Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Attack On Christianity In The USA Is Real

I get my ideas for my blog posts mostly from the news.  Occasionally, as with my post about the wonderful Christmas displays yesterday, I write about a personal experience or thought. But with so many things in the news that are pertinent and controversial - it's really easy most days to find a topic or two.  Today's blog will be about a couple of things I saw on TV Thursday night.

In the heart of Times Square is a large electronic billboard that at the current time is being used by "" to tell people they don't need Christ to have Christmas. The billboard reads "Who needs Christ during Christmas? Nobody." The word Christ is marked out with an X. 

At first I thought it was quite rude.  How dare an atheist group decide what I need? But the more I thought about it the more I realized that what they are saying is no different, freedom of speech wise that is, than Christians telling atheists that they need God and putting up billboards across the country that say that. 

I believe with all my heart they are wrong - the atheists that is - and that they do need God and Jesus. According to the Bible and the teachings of Christianity everyone needs Jesus to have salvation and eternal life. What atheists don't realize is that Christians are telling them they need Jesus not to irritate them but to save them. The difference is that atheists are telling Christians no one needs Jesus just because they don't believe He exists.  They have no other reason.  It's certainly not to save our souls. They may believe, because they don't believe He exists, that what they're saying is in our best interest but again, they'd be wrong.

I don't have the right, in this great country, to deny atheists their freedom of speech. So I won't condemn their billboard. I will say, however, that I think it's simply a bold move to draw attention to themselves.  They have no "cause" unless ridding the world of Christianity is their cause. But all but a few hardcore atheists that I've ever known or read say they don't care if I believe - that's my right. They just don't want my beliefs pushed on them.  And that's not an unreasonable request.

In other news that night - ESPN last week refused to air a commercial by the Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center in Saint Louis, Missouri, because it found the words in the ad, "we celebrate the birth of Jesus" and "help us reveal God's healing presence this Christmas" to be "problematic." Bill O'Reilly, a Catholic himself, took on ESPN, a network he used to work for, saying he just didn't understand why ESPN would find the mention of God and Jesus by a Catholic hospital to be problematic. He called for one of them to appear on his show and explain their position but they refused. 

ESPN originally rejected the ad and made the hospital change it, to remove the references to Jesus and God. Sadly the hospital caved to ESPN's demands and changed the ad.  However, once O'Reilly made it public ESPN reconsidered and, Thursday night, sent O'Reilly a message that they had reviewed the original ad and they were going to run it as it was, including the references to Jesus and God. I commend ESPN for changing their minds but can't help but wonder why they refused in the first place. (A marketing strategist, a guest on O'Reilly's show, said it's because ESPN doesn't cater to Christians but to sports fans.  Does he really believe only atheists and agnostics watch sports?)

Another case that has been in the news lately is the one from Denver, Colorado, about a gay couple that sued a bakery because the owner refused to bake them a wedding cake saying it was against his religious beliefs. The judge sided with the gay couple and ordered the bakery to make the cake. Part of me understands the judge trying to prevent discrimination but does a business not have the right to decide who they will and will not serve?  Many businesses have signs that specifically say that. So does a judge have a right to order a business to serve someone? Or should he have simply found the bakery discriminated against someone based on sexual preference and fined them. Or should he have said "Sorry, but the business has that right"?

Personally, I believe the business has that right but no one asked me. It seems religious beliefs are becoming less and less legal in this country, unless you are Muslim.  No judge in the land would have ordered a Muslim business to serve a gay couple. (It's against Muslim beliefs as well.) So it's just another attack on Christians.

My main question is - why would a couple want a baker who obviously disagrees with their lifestyle to make their cake? I suppose he could be the best baker in the world but I doubt that's the reason. It seems to me they want him to make it now to show their victory over him. If that's the case then the suit and the verdict weren't about justice but revenge. If I was part of that couple I would be leery about eating the cake.  Just sayin'...

Finally - a large cross dedicated to deceased war veterans has been ordered removed from the top of Mount Soledad near San Diego, California. The cross was erected in 1954 in honor of Korean War veterans and has been the subject of near constant judicial back and forth since 1989 when two Vietnam veterans sued to have it removed saying it violated the "No Preference" clause in California's Constitution. 

The property where the cross stands is owned by the City of San Diego. The city has twice tried to sell the property  to the Mount Soledad Memorial Association, only to be stopped by the courts. In 2004 an agreement was made to move the cross to a church but a U.S. Congressman intervened and inserted language to have the land turned over to the federal government as a national veterans' memorial.  This simply lead to more lawsuits.

Finally, in 2006, the federal government seized the land through eminent domain and declared the site a "historically significant war memorial." They took possession of the land in August of that year.  Another lawsuit challenging that land transfer was filed almost immediately and, after more than six years, that lawsuit led to the ruling.

The cross hasn't been removed as of yet. Supporters of keeping the cross in place have vowed to fight on and hope to appeal the decision. They also hope to keep the cross in place during the appeal. It remains to be seen how the court will rule on that.

My question would be this. Why is a cross so offensive if you're not simply outright opposed to Christianity? I find the billboard in Times Square somewhat offensive but not to the point where I'd want to file a lawsuit to have it removed. (Not that I'd win - it was just an example.) Crosses have been used as memorials throughout the world for centuries. They have never hurt anyone and they aren't hurting anyone now - except people who seem to be so full of hatred that they must try to remove any and all crosses from their sight.

Yes, I realize the separation of church and state (which is NOT in the Constitution, by the way) and I realize the government is not allowed to promote any certain religion. But a cross as a war memorial, that has been in place for 59 years, isn't promoting religion. It's reminding people of the Korean War veterans - and maybe other veterans as well. It's only a religious symbol if you make it one.

There is definitely a war on Christianity in this country. Even the Obama administration, which is doing everything it can do to rid the federal government and the military of Christianity while promoting everything Islam, is involved in the fight. Except Obama is on the wrong side. He claims to be a Christian yet fights against it at every turn. Wonder how God is going to like that on judgement day...?

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