Friday, August 31, 2018

Atheists Now Give "Invocations" at Statehouse

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A U.S. District Court judge has ruled against the state House of Representative's policy of guest chaplains giving invocations before meetings.

You can guess why---You're right. "Separation of church and state."

Now atheists will also be giving an invocation.

What and whom would an atheist "invoke?"

In the state and city where the Liberty Bell first rang, was famously cracked, and remains on display to this day---Philadelphia, Pennsylvania--- a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the time-honored policy of Christian clergy praying before meetings is "unconstitutional."

You must now also seek guidance and wisdom under the leadership of atheists.

When the men who created the Constitution, in the same city and state, could not find agreement on what the Constitution of the United States would actually say, probably the least religious among them---Benjamin Franklin---strongly recommended they pray.

To God.

To invoke His wisdom, and power, and guidance on their sometimes chaotic discussion.

He answered their prayers and under His guidance and wisdom and power, these imperfect men gave the world the greatest document of freedom under God the world has ever seen.

This notion of seeking wisdom and guidance from someone and something other than God and His omniscience was foreign to our Founders who created the Constitution.

Modern atheists and progressives, who have purposefully inverted Thomas Jefferson's intent regarding separation of church and state, are now trying to replace God Himself in our public life.

If the Founders believed atheists should contribute to the preservation of liberty under God, why didn't they invite their counsel?

While the document our Founders created provides for the atheist to freely believe there is no God, does it really demand our elected leaders seek guidance from something or someone other than God?

Does the "God-given" religious freedom the Constitution claims to protect, also require people who believe in God to be forced to seek guidance elsewhere---from an unknown god, or one who does not exist?

In the decision released Wednesday, a judge ruled the Pennsylvania policy of only using Christian clergy discriminated against atheists who want to give a "secular invocation."

In fact, the judge said having people stand during the invocation is also unconstitutional, although voluntary standing may be permissible.

He said,
"The House's practice of barring residents who don't believe in God from offering invocations created an atmosphere of exclusion and religious disfavor that was both discriminatory and unconstitutional."

This is only understood by those who see prayer, or "invocation" as a performance, not a sincere appeal.

Previously, the Supreme Court ruled in a case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, that a New York town could open meetings with explicitly Christian prayers provided other religious groups were not barred from giving invocations.

That could include Muslims, Hindu, Buddhists, and a host of other religious people, but is atheism now a "religion?"

In that case, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy made some interesting observations.

He said, in the majority opinion
"...legislative prayer, while religious in nature, has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause. As practiced by Congress since the framing of the Constitution, legislative prayer lends to public business, reminds lawmakers to transcend petty differences in pursuit of higher purpose, and expresses a common aspiration to a just and peaceful society."

Take away.

Are atheists demanding to "pray" or give an invocation to no one, petty?

Does that lend to public business, or simply give platform to non-belief?

Does an atheist "invocation" pursue a higher purpose?

Does it express a common aspiration to a just and peaceful society?

If so, how?

In 1751, the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly paid 100 pounds for a large bell to hang in its new state house. This very state house.

Cast in London, the bell arrived in August 1752. Because the metal was too brittle, it cracked during a test strike and had to be recast twice.

On July 8, 1776, the bell was rung to celebrate the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. It was then hidden in a Christian church so it would be safe until it could be returned to the state house after the Revolutionary War---this very state house.

Although it was not called the "Liberty Bell" until the 1830s by abolitionists, the bell became an icon of this new nation and our independence.

Inscribed across the top of the 2080 pound, 12-feet circumference bell is this:
"Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof Leviticus . XXV X ."

Each year millions of tourists travel to the bell's current home at Liberty Bell Center in Independence National Historic Park---not far from the State House.

Most of the visitors are anxious to see the famous "crack" in the bell.

No one is sure when the bell got its famous "crack"---there are numerous stories as to how it happened---but most understand what it represents.

Atheists did not found this nation or frame its documents, but they are blessed by the freedom and liberty it extends to them.

And that freedom and liberty is extended by a God whom they do not know. And protected by a government of the people, whom they seek to exploit.

Their litigious demands are given equal hearing in the courts of our land because LIBERTY is still heard throughout the land.

Liberty is heard because it is proclaimed, not by the government created to protect it, but by the church that proclaims the Gospel of liberty and freedom.

Even as the church was called upon to watch over the "bell" during the Revolutionary War, it has been commanded to ring out the message of the Gospel of freedom and liberty in Christ in these chaotic times.

Be Blessed. Be Heard. Be Prayerful.