The Banishment of God From America's Public Square

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There is a haunting scene in “30 Days of Night,” a 2007 horror movie about a coven of vampires laying siege to the inhabitants of Barrow, Alaska—the northernmost town in North America which is plunged into an endless night for one month every winter. A young girl, about to be devoured by the lead vampire Marlow, softly bleats, “Please, God! No!” To that, the undead looks up at the dark sky, then calmly says to the girl, “No God.”

A reviewer observed that 30 Days evokes a direct, visceral experience of evil in its purest form as the all-devouring, empty movement of life without purpose or order.”
Russian Orthodox cleric Yuri Kononenko observed that the distinctive feature of the “postmodern condition” is “its relativity to everyone and everything.” Beneath the superficial gloss and sensationalism of modern society, “detached from God . . . [l]ife has acquired a cold, grey color of inner despair.” That “cold, grey color of inner despair” is nihilism — a state of spiritual impoverishment in which there is no higher or lower, in which the higher aspirations that have motivated mankind over the ages lose their attractions for the human soul and there is no fundamental meaning or ultimate point in human life.
Indeed, Marlow the vampire’s somber declaration that there is no God gives expression to the existential despair of nihilism — an affliction of America’s secular post-Christian culture where God increasingly is banished from public life.

At a recent chapel service at John Brown University, a private Christian college in Arkansas, Rev. Franklin Graham, son of famous evangelist Billy Graham, put words to the sentiments of millions of Americans when he noted:

“Even in our government today, you can’t pray to Jesus in many public meetings. You can pray to God or a god. You can mention Buddha or the name of Muhammad — but you can’t pray to Jesus Christ.”

As reported by David A. Patten of NewsMax on January 20, 2011, Graham specifically referred to the January 12 memorial service for the Tucson shooting victims. [H/t beloved fellow Tina]

Whereas Obama did quote scripture from the biblical book of Job, the memorial service did not include an official prayer or mention of God — unlike the memorials held after the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11. Instead, the sole religious dedication on the Tucson program came from a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, who delivered a peroration that among other things called out to “”Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy” and “Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy.” Graham noted, “There was no call for God to put His loving arms around those who were hurting. Why did they leave him out? They scoff at the name of Jesus Christ.”
In an op-ed in the Washington Times, Graham wrote:

The University of Arizona service – seeking to show support for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 other wounded citizens, while remembering federal Judge John Roll, Dorothy Morris, Phyllis Schneck, Dorwin Stoddard, Gabe Zimmerman and 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green – was different from any other I’ve ever seen….
I’m…embarrassed, by what else took place in the McKale Center. I was disappointed by an audience that often sounded and acted as if it was at a political rally…. Anyone expecting or wanting to see a somber service of prayer for comfort and hope for those struggling to come to grips with family members lost or fighting for their lives instead found something more resembling a boisterous pep rally…. But this was not the most disturbing sight to me.
Carlos Gonzales, a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, was introduced to offer a blessing amidst loud cheering…. Rather than calling on the God of heaven who made us and created this universe, which He holds in the palm of His hand, [Mr. Gonzales]…called out to “Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy” and “Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy.”
How sad. Father Sky and Mother Earth can do nothing to comfort Capt. Mark Kelly, who had been at the bedside of his wife, Rep. Giffords, wondering if she’d ever leave her bed. Or Mavy Stoddard, who was only alive because her husband sacrificed his life by shielding her with his body. Or the family, classmates, teammates and friends of little Christina, whose life was snuffed out before she could play another season of Little League….
I wish someone could have prayed to the One who created all of us, Almighty God…. My question: Why were the clergy of Tucson – the men of God – excluded?….
To those in Arizona who are trying to make sense of the senseless, I say: Know that millions of people are praying for you…to the God of heaven, who hears and cares, and not to the northern door or Father Sky, who sees not, hears not and knows not. I pray God will heal our land, bring peace and civility to every heart, and forgive our sins – especially when we exclude Him from daily life. Amen.

Franklin Graham was banned from a Pentagon national day of Prayer event last year for expressing his opinions about Islam. He predicted the persecution of Christians will get worse in coming years, and encouraged students to use the new media and the Internet to spread the gospel.
~Eowyn

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0 responses to “The Banishment of God From America's Public Square

  1. May God have mercy on us.

     
  2. wow backward we go. whats next the mayan ritual of chopping off heads and watching them roll down a ziggurat. or should we throw virgins to the volcano gods. i’m surprised someone hasn’t sued the federal reserve for having in god we trust on our currency.

     
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  4. The stridency of one’s belief doesn’t make it one bit more true… and mockery of the beliefs of others fosters no sympathy, garners no converts – it just makes you look petty. People of other beliefs and non-beliefs also find comfort – Christianity doesn’t hold the patent on that. Nihilism isn’t the wage of non-belief, any more than unbecoming arrogance is the lot of all Christians.

     
    • Do be so good as to point to the “mockery” of “other beliefs and non-beliefs.”
      “Nihilism isn’t the wage of non-belief”? LOL
      Don’t you even know what nihilism means? It means the absence of any standards or values. And you lecture to us about “unbecoming arrogance”? Too funny.

       
  5. Happy to oblige.
    “Instead, the sole religious dedication on the Tucson program came from a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, who delivered a peroration that among other things called out to “”Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy” and “Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy.” Graham noted, “There was no call for God to put His loving arms around those who were hurting. Why did they leave him out? They scoff at the name of Jesus Christ.”
    That doesn’t constitute mockery of another belief?
    Yes, I KNOW what nihilism means. A lack of faith in a god in general, or any particular version or definition of god out there does NOT constitute nihilism.
    And I’m not lecturing anybody about arrogance – just taking exception to yours

     
    • “Instead, the sole religious dedication on the Tucson program came from a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, who delivered a peroration that among other things called out to “”Father Sky, where we get our masculine energy” and “Mother Earth, where we get our feminine energy.” Graham noted, “There was no call for God to put His loving arms around those who were hurting. Why did they leave him out? They scoff at the name of Jesus Christ.”
      How is that “mockery”? Graham was pointing out the difference between a pagan belief in an impersonal “Father Sky” and “Mother Earth” vs. Christians’ faith that God is a Person with whom we have a relationship and who loves us so much He sent His only son to suffer and die for our redemption.
      As for your other preroration: “A lack of faith in a god in general, or any particular version or definition of god out there does NOT constitute nihilism.”
      Since nihilism is the lack or absence of ANY standards or values, that definition INCLUDES “a lack of faith in a god in general, or any particular version or definition of god.” I can’t help you if you are deficient in basic logic.
      And now, your last comment: “I’m not lecturing anybody about arrogance – just taking exception to yours.”
      Sadly, once again, you’ve committed a logical error, for surely “anybody” includes “yours.”

       

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