by Bill Fancher and Jody Brown
(AgapePress) – Two pro-family spokespersons and one high-profile Democrat in Washington, D.C., seem to agree on one thing: God has a place in the nation's educational system and political arena.
Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America believes last week's high school shooting in California should have been expected. She insists such incidents are a natural outgrowth of our attempts to remove God and His influence from the classroom.
“The underlying problem with all these school shootings is a lack of morality, a lack of respect for other people,” Wright says. “If there's one thing that we should have learned through this rash of school shootings, it is that a values-free education is one that … can lead to things like this. We need to bring values and respect for people back into our schools, back into our curriculum.”
Wright says we cannot as a society continue to remove morality and faith from the public school system. She says it is time to take action.
“We can't continue to act as if morality and faith are something that should be sanitized from our education system,” she says. “In fact … the basis of all education is first of all respecting others, following the commands of Christ, and that is … treating one another as we would want them to treat us.”
Wright also says we must do something in the culture to re-establish that life has value and must be cherished.
As if in response to Wright's call to action, one of the nation's leading Christian political activists feels it is time to “ratchet up” involvement in the political process. Rob Schenck is Director of the National Clergy Council. He is busily urging people of the Christian faith to increase their participation in the political arena. He insists this is not the time to quit, and outlines what he feels Christians need to do.
“This is no time for Christian people in this country to relax in any way,” Schenck says. “Our challenges have really only begun. Here we go for really probably the greatest challenge we as Christians have every faced and that is to advise, to consult, to pray for, to be involved in our government so that we can reclaim what has been lost these last eight years.”
There is a strong concern among many conservative advocates that with the election of George W. Bush to the Oval Office, grass roots activists might think the battle is over.
Mythical Wall of Separation
Meanwhile, a high-profile Jewish senator has addressed the constitutional myth of separation of church and state. Democratic Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut suggests Thomas Jefferson's view of the relationship between church and state has been taken to extremes that Jefferson never intended.
“The wall of separation has grown so beyond its original conception to mythical proportions that some Americans believe it is not just inappropriate, but unconstitutional for a public official or even a clergyman or woman to praise the Lord in public,” the former Vice Presidential candidate says.
Lieberman maintains that freedom comes from God Almighty, and those who oppose allowing religious expression in public life need to examine the issue more closely. When they do, he suggests they examine America's heritage.
“They need to know that the First Amendment freedom that they are standing up for was originally recognized and put there as a blessing from God,” he says. “In fact, the framers [of the Constitution] held these rights sacrosanct precisely because they were endowed to us by our Creator, as it says right at the outset of the Declaration of Independence.”
Lieberman says the common, liberal interpretation of the relationship between church and state has been to the detriment of American society.
(This update courtesy of Agape Press.)