irony is that Christian belief is the foundation of our country. Limbaugh provides a brief treatment of this in the introduction then spends the 30 pages of chapter 11 revisiting America's Christian roots. Christianity is woven into the fabric of our founding documents from the Mayflower Compact executed in 1620 through the Declaration of Independence to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Limbaugh shows how today's judges now use the First Amendment to suppress religious expression instead of protecting the constitutional guarantee of free religions expression.
Limbaugh documents and explains three landmark Supreme Court cases that divorced the First Amendment's once complementary "Establishment Clause" (prohibiting the federal government from preferring one religion over another) from the "Free Exercise Clause" (which upholds our freedom of religion). The first, Cantwell v. Connecticut (1940), saw the Supreme Court grossly overstepping its bounds by applying to states through the 14th Amendment an incorrect interpretation of the "Establishment Clause." This unconstitutional shift imposed federal jurisdiction on states rights, preventing states from "establishing" religion or interfering with its free exercise.
The second case, Everson v. Board of Education (1947), Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, writing for the majority, firmly incorporated -- out of context -- Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation of church and state" language into American jurisprudence. Finally, Engel v. Vitale (1962) struck down school prayer, completely separating Christian principles from education.
Limbaugh writes that an assault waged against the moral underpinnings of our culture has intensified in the six decades since those decisions began. He explores how Christianity is taking a beating in our nation's public educational system, higher education, halls of government and even in the private sector.
Throughout the book, Limbaugh indicts liberals by using their own words. For instance, Limbaugh records a musing by humanistic educator Charles F. Potter, founder of the First Humanist Society of New York, who wrote in 1929, "What can the theistic Sunday-schools, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?" Limbaugh notes how homosexual activists have pitched their tent on the humanists' foundation. In speaking at the 1999 national convention of the homosexual activist group Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Deanna Duby of the National Education Association (NEA), said, "The fear of the religious right is that the schools of today are the governments of tomorrow. And you know what? They're right." GLSEN's communications director, James Anderson, added, "We're going to raise a generation of kids who don't believe the religious right."
Limbaugh documents that while the NEA claims to be bipartisan, it overwhelmingly endorses Democratic candidates and in 1996 employed more political operatives than both major political parties combined. The NEA colludes with pro-abortion groups and gay activists to promote their respective agendas in every state while working to limit parents' rights. The NEA describes itself as "America's largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education." Limbaugh rhetorically wonders what the aggressive participation in such social issues has to do with educating America's children. His conclusion: "Given the poor educational performance of America's public schools, it might be better if the nation's leading teachers' union were more concerned with reading, writing and arithmetic -- and leaving the moral beliefs of Christians alone."
Limbaugh's book shatters the idea held by many Christians that "what 'they' do won't affect me." Noting how the founding fathers' piety shaped their intent for a nation and its government based on personal liberty and responsibility, Limbaugh makes the case that we will lose our nation if we fail to protect -- or if we deny -- our heritage. If America is to remain a free nation, he concludes, "[It] must rededicate itself to its foundational Judeo-Christian moral underpinnings. And for that to happen, Christians must champion unfettered religious freedom, oppose those forces that threaten it, and strengthen their own churches, without which any hope to influence the political system and our culture will be futile."
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: 'PERSECUTION' BY DAVID LIMBAUGH.