Christianity is thriving, siege mentality baffling
The fear that Christianity is under threat misjudges the situation. Consider that church membership is strong: 85 percent of Americans testify to personal faith whether or not they attend services regularly. Christianity is prominent in the general culture. Gospel music is popular (my ears are still ringing). Inspirational Christian literature sells like hotcakes, and every political candidate professes faith.
If all that is not reassuring, consider that evangelical Christians have gained dominance within the Republican Party and now prevail over liberals, agnostics, atheists, skeptics, minority religious communities and disobedient women.
Realize that current rulings against prayer at ball games and posting the Ten Commandments in statehouses do not deny freedom of religious expression and practice. No one is forbidden to pray in silence at secular public gatherings nor aloud or in silence at all other times. No one is forbidden to evangelize; no one need fear reprisals for expressing faith and belief. Parents have the right to educate their children at home or in parochial or denominational schools. All that is as it should be.
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What is challenged is forced participation in religious exercises. The core idea here, propounded by our founding fathers in an era of almost exclusive Christian faith commitment in America, is that no one should be forced or intimidated into religious avowals to which he or she does not assent nor to disavow beliefs to which they do assent.
If we still fret over restrictions on religious expression in limited public arenas, our faith must be frighteningly weak.
I would like to address those who seek to put Christianity in its place. Most of the time, it is an outsider who, once arriving in Lexington, feels the urgency to dictate when and where us hicks can pray or express our backwards traditions. I suspect the writer of "Rights have limits" (Nov. 26) is of that ilk, an American Civil Liberties Union groupie and outspoken liberal whose letter says "your right to pray exists alongside my right not to pray or even listen to you pray."
A dead giveaway with an atheist or those mocking Christianity is their contempt for anything resembling faith expression outside a church. They want to dictate when and where Christians pray. I would say the writer has the right to walk away from any prayer or ignore a Nativity scene.
Liberals who migrate to our state and become offended with prayer at football games can rest assured the ACLU will attack with glee those 99 percent who have offended the 1 percent.
Rhetoric about establishing a state religion or forcing religion on the unbelieving is ridiculous. The intolerant, uber-condescending anti-Christian minority simply want to put us locals in our place.
As to the woman lamenting the lack of tolerance for the homosexuals she had seated at her eclectic and fascinating Thanksgiving dinner, I say that your opinion is noted. But, reality says you can't force your idea of tolerance on the rest of us. There is nothing discriminatory about gay people not being married.
Spread the faith
The recent letter, "Bringing prayer to public," perpetuates a myth commonly spread nowadays, that the American Civil Liberties Union doesn't want to allow kids to pray. Even presidential candidate Rick Perry falsely stated that kids can't openly celebrate Christmas.
The truth is that people can pray anywhere, anytime; in fact, I have always thought that as long as there are math tests, there will be prayer.
So, the Penn State prayer won't be complained about by the ACLU since it was spontaneously student-led.
What the law says and the ACLU supports is what our founding fathers wrote into our Bill of Rights, that no government organization should coerce people to pray to one religion and discriminate against all the others. If the letter writer is ever made to participate in prayer to a religion other than his own, he'll appreciate this protection.
The Kentucky high school and the Pulaski County courthouse violated this principle, so the ACLU complained.
The ACLU exists to support the Bill of Rights. Read that document and try to understand and revere it as good patriots do.
Expand the logic
In response to the letter of Dec. 8 applauding the football players who prayed on the field:
First, which the prayer-in-school folks totally miss, is that prayer is wrong when you force others to pray with you. You can pray by yourself all you want in America, whenever you want, wherever you are, to any god you choose, and in any house of worship you want. You just can't make your fellow Americans pray with you. Got it?
Secondly, let's take the prayer-on-the-field situation a little further, and put the Ten Commandments into athletics as well.
That means prayer people can't put John Calipari higher than God. That takes care of the first two commandments, and will probably improve Coach Calipari's quality of life as well, removing a tremendous weight from his shoulders.
The Third Commandment will ensure that athletes and fans not take the Lord's name in vain, even if the ball was just dropped in the end zone.
Keeping holy the Lord's day will end the NFL playing on Sunday or the Cats playing on Saturday, depending upon which day you choose to keep holy.
Stripping the ball or intercepting a pass is not in keeping with the Eighth Commandment, which forbids stealing.
Finally, you cannot covet your neighbor's football, or basketball, or coach, or his newly built stadium.
So folks who value prayer I'm sure will want to support the Ten Commandments on the playing field as well as in government buildings.
In response to the Dec. 18th "The superintendent and evolution" comments, and specifically to the University of Kentucky professor's challenge to "come back to school, I'll tell you more," I would hope that classroom discussion would include some of the findings of Harvard biology professor Howard Berg.
Berg states that bacterial flagellum "is the most efficient machine in the universe." Some call it a system with irreducible parts, which apparently causes real problems with some of Darwin's theory of evolution. Darwin himself realized this when he made this statement about the eye, "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."
There are plenty of molecular biologists who are comfortable with evolution being only a theory, and for good reason. Then there are those who would debunk that, which is why it should be treated as a theory only. You don't see scientists having differing opinions in regard to gravity or whether molecules exist, which is why those things aren't called theories.