Almost all the civil liberty now enjoyed in the world owes its origin to the principles of the Christian religion…. The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother or sister and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitution of government.” – Noah Webster, History of the United States
The Manhattan Declaration recently sent out a message to subscribers:
The most important thing we can do today in obedience to Christ is to break the spiral of silence that is pervasive in our culture. The way movements start is when people finally realize that in a free society they have to be able to speak out. They can’t be cowed into silence.” – Chuck Colson
For too long, Christians have been cowed into silence when it comes to the sanctity of human life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom. Join a movement to learn how to stand up, speak out, and break the Spiral of Silence.
It is time for Christians, people of faith and those with Conservative and Traditional values to speak out publicly in support, in defense of their world views.
What has ‘cowed’ Christians and those with Conservative and Traditional values into silence regarding issues important to them? Is it only fear that has taken their voice from the public marketplace of America?
A hundred years and more ago Christians and Conservative voices and actions were prominent in America, taking up issues such as slavery, alcohol and drug abuse, working conditions for children and adults, the plight of orphans, religious freedom and so many areas of social need. Today a hue and cry, often strident, sometimes threatening breaks out whenever people of faith-based, conservative values speak out on social issues. What has happened in America?
If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discernment, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in Christianity, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. ~ Rev. Charles Finney, (August 29, 1792 – August 16, 1875), an American minister, a pioneer in social reforms in favor of women and blacks, a religious writer, and president at Oberlin College.
Fear does seem to be a motivation for some to keep silent about their values and world view. But such behavior certainly is not the heritage of Christian’s forerunners down through the centuries. Is it only fear that grips their courage? What of Congressional mandated golden handcuffs on religious institutions and leaders that has resulted in unchallenged parishioners, stultifying complacency and inaction, corruption and decay in the political arena and the culture at large?
Over half a century ago Congress took action to prevent churches, other religious organizations and their leaders from speaking out and being involved in political issues, with a tainted promise of tax-free, non-profit status. The dark bargain made binding religious leaders could not engage or challenge their parishioners on political issues influencing the culture. Within religious organizations theology and beliefs grew disproportionately over basic Judeo-Christian principle and precept as it had and should influence society. Christians were left with the spirit of their faith in their own individual lives, but no salt to season society and culture. Along with other court and Congressional acts that gravely undermined the influence of Judeo-Christian values in American society (addressed here “God, Government and The People’s Liberties”), shackled influence by religious leaders on the culture have brought us where America is today, grappling with cultural and structural trends that the nation’s Founders would react at in dismay.
Speak out and take action, people of faith of various creeds and conservative/traditional values must. Even if it means organizations removing the shackles of financial enslavement that prevent them from political involvement. New ways need to be found to return the voice, mind, courage and boldness of those who forged this nation. Otherwise America’s culture and founding Liberties will continue to be corrupted and destroyed.
More About Congressional Action Against Religious Influence On Politics:
IRS – Charities, Churches and Politics
“In 1954, Congress approved an amendment by Sen. Lyndon Johnson to prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations, which includes charities and churches, from engaging in any political campaign activity. To the extent Congress has revisited the ban over the years, it has in fact strengthened the ban. The most recent change came in 1987 when Congress amended the language to clarify that the prohibition also applies to statements opposing candidates.” From the IRS read more >>
The History of The Johnson Amendment of 1954
Throughout our nation’s history-both before and after the American Revolution-our nation’s pastors freely spoke out on the political and moral issues of the day. It was their duty and their right under the Constitution to preach against immorality and corruption in the political and the moral realm. Historian James H. Hutson, writing in Religion and the Founding of the American Republic, notes: “Preachers seemed to vie with their brethren in other colonies in arousing their congregations against George III.” And, as Hutson discovered, the House of Representatives sponsored church services in its chambers for nearly 100 years. These services only ended when convenient transportation was available to take Members of Congress home for the weekend.
It is interesting to observe that our Founding Fathers and our first elected officials didn’t have any notion of “church/state separation,” so vehemently endorsed by Americans United and other modernist groups. Our Founders valued religion and wrote the First Amendment to protect the free expression of religious beliefs-and the freedom to speak out on the moral issues-including those involving politics and politicians. Read more >>
About the The Manhattan Declaration
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family. It was in this tradition that a group of prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders, and scholars released the Manhattan Declaration on November 20, 2009 at a press conference in Washington, DC. The 4,700-word declaration speaks in defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty. It issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere firmly to their convictions in these three areas. Read more >>
Religious leaders who spoke out forcefully in the past to lead America from tyranny, at its very founding.
During the War of Independence there was a group of heroic men referred to as the “Black Regiment”. The very name enraged the British armies. As heroes in the war, their courage and leadership were hailed throughout the colonies from Massachusetts to Georgia. As a “regiment”, they never once drilled together, yet the strategic impact of their highly disciplined attacks was overwhelming. As a unit, they never fought together on a particular field of battle, yet without question, their leadership provided the spark which ignited victory after victory. Read more >>
Other reading sources about the Black Regiment:
Dave Black Online – The Black Regiment
George Washington asked Lutheran pastor John Muhlenberg to raise a regiment of volunteers, Muhlenberg gladly agreed. Before marching off to join Washington’s army, he delivered a powerful sermon from Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 that concluded with these words:
“The Bible tells us there is a time for all things and there is a time to preach and a time to pray but the time for me to preach has passed away, and there is a time to fight, and that time has come now. Now is the time to fight! Call for recruits! Sound the drums!”
“I am a Clergyman it is true, but I am a member of the Society as well as the poorest Layman, and my Liberty is as dear to me as any man, shall I then sit still and enjoy myself at Home when the best Blood of the Covenant is spilling? …So far am I from thinking that I act wrong, I am convinced it is my duty to do so and duly I owe to God and my country.”
Then Muhlenberg took off his clerical robe to reveal the uniform of a Virginia Colonel. Grabbing his musket from behind the pulpit, he donned his Colonel’s hat and marched off to war. Read more >>
Dramatization of Rev Peter Muhlenberg’s 1776 Farewell / Call to Arms Speech