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The war on liberty

(Speech delivered Oct. 2012, Santa Barbara County)

Good morning. Thank you for allowing me to be here. To start, two quotes purposefully juxtaposed. Please keep these in mind as we proceed.

“The theory of Communism may be summed up in one sentence: Abolish all private property.” Karl Marx

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” American Declaration of Independence, 1776.

Please remember that the pursuit of happiness has always been understood to mean, in part, the right to hold and exchange private property, for without such right, there can be no liberty.

I’d like to begin by telling you a story about a man named Frank Lay. I met Frank while working for Liberty Counsel in Florida last year. Frank is retired now. He served for more than 30 years as a teacher and then as principal of Pace High School near Pensacola. That region of the country is the buckle of the Bible belt. For generations folks have been greeting each other with “God bless you,” and “Praise the Lord,” as a matter of course.

There’s a lotta Johnny Rebs down in there who love God and know a few things about state’s rights. I worked for months with a bunch of pastors there. Love those guys.

Anyway, one day a student at Pace HS complained to Frank about all the God talk at school, claiming it was a violation of church and state. Frank, being the gentleman he is, tried explaining that it was their culture, folks around there love God and each other. No harm or disrespect to unbelievers intended. Well, that wasn’t good enough for this student. She recruited the ACLU to press the issue.

A team of ACLU lawyers were deployed. They threated the school board with a lawsuit, so of course the school board surrendered and allowed the ACLU to draft a consent decree, laying down the law, with penalties. Pretty soon, it was a violation to have a Bible sitting on a desk, a violation to say God bless you if somebody sneezed, a violation to talk about spiritual matters, a violation to pray or pretend to pray at any public gathering. God talk was prohibited.

Frank tried to warn the Board about the ACLU, tried to get them to seek other counsel, but it was a foregone conclusion. Some of the Board members were Christians yet they submitted to the pressure to relinquish their 1st Amendment Rights.

Shortly after the installment of the consent decree, Frank was off campus with a small group of parents who had donated money to build a new field house. He was hosting a thank you luncheon for this group, and as a matter of custom, he asked the athletic director to say grace. Guess what happened?

Sure enough, they were reported, and Frank and the athletic director were hauled into federal court charged with criminal contempt. They faced these penalties if convicted: dismissal, loss of retirement benefits, jail time, and a $5,000 fine. For a 10-second prayer to bless the food, off campus, no students present, all adults consenting.

Liberty Counsel stepped in and after several years and $400,000 in legal expense, the men were found not guilty, and a precedent was set, rolling back the consent decree. However, lifelong friendships were destroyed as people took conflicting sides in the struggle.

Afterward, at a settlement hearing Frank reports he told the ACLU attorney he was glad freedom of religion, and freedom of speech had won the day. The ACLU attorney sneered and said, “Yeah. But we changed the atmosphere and the culture, didn’t we?”

Cultural revolution: destruction as an inside job. Keep that in mind as we proceed.

As a footnote to Frank’s story, Roger Baldwin was the founder of the ACLU. He died in 1981. Listen to this quote from Baldwin explaining his belief and his reason for launching the ACLU:

“I am for socialism, disarmament, and, ultimately, for abolishing the state itself... I seek the social ownership of property, the abolition of the propertied class, and the sole control of those who produce wealth. Communism is the goal.”

These people traffic in fear and intimidation and lies. We’ve heard for years about assaults on Christians, most often targeted by the ACLU for their faith, and persecuted for their beliefs:

>the photographer in New Mexico fined $6,000 by a human rights commission for respectfully declining to photograph a homosexual wedding

>the pastor arrested for sharing the Gospel at a shopping mall

>the youth pastor detained and questioned for answering a question about the Gospel.

>Christians arrested for handing out literature at a Muslim rally

>Christians arrested and jailed for stating their views at a homosexual pride parade

>Pastors arrested and fined for having Bible studies in their homes

>Zoning laws arbitrarily changed to prevent church building

>Pastors threatened and arrested for preaching about the sin of homosexuality

When government sinfully lurches out of control, funding groups like the ACLU, we have a responsibility to respond.

Take this into consideration. The one Christ called the greatest who ever lived----John the Baptist---was not bashful about speaking up. He called the religious leaders hypocrites, vipers. He confronted the King for his sin, and was beheaded.

Leadership matters. A Christian presence in the culture matters, especially as the war on Christianity escalates. Speaking of leadership . . .

. . . how many of you remember during his presidency, Mr. Reagan landed in that field on Marine One to attend Sunday services in the old sanctuary (at SYV Presbyterian)? An AP story March 30, 1986 reported:

President Reagan marked the fifth anniversary of the 1981 attempt on his life by attending Easter services Sunday in a small Presbyterian church a few miles from his mountaintop ranch.

Speaking of Mr. Reagan, I’d like to remind you of one of his famous quotes.

"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, we’ll be a nation gone under."

There will be very troubling days ahead. Many say collapse and chaos are right around the corner. Numerous spirit-filled people say many of us sitting here today will see the Second Coming. Think of it! Meanwhile we are commanded to proceed as if His coming will be a thousand years off.

So back to a few items of earthly importance . . .

Most academics probably disagree, but we know the Declaration and the Constitution are intimately connected, that one flowed from the other, that the Declaration states clearly our rights are endowed by God, making them unalienable, and that governments are established by men to secure those rights. The Constitution is the framework designed to secure those God-given rights. The central theme of the Constitution is limited government so as to secure the blessings of liberty, the very liberty sought by the Pilgrims and the Puritans who desired religious freedom so they could evangelize the world.

Mr. Reagan, like our Founders, promoted our Judeo-Christian traditions---knowing those traditions are linked directly to the Declaration, and the Constitution, all working together to establish and perpetuate liberty, the source of our strength and prosperity. The key element is virtue. Individual virtue is required so that we protect one another’s liberty. Otherwise, the only option to secure order is the bayonet. The source of virtue, as we know, is Christ. Obviously the entitlement mentality promoted by those in power today is not a virtuous attitude and indeed it works against liberty. Without a virtuous and educated population, the Declaration and the Constitution are nothing but meaningless pieces of paper.

This is precisely why every anti-American force on earth targets our faith.

Allow me to share an associated quote to illustrate how far we have fallen as a culture. This comes from Frederick Douglass, the slave turned orator and advisor to President Lincoln, from a speech Douglass delivered at Ithaca New York in 1852:

“I have one great political idea. . . . That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance---Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people. [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics - the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics. . . . I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.”

Mr. Douglass was heralded a patriot in his day. In our day he would be ignored or eviscerated a far right extremist, or worse, a Christian theocrat, or a Tea Party member!

The topic this morning is simply this: there is a war on Christianity because Christianity gave birth to American liberty as a means to evangelize the world, and the war on Christianity is purposefully waged by certain powers and forces intent on fundamentally transforming America away from liberty and economic freedom and toward a secular socialist state. There is a war on Christianity because the spirit-filled individual is a bulwark against tyranny. That is precisely why tyrants target us!

If we would spread the Gospel, we’d better engage the battle, or we will lose both our liberty, and the war. We will never lose the spiritual battle because the King of Kings has already won that war. Yet there is a physical dimension to the war deserving our attention.

Please allow me to take a detour here to share something stunning. Have you ever heard of the Frankfurt School? Basically it was a group of German Marxists in the early 20th century, a group modeled after the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow, both movements related to the Intercollegiate Socialist Society in America in the early part of the 20th century. The goal of the Frankfurt School was the destruction of western civilization, capitalism and all Christian democracies, especially the U.S. Christ hater Friedrich Nietzsche and his disciple Heidegger inspired the Frankfurt attack on Christianity, capitalism and the traditional family, encouraging socialism, atheism and moral relativism. From Nietzsche came the idea of the super man, the superior race, all of it inspiring Adolf Hitler and his “grisly gang,”as Churchill called them.

Listen to their strategy for achieving their goals, strategies shared by the KGB, and various communist groups in America, including Saul Alinsky, the mentor of most everyone in the executive branch today. Keep in mind the big picture painted by the Frankfurt School: man is his own god, capitalism is the root of all evil, human wisdom and capability can and will establish utopia on earth, anyone who stands in the way of these lofty goals is an enemy worthy of destruction, hence a century marked by world war and genocide.

Here is the detailed plan from the Frankfurt/Marx/Alinksy strategy, from many sources, but mainly from an article titled “The Conspiracy to Corrupt,” by Timothy Matthews, Catholic Insight, March 2009---

QUOTE: “To further the advance of their ‘quiet’ cultural revolution ---- (demoralization and takeover from within)----the School recommended about 100 years ago, the following:

1. The creation of racism offences.

2. Continual change to create confusion

3. Promoting sex and teaching homosexuality to children

4. The undermining of schools and teacher authority: education as indoctrination.

(Obama close friend and ally, 60s radical and terrorist Bill Ayers, spent tens of millions of foundation dollars ‘reforming’ the public schools in Chicago saying: “the classroom will become the laboratory of revolution.” The superintendent of Chicago public schools is now Obama’s Education Secretary.)

5. Huge immigration to destroy national identity.

6. The promotion of excessive drinking and drug use.

7. Emptying the churches.

8. Create an unreliable legal system.

9. Foster dependency on state benefits.

10. Control and dumbing down of media.

11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family.

One of the main ideas of the Frankfurt School was to exploit Freud’s idea of ‘pansexualism’ - the search for pleasure, the exploitation of the differences between the sexes, the overthrowing of traditional relationships between men and women. To further their aims they would:

• attack the authority of the father, deny the specific roles of father and mother, and wrest away from families their rights as primary educators of their children.

• abolish differences in the education of boys and girls

• abolish all forms of traditional male roles - hence the presence of women in the armed forces

• declare women to be an ‘oppressed class’ and men as ‘oppressors’

One of the Frankfurt leaders proclaimed: ‘We will make the West so corrupt that it stinks.'

Now compare all that with this quote from Saul Alinksy, the man Mr. Obama calls his greatest influence---

"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism."

Alinsky urged his followers to use any means necessary to win including lies, ridicule, hitting below the belt and infiltration. I met him one time while attending university. A very serious man, and a very dark one. He proclaimed Christianity the enemy, and went so far as to dedicate his book to Lucifer saying he was “the first radical . . . who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom.”

It is no great surprise to learn Alinsky was a disciple of the Frankfurt School. Keep in mind, Alinksy is Obama’s hero.

For the record, it has been argued this president is the most biblically hostile of any in all history. I have a handout documenting the reasons for this claim, available afterward. Contained there are a number of documented statements and events clearly showing this president is working hard to fundamentally transform the country, in part by marginalizing Christianity, and in part, by arguing the Constitution is a living document that should submit to radical revision suitable for a modern age wherein all religious orientations must surrender to a universalist mindset absolutely required for democracy to thrive. This is what Mr. Obama believes. The only absolute is the one he promotes.

Those who would soften the Constitution by calling it a living document, deny the connection between the Declaration and the Constitution, and work to dispel the notion America was founded a Christian nation. They are the ones who have tried for more than 100 years to transform our republic into a collective farm requiring central control which necessarily places serious restrictions on liberty.

Obama, Alinsky and the Frankfurt School know full well what many Americans have forgotten: the key to American liberty is God, the One who gives us rights, the One who instills the virtue required to preserve liberty. Take God out of the structure and it collapses, hence 100 years of work to demoralize and de-Christianize America.

Our only defense is strong faith in and obedience to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (You Tube search Yuri Bezemenov…)

One of the biggest mistakes we have made in the Church was assuming matters of government and politics are worldly and therefore not worthy of our attention. Remember not so long ago when people started encouraging one another not to talk about politics or religion. Look what we have today as a result. There is an unwritten law…a law governing our public discourse…a law passed by no legislature yet it defines acceptable speech, it’s called political correctness, something author Melanie Phillips calls the tyranny of the subjective individual, as lethal as any tyranny that has come before. The Frankfurt School was filled with subjective individuals and scholars 100 years ago. Our universities are filled with them today---and were 40 years ago----and they are spilling out into the streets in the form of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

This tyranny tells us not only what is acceptable speech…it dictates what we are supposed to think. If you doubt it I offer the Frankfurt School, and ObamaCare, which mandates tax dollars fund abortion, a direct violation of majority conscience via federal edict. Another example: same-sex marriage. Whenever it’s put to a vote, it is defeated, yet this government mandates we accept it and has installed it in the military against the will of the people. Another example: moves afoot in various states and in the United Nations to outlaw any speech that is perceived insulting to Islam. Sharing the Gospel of Christ is an insult to Islam, by their definition. Imagine in a few years . . . preaching the Gospel becomes illegal in America, because that is where we are headed.

And notice how the debates are fashioned. If you are against publically-funded abortion you are anti-woman. If you oppose same sex marriage you are a hater. If you support religious freedom and oppose the installation of Shariah law, you are an Islamophobe. These characterizations are entirely fallacious but this is what happens when the sons and daughters of righteousness stay silent. We allow ourselves to be bullied into submission, and the church empties.

Political correctness would have us believe the attack on our consulate in Benghazi was a spontaneous act provoked by a movie no one has seen---not a planned terrorist assault, as the evidence now shows. Political correctness would insist we call the massacre at Fort Hood an instance of workplace violence, and 9/11, a human caused disaster perpetrated by non-entities holding inconsequential beliefs. The subjective individual can insist we believe anything by sheer force of popular will, simply another form of tyranny, easy to install when people lay down and rollover. It is easy for the tyrant when people do not stand up for what they believe: easier still when they no longer know what they believe.

This tyranny is upon us because Christians left the public square, allowing it to be dominated by atheists, agnostics, jihadists, communists and secularists. We stopped contending for our faith and our world view and cloistered ourselves away in our comfortable churches, assuming it would not matter if we showed up. Well, it matters . . . because just look how the forces opposed to Christ now dominate government, education, culture, media and the arts. The cultural revolution has now wormed its way into our military, demoralizing the very people who’ve volunteered to defend us, yet many of us can’t even be bothered to speak up, or vote.

Ultimately, this is not about politics, but rather, it’s about taking a stand, about being salt and light in the world, about taking seriously the admonition in Ephesians to put on the full armor and having done all, to stand, both in the spiritual war, and in terms of our witness.

The role of Christians and pastors in the public debate has become controversial as certain forces push for an activist church----reminiscent of the Black Robe Regiment in 1776 who preached revolution behind the slogan “We have no king but Jesus!”----and other forces that claim believers should only concentrate on spiritual matters since politics is ‘of the world.’

In a recent editorial Marvin Olasky does a great job of defining the controversy, and clarify matters, saying the church’s role is evangelism and discipleship, so the church should never become an arm of government or a political action committee, although it must speak to the moral issues of the day. Olasky, editor of World magazine, and the author who coined the phrase ‘compassionate conservatism,’ also went on to say Christians must be engaged in the public square and the public debate. After all we have the Truth, and we are light and salt!

Is it any wonder then that government has become less righteous as the righteous have retreated? Are we not called to take a stand?

Last Sunday, about 1,500 pastors across the country took a stand during Pulpit Freedom Sunday. They told the federal government it has no right to tell them what they can say from the pulpit. You see the law of political correctness based on a horrendous interpretation of the First Amendment has left folks with the idea pastors lose their free speech rights on Sunday morning. The efforts of the Frankfurt activists and the ACLU have convinced people (even Christians!) that government can intervene and abridge rights we once held unalienable as endowed by God. Pastors have been told for 60 years they cannot talk politics or anything close to politics from the pulpit, and if they do, they risk fines and the loss of tax exempt status. The argument is churches enjoy tax exemption by being non-partisan. Not true. From the beginning churches earned tax exemption by being non-profit and engaging charity. It is also untrue that this muzzling of pastors by law was installed by then Senator Lyndon Johnson based on the separation of church and state argument. Johnson targeted certain non-profit organizations in Texas that opposed him politically in the 50s. The law had nothing to do with churches, until certain parties found it a convenient weapon to use against churches.

The Truth is the only thing a pastor cannot do---by law---is say his entire church or denomination endorses a particular candidate. But that does not prevent people like Father Pfleger, Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton from endorsing whomever they please. In truth we have an arbitrary law, applied by the IRS to churches via administrative fiat, selectively enforced if at all, creating a social contract stifling freedom of speech in the pulpit in violation of the Constitution.

(Reference the letter sent by Barry Lynn to 60,000 pastors just recently warning them to keep quiet.)

What these pastors are doing in confronting the government over issues of liberty, freedom of speech and true separation of church and state is really nothing new. The reformers establishing just war theory, or fighting slavery and child labor were all Christian activists and pastors.

If we say we are a nation under God, and then ignore him when he commands we stand up for the poor, the defenseless and the widow, how do we expect the worldly to pay any attention to us whatsoever. If we stand silent as the most defenseless are murdered in the womb, what standing do we have before man or God?

Let me conclude with this: at the very least, good citizenship requires we vote.

There are 58 million evangelicals able to vote in our country. In the 2004 and 2008 elections only 33 million voted. That means 25 million Christians did not vote in those two presidential elections. That is a disgrace in my view. We should aggressively work to turnout the evangelical vote and urge those voters to vote according to a biblical worldview.

Finally, I’d recommend a first rate book written by Tom Minnery at Focus on the Family, Tyndale Publishers, 2001, titled: “Why You Can’t Stay Silent, a Biblical Mandate to Shape Our Culture.” On page 51 he quotes the Rev. Billy Graham, who said in 1962:

“Christianity grew because its adherents were not silent. They said, ‘We cannot but speak the things we have seen and heard,’ a reference to the message of evangelism. Nor did they stop with expressing the great faith they had found. They stormed against the evils of their day until the very foundations of decadent Rome began to crumble. Is the church doing that today?” Billy Graham spoke these words at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement, a movement the church largely ignored. Dr. King and a few others carried the water almost alone. Imagine the healing God might have accelerated had the church “stormed against the Great Evils” of racism and discrimination 50 years ago.

So we see . . . it’s not so much a matter of politics as it is a matter of morality, of taking a stand for righteousness, and contending for faith and goodness in the public arena, as is our right. On of the most vilified pastors in recent memory was Rev. Jerry Falwell. He was condemned by many within the church for his creation of the Moral Majority, now living on in Liberty Counsel, part of Liberty University, another result of Falwell’s leadership. We would do well to remember Falwell’s Baptist Church was small in the beginning, but saw its greatest growth to more than 20,000 members during those years when he was most active with the Moral Majority, a movement that helped elect Reagan twice, leading to recovery from the recession of the 80s, the enormous prosperity of the 90s, the fall of the Soviet empire and the end of the Cold War, liberating millions of people.

Thanks for allowing me to speak, and God Bless you.

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