War on Christianity: The Long and Winding Road

If you listen to the message-bringers of Popular Culture, you would think that Christianity in America is on its last legs.  Hardly.

Here’s an example of the kind of story that has lead to that false dynamic, followed up by, as the late, great Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story”:

Atheists in Polk County symbolically scrubbed away at a major highway leading into the county Saturday.

The were removing a blessing placed there a year ago by a group of religious leaders.

Brooms, mops and water hoses in hand, the atheists gathered at the roadside.

“We come in peace .. now that’s normally what aliens say when they visit a new planet, but we’re not aliens, we’re atheists!” Humanists of Florida director Mark Palmer shouted to the group along Highway 98.

Representatives from various atheist groups in the area scrubbed the road at the Pasco-Polk county line. They were figuratively removing holy oil that had been put on the road last year by a group of area religious leaders. That group was Polk Under Prayer, or PUP.

PUP director Richard Geringswald said his group had been blessing the county line.

“And praying for that entryway in to the city, that God would protect us from evildoers, mainly the drug crowd, that they would be dissuaded to come in to the county,” Geringswald said.

But Humanists of Florida members don’t see it that way. They say it makes them feel unwelcome.

“It sends a very bad signal to everyone in Polk County, and (anyone) who travels through Polk county who doesn’t happen to be Christian,” Palmer said, “This event is not about atheist rights; this is about welcoming everybody into Polk county.”

So they took their “unholy water” and washed the road.

It’s been an ongoing feud between the groups in the county: the atheists are also unhappy with prayer bricks PUP members buried along I-4 and various other roadway leading in to the county, engraved with Psalm 37.

“For the wicked shall be destroyed, but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing,” Geringswald said, reading the psalm from his Bible.

Geringswald said PUP is trying to do something positive – to keep crime out and encourage faith. He says they also plan to run TV ads later this year that will say they are trying to send a positive message about criminals turning their lives around.

The humanists say they don’t plan on stopping their protests any time soon.

That’s all well and good, but they still only represent 8% of our nation’s population.

Last June, Gallup reported the following:

More than 9 in 10 Americans still say “yes” when asked the basic question “Do you believe in God?”; this is down only slightly from the 1940s, when Gallup first asked this question.

Despite the many changes that have rippled through American society over the last 6 ½ decades, belief in God as measured in this direct way has remained high and relatively stable. Gallup initially used this question wording in November 1944, when 96% said “yes.” That percentage dropped to 94% in 1947, but increased to 98% in several Gallup surveys conducted in the 1950s and 1960s. Gallup stopped using this question format in the 1960s, before including it again in Gallup’s May 5-8 survey this year.

In 1976, Gallup began using a slightly different question format to measure belief in a deity — “Do you believe in God or a universal spirit?” — and found that 94% of Americans agreed. That percentage stayed fairly steady through 1994, and is at 91% in the May 2011 survey.

78% of Americans still identify themselves as Christians.  This is not only a choice of faith, it’s an American Legacy.

Which Creator do you think that our Founding Fathers were writing about?

Atheists tend to use President Thomas Jefferson as their “poster boy” to back up a lot of their shallow arguments.  What they don’t know or won’t say, will hurt them.  For instance, did you know that

Jefferson urged local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes;

In an 1803 federal Indian treaty, Jefferson willingly agreed to provide $300 to “assist the said Kaskaskia tribe in the erection of a church” and to provide “annually for seven years $100 towards the support of a Catholic priest.” He also signed three separate acts setting aside government lands for the sole use of religious groups and setting aside government lands so that Moravian missionaries might be assisted in “promoting Christianity.”

When Washington D. C. became the national capital in 1800, Congress voted that the Capitol building would also serve as a church building. President Jefferson chose to attend church each Sunday at the Capitol and even provided the service with paid government musicians to assist in its worship. Jefferson also began similar Christian services in his own Executive Branch, both at the Treasury Building and at the War Office.

Jefferson praised the use of a local courthouse as a meeting place for Christian services;

Jefferson assured a Christian religious school that it would receive “the patronage of the government”;

Jefferson proposed that the Great Seal of the United States depict a story from the Bible and include the word “God” in its motto;
While President, Jefferson closed his presidential documents with the phrase, “In the year of our Lord Christ; by the President; Thomas Jefferson.”

Jefferson believed that every individual should pray according to his own beliefs. As Jefferson himself, explained:

[The] liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will [is] a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support. (emphasis added)

Atheist Activists will probably lose their minds over reading that President Jefferson said that:

No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion. Nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.

And, when Atheists aren’t erroneously quoting Jefferson, they’re bringing up President James Madison, who also encouraged public officials to declare openly and publicly their Christian beliefs and testimony. In fact, in a letter he wrote to William Bradford (who became Attorney General under President George Washington), he declared that:

I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.

In conclusion, Christianity in America is a legacy passed down from our Founding Fathers, continuing from generation to generation.

And to the Polk County, Florida Atheists, who made a big show out of “unblessing” a highway, it was a lot of ”sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

Give it up, y’all.  You can’t “unbless” anything.  It’s above your pay grade.

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