Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus; Sort of


I kind of took Christmas off from blogging. The result being I missed this awesome essay by Norma Zager about an American Jewish gal having positive memories of Christmas. She shows Christmas has shown in the past that a spirit of giving, sharing and caring for the needs of others is unselfishly important.

Since Norma is Jewish it is not surprising her memories are not so much about the risen Messiah Jesus Christ. Her found memories are about that spirit being projected to children of all beliefs from jolly St. Nicholas or as he is more popularly known today –Santa Claus.

JRH 12/26/15

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Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus; Sort of

By Norma Zager

Sent: 12/24/2015 11:21 PM

Intro by Ari Bussel

On Christmas Eve, 2015, Norma Zager and I ask ourselves “Where has the Christmas spirit gone?”

We salute businesses like In-N-Out Burger and Chick-fil-A that still celebrate Christmas, Home Depot where choosing a Christmas tree is an excursion to wonderland and Costco that for years has led by example and closed its stores when many others remained open.

Zager reminds us of our role in the world, lighting it up with goodness:

Santa is a symbol of giving, sharing and caring for others. Christmas is a time of year when Rockefeller Center boasts a giant tree, lighting up the world; when lights and stars fill the streets and melodic music plays.

On this Christmas Eve we crave the magical feeling of the holiday; family and friends surrounding us with warmth, love and protection. We remember the less fortunate. We appreciate everything this great country of ours has afforded us, first and foremost its Christian roots and tolerance and acceptance of all.

We must, as one, stand up and protect all that we hold dear. May Christmas this year be a time of reflection. Cherish the moment, encapsulate the special energy so that it lasts, stand up and be counted!

Here is Norma’s special Postcard for Christmas: Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus; Sort of

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Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus; Sort of

A few years ago Faith Hill sang, Where are you Christmas? That has become my new mantra.

Christmas feels so generic you might as well be hunting for Easter eggs.

I heard on the news that mall shopping is down and online way up.

No duh? Why should anyone shop at the mall? It’s no fun when there are no decorations, no Christmas music and Santa is missing-inaction.

In case no one has noticed, the world is a very rude and thoughtless place these days. The crazies are multiplying faster than an alcoholic’s bar bill.

Even at what should be the most festive and happy time of the year, the news is incredibly scary and unsettling. I suppose some would think me crazy if I pointed out this seems to be directly related to the lack of Christmas decorations.

There are daily reports of bans on Christmas décor, nativity scenes and Menorahs. Yep, those Jews gotta get in on everything! As a Jew, I am horrified by the lack of holiday spirit! Happily, some businesses have not succumbed to the political correctness that has infested this country, and Santa is alive and well in certain venues.

However, their number is growing smaller every year.

As a Jewish child I looked forward to the wonders of Christmas. Not for the religious implications of the holiday, but for the fun. I remember fondly sitting on Santa’s knee when one of the teachers in our school impersonated him every year.

It was always fun to try and discern who was beneath the beard. Mr. Foder, our social studies teacher, wore his glasses, so he was always an easy giveaway. Then he would hand us a candy cane, and we would get a glass of Vernor’s ginger ale, since he was the namesake of our elementary school.

How odd you may think that a Jewish person should have fond memories of another religion’s holiday.

Not really. It was always kind of easy since Hanukah usually fell around Christmas, and I always felt the two together made the season extra special. I also believe many of my friends felt the same way.

Although I grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, I had non-Jewish friends and neighbors and some in my own family that celebrated the holiday.

As I grew older I loved Christmas for other reasons as well. It was the most fun time of the year to shop. Now what Jewish girl doesn’t love anything that makes shopping even more fun? Why? Because the stores were always filled with festive colors and decorations and people were in a wonderful, happy mood. It was the one time of year when everyone had someone else’s welfare on his or her mind.

Stores filled with people rushing about buying gifts to make others happy. The energy was contagious and uplifting.

The other day shopping at Macy’s, I couldn’t find hide or hair of a Santa or a Christmas tree. Snowflakes? Seriously. Wrapped gift boxes? Sorry, it won’t cut it.

I imagine people spend far more money with Christmas music blaring from the loud speakers, which there wasn’t by the way.

So why do you care, you might ask again. You are Jewish.

Yes I am, and that’s the point. Growing up as a child around Christmas in America taught me something valuable that I still carry with me today: respect for others’ beliefs and a great admiration and gratitude for being an American.

Understanding that I share the world with people of all religions, colors and ethnicities is a valuable lesson best learned through doing.

Most importantly I learned that we can and should all share and embrace the joys of our differences together.

That respect for others isn’t something one can be simply told, it must be felt and absorbed by living it for oneself.

Santa Claus played a vital part in teaching children that there is something beautiful and rewarding in believing. That positive actions produce desired results and sharing happiness with others, despite our many differences, is an integral part of life.

Christmas (and Christianity), after all, is what the United States of America was founded on. Celebrating Christmas is celebrating our very being, and everything we hold dear to our hearts.

Even those who are non-believers still benefitted from the good energy the season brought to everyone.

To say anyone should be offended because someone else is celebrating his or her own special holiday is ridiculous.

If there is a special event in schools or community venues during the holidays, it should be inclusive of course. But to ignore and play down the Season has taken a toll.

Phasing Santa out of our lives is removing the sparkle from a child’s eyes when they write a letter asking for a new bike, a doll or Apple watch.

Santa is a symbol of giving, sharing and caring for others. Christmas is a time of year when Rockefeller Center boasts a giant tree, lighting up the world; when lights and stars fill the streets and melodic music plays.

Those beautiful Christmas songs have spread the holiday cheer for decades. Many, incidentally, were written by Jewish composers.

Irving Berlin wrote White Christmas. Silver Bells was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans after hearing the bells of the Salvation Army Santas. Johnny Marks wrote Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

The Jewish State of Israel makes Christmas trees available for twenty dollars for anyone who wants or needs one. Religious institutions receive the trees, Arizona cypresses, every year at no charge. Yet here in America people are desperate to play down the holiday décor as not to offend others.

Why would pretty trees filled with lights and sparkles offend anyone?

And if they do, we must stand for them, protect our heritage and traditions, lest we find ourselves oust of everything we hold dear, all that we value in life stripped away from us in an instant.

Christmas is not simply a religious holiday, although of course that is its main significance after all. It is also a reason to be kind and thoughtful to others. To believe in peace and good will toward our fellow man. Why on earth would anyone want to play down that message, and who in their right mind could believe that is politically incorrect? It’s about as correct as one could ever be.

I hope this tide to play down and nullify Christmas ends soon.

Perhaps more holiday cheer is exactly what we need to bring us all closer together. The message of Christmas does not divide but unites all people and all religions, even those who aren’t religious at all, and brings home the clear and necessary message we all need to hear, but don’t often enough.

Peace on earth and good will toward our fellow man. I think I’ll write a letter to Santa and ask him for more Christmas spirit next year.

Until then we should all try to keep the Christmas energy alive in our hearts all year long.

So, yes Virginia, there is still a Santa Claus, but he’s hanging on by the skin of his teeth and the last remnants of his long white beard.

________________________

This is the latest in the series “Postcards from America – Postcards from Israel,” a collaboration between Zager and Bussel, a foreign correspondent reporting from Israel.

Ari Bussel and Norma Zager collaborate both in writing and on the air in a point counter-point discussion of all things Israel-related. Together, they have dedicated the past decade to promoting Israel.

© Israel Monitor, December, 2015

First Published December 24, 2015

Contact: bussel@me.com

To those who say there is no war on Christmas


There is a war on Christianity and a war on Christmas in the United States of America. Detractors cry foul that no such thing is happening in the good old USA. Tim Wildmon of the American Family Association (AFA) shows how the detractors of the existence of a war on Christianity and Christmas are either deluded or down right deceptive.

 

JRH 12/7/13 (Hat Tip: AFA email)

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ACLU at Nativity Scene toon

To those who say there is no war on Christmas

 

By Tim Wildmon

December 05, 2013

AFA.net Guest Column

OneNewsNow.com

 

Christmas is the most notable day on the calendar where the general American public is reminded of the life of Jesus Christ. That is why some want to do away with it.

 

Someone sent me an article from USA Today, which has this headline: “Not all Christians believe there is a ‘War on Christmas.'” The article quotes Christian leaders and authors saying they disagree with those of us who believe there is a war on Christmas. I could give a litany of examples of exactly how the war on Christmas has manifested itself the last decade or so. From nativity scenes no longer being allowed on the courthouse square, to schools changing Christmas break to “winter” break, from Christmas parades being changed to “winter” parades, to children being told they can no longer sing carols during their “winter” program, etc., etc. There is an intentional effort by some secularists to purge the word ‘Christmas’ from our culture. Whether it will be successful or not remains to be seen. But it’s discouraging to see some fellow Christians say – “Who cares?”

 

The very word itself – “Christmas” – is a reminder that this particular holiday is the celebration of Jesus Christ. Those who promote political correctness and extreme multiculturalism resent this because it is exclusionary in their view. Some Christians are willing to go along with that line of thinking. For example, USA Today quoted Dan Scott, senior pastor of Christ Church in Nashville, who said this: “We really need a way to treat the public square as the public square and private realms as private realms and not feel demonized because we come from a different perspective.” In other words, Christians should keep Christmas in our homes and churches – the “private realms” – but we can’t expect the general public to be accepting of Christmas any longer because it promotes Christianity.

 

Christmas is the exaltation of one particular religion that makes a claim of being the only true religion and that is unacceptable to the movers and shakers of contemporary American popular culture, elitist academia, and many in the mainstream media, news, and entertainment. Therefore, Christmas must be replaced with words and ideas that are broad and general so as to knock Christmas from its traditional place in America’s public life. It is an attempt to define Christianity as no more important to the history and fabric of America than is, say, Hinduism. This is what these people (often called secular progressives) believe, and evidently a number of Christians agree with that position. Subsequently these Christians find more fault with their fellow believers – those of us who want to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America – than they do with those who want to eradicate Christmas.

 

This is why it concerns me when I read stories like the one in USA Today. One of the people quoted in the article is Christian author Rachel Held Evans, best known for her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Evans wrote a blog that went viral where she challenges the idea of a war on Christmas with these questions: “Did someone threaten your life, safety, civil liberties or right to worship?” No. “Did someone wish you happy holidays?” Yes. “You are not being persecuted.”

 

What Evans has done here is very clever. She framed the issue falsely. She set up a straw man. No one is arguing that Christians are being persecuted physically. What we are saying is Christianity itself is under siege in America. Just ask the Christian bakery owners in Washington state, the Christian florist in Colorado, or the Christian photographer in New Mexico who were all fined by their state governments because they would not participate in homosexual “weddings.” But what Evans has done is like the man who cheats on his wife and she confronts him about it. It might go something like this:

 

“I know you are cheating on me. What do you have to say for yourself?” the wife says. To which the husband responds: “There are children dying in sweatshops in Third World countries, and you are talking to me about my having sex a couple of times with some woman? Are you serious?”

 

See how this works? The “logic” is: If your life is not being threatened or your family is not in physical danger or your church is not being padlocked, then we have no cause to point out the war of Christmas. It’s much ado about nothing, say these Christian brothers.

 

The war on Christmas is really part of the larger war on Christianity and it concerns me that smart people like Rev. Scott and Evans don’t seem to get that.

 

Then there was the quote from Daniel Darling, vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The article said this about his position: “He (Darling) said on Friday that some media outlets are overstating the war on Christmas debate, and very few Christians actually engage in it. ‘We advise people that, rather than trying to force that weary Wal-Mart worker to say ‘Merry Christmas’ against company policy, how about we be the bearers of joy. Instead of taking offense, say, ‘Here’s the story, we’re the joyful ones. We’re the ones that have the greatest story.'”

 

Darling, like Evans, has created a false caricature of his fellow Christians who want to keep Christmas alive in the public square. The image Darling creates is one of a Christian bully. Who does this browbeating of store employees? No one I know. (By the way, Wal-Mart does not forbid its employees from wishing customers a “Merry Christmas.”) What American Family Association and some other groups do is produce a Naughty & Nice list of companies that do or don’t allow Christmas in their stores. Due to the efforts of AFA, many household name corporations have put Christmas back in their promotions, advertisements, and stores over the last few years. The Gap was the latest store to write AFA about how they were doing this. This is a good thing. Christians should applaud Gap and others when they refuse to yield to political correctness and recognize that if not for the Christmas gift-buying season, many of them would not be in business.

 

All of this Christians criticizing other Christians, often based on false information as demonstrated here, seems to be a trend. I’m not sure why this is, but I have a couple of theories. First, we Bible-believing Christians have been so maligned and lied about by the media, particularly the entertainment and news media, that the negative stereotype that has been created has stuck. And now even we are quick to believe the worst about our fellow brothers and sisters. The second reason is what I call the “nicer than Jesus” mentality. It is human nature to want to be liked and avoid confrontation. Christian activism, while it should always be carried out with civility and manners, is sometimes by necessity confrontational – and confrontation is not considered “nice” by some. But Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is talking here about a public stand for biblical righteousness, not just being a Christian. The world doesn’t care if you are Christian … as long as you don’t talk about what’s right and wrong, moral and immoral, or good and evil. That’s when the persecution comes.

 

Is there a war on Christmas? Yes. Is it part of a larger war on Christianity? Yes. Does this matter to the future of our country? Most certainly.

 

Just because Christians are not being physically persecuted in America today doesn’t mean these matters are not important. Not only is Christianity good for the individual, the moral value system that comes from Christianity is also good for society at large. God help us get it back before it’s too late.

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Tim Wildmon (contact@afa.net) is president of the American Family Association in Tupelo, MS. This column is printed with permission.

 

This column is printed with permission. Opinions expressed in ‘Perspectives’ columns published by OneNewsNow.com are the sole responsibility of the article’s author(s), or of the person(s) or organization(s) quoted therein, and do not necessarily represent those of the staff or management of, or advertisers who support the American Family News Network, OneNewsNow.com, our parent organization or its other affiliates.

 

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The Season is Emerging to Battle Against Christianity


Birth of Christ - Nativity Scene

John R. Houk

© October 12, 2013

 

There has been an open war by Leftists and atheists on Christianity for some time in the USA. Thanks to Madalyn Murray O’Hair (focus on Communist Connection), the Supreme Court reinterpreted the Establishment (or is it Disestablishment [Full PDF of link]) Clause of the First Amendment to go beyond preventing the government from establishing a State Church but to include that anything representative of taxpayer money must exclude Christianity. The annual Christmas period of the year is when this war on Christianity seems to rear up on a national basis in the media. Hence the war on Christianity becomes the war on Christmas.

 

Too many Corporations (AFA 2012 Naughty or Nice List) operate stores that have fallen prey to the concept that it is politically incorrect to promote Christmas because it promotes Christianity. AND any promotion of Christianity might be offensive to a minority of people in the USA that would prefer to distant themselves from any open association with Christianity; e.g. atheists, Muslims, Jews and perhaps other identifiable anti/non-Christian entities. This PC marketing is idiotic and an insult to the majority of Americans that relish the Christmas season as a time of giving, compassion and just a downright period of joy. I mean Americans who are not particularly religiously observant of the Christian faith still make this a time of family get together and enjoy an interruption from the daily tasks of the old J-O-B.

 

Corporations do have a Constitutional right to utilize whatever marketing strategy they deem fit; however as a Christian I find it nauseating when Christianity is the focus of diminishment to accommodate some foolish PC concept of multicultural diversity. Even more nauseating though is when Leftists and atheists impose their sanitized and/or ungodly beliefs on those that embrace Christianity via the taxpayer support Public venues. The imposition is exacted by using “Living Constitution” (Constitutionalist Criticism) parameters rather than “Original Intent” (In support of Original IntentNeutral Explanation) parameters in the Constitution to make sure the bedrock of America’s morality is not supported whatsoever. The result of this legal ploy of redefining the meaning of the Constitution has successfully turned America into which families are divided, single parent families are as common as heterosexual families, homosexuals are allowed to raise children further warping the societal fabric and a host of other deviations I am certain you can think of that escape my memory as of this writing.

 

The result of this moral dilution in America’s family unit has led to a society in which public dishonesty overrules the decency of honesty, children need protected on their routes to and from school, armed guards are becoming common place on Public School grounds, children bring weapons to harm others singularly or on a multiple basis, children are told they cannot play traditional play acting any longer (such as cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, etc.) because imaginary weapons may inspire real weapons, childhood aggression is increasingly common (such as bullying – physical or cyber), underage children – most often teenagers – are increasingly enabled on a parental level to participate in rabble-rousing partying that includes drinking, sex, property destruction, drugs, teen pregnancy and MORE.

 

These societal behaviors are a direct result of the Leftist and atheistic assault to prevent Christianity from being an integral part of American Culture in the name of Multicultural Diversity.

 

The first anti-Christmas story I heard this was a Public School imposing restrictions on an annual High School Christmas Carol Concert due to concerns of a phrase that is found NO WHERE in the Constitution called Separation of Church and State. Here is a good synopsis of how this anti-Christmas story developed:

 

The state of Wisconsin once again sits center stage in the War on Christmas. The Wausau School District has issued an edict about Christmas music that has caused several school associated music groups to either disband or cancel December performances.

 

Phil Buch, who has directed Wausau West High School’s choral programs since 1981, said the decision to halt rehearsals for the Master Singers was made after a meeting Thursday with district officials and Frank Sutherland, an attorney who represents the school district.

 

Buch said district administrators gave music educators at Wausau schools three options for December concerts, which typically contain a significant amount of religious music: choose five secular, or non-religious, songs for each religious song performed; hold a concert and have no holiday music whatsoever; or postpone any concerts in December. Because the 20-member Master Singers group is invited to sing at nearly a dozen holiday concerts each year, Buch said, those options were unacceptable.

 

“This group sings at Christmas programs,” Buch said. “We sing for nursing homes, grade schools, businesses. To do that without Christmas music doesn’t make sense.”

 

District administrators did not return calls Friday seeking information about the rules, but Wausau School Board President Michelle Schaefer said the change in direction stems from legal concerns over the amount of religious music performed in the schools. The decision will not eliminate religious music altogether but will give teachers a better idea as to how much religious music is “too much,” Schaefer said.

 

“From a School Board perspective, we look for music that is balanced,” Schaefer said. “Yes, we are a predominantly Christian society, but we are also a society of many faiths, and we want to respect that.”

 

(Wisconsin School District Cancels Christmas; By Editor; Defend Christmas; 10/6/13)

 

I actually first heard this story on Fox News but the below story is an excellent synopsis. This first shot over the bow against Christmas has an early victorious ending. Evidently once this story went viral the School Board relented on this attack on the Christian faith. Here is a story I found about this victory in Jesus.

 

JRH 10/12/13

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Wisconsin Christmas Music Battle Goes Viral; Students Claim Victory

 

By Kallsign Snoopy

October 11, 2013

Kallsign Snoopy’s Hamshack

 

We reported the story last Sunday — the media ran with it Tuesday. By Wednesday Freedom From Religion Foundation got in on the act. It appears to be the first big national story in the War on Christmas 2013.

 

In an update after a late Thursday meeting with the school district students and parents are claiming victory and that the Christmas concerts are now back on — with traditional Christmas music put back in place.

 

Here’s the issue: without warning the choir director at West High School in Wausau, Wisconsin was called to discuss plans for the upcoming music events to be held in December. It was reported early on that Wausau schools three options for December concerts, which typically contain a significant amount of religious music: choose five secular, or non-religious, songs for each religious song performed; hold a concert and have no holiday music whatsoever; or postpone any concerts in December. The choir director was outraged and in response he opted not only to cancel concerts — he disbanded the music groups who would traditionally perform.

 

The school district claims it is merely making sure they don’t violate the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution (because educators in Wisconsin have SUCH a great track record with constitutional issues). They also say now they never came up with the plan to perform a certain amount of secular songs for every religious song performed. They claim that was a “misunderstanding”.

 

Needless to say, as with many battles we’ve seen before about Christmas in public schools, this one too will end with someone being very unhappy.

 

 

Freedom from Religion Foundation president Annie Laurie Gaylor claims no responsibility in this latest fight but was quick to pitch in with FFRF’s support of the school district:

 

“There can be a fine line, and we understand in some instances there can be sacred classical music in the schools, but it’s so easy for something like this to turn into a message of indoctrination. When you have a chorus going out to 15 places to sing religious music, it really does give the appearance that the school is celebrating Christianity.”

 

Yes, Christianity as gained so many converts over the decades by going to nursing homes to sing “Silent Night”.

 

The tip off of a problem was that the school choir director met with school district officials with an attorney present. In other words, they were ready for a fight.

 

According to a story on The Blaze tonight, the choir director at West High is known for his religious nature.

 

All this intense attention to the issue appears to have been resolved as of late Thursday. The Wausau School District has backed off on the requirements and have left the decision of local program content to school principals.

 

The crux of the issue comes down to this: when a school group performs Christmas music with religious themes does it in fact constitute promotion of that religion? The “establishment clause” prohibits the “establishment”…does a school group singing actually do that?

 

Oh, and by the way, where exactly in the Constitution is the establishment clause?

 

Another silly chapter in the War on Christmas.

 

(I am glad that this all got cleared up but I really wish people would get it through their heads that there is no such thing as an “establishment” clause. There is a “Government shall make no law” clause. And it only applies to the Congress. Leave my Christmas alone! If you don’t like it, don’t celebrate it. Just don’t ruin it for everyone else!

 

Publius)

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The Season is Emerging to Battle Against Christianity

John R. Houk

© October 12, 2013

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Wisconsin Christmas Music Battle Goes Viral; Students Claim Victory

 

Retired warrior, Full time pilot, Part time political blogger. Always a Patriot. Amateur Radio Operator – MORE

 

The Culture of America is Christian


Jesus - Love Your Enemies lg

Do Not War against Christianity in America

John R. Houk

© December 20, 2010

 

Leftists, atheists and non-Christians have wittingly or unwittingly made war on Christianity in America. This odd union of complainers has gone to great lengths to make sure Christian themes and the Christian symbols of Christmas are eradicated from the public and private arena of American culture. The crazy notions given for this attack on Christianity are a faulty interpretation of the disestablishment clause of the First Amendment (in which judicial fiat has tragically upheld) and the notion that what is offensive to non-Christians is an act of discrimination ergo Christian/Christmas symbolism must be sanitized.

 

The First Amendment states:

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. (Obviously the bold print is added)

 

The First Amendment has become the cornerstone of Liberty and Civil Rights in America. In the early days of the American Republic the First Amendment was a measuring tool in which State Sovereignty would interpret and apply the Amendment’s meaning. When Constitutional government was ratified and established in 1789 there was a call for a clearer definition of the rights of citizens. Thus the first ten Amendments of the Constitution were formulated which are commonly called the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights (10 of 12 proposed Amendments) ratified on December 15, 1791.

 

Leftists and atheists in the 20th and now 21st century have the concept of a Jeffersonian letter written to Danbury Baptist Church in Connecticut in which the famous phrase has become a part of American political nomenclature:

 

“… a wall of separation between church and state

 

Even if Jefferson intended the meaning to be that the government should totally stay out of the realm of religion (meaning incidentally Christianity) and that religion stay totally out of government, it was not a shared idea of the other Founding Fathers. Indeed both President Washington and John Adams believed that Christian morality should be the ethical backbone of the American government.

 

The country’s first two presidents, George Washington and John Adams, were firm believers in the importance of religion for republican government. As citizens of Virginia and Massachusetts, both were sympathetic to general religious taxes being paid by the citizens of their respective states to the churches of their choice. However both statesmen would have discouraged such a measure at the national level because of its divisiveness. They confined themselves to promoting religion rhetorically, offering frequent testimonials to its importance in building the moral character of American citizens, that, they believed, undergirded public order and successful popular government. (Religion and the Founding of the American Republic; VI Religion and the Federal Government, Part 1; THE RHETORICAL SUPPORT OF RELIGION: WASHINGTON AND ADAMS)

 

Frankly it is not clear that Jefferson meant that government and religion should have been separate in an absolute sense (SEE: Original Intent and the Free Exercise of Religion #3). After writing his letter to the Danbury Baptist Church, President Jefferson was a regular attendee of Christian worship that was presented every Sunday at the House of Representatives. This is an indication Jefferson was not interested in separating the mechanics of government from the influence of Christianity.

 

The pro-Religion Founders and the more secular minded Founders had one thing in common; viz., that the Federal government not Establish any particular Christian Denomination or beliefs as the Federal mandated Church that receives government support via mandatory taxation specifically for an Established Church. The Founding Fathers did not want Religion to be mandated or financially supported on a National level; however the State level was a different matter. Even if Federal money was not to go to a specific denomination in support of the Christian religion, the Founding Fathers very much intended to inculcate Christian principles and ethics into America’s rule of law and the new American culture.

 

Even after the U.S. Constitution became the rule of law for America many States still had established Churches. The Federal government did not turn the screws with threats of military action to comply a withdrawal from a State support of a Church. Rather over time State’s came to the conclusion that State established Churches infringes on religious freedom of other denominations. Not in sense of discrimination of forbidding religious practices, but in the sense one Church receives taxpayer support while other Churches are excluded financially. States that supported Christianity with State taxes came to an end after the Civil War and 14th Amendment required the States to uniformly treat American citizens in an equal manner. The intent was to even the political playing field for Afro-Americans recently liberated from the bondage of Southern State slavery. However the 14th Amendment was used as the final straw for individual State direct support of Christian Churches on a local level.

 

Now another situation Leftists, atheists and Secularists have accomplished in recent years is reinterpreting the word “religion” in the First Amendment. Let us revisit the religious clauses of the First Amendment:

 

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof … 

 

The 20th and 21st century definition of “religion” might run something like this:

 

1. a. the state of a religious (a nun in her 20th year of religion)

 

b. (1) the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance

 

2. a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

 

3. archaic: scrupulous conformity: conscientiousness

 

4. a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith (Merriam-Webster Online)

 

Take note the word “religion” today has a general connotation. That generality is fully embraced by the Left and Secularists. Religion can be referenced as the practices multiple religions as in plural. What do you think the Founding Fathers connoted for the meaning of the word “religion” when it appeared in the First Amendment? Here is a hint: “Give me that old time religion…”

 

To anyone not blinded by anti-Christian thinking, the word “religion” is the practice of Christianity. Many Leftists, atheists and Secularists love to point that a significant amount of the Founding Fathers were Deists and not Christians. The reality is the Deists of America differed greatly than the Deists of Europe. A better appellation for American Deists would be “Christian Deists”. The Christian Deists of America believed in Natural Law and Nature’s God/Creator. That God was the Christian monotheistic God of the Holy Bible. The Christian Deists of America placed reason above faith.

 

Christian Deists believed in God but did not believe the Creator was active in influencing the affairs of mankind. Thus Christian Deists denied the existence of Biblical miracles and relegated them to fables or to moral object lessons. Christian Deists were as huge on Christian Biblical Morality as any other orthodox practicing Christian (i.e. the beliefs of standard Christian sects or Denominations). Christians and Christian Deists believed that the absence of Biblical religion would destroy the social fabric of society leading to chaos and debauchery.

 

The point is the “religion” of the First Amendment is the Christian Religion. I am very pleased that the religious freedom clause has come down today to make the practices of every religion within the frame work of the very Constitution that institutes religious freedom to enable the equal right of all religions to practice.

 

I pray you noticed the context of religious freedom “within the frame work of the very Constitution that institutes religious freedom”. The caveat is if a religion’s theological tenets run counter to the Liberty and Civil Rights embodied in the U.S. Constitution, those tenets need to be restricted rather than accommodated. Constitutional religious freedom does not nullify the U.S. Constitution. If you read my posts you can guess where I am going with this line of thinking.

 

I have a specific religion in mind in which its codified tenets establish acts of violence, murder and genocide against those who refuse to follow that specific religion. That religion is Islam which should be described after the name of its founder and be called Mohammedanism. I do realize the term Mohammedanism has been abandoned by academics circa early 20th century notably because the term offends its adherents. Since political correctness is in common usage today, academics conform to adherents and use Islam as an appellation rather than Mohammedanism.

 

Islam’s founder Mohammed is the heart and soul of the religion he founded. Muslims consider Mohammed the perfect man much as Christians consider Jesus Christ the Son of God as both human and divine as well the only man born without sin since God’s first human creation Adam.

 

The Muslim’s perfect Mohammed started out fantastically in Mecca; however after winning only around a hundred or so believers in his message, Mohammed began to transform his tenor of tolerance. In essence the Meccan polytheists gave Mohammed the boot. Some of Mohammed’s followers found refuge in Egypt and a significant amount including Mohammed himself found refuge in the close by desert city of Medina (called Yathrib at the time). Mohammed was welcomed with open arms initially probably because thoughts on monotheism had already made its way to Medina via Jews and a few Christians. Mohammed’s earlier knowledge Judaism and Christianity can be seen in his biblical revisionist writings accepted as eternally valid by Muslims. Mohammed thought the Jewish-Arab tribes would embrace him as the newest (and last) of the line of prophets stretching back through the Jewish Patriarchs. Jews and most Christians (the already few in number saw enough closeness in Mohammed’s theology to accept his Prophethood and receive kind of tribal protection at the same time) rejected Mohammed’s claim to Prophethood.

 

After the Mecca expulsion and the refusal of belief among Jewish-Arabs Mohammed began to show signs of very un-divine jealousy and hatred. In my opinion a good man began to go insane. The danger of Mohammed’s insanity was multiplied by his continual charisma and emerging political-military genius to vanquish foes in subtle growing stages. Eventually Mohammed became the big dog in military might in Medina and the eventual confrontation between Mohammed’s Muslims and Jewish-Arabs came along. Unfortunately for the Jewish-Arabs they lost. The result of Mohammed’s victory was a small genocide of Jewish-Arabs, the sex-slavery of the good looking Jewish-Arab women followed with the eventual expulsion of all Jews from the Arabian Peninsula which included the few residing Christian-Arabs. In essence Mohammed was a bad dude to non-Muslims and was willing to use his Office as Prophet to gain exceptions to the rules he set for his fellow Muslims. An example is the acquiring of other Muslims’ wives to become his wife if they were Arab babes. Allah revealed it to Mohammed. Mohammed shared the revelation. And even if the revelation contradicted previous revelations it must be so since Allah ratified it for Mohammed. I guess this makes Mohammed the Hugh Hefner above the law of the 7th century.

 

Jesus Christ on the other hand preached “love your enemies.” The Lord was an example of peace in His earthly walk. The most violent thing he did was chase merchants with an improvised whip and tipping over merchandise in the Outer Courts of the Temple because the Temple was for prayer and not for self-aggrandizement with selling for personal gain. Instead of establishing an earthly Kingdom as Mohammed’s aim was, Jesus volunteered to be the spotless sacrifice to Redeem humankind from the darkness of Satan’s realm and Satan’s lease acquired from Adam. As part of that sacrifice Jesus was betrayed by His closest friends, turned over by the Temple authority to the Romans for a death penalty, Roman authority whipped Jesus with spiked cat-o-nine tails ripping the flesh to the Savior’s very bones, then Jesus was forced to carry the instrument of His own execution to Golgotha/Calvary with the last legs of the route the Cross of Christ being aided by Simon the Cyrenian, then the Lord experienced more torture having his hands and feet nailed to the Cross and plopped into the ground to die an agonizing death.

 

For Christians the Good News is that Jesus the Christ the Son of God and the son of Mary arose bodily after three days of entombment to a glorified body give the God-kind of Life to all that believe in the Redemptive Resurrection act of Christ Jesus. 

 

Islam is absolutely incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. Sharia Law calls on Muslims to be intolerant and justifies punishment that is cruel and usual according to the U.S. Constitution. Many Muslim apologists will point out that the punishments prescribed for criminal violations are no longer followed by most Muslim nations. Incidentally the word “most” means there are some Muslim nations that still utilize punishment which under America’s Constitution would be cruel and unusual.

 

The 8th Amendment specifically lays it out that “cruel and unusual punishment” should not be used within the legal code to punish convicted individuals for their crimes.

 

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. (8th Amendment of U.S. Constitution)

 

Here are some excerpts from FindLaw.com annotating the “cruel and unusual punishment” phrase of the 8th Amendment:

 

“Difficulty would attend the effort to define with exactness the extent of the constitutional provision which provides that cruel and unusual punishments shall not be inflicted; but it is safe to affirm that punishments of torture [such as drawing and quartering, embowelling alive, beheading, public dissecting, and burning alive], and all others in the same line of unnecessary cruelty, are forbidden by that amendment to the Constitution.” (FindLaw.com)

 

the Court explained that the cruel and unusual punishments clause “circumscribes the criminal process in three ways: First, it limits the kinds of punishment that can be imposed on those convicted of crimes; second, it proscribes punishment grossly disproportionate to the severity of the crime; and third, it imposes substantive limits on what can be made criminal and punished as such.” 182 These limitations, the Court thought, should not be extended outside the criminal process. (FindLaw.com)

 

Sharia Law is quite different and is encoded as Muslim holy law even if a majority of Muslim nations do not officially follow Sharia punishments.

 

… Sharia is a Muslim code of behavior – for the individual and for society.  In many Muslim countries, its provisions on family issues – like divorce and inheritance – are incorporated into secular law. But its application in criminal law is less common…

 

In reality, most Muslim countries do not use traditional classical Islamic punishments. But they do not [openly announce that] because it’s a politically sensitive [topic]; they just avoid situations where the maximum punishment for stealing is chopping off the hand or the maximum punishment for adultery is capital punishment. …

 

But there are exceptions – such as Sudan, Afghanistan, and Saudi Arabia.  These countries use the criminal provisions of Sharia that may lead to amputation for stealing or flogging for adultery. (Excerpts GlobalSecurity.com – Read the whole article)

 

I am not even going to take the time to write about the deficiency in Liberty and Civil Rights for non-Muslims, Muslim females and Muslim apostates. In my opinion you get the idea with the encoded Sharia punishments.

 

Certainly you get the point that Islam as a religion when followed to the fullest extent of what all Muslims consider to be absolute divine perfection is not compatible with the American Founding Father documents leading to the Constitution and definitely Islam is incompatible with Constitutional law. And yet, Muslim activists in America utilize the U.S. Constitution to practice their religion with impunity even if the practice is unconstitutional.

 

ACT for America has pointed out an incidence in which a Muslim gal is demanding the right to perform the Muslim Hajj to Mecca. No problem right? Actually the Muslim gal is a Public School teacher and the time she has chosen for the Muslim Hajj is in the middle of the school year. The school denied her request for obvious reasons. It is irresponsible for a Public School Teacher to take time off other than the holidays already set up by the School District.

 

Here is the thing: the Muslim gal is screaming that her religious freedom was infringed upon according to the First Amendment. And check this out! It is not the ACLU or (the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas oriented) Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) that are filing on behalf of the Muslim gal. Eric Holder and the Justice Department are filing a complaint that the School District infringed upon Safoorah Khan’s religious freedom.

 

What is a Hajj you may ask. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam to visit Mecca at least once in a lifetime. The ritual of the Hajj predates Islam; however Islamic tradition bastardizes the Biblical account of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael.  The Quranic account Arabizes names; thus in the same order only in Arabic the names are Ibrahim, Sarah, Hajira and Is’mail (or Ismail).

 

The Biblical account is Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to produce a son. The reason being Sarah had been barren but Abraham was promised a son to be his heir by God Almighty (not Allah). The outcome was that Ishmael was born to the Egyptian slave Hagar who was a servant of Sarah. Hagar took advantage of being the mother of Ishmael who at the time was the only son of Abraham. Hagar began to scorn her mistress Sarah. God Almighty had to get Abraham’s attention and tell him the promise of a son was between Abraham and his wife Sarah. Sarah eventually bore the child of promise Isaac. Then Hagar began to be puffed up as the mother of Abraham’s oldest son Ishmael. Ishmael the son of a slave began to be abusive to Isaac the child of promise. Sarah complains to Abraham and says this slave and her son cannot remain. Thus Sarah by Abraham’s permission gives Hagar and Ishmael the boot. God Almighty promises Abraham that Ishmael will be protected and become the father of 12 strong princes. Biblically this is the origin of the Arabs.

 

The Bastardized Quranic account (or tradition) is that Abraham and Hagar (Hajira) hook-up to bear the Abraham’s oldest son Ishmael (Ismail). In fact the test of faith between Abraham and Isaac is bastardized in the Quran to be Abraham and Ishmael. The Angel of God saves Ishmael rather than Isaac in confirming Abraham’s faith and obedience to God Almighty. The Quranic story further bastardizes the Abraham, Sarah, Hagar and Ishmael account by Abraham delivering Hagar from Sarah’s wrath by personally taking Hagar to the desert (Arabia). Then Hagar and Ishmael discover underground water which is turned into a well. Hagar and Ishmael prosper by selling water to merchants on a caravan route. Abraham returns to Hagar and is pleased that things are going well for her.

 

The Prophet Ibrahim was told by Allah to build a shrine dedicated to him. Ibrahim and Is’mail constructed a small stone structure – the Kaaba or Cube – which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in Allah.

 

As the years passed Is’mail was blessed with Prophethood and he gave the nomads of the desert the message of surrender to Allah.

 

After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving city thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zam Zam.

 

Gradually, the people began to adopt polytheistic ideas, and worship spirits and many different gods. The shrine of the Prophet Ibrahim was used to store idols. (Info and quote from: BBC – Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca)

 

The Hajj the fifth Pillar of Islam is the reason a Christianity vs. Islam legal jihad is brewing in Chicago.

 

Attorney General Eric Holder is stepping into a Chicago School District’s decision to not accommodate Muslim Safoorah Khan to defect from her school teacher job to perform the Islamic Hajj and expect to have a job when she returns. Khan complained to U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that she was being discriminated because of her religious beliefs. The EEOC probably saw a brouhaha in the making and sent the complaint to the Justice Department that then was filed with the Federal Court on behalf of Khan.

 

Can you see where this is going?

 

Public Schools have a break or vacation in December which falls within the Christian Holy Day of Christmas. Christmas has been diminished due to Leftists, atheists and Secularists. This triumvirate of hatred toward Christmas and Christianity has nearly succeeded in removing the thought of Christmas vacation and replacing it with the thought of Winter Break or Winter Vacation. Even after this dilution by the war on Christianity triumvirate it is evident that Safoorah Khan intends to demand equal time for a very slim minority of Muslims in America over the Christian cultural heritage that has been in America from its early Colonial beginnings. To drive this point home Islam ONLY makes up .06% of Americans. The number is extremely miniscule. Thank God for that miniscule amount because Islam tenets are anti-American and anti-Constitutional.

 

For the sake of the Muslim Apologists who legitimately believe they are moderate Muslims I have to say this. Currently the majority of Muslims in America are moderate which means they practice a form of Islam that betters the inner being of a person rather than follow the tenets of Islam to force conversions, delegitimize a person’s humanity or death. And before the defenders of Islam jump down my throat about the Quranic dictum that there is no compulsion in religion; I state that this a misleading tenet. If there are three choices of convert, dhimmitude or death then a person chooses rather than is compelled. In the Western mind this indeed is compulsion; however in the dualistic theology of Islam in which contradictory dictums can both be valid and Islam is offering the choice, then the person is not compelled.

 

In America there definitely is a war against Christianity. The war becomes very apparent during the Christmas season. The Obama Administration is a Left Wing Administration. Part of Obama’s Leftism is to be critical of Biblical Christians as a 2008 Presidential campaign phrase indicates about the implied ignorance of those who cling to their guns and bibles. And now the Obama Administration through Attorney General Eric Holder will further disembowel Christianity by making it an issue for Safoorah Khan to be the victim of religious rights infringement when in reality there was simple common sense used that was to benefit Chicago kids in school.

 

JRH 12/20/10 (Hat Tip: ACT for America) Originally posted SlantRight.com 12/19/10.