Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Inauguration Prayers

inthenews

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) — Two U.S. Supreme Court justices rejected a California atheist’s bid to block clergy-led prayer at tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony for President George W. Bush.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice John Paul Stevens, in separate orders, today denied an emergency-injunction request filed in Washington by Michael Newdow.

Two Christian ministers — Episcopal Rev. Luis Leon of Washington and Methodist Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell of Houston — are slated to say prayers at the inauguration.

Newdow said in court papers that the past 17 public inaugurations, dating back to 1937, have all included “blatantly Christian prayer.” He said he has tickets to the event, yet “cannot in good conscience attend an exercise where his government forces him to endure religious dogma he finds highly disagreeable.”

Newdow last year unsuccessfully urged the Supreme Court to bar public school teachers from leading recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase “under God.”

Greg Stohr
Bloomberg.com

Analysis:

The preceding column contains information regarding a typical attack from secularists upon the Christian faith. It has long been held by a segment of our society that “freedom of religion” should be understood as “freedom from religion.”

By that, we do not mean that individuals should not have the right not to practice religion, We refer rather to the belief some hold that individuals have the right to live in a complete secular society, without any semblance of faith or religion allowed to be demonstrated in public.

Notice he says that he can’t attend an event where his government “forces him to endure religious dogma he finds highly disagreeable.” The obvious answer is, “Then don’t go!”

Our nation seems to be getting ever nearer an interpretation of the constitution which would change the concept that government does not have the right to limit the free exercise of religion to the point that government has the obligation to do just that. As in all things, we must obey God rather than man. “But Peter and John answered and said to them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard'” (Acts 4:19-20).