The Tyranny of Minority Rule
On September 20, 2003, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told a group at the UN in New York that the United States is a “Judeo-Christian” country. Immediately Powell felt compelled to amend his statement by saying America is “a country of many faiths.” Scratch Judeo-Christian and insert country of many faiths. This qualification put the secretary back on the politically correct side of the ledger, and that was that. Or was it?
Powell’s obvious slip of the tongue and his quick attempt to rectify it demonstrate the administration’s prevailing mood of indecisiveness and its penchant to appease the rabid minorities that are fast calling the shots for the rest of us in the “land of the free.”
What is wrong with referring to America as a Judeo-Christian country? After all, the basis of our traditional concepts of law, morality, civility, and social order have been rooted in Judeo-Christian principles and ethics, and then translated into personal lifestyles and community mores. For more than two centuries the international community referred to the United States as a “Christian nation.” And though it may not have been accurate in the most biblical sense of the term, no one seemed to object.
Who takes to the streets in Muslim countries with the expressed intent of wiping the landscape clean of Muhammad’s visage? And who lambastes Islamic representatives at the UN for saying, “Ours is a Muslim country”? Not once has a Muslim recanted with “Uh-h-h, check that. Ours is a country of many faiths.”
When the Minority Rules
For decades Americans have stood silently by while a fundamental change has transpired. Our democratic dictum, “the majority rules,” is rapidly sliding by the boards. The fashion now is becoming “the minority rules.”
And a militant minority of rabid radicals who detest what America is all about is racking up an impressive series of victories mandated by judges and legislators who march in lockstep with it. Directly in the line of fire of this minority of malcontents are—you guessed it—Judeo- Christian commitments.
When the first volleys discharged over the issue of prayer in school, a story began making the rounds.
A sixth grade teacher saw a group of boys in a circle on their knees at the back of the classroom. She immediately summoned her assistant to ask what was going on.
“Oh, the boys are shooting dice.”
“That’s a relief,” said the teacher.
“For a moment I was afraid they were praying.”
The story, while apocryphal, had a lot to say about what has overtaken the classrooms of America. As academic atheism entered, any public acknowledgement of God was ushered from the premises.
Check Those Pencils at the Door
In April 1998, 4-year-old Daniel entered his New Jersey kindergarten with a fistful of pencils. It was party day, and all of the children had brought treats and gifts to share with their classmates. When the teacher saw the inscription on Daniel’s pencils, she promptly confiscated the lot of them. His mother, chaperoning the event, asked why they were taken. She was informed that materials bearing a religious message were prohibited in the classroom.
When Mrs. Walz appealed to the principal, she was told Daniel’s pencils could only be distributed during noninstructional time because the school did not want to be held responsible for endorsing Christianity.
A court case ensued and was argued before the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The panel ruled in favor of the school. The subversively offensive message on 4-year-old Daniel’s pencils: “Jesus loves the little children,” with a heart symbol substituted for the word love.
Giving Moses the Gate
In a much-celebrated case in Alabama last year, Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended for defying a court order to remove a 5,300-pound monument of the Ten Commandments from the rotunda of the Alabama Supreme Court building.
Although attacks on displaying the Ten Commandments in classrooms and public places have become common in the United States, this case contained elements of particular interest.
Judge Roy Moore was a duly appointed Alabama Supreme Court chief justice. He contended the monument did not violate the First Amendment—and even some who opposed him agreed.
This fact, however, did not deter his opponents or Montgomery Circuit Judge Charles Price, who ruled Judge Moore’s display of the Ten Commandments unconstitutional.
Predictably, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) heralded the ruling as a great victory for the Constitution and rule of law. The ACLU was also elated that Judge Price’s ruling came on the heels of his earlier verdict that all state-sponsored courtroom prayer in Alabama must immediately “cease and desist.” Apparently nonsectarian prayer for justice and equity is out of order in the courtrooms of Alabama.
Evangelicals came down on both sides of the issue. While Focus on the Family’s James Dobson said the fight is about “an unelected, non-accountable, arrogant, imperialistic judiciary deter- mined to shove their beliefs down our throats,” others disagreed. Pat Robertson, chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, stated, “The tactics used by Judge Moore have just not been well advised in my opinion.”
Tactics aside, the point is that militant minorities are on a crusade to destroy the underpinnings of our Judeo-Christian heritage.
In the end, Judge Moore’s magnificent monument was shunted off to an obscure room adjacent to a janitorial closet—which may say a great deal about what this struggle is all about.
Someone asked why it would not be equally appropriate to display texts from the Qur’an in American courthouses. Because America is not Arabia. And though many naive Americans may not recognize the difference, Islamic Sharia law, based on the Qur’an, is the stuff of insufferable agonies endured by non-Muslims in Sudan, Afghanistan, and other Islamist regimes. It has no compatibility whatever with American constitutional law and justice.
Equal Justice Under the Law?
Last July, Federal Judge Napoleon Jones, Jr. ruled that the Boy Scouts of America’s lease of an 18-acre tract in Balboa Park, California, violates the pro- visions of the U.S. and state constitutions governing the separation of church and state and is, therefore, unconstitutional.
The judge’s ruling voided a 50-year, dollar-a-year lease on the property. That the Scouts used its own money to construct and maintain Camp Balboa; build nine campsites; bring water to the property; and build a swimming pool, parking lot, restrooms, and showers was of no consequence to the judge.
The organization’s major transgression, in the eyes of Judge Jones: its requirement that scouts express a belief in a Supreme Being. The Boy Scouts, therefore, was deemed a religious organization—a church, if you please. After all, the Scouts used public land—an absolute anathema in the eyes of left-wing purists.
Around the same time, the Muslim Youth Camps of America (MYCA) was granted a lease on federal property in North Liberty, Iowa, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The former Girl Scout camp will feature a mosque, minaret, and a 17,500-square-foot convention center.
In response to a flood of objections within the community, the Corp of Engineers said MYCA director, Jalel Aossey, has already cleared an FBI back- ground check. One wonders why a background check on an Islamic leader would be any more satisfactory than a check on Boy Scouts of America officials. But no matter, Muslims seem to have an unfair advantage over organizations that have been an integral part of the American scene for decades.
According to the FBI, groups calling themselves the Animal Liberation
Front and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) staged six hundred clandestine attacks on property between 1996 and 2001, causing $43 million in damage.
Criminal justice professor Gary Perlstein, who has studied domestic terrorism for twenty-five years, noted that ELF has progressed from logging issues in the Pacific Northwest to attacking urban sprawl and gas-guzzling SUVs. MSNBC reported that in the last year, supporters have torched or attempted to torch several new homes, fast-food restaurants, and SUVs in the Midwest and East Coast.
To these hysterical, self-anointed guardians of the environment, humans are the lowest and most dangerous species in the “animal” chain. Accordingly, these fringe elements are attempting to mandate what we eat, where we live, what we can drive, and what sources of energy we will be granted permission to develop.
These pluralistic mutations unite in one way or another with the secularist spirit that fuels the anti-Christian, anti-God, minority-rules mentality that is rapidly shredding the fabric of American life.
Abortion is now an enshrined “right” that constitutes the litmus test for virtually every aspirant to public office or the judiciary. Same-sex marriage is approaching equal status with heterosexual unions. And public objections to the phenomenon are increasingly categorized as potential “hate crimes.”
The furor over removing the words Under God from the pledge of allegiance is symptomatic of the relentless war on the rights of Christian public expression. Freedom of expression is routinely denied or challenged in every venue, from invoking the name of Jesus in a presidential inaugural prayer to mentioning God in a high school valedictorian address to Daniel sharing his pencils in kindergarten.
At present we have a mixed bag of prayer before congressional sessions, the words In God We Trust on our currency, and the singing of “God Bless America” at public functions. But make no mistake about it: The militant anti-Judeo-Christian forces will not rest until every evidence of the foundation upon which this country was built is destroyed.
We have often referred to the present war on terror as an all-out fight to the finish. This is a war of another kind, but a war nonetheless. It is an all-out clash of cultures, and there will be winners and losers. This conflict is not fought in the streets with guns and grenades. But in the final analysis, the stakes are the same: our individual freedoms, democratic governance, and majority rule. Will a focused minority strip us of these and win in imposing its will on the majority of citizens who unfortunately were too distracted or indifferent to care until it was too late?
The process is nothing new. It has recurred time and time again over the course of history. And it inevitably will continue as long as societies accumulate enough wealth, power, prestige, and honor to make them worth confiscating or conquering.
For discerning Christians, this should be a word in season. Hallmarks of the last days, we are told, are international chaos and spiritual apostasy. That so few seem to pay attention is also a sign of the times. Perhaps the best description of the prevailing situation in America and the majority of Western countries is found in Christ’s message to believers at Laodicea in chapter 3 of the Book of the Revelation.
Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked (3:17).
Their problem was not material deprivation. It was a lack of spiritual comprehension—the inability to make right choices and serve, wholeheartedly, the right Master. The problem for this generation of Christians is the same; and so are the solutions.