Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Thou Shall Not. . .Thou Shall Not Me!

The "posting and or displaying" of the Ten Commandments on federal buildings, such as state capitals or court houses, has become the source of much debate. This debate has become one over the issue of the separation of church and state. For a good article on this see the most recent issue of Lutheran Witness.

While some would deny this, the truth is that the vast majority on both sides of the debate affirm the article of the separation of church and state. I am a conservative Christian pastor and I can think of no one who has ever told me that they would like to see public schools in charge of confirmation - that is instruction in the faith, the state mandating citizens to hold a certain faith or any faith, or the Federal Government putting Luther's seal, for example, on its currency or property.

I know many, I am one, who support the displaying of the Ten Commandments and oppose the "whitewashing" of our monuments, yet no one I know would say that means all citizens must be required to trust in the God who spoke to Moses nor attend worship weekly lest they be prosecuted in order to keep the first and third command.

Which makes me wonder, how much of the debate is really about the separation of church and state and how much of it is about separating ourselves from any standard. True, the debate over the separation of church and state is important, it is worthy, it is even enjoyable and I DO NOT intend to minimize it with this post. I just want to recognize another reality at play here, a sad reality, a dangerous reality, but a reality none the less, there are many who simply believe that there is only ONE command, "Thou Shall Not. . . Thou Shall Not Me!"


At April 17, 2005 12:33 AM, Blogger David Pratt said...

I agree. I think this society is very concerned about no one treading on them. No one wants to see anything that conflicts with their beliefs or lack there of. The supporters of the "removal movements" often say they don't want others' beliefs crammed down their throats, although it seems to me that they are the ones who are cramming their message of ambiguity and 'identitylessness' on the rest of us. If you don't want to participate in a prayer before a high school football game or graduation, choose not to participate. No one's going to force you. If you don't believe in the Ten Commandments, fine. When are they going to tell me that I can't pray in public because someone else might see me and be offended. This country was based on freedom. Now I wish that we could surround others with the message of Christianity but some people aren't receptive to that and I support their right to choose as they wish (as I believe God does, or he wouldn't have allowed us the ability to turn from him). At times, I seriously worry about the future of this world. "E'en So Lord Jesus, Quickly Come"


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