Peace, hope, joy, and good will, are all welcome and familiar Christmas themes at this time of year. Unfortunately Christmas and Christians are increasingly under attack in this country.
It is rather ironic that the descendants of folks who came to this country for religious freedom are now being singled out in schools and public places where prayer, Crèches, and the Ten Commandments are no longer welcome.
There is no question that the founders of this country did not want a state established national church such as existed in much of Europe at the time, but rather wanted a people free to exercise their personal religious beliefs, as a result the First Amendment to the Constitution states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
While Congress has not acted the courts have increasingly acted to block religious expression in the public sphere. The founders' intent to give us freedom of religion has perversely become freedom from religion.
A recent poll, not widely reported here in the U.S. found that a significant number of Muslims; 80 percent in Egypt, 75 percent Pakistan, 85 percent Jordan, and 50 percent Nigeria, favored the death penalty for people who leave Islam and convert to another faith. In Saudi Arabia an Australian man has just been sentenced to 500 lashes for blasphemy.
The very same news media that openly criticizes any religious expression here in the U.S. as unconstitutional disdains use of the term Islamic terrorism. As Americans, and Christians (83 percent), we have a long history of religious tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others. There is also no question that there are a very significant number of Muslims worldwide that do not share the intolerance of the radical Muslims in the Middle East. However, we do ourselves a disservice when we fail to recognize a growing threat to world peace. Hitler came to power in part because no one wanted to recognize the threat he posed in Europe. Woe unto us if we repeat this same mistake.
The Fort Hood massacre (13 killed 29 wounded) has recently been classified as workplace violence by the Defense Department. This is in spite of the fact that the killer had contact with the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and shouted "allah akbar" while committing this atrocity. To ignore his radical motives is political correctness run amuck.
As a Christian, and without apology to anyone who somehow might be offended, I will be celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ this Christmas. I wish all of you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I also hope and pray that others, of whatever faith, will join in a global quest for peace and goodwill to men.
"It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being" - George Washington