Posted: April 04, 20091:00 am Eastern
The beautiful island of Molokai used to be called the Leper Island. Actually, one tip of the island still houses a "leper colony," a treatment center and refuge for people afflicted with Hansen's disease â€“ which has for centuries been called leprosy.
Leprosy is a dreadful, wasting, flesh-destroying affliction. It has always been contagious, and dating back to Bible times it has called for quarantine â€“ separation of the afflicted from the rest of society. If a leper had to move among other people, he or she was required to cover the face and body and loudly exclaim "unclean, unclean" as a warning to normal, healthy people.
The life of the leper is a lonely, desolate, isolated existence.
Well, guess what? Right here, in the land of the free and the home of the brave â€“ the nation that was founded by Christians, on Christian principles, with the expressed intent to secure freedom of worship for all â€“ people who are still willing to be identified as Christians are becoming the new lepers!
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As I read the papers, watch and listen to the news, and read the constant stream of newsletters from conservative groups fighting to preserve the liberties we've always taken for granted, I can hardly believe what's happening in what has always been referred to as "a Christian nation."
Though we Christians are still an undeniable majority, we have been undercut, seduced, litigated, misrepresented and increasingly overpowered by ultra "liberal," secular and outright seditious special-interest groups. Without our seeming to be aware, our schools â€“ and through them, our children â€“ have been largely removed from our influence toward traditional faith by powerful organizations, the ACLU and the NEA, the teachers' union, leading the way. For reasons that are unmistakably obvious, all mentions or references to God are being prohibited, and any innocent expressions of Christianity by even grade-school kids forbidden.
John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute, which provides legal services in the defense of religious liberties, draws attention to a prophetic observation by John Leo, former editor of U.S. News and World Report, written almost 7 years ago:
History textbooks have been scrubbed clean of religious references, and holidays scrubbed of all religious references and symbols. Some intellectuals now contend that arguments by religious people should be out of bounds in public debate, unless, of course, they agree with the elites. In schools the anti-religion campaign is often hysterical. When schoolchildren are invited to write about any historical figure, this usually means they can pick Stalin or Jeffrey Dahmer, but not Jesus or Luther, because religion is reflexively considered dangerous in schools and loathsome historical villains aren't. Similarly, a moment of silence in the schools is wildly controversial because some children might use it to pray silently on public property. Oh, the horror! The overall message is that religion is backward, dangerous and toxic.
Do you see it? While liberal groups and even courts protect HIV and AIDS victims from having to divulge their condition on any records, for fear they might be denied public activity and employment, innocent school kids are scrubbed, fumigated and isolated lest they spread the deadly virus of Christianity.
Whitehead reports receiving a plea for help from a parent in Colorado, whose son Wade was given a fourth-grade assignment to choose a "hero," write a description of his hero and portray the chosen hero as part of a "live wax museum." He would then give an oral report in front of the class.
When 9-year-old Wade chose Jesus as his hero, school officials immediately insisted that he pick someone else. When his parents objected, the school proposed a compromise: Wade could write an essay on Jesus and even dress up like Him for the "wax museum." However, he'd have to present his oral report to his teacher in private, with no one else present, rather than in front of the classroom like the other students.
The message to Wade and his fellow students? Jesus is not a worthy hero, and a kid who thinks He is should be ashamed and kept away from the other kids.
Like a leper.
The Rutherford Institute is being approached by many other parents whose children are being oppressed the same way. In Las Vegas, a third-grader was asked to write in her journal what she liked most about December. When she predictably wrote that Jesus' birthday made it special to her, her teacher tapped her on the shoulder and told her she was not allowed to write about "religion" in school.
And now, Alan Sears of the Alliance Defense Fund alerts us that the Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed two lawsuits to stop the dreaded â€¦ National Day of Prayer.
Feeding off the campaign of intimidation, litigation and disinformation by the ACLU, this militant anti-religion foundation has filed against Shirley Dobson, chairperson of the National Day of Prayer and wife of James Dobson, claiming that the Day of Prayer creates a "hostile environment" for non-believers and that it "violates the First Amendment" â€“ the amendment, you may remember, that states specifically that Congress shall make no law "restricting the free exercise" of religious expression!
The gall, the blatant un-American effort to extort and intimidate Christians into abandoning our very heritage and identity is nightmarish, to put it subtly.
George Washington appointed Christian chaplains and called for prayer on the battlefield of our Revolution, as well as frequently during his presidency. Thomas Jefferson and Congress appropriated funds to pay missionaries to "preach the gospel" to the Indians. In 1863, President Lincoln called for a day of national prayer, and in 1944 Roosevelt declared a national day of prayer. In 1952 Congress passed a law recognizing such a day, and in 1988, President Reagan signed amended legislation that permanently established the first Thursday in May as the annual day of national prayer.
I know. I was there, in the Oval Office, looking over his shoulder as he signed the day onto our national calendar. I was co-chairman of the effort, with Vonette Bright.
Only two decades later, these sordid, maniacal groups now see me as a leper, a carrier of a noxious infection. And they want me and all other Christians to be silenced.
I, Pat Boone, American, refuse to be quarantined.