God Has a Lot to Do with It

Christianity and Freedom

Heaven help us, literally, if Americans truly forget where their rights and freedoms come from.

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Chuck  Colson

A recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times asked “What’s God got to do with it?” The “it” being referred to was the security and freedom that Americans enjoy and often take for granted.

The answer to the question is “quite a bit,” and arguing otherwise requires taking something else for granted: our way of life’s debt to Christianity.

The man asking and answering the question was Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine. Shermer took exception to the words of a recent House resolution to keep “In God We Trust” as the national motto. The resolution read: “Whereas if religion and morality are taken out of the marketplace of ideas, the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secured.”

Shermer was troubled by the “belief that religion has a monopoly on morality,” especially, he says, “in this age of science and technology, computers and cyberspace, and liberal democracies securing rights and freedoms for oppressed peoples all over the globe.”

According to Shermer what really makes people “feel free and secure” are things like “the rule of law,” “education for the masses,” the establishment of “fair and just laws,” and the “equitable enforcement of those fair and just laws.”

What Shermer doesn’t tell us is that things like the rule of law, mass education, and the other things he credits with making our freedom and security possible, didn’t spring fully-formed out of nowhere. They are part of Christianity’s legacy to the West.

Take the rule of law. It was Christianity that taught the West that rulers are not free to do as they pleased and that they are not above the law. According to John Calvin, resisting tyranny was the duty of those “who desire that every individual should preserve his rights, and that all men may live free from injury.”

The same can be said about mass education and even the science that Shermer puts so much stock in. They are the result of what Christianity taught: that God created the world, and we were called to explore every aspect of it.

Most of all, our ideas about what constitutes a free and secure society are derived from Christianity. Political scientist Glenn Tinder has written about how much of what we celebrate in our society, like the “respect for the individual and a belief in the essential equality of all human beings,” has “strong roots in the union of the spiritual and the political achieved in the vision of Christianity.”

It was Christianity, you see, that taught the West that all human beings are created in the image of God. Without that understanding, the very words of the Declaration of Independence, “that all Men are created equal, that they endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights,” could never have been written.

Without this Christian vision we wouldn’t have the freedom and security that Shermer ascribes to science, technology, and politics. And I give a very concrete and current example of this on today’s “Two-Minute Warning,” which I urge you to go see at ColsonCenter.org.

The issue isn’t what’s inscribed on our money but whether Americans understand what makes our way of life possible. Sadly, I’m afraid the answer to that right now is “no, they don’t." So it’s up to us, the Church, to explain just how vital the Christian faith has been — and still is — to our rights and freedoms.

Further Reading and Information


What's God got to do with it?
By Michael Shermer | Los Angeles Times | November 4, 2011

Christian Dialog
Chuck Colson | Two-Minute Warning | November 16, 2011


Shemer is mostly clueless
Mr. Shermer fails to mention the loss of a $100,000 (according to the US Treasury) for each American household thanks to the God less criminal greed of Wall Street in the last few years.

Mr. Shermer’s theoretical increase in the level of trust to gain $400 a year will only take 250 years to make up our $100,000 average loss. My question to Shermer is what is the trust based on? And why should be believe him?
God has a lot to do with it
Quite frankly, I've never been too impressed with Mr. Shermer. Like many of the secular fundamentalists, he exempts his own skepticism from scutiny. However, if you're truly a thoroughgoing skeptic, the very least you could do is call your own doubts into question, as a matter of principle. The unwillingness to scrutinize your own worldview with the same standard that you subject other paradigms to belies a tacit admission of internal inconsistency and exposes its adherent to the charge of being a fraud and a poser.
God Given Rights
Take a minute & look up SEC. 201. 21 U.S.C. 321. This among other parts of the law redefine man as an animal. The animal welfare act 7 USC 2131 - 2159 defines animal right but specifically excludes humans. So the government thinks we are an animal with no rights. Wake up people!
Education Now!
We as Christians have a duty to educate our young Christians and our community of the value of Christianity. Sunday school teachers, Youth leaders, small group leaders and anyone who is involved with leadership needs to put a focus on what our Christian heritage really is. The world is painting a false picture of us and we need to be ready to give a defense for what we believe and why it is important. You can not expect sinful people to do rightous things.