Friends, my friend Larry Johnson is an excellent essayist and he wrote the essay below.
Topical moments in media and culture are often of great debate and concern but are largely forgotten within a short time. Such moments command headlines and sound bites repeatedly play during the 24-hour news cycle. Yet, it is by the accumulation of such topical moments we give a face and direction to the culture in which we live. However, there are singular occurrences, often unrecognized or thought of as only a momentary concern, which starkly define the reasons for “why we fight” in the raging culture wars. One such singular occurrence happened within the last couple of weeks.
George Washington once said, “When we assumed the soldier, we did not lay aside the citizen.” But if the has its way, we may see an end to our nation’s historical admiration and respect for the citizen-soldier as the wedge of state is driven between the two. The Pentagon has proposed a policy to prosecute military personnel for promoting their faith. Specifically, the Pentagon stated that, “Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense…Court martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case-by-case basis…” For all military personnel the end result would be to virtually eliminate all expressions of faith, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends or merely social acquaintances. And for all practical purposes the military chaplaincy would cease to function.
It appears that the of the anti-proselytizing agenda is former ambassador Joe Wilson, Larry Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, and Michael Weinstein, the head of the private Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The three men recently met with several generals to discuss religious issues. Wilkerson equates religious proselytizing to sexual assault, both of “which are absolutely destructive of the .” So what did the generals also hear from Mr. Weinstein? Perhaps it was something like what he wrote for the : I founded the civil rights fighting organization the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) to do one thing: fight those who would in the technologically most lethal entity ever created by humankind, the U.S. military. Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian who terrorize their fellow Americans by their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces… If these fundamentalist Christian of human degradation, marginalization, humiliation and tyranny cannot broker or barter your acceptance of their putrid theology, then they crave for your universal silence in the face of their rapacious reign of theocratic terror. Indeed, they ceaselessly lust, ache, and pine for you to do absolutely nothing to thwart their oppression.
Well! Mr. Weinstein’s rant does tend to leave one breathless. But, let’s let one of our nation’s former citizen-soldiers who also knew a little about the Constitution speak for the opposition. On July 4, 1775, General George Washington issued the following order from his Cambridge, Massachusetts headquarters:
The General most earnestly requires and expects a due observance of those articles of war established for government of the Army which forbid profane cursing, swearing and drunkenness. And in like manner he requires and expects of all officers and soldiers not engaged in actual duty, a , to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.
A year later and five days after the Declaration of Independence was signed, the Continental Congress authorized the provision of chaplains for every regiment in the newly constituted army headed by General Washington. On that same day Washington issued his first general order to his troops:
The General hopes and trusts that every officer and man will endeavor so to defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country.
In another general order issued at Valley Forge on May 2, 1778, General Washington implored his troops:
While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion. To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be .
Unlike Wilkerson and Weinstein, Washington knew the real source of that which . That source was religion and in particular the Christian religion. However, if the Pentagon’s civilians and military brass have their way General Washington was alive today, he would be court-marshaled for (paraphrasing Weinstein) his weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon his helpless subordinates in the Continental Army in sharing his religious views.
Some will argue that we no longer have a military of citizen-soldiers but a professional army with no need of religious influences. Not so. Many are reservists and members of the National Guard. And those full-time members of the military didn’t leave their faith behind at the induction centers. More importantly, whether a professional army or citizen-soldiers, our nation’s Armed Forces without the Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of religion will deteriorate into a palace guard loyal only to their masters and not to the Constitution or the people.
The Pentagon’s anti-proselyting regulation is the culmination of dozens of anti-Christian regulations and initiates in the military that have arisen during the Obama administration (See CultureWarrior.net – May 2, 2013). But it is this Pentagon regulation that is a singular occurrence which lays the ax to the root of our religious freedom of sharing one’s faith. This marginalization of religious freedom reaches far beyond the Armed Forces. The agenda of the Obama administration to fundamentally change America encompasses every segment of the public square and is the culmination of decades of humanistic infiltration of American culture.
Those of the humanistic worldview have risen to leadership levels in all institutions of American life, and their humanistic policies, laws, and initiatives are being imposed on a nation whose citizens that still cling to the biblical worldview of the Founders. This is the cause of culture wars—the conflict for supremacy in the American cultural vision between those holding the humanistic and Christian worldviews. Christians who ignore or disengage from the battle place religious freedom and our nation at peril.
|The beginning of the U.S. Constitution|
A constitution will die if it does not fulfill the purpose for which it was enacted. Not being a living thing, its death takes the form of being ignored, trivialized, or corrupted. The purpose of any constitution is to reflect a set of fundamental principles by which to govern rational and social beings, that is, people. A constitution in a free society is a blueprint for constructing a government fitted to the people’s temper of mind, affections, or passions which I shall call the nation’s central cultural vision or collective worldview. Thus, we have three elements: the people, their central cultural vision, and their constitutional blueprint.
If a constitution is not functioning as intended, one of three things has happened or is happening. First, the constitution as drawn did not reflect the fundamental principles of the people. Second, the fundamental principles of that people changed over a period of time and now stand in contradiction to the principles upon which the constitutional blueprint was originally drawn. Third, the leaders of a society through craftiness and corruption have undermined the intent of the constitution in a manner contrary to the central cultural vision of the people.
Something is amiss, and to determine which of the above reasons is the source of the decline, we must examine our history.
The central cultural vision held by the colonists down through the Founding era was the basis for the set of blueprints for building the American form and practice of government, our national house so to speak. Those blueprints had been drawn largely from the Judeo-Christian tradition and its reliance on a transcendent God, His eternal truths, and His revelation to the Hebrews and first century Christians. To these central elements were added the prescriptions of history, custom, convention, and tradition—in essence, our patrimony. After a number of years certain wings of the house were demolished (e.g., slavery) and rebuilt to better adhere to those original blueprints.
Most of the governance of the house in the intervening years since its construction dealt with routine maintenance, interior decorations, and arrangement of furniture within. But the house was of sound construction, and apart from occasional errors in modification which were readily corrected, the structure served its inhabitants well. The house was large and had many rooms, and many were welcomed to live therein, even those that did not like the architecture and the central vision of its culture—the over-arching banner of the Judeo-Christian worldview.
However, the Founders knew of the fallen nature of man and foresaw a time when men would attempt to change that which they had built on timeless truths. In their great wisdom, the Founders believed they should insure what they had built would not be changed capriciously by its inhabitants. So they drew the Constitutional blueprint to limit those changes so the house would continue to function within the time-tested guidelines, or as Thomas Jefferson said, to “…bind him down with the chains of the Constitution.”
True to the Founders’ prediction, several groups believed that the house should not be just maintained or periodically redecorated but be reconstructed in its entirety. They wished to tear down the structure and build a new house using a set of old blueprints based on the tenets of humanism (which the Founders had judged to be fundamentally flawed and structurally unsound).
For the humanists, the center of the cultural vision would have to be shifted, and the old overarching banner of the Judeo-Christian worldview would have to go. Their demolition efforts began in earnest in the nineteenth century and progressed rapidly throughout the twentieth century. The structural supports of the old house were identified as the first to be demolished—belief in a transcendent God, hierarchy, moral truths, right and wrong, the fallen nature of man, and the sanctity of life to name just a few.
However, the chains of the Founders’ Constitution slowed the humanists’ progress. So they took the Founders’ words and invented new definitions and meanings to attach to those words. Once the new meanings were defined, taught in our schools, and embedded in our media-saturated consciousness, the humanists insisted that the old Constitution was outdated and must be modified and modernized to fit the new progressive understanding of the world and its problems. The old structure still stands, but for how long we do not know. Its future depends on its inhabitants. In spite of humanist assaults, the great majority of the inhabitants still like the original plans but seem to not know how (or care enough to rise from their lethargy) to stop the demolition and rebuild the house as it once was.
Our analysis leads us to conclude that the decline of the American Constitution is primarily due to the third reason listed above—the leaders of the institutions of American life through craftiness or corruption over several decades have undermined the Constitution’s original intent which they now deem to be contrary to the central cultural vision of the people. But, there is also collateral damage from the humanist assault. Because of the unrelenting assault on the biblical worldview for three generations and a lack of truthful teaching in our schools about our Founding, America is seeing a shift by a growing segment of its citizens to a humanistic worldview devoid of belief in a transcendent God, objective truth, and the fallen nature of man. The consequences of such a shift in the America vision were foreseen by our Founding fathers.
|A great patriot Benjamin Rush|
“The only foundation for…a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.” [Benjamin Rush – Signor of the Declaration of Independence, attendee at the Continental Congress, physician and first Surgeon General]
“Without morals, a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion…are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” [Charles Carroll – Signor of the Declaration of Independence, lawyer, member of the Continental Congress and first U.S. Senate]
“We have no government armed in power capable of contending in human passions unbridled by morality and religion…Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” [John Adams – One of the drafters and a signor of the Declaration of Independence, 2nd President of the United States]
We have only to read the words of the Founders to understand why the power of the American Constitution to provide prescriptive rules, principles, and ordinances for the American people is waning. In summary, our Constitution won’t save America if it’s citizens abandon virtue, morality, and religion. Such abandonment leaves the Constitution powerless to guide the nation as it enters the turbulent waters of humanistic moral relativism. And the ultimate consequence is a loss of liberty.