Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Pope, the President, the People--and Mike Huckabee

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In the welcoming ceremony yesterday at the White House, President Obama told the Pope and the World that "people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from intimidation."

Mike Huckabee told the press the Obama administration "will go down as the most anti-Christian in American history." And he told the press why.

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, agrees with Huckabee, for the same reasons.

So does the Wall Street Journal.

Rasmussen surveys reveal that the American people also agree.

Yesterday, President Obama told the Pope and the world, "You [the Pope] remind us that people are only free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. It was the basis for so much of what brought us together."

"So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialog, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from intimidation," our president said.

Mike Huckabee says, "Why is it that Obama goes to extremes to accommodate Muslim terrorists but shows nothing but disdain for Christians?"

Commenting on the president's decision to include prominent homosexual and pro-abortion activists at the White House reception for the Pope, Huckabee called the president's choices a "classless decision" and a "new low" that further reveals the Obama administration will "go down as the most anti-Christian in American history."

He says, "President Obama's classless decision to transform Pope Francis' visit to the White House into a politicized cattle call for gay and pro-abortion activists is an insult to millions of Catholics."

Huckabee points out that the president has also appointed an openly homosexual man, Eric Fanning, to be Secretary of the Army, saying, "It's clear President Obama is more interested in appeasing America's homosexuals than honoring America's heroes."

He said, "Homosexuality is not a job qualification. The US military is designed to keep Americans safe and complete combat missions, not conduct social experiments."

Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League, agrees. He said, "It is so fitting that the least friendly administration to religion in history would invite a collection of pro-abortion nuns, Catholic gay-activists, assorted dissidents and religious rebels to attend Pope Francis' visit to the White House."

But that's the Obama way. And it is the way of the secular progressive left.

Princeton Professor Robert George says all this "is a disgrace"---"he is a president who makes a deal with the Iranian regime without demanding release of Christian pastor Saeed Abidini."

The Wall Street Journal reports "the Vatican has taken offense at the Obama administration's decision to invite to the Pope's welcome ceremony transgender activists, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop and an activist nun who leads a group criticized by the Vatican for its silence on abortion and euthanasia."

Rasmussen surveys over the past 2 years consistently show a majority of Americans believe the government does not protect our religious freedom. In fact, many citizens now say they fear our government.

In recent months we have seen the government intimidate and take down small business people for "living out their faith" in regard to biblical teaching on marriage and abortion--- Barronnel Stutzman in Richland, The Kliens in Gresham, Or., and the Stormans in Olympia who refused to sell abortion pills in their pharmacy---to name a few close to home.

The saga of county clerk Kim Davis in Kentucky is not reassuring that we are able "to live out our faith free of intimidation."

The Pope, the people and Huckabee are right.

If "people everywhere must be free to live out their faith free from intimidation," how did America, founded on Christian values and principles, get to this place?

And what should we do now?

A snapshot from American history, gives us a picture of how to respond going forward.

Joesph Belcher in his book "Religious Denominations" (1854),  tells this documented story:

Three preachers were brought to trial for preaching. The indictment brought against them was "For preaching the gospel of the Son of God," contrary to the statute in that case provided, and therefore disturbers of the peace. The clerk was reading the indictment in a slow and formal manner, and he pronounced the crime with emphasis, "For preaching the gospel of the Son of God," when a plain-dressed man dismounted his horse, entered the court-house, and took his seat within the bar. He was known to the court and lawyers, but a stranger to the mass-of spectators, who had gathered on the occasion.
This was PATRICK HENRY, who, on hearing of this prosecution, had rode some fifty or sixty miles from his residence in Hanover County, to volunteer his services in the defense of the prisoners. He listened to the further reading of the indictment with marked attention, the first sentence of which that had caught his ear, was, "For preaching the gospel of the Son of God."
When the indictment had been read, and the prosecuting attorney had submitted a few remarks. Henry arose, stretched out his hand received the paper, and then addressed the court:
"May it please your worships: I think I heard read by the prosecutor as I entered this house, the paper I now hold in my hand. If I have rightly understood, the king's attorney of this colony has framed an indictment for the purpose of arraigning and punishing by imprisonment inoffensive persons before the bar of this court, for a crime of great magnitude—as disturbers of the peace. May it please the court, what did I hear read?
Did I hear it distinctly, or was it a mistake of my own? Did I hear an expression, as if a crime, that these men, whom your worships are about to try for a misdemeanor, are charged with that!" and continuing, in a low, solemn, heavy tone, "For preaching the gospel of the Son of God!" Pausing amidst the most profound silence and breathless astonishment of his hearers, he slowly waved the paper three times around his head, then, lifting up his hands and eyes to heaven, with extraordinary and impressive energy, he exclaimed, "GREAT GOD!"
The exclamation—the action—the burst of feeling from the audience were all overpowering.
Mr. Henry resumed:
"May it please your worships:—in a day like this, when truth is about to burst her fetters—when mankind are about to be raised to claim their natural and inalienable rights—when the yoke of oppression which has reached the wilderness of America, and the unnatural alliance of ecclesiastical and civil power, is about to be dissevered—at such a period,—when liberty—liberty of conscience, is about to awake. from her slumbering and inquire into the reason of such charges as I find exhibited here to-day in this indictment!" Another fearful pause, while the speaker alternately cast his sharp, piercing eyes on the court and the prisoners—and resumed:—"If I am not deceived, according to the contents of the paper I now hold in my hand, these men are accused of' preaching the gospel of the Son of God.'—GREAT GOD!"
Another long pause, during which he again waved the indictment around his head—while a deeper impression was made on the auditory.
Resuming his speech:
"May it please your worships; there are periods in the history of man, when corruption and depravity have so long debased the human character, that man sinks under the weight of the oppressor's hand and becomes his servile—his abject slave; he licks the hand that smites him; he bows in passive obedience to the mandates of the despot, and in this state of servility he receives his fetters of perpetual bondage.
But, may it please your worships, such a day has passed away! From the period when our fathers left the land of their nativity for settlement in these American wilds—for LIBERTY—for civil and religious liberty—for liberty of conscience—to worship their Creator according to their conceptions of Heaven's revealed will; from the moment they placed their feet on the American continent, and in the deeply imbedded forests sought an asylum from persecution and tyranny—from that moment despotism was crushed; her fetters of darkness were broken, and Heaven decreed that man should be free—free to worship God according to the Bible.
Were it not for this, in vain have been the efforts and sacrifices of the colonists; in vain were all their sufferings and bloodshed to subjugate this new world, if we, their offspring, must still be oppressed and persecuted. But, may it please your Worships, permit me to enquire once more, for what are these men about to be tried? This paper says 'for preaching the Gospel of the Son of God.' GREAT GOD. For preaching the Saviour to Adam's fallen race."
After another pause, in tones of thunder he enquired:
“WHAT LAW HAVE THEY VIOLATED?" Then, for the third time, in a slow, dignified manner, he lifted his eyes to heaven, and waved the indictment around his head. The court and the audience were now wrought up to the most intense pitch of excitement. The face of the prosecuting attorney was pale and ghastly, and he appeared unconscious that his whole frame was agitated with alarm; and the judge, in a tremulous voice, put an end to the scene, now becoming extremely painful, by the authoritative command—"Sheriff discharge those men!"

The pastors walked out of the court room and resumed their preaching.

It was this same Patrick Henry who told his colleagues, our Founding Fathers, "Give me liberty or give me death."

Be Bold. Be Passionate. Be Faithful.