When New York churches can no longer meet in public-school settings, a federal court orders a Rhode Island public school to remove a prayer banner that has been posted for more than five decades (and it complies); the federal government mandates Catholic institutions to cover abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization (at no cost to the patient); the U.S. Air Force removes “God” from the motto of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office; atheists continue to contest “under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance; town councils can’t pray to start their meetings; evangelical pillars like Franklin Graham are subdued by gotcha-gangs in the mainstream media; and cultural icons like Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow can’t even bow in silent prayer without criticism, etc., you can be assured that religious liberty is under assault by secular progressives across America. And leading the national charge is none other than President Barack Obama.
Though America’s founders and framers of our Constitution opposed the reign of kings or priests, they actually advocated the role of religion in society and civic service, including intermingling their own Christian faith in political convictions and choices. And I believe they would want us to elect a president who is committed to the same.
As I wrote in my New York Times best-seller, “Black Belt Patriotism,” skeptics are quick to point to Thomas Jefferson, who is generally hailed as the chief of church-state separation. But proof that Jefferson was not trying to rid government of religious (specifically Christian) influence comes from the fact that he endorsed using government buildings for church meetings, signed a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians that allotted federal money to support the building of a Catholic church and to pay the salary of the church’s priests and repeatedly renewed legislation that gave land to the United Brethren to help their missionary activities among the Indians.
Some might be completely surprised to discover that just two days after Jefferson wrote his famous letter citing the “wall of separation between Church and State,” he attended church in the place where he always had as president: the U.S. Capitol. The very seat of our nation’s government was used for sacred purposes. As the Library of Congress website notes, “It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church.”
For our founders, moral fortitude was dependent upon the liberties of religion, not the laws of men. As John Adams, our second president, explained, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Benjamin Franklin put it this way: “That wise men have in all ages thought government necessary for the good of mankind; and, that wise governments have always thought religion necessary for the well ordering and well-being of society, and accordingly have been ever careful to encourage and protect the ministers of it, paying them the highest public honours, that their doctrines might thereby meet with the greater respect among the common people.”
Because our founders’ firmly believed that religion prevented liberty from turning into licentiousness, President George Washington warned the nation in his presidential Farewell Address to beware of the time when leaders dismantle the role of religion and Christianity: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
No wonder, John Jay, the first chief justice of the United States, appointed by George Washington himself, wrote to Jedidiah Morse on Feb. 28, 1797, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Thank God for the present members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, a bipartisan group of 103 members of the House of Representatives dedicated to preserving religious freedom in America. But they also need a fearless leader in the Oval Office, who will stand up with them against the attacks on our religious liberties, not one who initiates the assaults! We need a president who defends our First Amendment’s freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
Last week, I mentioned that before ever considering running for the presidency, former House Speaker Newt and Callista Gingrich fought for America’s Judeo-Christian heritage by writing two volumes and creating a DVD tour by the same name, “Rediscovering God in America.”
In 2010, also before his decision to run for the presidency, Newt stated categorically on tour for his insightful book “To Save America,” that the Obama regime is “the most radical administration in America’s history. This is a secular socialist machine … deeply opposed to God being in public life, deeply opposed to religious values defining how we think about things … they clearly represent a value system that any reasonable person would call secular. … on a scale that is the opposite of the founding fathers.”
Comparing our time to the critical moment in the Revolutionary War when George Washington crossed the Delaware river in a blizzard with the slogan, “Victory or death,” Newt also challenged every patriot today by saying: “So I say to those who love their country and care about America’s future that the time to act is now. … We are either in the next few years going to become a secular socialist country dominated by very left wing values, or we’re not only going to reach out and defeat the left but insist on a principled conservatism that can solve the problems, can reduce the size of government, and can create greater prosperity, greater freedom and greater safety. And we need every citizen who cares about their country, their children and their grandchildren to be actively involved to help save America.”
Newt’s passion to protect our religious liberties is one more reason in a long list why my wife, Gena, and I are encouraging all Americans to support and vote for Newt Gingrich as GOP nominee for president. (I’ll address another huge reason in my next column: “Newt’s new plan to bring gas back down to $2.50 per gallon.”)
If you, too, join the millions of others of us who believe Newt is “the man for such time as this,” here are nine more ways you can immediately employ your faith action:
1) Write or call the president today to voice your opinion about the assault on religious liberty occurring across our land and what you think he should do about it. You can call the White House at (202)456-1111 or email the White House here.
2) Again, call or write the White House to challenge President Obama to speak up on behalf of persecuted Christians everywhere, including the Iranian pastor who was sentenced to death last week merely for converting to Christianity. How can Obama apologize for Quran burnings in Afghanistan and yet stay silent when a Christian pastor is being put to death by the Iranian regime?
3) Please post this article to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and email it to those you know particularly in Arizona, Michigan and Washington (the next primaries on Feb. 28 and Mar. 3).
4) Sign up to be part of the Newt’s Faith Coalition.
5) Educate yourself on the GOP presidential candidates by reviewing the American Family Association’s online non-partisan voter guide to help you examine the differences between the four remaining contenders.
6) Listen to this interview with Newt by Dr. Rev. Jim Garlow of Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, Calif., about Newt’s Christian faith and passions.
7) Please keep Newt and his team in your daily prayers.
8) Go to Newt.org and help finance Newt’s campaign.
9) Mostly, don’t be missing in action at the polls! Your vote counts!
Chuck Norris is the star of more than 20 films and the long-running TV series "Walker, Texas Ranger." His latest book is entitled The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book." Learn more about his life and ministry at his official website, ChuckNorris.com.