2017-10-04 / ChatterBox

The Chatter Box

By Deborah Bennett

I recently came across an online Jan. 2017 article published by World Net Daily that reports “For the first time ever, the United States has been added to an annual list of the world’s persecutors of Christians and countries that are regressing in religious freedom.”

The United States, Mexico and Russia were listed as “new and noteworthy” nations in the 2016 “Hall of Shame Report” published by the Washington, D.C., based human rights group International Christian Concern, or ICC.

While the articles goes on to say there is no comparison between the life of a Christian in the U.S. with persecuted believers overseas, the group notes a number of “worrying trends as an alarming indications of a decline in religious liberty in the United States.”

“From the case of a Christian football coach suspended for praying at the 50-yard line, to Christian business owners forced to pay a $135,000 fine for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding, the number of troubling cases directed toward Christians has exploded,” the report said.

The author calls attention to the fact that a certain segment of our culture and the courts seem intent on driving faith out of the public arena and concludes as follows.

“The Founders carefully and deliberately placed religious freedom as the first liberty because it encompasses several fundamental rights including thought, speech, expression, and assembly. The First Amendment explicitly grants freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The essential aim is to protect the right of citizens to practice religion in the public square.”

“Decades of accumulated poor judicial decisions and precedents have twisted the First Amendment so that the courts, in defiance of the Founders, are pushing religion out of the public square, and into the small space of private expression. In essence, the courts are deciding that you only have full religious freedom and expression in the church and your home. In the public domain, your religious views and thoughts must be restrained and controlled. This trend is extremely worrying in the country that has long held the ideal of religious liberty.”

I can’t say that I am surprised by the report’s findings. I think the ICC and the author hit the nail on the head! Christians are being discriminated against and even persecuted for their beliefs. Laws have been passed trying to force us to accept things as right that we believe are morally wrong. We need to pray for our nation and our leaders everyday!

Happy birthday this week to: Mary McMillan, Elena Hernandez, Sheriff Robert Oglesby, David Thompson, Howard Seibert, Shirley Herrmann, Kim Garvin, Johnny Thomas, Harold Moore, Jay Bowers, Rev. James Jackson.

Happy anniversary this week to: Mr. and Mrs. Midge Chance and Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Anthony.

Military Active Duty

Col. James Eldridge Davis, U.S. Air Force, DoD Pentagon, Washington D.C.; TSgt. Jeremy M. Chestnut, U.S. Air Force, Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS; CPT Justin G. McBride, U.S. Army, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas; Chief Warrant Officer 5 Darryll L. Simpkins, U.S. Army, Fort Gordon Logistics Readiness Center, Augusta, GA; Tech Sgt. Stuart Burrus, U.S. Air Force, Shaw AFB, Sumter, S.C.; E-4 Christopher Simmons, U.S. Army, Missouri; E-3 Ralphael Franklin Lovett, U.S. Army, Kuwait; E-4 Rhonda Lovett, U.S. Army Reserve, Augusta, GA; Airman First Class Aaron Comstock, U.S. Air Force, Shaw AFB, Sumter, S.C.; E-5 She’nice Thompson, U.S. Army, 25th Sustainment Brigade, HHC 25th Special Troops Battalion, Wahiawa, Hawaii; and Major D. Slade Burke, U.S. Air Force, 48th Logistics Readiness Squadron, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom.

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