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Our Religious Freedom is in a “State of Emergency”

by Dan Weber – A new, darkly ominous threat to all that we hold dear as Americans is  upon us —a threat so grave that recently The National Clergy Council  declared a “state of emergency.”

Let me tell you about it.

Religious tolerance and interfaith understanding are among the most cherished American traditions. Learning from parents and teachers — and from our leaders in churches and synagogues — about respecting the religious views and rights of others is a special memory for most older Americans.  Regard for the religious conscience of others is also a value that we strive to pass on to our own children and grandchildren.

As Americans we also learned, however, that no right is more essential to the preservation of freedom – and no right more properly enshrined in the Bill of Rights – than freedom of religion and worship.

We were educated in stories of the Pilgrim Fathers coming here to America to escape persecution. We knew the story of Roger Williams founding the colony of Rhode Island so his congregation could follow the dictates of conscience. We remember George Washington’s moving letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport Rhode Island about a  US government that will never “give sanction” to any form of bigotry or persecution.

Now, in a way that other generations might have found unimaginable, the federal government has moved against the rights of religious conscience.  President Barack Obama’s recently ordered Catholic institutions to go against their religious conscience and pay for sterilization, contraception and “morning after” abortion pills.

So serious is this threat that The National Clergy Council, a Washington DC based group that represents church leaders of Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox, and Protestant church traditions, declared “a state of emergency.”

In protesting this government attempt to force Americans to compromise their religious and moral beliefs the Council said in its Feb 22nd statement:

“In recent days, Jewish rabbis have joined all Catholic bishops in the United States in expressing alarm over the President’s ‘healthcare’ mandates and other violations of the Constitution. The National Clergy Council deliberated for the last week on what it would do, consulting pastors, moral theologians, organizational executives and activists from around the US.”

The council’s president, the Reverend Rob Schenck then decided to “ begin the holy season of Lent 2012” by hand delivering  to the White House on Ash Wednesday an appeal to President Obama for answers to its “State of Emergency and Time for Speaking” declaration.

Speaking for the Council, Rev. Schenck said in his communiqué to the President:

“We state to you our unwavering position on the sanctity of our constitutionally protected right to espouse certain principles of conscience; and, we maintain and insist on our God-given, moral rights to act upon these principles of conscience within our respective institutions and in keeping with their attendant prerogatives; Furthermore, while we hope for a resolution to this crisis that includes the rescinding of your directives, we must hold to our convictions and positions and act according to our prerogatives no matter the legal, social, pecuniary, or political consequences.”

The leadership of the National Council is admirable.  So too the Catholic bishops have spoken out heroically.  And all across America priests and ministers are having their sermons interrupted by applause from outraged church goers.

What I want to know from you as a member of AMAC is this: “Should we leave this fight to others?

Or should we join these heroic clergy in their struggle to preserve one of our most essential American freedoms?”

Your answers to our recent poll on the issue tell me that you want to make this fight your fight  – an AMAC fight for freedom.

Comments (132)

  1. Berean says:

    Everyone is looking in every direction but up! I know that if we should begin to take this all to Lord Jesus in prayer and then WAIT for His answer, all will be well and in his will. The more we pray and then take action, it will be the wrong action. Anytime we step out and act on our own, IT WILL GET WORSE. God Has a plan and HE will see to it that it is done-in His time and in His way! Place our will in Him and not in ourselves. Doing anything without clear direction, will only lead to a worsening situation.

    Perhaps, just perhaps it is time for all this to come about! My scripture tells me that God has put every authority in place and we are to obey it as much as we can without sin. Pray often, intelligently and in faith that God will act! This is the hardest thing to do. Satan loves for us to step out on our own and do ‘something’. Pray, vote, wait and obey!

    • Joann Layton says:

      God doesn’t want us to be enslaved to anyone. I think our present problems are due to the fact that we have forgotten God and have allowed the minority to take God out of the public life. We have allowed abortion to be legalized and now the minority of leaders are forcing all of us to pay the price of everyone’s contraceptive practices. The government has gotten so big that it intrudes into our lives at every turn.

      We will have to fight against the government intrusions aggressively in order for us to stop them. Prayer is very necessary and needed. We need to bring God back into our lives for real and live our principles everyday and not just on Sunday. We need to pray and then get involved in the work of saving our nation!

    • Chuckie Cheese says:

      It also says that God helps those who help themselves.

      • Lynnelady7 says:

        Where I agree evil prevails when good men/women do nothing, and James said “show me your faith by your works”, it’s common misconception that your quote is scripture. It isn’t.

      • JerryM says:

        Chuckie Cheese – Thank you for taking the time to comment here-but a minor correction. The Bible does not say God helps those who help themselves.

    • nursepat says:

      I agree. Just think about this: God may have allowed Obama to reach the top to shake us awake and see that we are squandering the rights that so many before have died for. We MUST return to dependance on God and take His word to those around us instead of being PC. Jesus said to spread the good news far and wide. The one who knows the good he should do and does not do it, sins.

  2. Ruth Ledergerber says:

    Thank you for your great article. I agree. Obama’s presidency needs to end. Amen.

  3. Fr. John+ says:

    If this is the religious position of AMAC that ‘tolerance and diversity’ should reign here- even with false, syncretistic and outright blasphemous religions (such as Islam, Judaism, and Idol worship) -then count me OUT of this ‘Brave New Obamantion’!

    THis nation was founded and called a CHRISTIAN nation. Groups that are overtly JEWISH- such as the ADL, B’nai Brith, etc. are working OVERTLY to dismantle that, right before our eyes.

    If you have the audacity to speak of some non-existent ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition, I am here to inform you that there AIN’T NO SUCH ANIMAL.

    Jews and Judaism are ANATHEMA to Christ and the Church, and have been for 2000 years.
    John 8:44, Rev. 2:8,9

    • Bonnie says:

      Even using your own scripture references, Jesus did not hate the Jews but those who professed to be Jews who were in fact “a synagogue of satan”. The hatred you express in your comments sounds more like the beliefs of the KKK than of Christians. I fear your actions as much as I fear the power of our government. I will be praying for you and others who feel as you do.

    • Dienekes says:

      So much for religious freedom. I am always disquieted by an individual who thinks their right is more important than the right of anyone with whom he does not agree. But, in spite of thinking that you, Fr, John are wrongheaded, I support your right to believe any exclusionist stupidity that you wish. I’m just glad you are a minor ideology. Matthew 5:43-48. This nation was founded as a bastion of religious freedom. Christians were prevalent, but accepted all others. The First Amendment is proof of that. I’m thankful you are not running the show.

    • Frankly says:

      How can you call yourself Fr. John. You denigrate the use of the name. There is no room for bigots in Christ’s Church.

    • Nina says:

      If you read the Bible, you will know that Jesus was a Jew having been a descendant of King David. You are, in essence, saying that Jesus was an anthema to himself, which is wrong. You have taken these verses out of context, as neither of them refer to Jesus hating the Jewish people. You need to read all the verses, not pick and choose, to understand what is being said.

    • nursepat says:

      FR. JOHN+, check yor facts, the one you claim as savior was in fact a jew. Christ said that he had not come to abolish the law but to complete it. No matter what, God can not renig on a promise, and He promised Abraham that his descendants would always be His people, though some would be lost there will be some who will see the truth before they die. If He didn’t have a special place for them He wouldn’t have said that He would send the two witnesses to specially minister to them at the end times. The upshot is that God wishes us to love everyone. The fly in the ointment is that we tend to hate the sinner,as well as the sin. It is hard to do but we must separate the person from the things that he does. We are not the sum of the things in our past.

  4. J.R. Anderson says:

    To many in our precious U.S.A. have chosen to follow the messiah Obama and the result is the overreaching arm of the government into our lives. Christians have become the whipping boy. All of us who name the Name of Christ as our Savior must get out at the ballot box this November and get this man out of office. His lies and half-truths have caused many to go to sleep and now we are facing an up hill battle for our freedoms, not only to worship, but to live out our beliefs.
    Let’s pray for a fair election and for God’s man to be elected to the white house along with a senate and house that can get to work and put this country back on the path to health and freedom that was envisioned by our founders. May God richly bless America.

  5. djdude1327 says:

    I join my fellow veterans in calling for the priority-one removal of the current Administration. I served my country faithfully for 22 years, retiring as an Army Master Sgt. During this entire time, I never heard of, saw or was told about, any requirement to leave God, my religion or the Bible out of my daily work or play. I am glad this did not occur, for I feel most strongly that I would not have obeyed any such blasphemy against my Lord and Saviour. I am also a Vietnam veteran, with Agent Orange-acquired cancer. I know there are many, many of you veterans out there with similarly-caused debilitating diseases and illnesses, and I pray for all to regain good health once again. The Holy Trinity are my Rock and Salvation, and I will let no man cast them aside. We have those in government and those in other organizations who do not feel as I do. They would rather see the Christian religions abolished, and have their own agenda for doing so. We all know this has already begun to happen. No more prayer in schools, no reference to God at military funerals, taking down crosses at cemetaries, no celebration in Washington of National Prayer Day. Of course, he DID do all he could to insure the Islamic holy day ceremonies were well-attended, including himself. What more proof do we need? Let’s make sure his administration ends in November.

    • Dave Frandin says:

      djdude: I’m a Vietnam vet, served 8 years in the Army, did one tour to Vietnam, and frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach the way this country is going. The one point I want to make is this: I pray to Heavenly Father I’m wrong, but I have a horrible feeling that the current occupant of the “People’s House” is planning an “October Surprise” that will give him a reason to declare martial law. Once this happens, there will BE no elections in November, and any media besides his pet MSM will be banned. Of course, this will all be spun as “I must protect the American people from ….” whatever “incident” his minions concoct. I have no idea what this “incident” would be, but I have NO DOUBT that the evil people he’s brought into the government have something that will make us absolutely sick. This of course will make Congress give him a blank check.. Oh I’m sure there will be a few, like Rand/Ron Paul, Demint and perhaps others who will see through this, but they will be outvoted.. If this does happen, America as we know it is over.. Stick a fork in it, we’re DONE!!
      The only Conservative voice I’ve heard that believes this has a good chance of happening is Glenn Beck.. Where ARE the rest of em? Rush/Hannity?? I’m no brainiac, but the slimyness of the left and their penchant for winning at ANY cost pretty much point to this scenario as likely…

    • Nina says:

      I agree. My son is in the Army, and I pray that he will obey God, not man. Thank you and may God continually bless you.

  6. Terry says:

    Let’s get active in our communities to make a strong and clear message this November! I believe there are many people with our beliefs and convictions just waiting to join in the battle, but they need a little help getting started.

    • nursepat says:

      Problem is that we may not have the chance, because I also see the likelyhood of an emergency scenario that will “require” the declaration of martial law. Stick a fork in it, we’re done.

  7. Bob L says:

    Get all of them out of there (Whitehouse)

  8. Don in Denver says:

    Most of the things wrong in this country are due to the fact that the white house and the majority of those 535 people on capitol hill WANT it this way. Our duty,if we desire to preserve our republic, is to change all of this come November by electing strong conservatives (NOT RINOS) to all offices in every part of government all the way down to dog catcher. When this is accomplished, for starters, we push until THEY reduce the size of government by at least 50% over the next 10 years. With over reaching, over regulating, oppressive government out of the way, then perhaps the power will shift to where it should be…………TO THE PEOPLE!

  9. Mike W says:

    Vote for a real change RON PAUL 2012!!!!!!!!

  10. Harold Will says:

    There is a tiime to turn the other cheek and there is a time TO STAND UP FOR JESUS and this is a time for BELIEVERS IN THE TRUE CHRIST to unite and not only support this orginization in your efforts but to VOTE FOR WHAT AND WHO BELIEVES IN HONORING OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR AND PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL REMOVE THE WICKED FROM OFFICE.

  11. Dan J. says:

    Our government has become more and more liberal over the years, and has turned a deaf ear to Christians in the name of “separation of church and state”. The days we are living in are described in 2 Timothy 3:1-8. The scoffers have indeed come, and appear to be in control. However, if we go on to verse 9 we see that they will not completely get away with their plan. They will be seen for who they are. It’s time, past time, for Christians to take a stand for Christ. We can no longer afford to be tolerant of the Jezebel spirit that has permeated our government. We still have the right to vote these people out of office, to figuratively cast them down. As followers of Christ, it’s time for us to become as indignant as Jesus was when He cast the money changers out of the temple. Our country was founded on the basis of religious freedom, the freedom to worship as we wish. The current administration, President and Congress, are are more than willing to extend those freedoms to any religion other than Christianity. Christians cannot remain quiet or timid any longer. We cannot sit back and let things happen. The time has come to stand up and make things happen. Our time is now, our weapon is our vote. It’s time to “lock and load”, and cast our vote for candidates with the courage to fight for the freedoms our founders died for.

  12. Pete says:

    God is at the core of freedom. My rights are bestowed by God and not by the government. This is why government works so hard to diminish the influence of God in our lives. If God is gone then all that remains is government. This is what Lenin and Stalin knew; this is what Hitler and Himmler knew; and this is what Mr. Obama and Mr. Eric Holder work to promote.

  13. Lois Sewak says:

    Too many branches of our government are controlled by liberals that prefer power and control over others rather than allow the freedom that this country was founded. Unfortunately we have allowed this to happen.

  14. Sharon says:

    I was always taught that in our country we had choices as far as religion. The government and the aclu (they don’t deserve capital letters) have no right to take away the right of those who want prayer in favor of those who don’t. If you
    don’t want to pray, then don’t, but leave the rest of us alone to worship as we choose.

  15. Bill says:

    For 27 years I served my country as a Marine. We were never prohibited from praying or attending services, even in a combat zone.

    Now, the ACLU has filed a suit to stop prayer in the military. This administration is anti-religious and is doing everything possible to create hatred towards any church, except Islam. Even the radical Islamics are being given access to this socialist/communist administration.

    It is time for the ACLU to be tanked. They no longer do what the original idea was when founded. But of course, with these baboons in power, I doubt this will happen.

    • Joann Layton says:

      The ACLU was organized so the Communist party would have a front in this country. You can look at their actions to reveal their philosophy. They may take on cases that are true in order to mask their real agenda. They are not for our country and the freedoms we cherish.

  16. Betsy says:

    All Christians that still believe must join in turning back to God and ignoring the government that has become
    closer and closers to totalitarian (authoritarian). The God of the Holy Bible is supreme, not heads of govt. I converted to Catholicism after hearing God’s call to me. We must fight that human government’s attempt to make us violate out consciences.

    • nursepat says:

      when christianity becomes illegal I will be a criminal. God’s law supercedes any earthly law. This world and all it’s trappings are not worth losing my eternal place in heaven.

  17. Larry Peck says:

    Day by day and step by step the government has been slowly taking over control of the country. Our current leaders are extremely radical and I feel that this is the Lord giving us a warning before all of our freedoms will be lost. May God help us through all of this.

  18. Pete C. says:

    When Roe v. Wade happened, a lot of people were up in arms. This was due to the fact that now it was possible to have an act done that went against some people’s moral convictions. However, with this decision, it only became POSSIBLE to have an abortion. No one forced every medical center to give them.

    With this socialist Obama-care bill, this is now what is happening; we’re being forced. The federal government is TELLING us what we MUST do with no regard to our religious convictions. This fight must continue and must be won. This would be legal precedence that lawyers would turn to in the future when anything else that the federal government wanted to force us to do would come up.

    It’s about time that “for the people, by the people, and of the people” became a reality and let the people tell the governmental leaders what’s up and not the other way around.

  19. Bill says:

    As an American Veteran, I spent half my life defending this Country and its way of life. One of the reasons Our Founding Fathers left Europe to secure their God given righs to practice their religion free from persecution by the King and henchmen. I took an Oath to defend this Country against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This is an Oath I still live by with the help and guidance of my Heavenly Father. I will bow down to no King except My Heavenly Father, My Lord and Savior Jesus and I strive to follow no spirit except the Holy Spirit. The seperation of church and state is just a myth.

  20. Pat Knaak says:

    Thank you. Keep up the good work.

  21. larry Smith says:

    This is not anything new. This is not the start of religious persecution. It is the continuation of it.We really started to see it when prayer and the pledge was taken from our children and their schools. We as Americans have helped further this attack on our freedoms by our silence. I call for all Christian Americans everywhere to be silent no longer. Let your voice be heard. God is still in control but He will hold us accountable for what we allow to happen;unchallenged.

    • djdude1327 says:

      You hit it right on the money, Larry. That WAS the beginning and the end is not going to be pretty. But, as you and the others have said, all Christians must unite as one hand. That hand must sweep Obama and his cronies out of the White House. Jesus said “but not my will…yours”. I have always believed in “His will be done”. If God wants us to retake this country, and return it to it’s glorious, God-loving past, he will make it happen. But when He created us, He did give us each a separate will, so we must also use that will, again as you and our brothers and sisters have said, to remove the Liberals from office. As you have said, “God is still in control but he will hold us accountable for what we allow to happen, unchallenged”. I, as some of you have already written, also strongly feel, the Obama administration is pro-Islamic, pro-non-Christian, pro-big-government. His actions over the past two years have shown me these facts to be true. We may not have the best Conservative candidates right now, but we certainly have no choice-we can’t allow the Obamanism to continue unabated. The life of our beloved country depends on the actions we take..

    • P Young says:

      Very well said, Larry. It is high time the Christians of this country stop bowing to liberalism and take the stand we should have taken when prayer was taken out of our schools.

      • Terri says:

        P Young, yes indeed, I do believe we have been asleep at the wheel. I am wondering if people will really wake up to what’s being foisted upon us, or what it will take for people to wake up! How tight do the chains have to be for people to realize what’s going on?

        The reason we have to fight for all we’re worth for the repeal of this Mandate? Once the door is even cracked open they will run over us like a herd of elephants. Faster than the speed of light to boot. Too bad the young can’t see this, but I guess you have to travel the block a time or two for the blinders to come off.

    • nursepat says:

      Relgious persecution began back in Genesis. Remember Cain and Abel?

  22. Sandy says:

    We need to take up the fight of religious freedom. True if the government makes us pay for the pill we don’t have to take it. But government intrusion, is government control. The Obama health care bill is government control. Forcing citizens to pay for something they don’t want or need. The cost of this bill, is more than the unknown price tag. It will decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t . It will take away our right to choose. So wake up America, get informed and educated!!!

  23. don minnis says:

    I AM VERY ALARMED AS TO WHAT OUR PRESIDENT IS DOING TO OUR FREEDOM AND TO OUR COUNTRY. i AM A RETIRED MARINE THAT FOUGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY AND I AM ALARMED AS TO WHAT OUR PRESIDENT HAS ALREADY DONE. WE NEED TO REPLACE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS THAT DO NOT STAND UP AND STOP THIS EROSION OF OUR FREEDOM AND COUNTRY. GOD BLESS AMERICA. DON MINNIS

  24. Jay says:

    It may not be as bad as we think. People still have the individual freedom to use or reject these birth control measures. At the end of the day if they want a pill they will get one with or without help from a church. And, by the same token if a chruch is forced to pay for a pill they will never be forced to take one.

    • Maray Paachmayr says:

      In response to the person who said, “we may have to pay for these things, but we do not have to take them”. That may be true, but I do NOT want to pay for someone to abort a child, that is murder of an innocent child whom God is forming and loving and knowing even in the womb, nor pay for some other persons contraception.

  25. Gary S Smith says:

    Man is man. He hates God, & will do whatever he can to do away with God. For years we have heard separation of church & state, which if anyone can find that clause for me I will leave the Lord at the church door. Brothers if we do nothing, men will take away our freedom who to worship, where to worship, & if we have the freedom to worship at all.

    • Margaret says:

      Gary, I do not believe man hates God. There are many who don’t know God and hate what they think God is. They will love Him if they know Him. There are many conversions and St. Paul was only one. There are many today because they are loved by Christians who’s lives are a reflection of Jesus. God loves us all and gives us all a chance to know Him. I think it is amazing how God works to lead the sinner home. Recall the prodigal son. I’m sure his father spoke to God every day (maybe more often) on behalf of his son. We must pray for Obama and company, even though that doesn’t sound easy to do. I’m putting emphasis on asking blessings for his opponents, however. God’s in charge. God bless America.

    • nursepat says:

      Therefore, we need to pray, pray, pray; also go and spread the gospel. Jesus said not to be surprised if you are rejected, they rejected Him first. Rejection is not our problem, we just palnt seeds.

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