Dr Michael Novak

A small minority of Americans, about six or seven percent, mostly from the highly educated elite, have their reasons for despising Christianity, and they make their hostility to Christianity quite evident. They do not represent American culture, but they do represent a small, articulate, and potent voice in that culture. This elite seems to dominate the national voices of the legal profession (although not, I think, the local voices among most lawyers), a large segment of movie stars, and a...

The Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause

The two religion clauses of the First Amendment appear at the beginning of the Amendment. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (the Establishment Clause) or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (the Free Exercise Clause). As constitutional scholar George Goldberg stated, It was equally agreed that, just as the federal government should be prohibited from telling people how to worship, it should be prohibited from telling them how not to worship. The framers had a...

Rejecting the Unique American Culture

Bradley Thompson, chairman of the Department of History and Political Science at Ashland University in Ohio, attended the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, the largest organization of academic historians in America. Thompson said that what he saw and heard shocked him. The ideas expressed at this conference, he noted, were utterly subversive of American culture and values and will eventually make their way into your child's classroom. He said there were over 200 panels,...

The Pro Life Taboo

While Christian expression is in disfavor in certain circles, so are views grounded in Christian principles, such as pro-life advocacy. And this manifests itself in contexts other than opposition to judicial and executive branch nominees who are pro-life. Donald J. Grant, a medical ultrasound technician in Minnesota, has sued his employer, Fairview Health Services of Minneapolis, for failing to accommodate his religious beliefs as required by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The action is based on...

Fueling the Agenda Postmodern Hogwash

Sokal's experiment and findings are a fitting lament for the deplorable moral and academic condition of many of our college campuses, which is the byproduct of the American cultural elite's rejection of absolute truths and traditional values in favor of postmodern relativism. Sokal is not exaggerating about this growing tendency on many campuses to reject the very concepts of truth and falsity. Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts offers a history course in which a number of books are...

The Constitution

As we have seen, biblical principles, more than any other influence, inform the United States Constitution. As much as I love, esteem and admire the Greeks, I believe the Hebrews have done more to enlighten and civilize the world. Moses did more than all of their legislators and philosophers, said John Adams. Between the time of the signing of the Mayflower Compact in 1620 and the drafting of the United States Constitution in 1787, New England Christians wrote some one hundred different...

The Politics of the NEA

The gay agenda has received quite a boost from the National Education Association (NEA) in recent years. Indeed, the NEA has been instrumental in promoting most of the progressive ideas of the education establishment. The NEA describes itself as America's largest organization committed to advancing the cause of public education Was it advancing that cause when it adopted a plan on February 8, 2002, to make schools safe and hospitable for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students and...

Muzzling Public Officials Employees and Appointees

THIS SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS CHAPTER overlaps to a degree with that of Chapter Six, because oftentimes the banning of Christian symbols and activities from public property also involves individuals active in some capacity with the public sector. This chapter chronicles the battle against public employees, officials, and appointees, centering on the common thread of anti-Christian prejudice that underlies most of these cases. Public Employees Government Employees We begin with the ACLU, which in...

The Declaration of Independence

The conventional wisdom reinforced by our public schools and universities is that Thomas Jefferson and the founders of this Republic were Deists and Enlightenment humanists whose philosophy was secular and rationalist. According to modern thinking, these ideas, traced further into the past, originated with the Greeks and Romans and when the founders used religious terms or referred to a deity, their terms were generic at best, and at worst, were cynical attempts to dupe and win over the common...

VMI Dinner Prayer

The taboos against state-sponsored prayer have also made their way onto college campuses. The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington, Virginia, has conducted dinner prayer ceremonies since the 1950s. During the ritual, the cadets march to dinner in formation, then hear a prayer from a school chaplain, which changes daily. In May 2001, the ACLU filed suit against VMI on behalf of Neil Mellen and Paul Knick, two cadets who objected to the prayer ceremony. The school defended the...

Jesus Freaks Bozos and Losers

Broadcast media mogul Ted Turner has become notorious for his anti-Christian comments. Although he is the founder of the CNN cable television network, Turner apparently feels no obligation to temper his derisive remarks. And despite the continual contempt he has shown for Christianity, we've not heard a word of protest from the tolerance police for his flagrant intolerance and insensitivity. In a speech at a United Nations peace summit on August 29, 2000, Turner openly denigrated his Christian...

Hollywoods Negative Slant

But it's not just what Hollywood does for Islam that concerns many observers. It's also how Tinseltown negatively portrays Christians, many of whom were offended by the controversial movie The Last Temptation of Christ because of its irreverent and heretical presentation of Christ as sinful and lustful, of the apostle Paul as a liar, and of Judas Iscariot as a hero. But since the release of that film in the late 1980s, Hollywood has arguably become even more militant and disrespectful toward...

Harvard Students Fear of

With all the anti-Christian, anti-conservative propaganda disseminated by professors in the classroom and through other aspects of campus life, not to mention the media and the dominant culture, many college students develop a pronounced aversion to Christianity and traditional values. Thus molded, they follow the example of their teachers and become fully capable of waging war on their own against any of their peers who have the audacity not to submit to the status quo. Consider some students...

Christian Friendliness Frowned Upon

When corporations, on the other hand, express a friendlier attitude toward Christianity, they are often subjected to severe criticism from tolerant forces in society. One television producer in Boca Raton, Florida, sued her employer, asserting that the company's stuffing of Scripture into pay envelopes and holding Bible study sessions in the office created a religiously hostile workplaces' An openly lesbian city employee of Oakland, California, sued her personnel director for announcing at his...

John Ashcroft

That Attorney General John Ashcroft has been a thorn in the side of anti-Christian groups became obvious during his controversial Senate confirmation hearings, and criticism of him only intensified after he took office. The outspoken Christian beliefs of Ashcroft, son of a Pentecostal preacher, have rankled his detractors, so when he began conducting Bible study and prayer sessions at his office in the justice Department (though not during work hours) his opponents fell on him anew. The...

No Christmas Banning the Holiday

One of the truly hot-button issues involving a Christian presence on government property concerns Christmas celebrations and displays. Ditsy Carmen Suarez, a resident of Miami-Dade County, Florida, noticed during the 2002 Christmas season a prominent holiday display at the Miami-Dade County Permit and Inspection Center when she entered the building. She was surprised to discover that, while a Jewish symbol and one celebrating Kwanzaa were on display, Christian symbols were conspicuously absent....

Death Education

Death education is another avenue through which certain favored spiritual influences have been infiltrating public schools. Tara Becker is a former student of Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado, the school where the horrible student-on-student mass murder occurred. At a pro-family conference in 1985, Becker told of her exposure to death education at Columbine. According to Jayne Schindler, a conference attendee, Tara explained that the subject of death was integrated into many of the courses...

Americas Liberty at the Crossroads

THE GREAT AMERICAN STATESMAN Patrick Henry said in his later years, Oh, how wretched should I be at this moment, if I had not made my peace with God. On his deathbed he affirmed his Christian faith to his doctor with even greater conviction, poignantly recognizing that Christianity had been under constant attack but always emerged victorious. Doctor, said Henry, I wish you to observe how real and beneficial the religion of Christ is to a man about to die I am, however, much consoled by...

State Endorsement of Non Christian Values and Hypocrisy in Our Culture

As WE'VE SEEN, SEPARATIONISTS OBJECT to the slightest scintilla of Christianity in the public sector (and the private sector). But they either overlook or actively encourage the state's endorsement of certain secular values they deem worthy, from the homosexual rights agenda to the precepts of radical feminism-including a woman's unfettered right to terminate her pregnancy-on to the promotion of antiChristian obscenity masquerading as art. When the smoke from the often cacophonous debate that...

Prayer Free Pomp and Circumstance

Even under conservative Chief Justice Rehnquist-though not because of him-the Supreme Court has added further restrictions on school prayer. In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the court, in a 5-4 decision, held that it is unconstitutional for public schools to include prayers given by clergy at their official graduation ceremonies. In this case, the principal, Robert E. Lee, had made the decision that a prayer should be given and selected the clergy member who was to deliver the prayer. That was too...

Local Level

We begin at the local level, with events surrounding a public housing development in New York City in the wake of September 11. Following the terrorist attacks, the American people forged a stronger bond than any in recent memory. In seeking to help the people in New York City deal with their shock and grief, many religious leaders came forward to offer spiritual guidance, counseling, and assistance. Pastor Joan Daily, a longtime resident of a public housing development in Woodside in Queens,...

From the Halls of Government

If prayer and Bible studies in public housing authorities and government-owned recreational centers in towns and cities agitate secularists, such meetings in the halls of state government really make them nervous. In February 2003, Alabama Governor Bob Riley, his cabinet members, and senior staff began voluntary Bible studies each Tuesday morning in the governor's office in the capitol building. Riley said he got the idea while serving in the United States Congress, where many congressmen...

Demoting Abstinence

In 1997, Louisiana Governor Mike Foster began the Governor's Program on Abstinence, in which he authorized the expenditure of 1.6 million of federally allocated money per year for five years to abstinence-only sex education programs aiming to lower the state's teenage pregnancy rate. The money was made available from the federal government through the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. The Louisiana ACLU went ballistic, charging that the abstinence programs were Christian-oriented and that spending...

Promoting the Gay Agenda

It is no secret that gay activists are promoting the homosexual agenda in schools, with the idea that a transformation of students' attitudes about the behavior will lead not only to its acceptance in our society, but perhaps even an increase in the number of practicing homosexuals. Activists have developed marketing strategies to accomplish their aims, such as conversion. Paul Rondeau, a doctoral student at Regent University, explained that one method to convert children into accepting the gay...

Separation of Church and Wall Street

Like their public sector counterparts, private sector employers are also guilty of anti-Christian discrimination. Moreover, many private corporations choose to police themselves by cleansing from their products and corporate culture anything that speaks of God. Federal law requires that employers reasonably accommodate the sincerely held religious beliefs of their employees, unless they can demonstrate such accomodations will cause them undue hardship. But in Lodi, California, a company fired a...

Dr Ravi Zacharias

Our culture does preach tolerance as among the highest virtues. And yet it is intolerant of Christianity just as it lashes out at hypocrisy as the worst vice, and can be hypocritical in its own deductions based on the worldview that it assumes. But to be tolerant of something is not the same thing as believing something that is tolerated to be true. Rightly understood, the willingness to coexist with counter-perspectives is the best use of the term. Yet a person generally uses tolerance to...

Yo Mamas Last Supper

Our popular culture is often anti-Christian, and the government itself at all levels sometimes gets in the act-with total disregard for the usual hypersensitivity to church state involvement. The Brooklyn Museum, for example, is no stranger to controversy involving antiChristian expression. In 2001, it placed on display a work of art known as Yo Mama's Last Supper a color photograph by Renee Cox, a Jamaican-born Roman Catholic, depicting twelve black men and a nude woman at Christ's Last...

The Media and Hollywood Wars Against Christianity

IN THE DOCUMENTED BIAS AGAINST Christians and Christianity in our modern culture, Hollywood and Big Media play very major roles. Political correctness tells us that it is unthinkable to ridicule almost any group, but both of these major cultural power centers routinely disparage Christians and present them in a negative light. This antiChristian bias manifests itself in unflattering portrayals of Christians in Hollywood films and entertainment television and also in the demonization of...

Jesus Pro Choice

In this vein, Reverend Mark Bigelow, a clergy advisor for Planned Parenthood, wrote a letter on November 22, 2002, to Bill O'Reilly, host of Fox News Network's The O'Reilly Factor. Even as a minister, said Bigelow, I am careful what I presume Jesus would do if he were alive today, but one thing I know from the Bible is that Jesus was not against women having a choice in continuing a pregnancy. Jesus was for peace on earth, justice on earth, compassion on earth, mercy on earth, and choice on...

Wards of the State

One of the problems of public education is that it inevitably teaches values and all too often those values are not those of the parents but of education bureaucrats whose values and ideas can be very different from what parents want for their children. The great British historian Christopher Dawson noted this as a growing trend of the twentieth century and expressed it eloquently and sadly in these words M odern education and propaganda give the community such control over the thought and...

Homosexual Seminars and Gay Studies

More and more these days, it has become fashionable, if not almost mandatory, for universities to promote the idea that homosexuality is completely normal and that homosexual behavior is exempt from moral evaluation. It's simply an alternative lifestyle as routine and acceptable as heterosexuality. And woe to those who interfere with this message Professor Mike Adams shared his experience of attending a seminar at UNC-Wilmington instructing students on how to better display sensitivity toward...

Unequal Access

In 1984 Congress passed a law requiring federally funded high schools to provide equal access to all noncurricular student-led groups wishing to meet on school grounds. The law is based on Wid mar v. Vincent 1981 , a Supreme Court case that prohibited publicly funded universities from discriminating against religious groups in the use of campus facilities. It is a matter of equal treatment if the university opened its facilities to some groups, it had to for religious ones. The court didn't...

The Genesis of the Wall of Separation Everson v Board of Education

In the mid-1940s, New Jersey resident Arch Everson filed a lawsuit against Ewing Township to prevent state tax revenues from being allocated to transport parochial students to their Catholic high school in Trenton. This lawsuit culminated in the landmark Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education 1947 . The court, ironically, given the legacy of the case, denied Everson's claim, but it did so in language that proved to be the best weapon ever handed to those looking to strip...

Public Sector Attacks

Targeting Churches-Voting, Zoning, and Other Issues One weapon used with increasing frequency by opponents of religious liberty is zoning law. The government wields enormous power in its decisions concerning how communities shall be organized and in determining whether to allow certain activities and to criminalize forbidden conduct. The power to enact zoning laws includes the power to license activities. Through a concerted effort of groups such as the American Planning Association, the...

Local Zoning Laws Against Individuals

Local zoning laws are also used against private individuals seeking to conduct Bible studies and prayer meetings within the confines of their homes, even though zoning authorities normally exercise no such restrictions on non-religious meetings. Art and Norma Ellison of Marietta, Georgia, regularly hosted prayer meetings at their home on Friday evenings for six to eight people. Most of the attendees parked in the Ellisons' driveway and the meetings were neither noisy nor disruptive. The City...

Federal Attacks

Muzzling Christian Pastors and other IRS Suppression of Christian Expression It's no surprise that extreme separationists would object to the public expression of religious views by Christian public officials. But how about the reverse situation pastors offering their political opinions from the pulpit Does the so-called separation of church and state require pastors not to engage in the political arena Is it improper for them to touch on subjects involving politics Of course not-the U.S....

Samaritans Purse to Baghdad

The Reverend Franklin Graham, son of the Reverend Billy Graham, sparked controversy following the September 11 terrorist attacks by characterizing Islam as a very evil and wicked religion during an interview with NBC. In a later Wall Street Journal column Graham sought to clarify his comments, saying he was not contending that Muslims are evil people because of their faith. But I decry the evil that has been done in the name of Islam, or any other faith-including Christianity. He added that the...

Behind the Agenda Left Wing Bias

Some universities have a distorted idea of academic freedom. At the University of South Carolina USC , so-called Guidelines for Classroom Discussion have been established in one required course for a degree in Women's Studies . The guidelines, which set the ground rules for classroom discussion in Women's Studies 797 Seminar in Women's Studies, require students, as a condition of participating, to acknowledge that racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, and other institutionalized forms of...

Native American Spiritism and Rituals

At the American Indian Magnet School, a public school in St. Paul, Minnesota, magic dreamcatchers to protect students from evil spirits are displayed in many classrooms. So are mystical spiritualized drawings of the earth. Stones on the playground are arranged in a ring for the performance of Medicine Wheel ceremonies. At least one student's mother was appalled at this apparent establishment of Native American spirituality at the school, along with the derogation of Western civilization and the...

Just Keep It to Yourself

In 1997, United States district judge Ira DeMent issued an injunction against the DeKalb County, Alabama, school board from organizing, sponsoring, or encouraging school-sanctioned religious activity. Fair enough. Most of us can agree or at least live comfortably with the notion that public schools shouldn't endorse religious activity. But the court went further, issuing an additional injunction prohibiting the school from permitting any prayer or devotional speech that was uttered aloud-even...

Christian Beliefs Disqualify Coach

In April 2002, the Daily Nebraskan reported that Stanford University denied the head coaching job to University of Nebraska assistant football coach Ron Brown because of his religious beliefs. Not surprisingly, one of the major objections to Brown was his belief that homosexual behavior is sinful. Alan Glenn, Stanford's assistant athletic director of human resources, said Brown's religion was not the determining factor, but admitted to the student newspaper that it was definitely something that...