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CARSON: Secular progressives can’t keep God out of public life
It’s not too late to reinforce our splintered religious heritage
Question of the Day
We used to characterize the Soviet Union as a godless, evil empire. Like many societies before them that were based on communism or socialism, the Soviets had seen fit to minimize the importance of God and, in many cases, wreaked unimaginable persecution on religious people.
Why is faith in God anathema to such states? It’s because they need to remove any authority beside themselves as the arbiter of right and wrong.
Interestingly, last year Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized Euro-Atlantic countries, including the United States, of becoming godless and moving away from Christian values.
Some may bristle at such an accusation, but when you now consider that many Americans are hesitant to even mention God or Jesus in public, there may be some validity to his claim.
We have also casually tossed out many of the principles espoused in the Bible and have concluded that there’s no authority greater than man himself.
The separation clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is being inappropriately applied to a host of situations that involve religion.
By reinterpreting the law to mean separation of God and state, as opposed to the original intent of keeping the church from having undue influence over state affairs and keeping government from ruling the church, the secular progressives have succeeded de facto in redefining part of the Constitution.
Such success, however, can only be lasting if “we the people” continue to yield our values and beliefs in order to get along.
A number of years ago, some lawyers approached me to advise me that we could not hang our “Think Big” banners in public schools. They claimed the “G” stood for God and this would be tantamount to government endorsement of religion, which would be contrary to the First Amendment.
I countered that the First Amendment also forbade government suppression of religious expression. I suggested that we should pursue this argument at the U.S. Supreme Court. This may have seemed like a bold and reckless statement, but it really wasn’t.
I knew that the very next week I would be going to the Supreme Court to receive the Jefferson award. I figured I would bring up this issue while I was there, and I did.
Justice Sandra Day O’Connor said we were nowhere near violating the First Amendment and that, of course, we could put our banners up in a public school without constitutional infringement.
In this case, I did not back down in face of bogus accusations, and we prevailed. We must all have the courage to fight for our beliefs, just as our predecessors fought for our future.
While there is no question that our Judeo-Christian values have taken a big hit in recent years, we have not yet reached the point of a totally godless government that sets itself up as the supreme authority and giver of rights. As a nation, we must definitively decide whether we believe in God and godly principles.
If we do nothing, we will be allowing by default the elimination of God as a central figure in our culture. We must also decide if we revere the Bible. If it is no longer accepted as a missive of truth, then why have our elected officials take their oath of office with a hand on the Bible?
About the Author
Opinion Columnist — Internationally renowned physician Ben Solomon Carson, M.D. is a retired neurosurgeon, an emeritus professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and a Washington Times columnist. A pediatric brain surgeon who was the first to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head, Dr. Carson has become a popular conservative ...
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