‘Exit Jesus’

A friend of mine recently installed voice-recognition software on his computer. Instead of "keyboarding" thoughts, he now speaks them in. He tested the software by saying a wide range of words and sentences and found the software did reasonably well, even on technical vocabulary. But then he spoke the word exegesis, meaning the explanation or elaboration of a biblical passage or other text. He nearly fell off his chair laughing when exegesis came up on the monitor screen as exit Jesus -- a computer Freudian slip, but prophetic nonetheless. Later that day several news dispatches reminded him that there is a concerted effort to "exit Jesus" from public discourse. For example, Pastor Richard Parker was ready to deliver the customary invocation prayer at the Warren County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors meeting. Just before he was to speak, the county attorney alerted him that he could say "Lord" or "God," but not "Jesus." Pastor Parker rightly walked out, explaining that as a Christian pastor, he would not pray if he had to "exit Jesus." Literally hundreds of violations of religious freedom in the United States have been documented by a Texas-based group, the Liberty Legal Institute. On October 20, it presented the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property a fifty-one-page report titled "Examples of Religious Hostility in the Public Square." Just a few examples: A Houston teacher trashed two students' Bibles, then marched them to the principal's office and threatened to report their parents to Child Protective Services for allowing them to bring their Bibles to school. A ninth-grader got a zero on her research project because she chose Jesus as the topic; worse, her teacher refused to let her submit a substitute project. A St. Louis public school student was "caught" praying over his lunch. As punishment, he was lifted from his seat, reprimanded in front of classmates, and ordered never to pray in school again. At a New Jersey Veterans' cemetery, an honor guard member was fired for telling a deceased veteran's family, "God bless you and this family." A Minnesota state employee was banned from parking in the state parking lot, because his car had stickers saying, "God is a loving and caring God" and "God defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman." McKinney, Texas, "has no problem with people meeting in their homes for football watch parties, birthday parties, or even commercial gatherings to sell Tupperware." But when a few couples gathered in a pastor's home, they were told, "The City prohibits a church meeting in a home unless the home sits on at least two acres." And on it goes, for fifty-one well-documented pages. Make no mistake: Well-financed organizations are working hard to expel Christianity from public discourse. If agitators try to do this in your city or school district, there are Christian attorneys and organizations that can help you. Call us here at BreakPoint (1-877-322-5527) for resources or for more information about worldview issues, something all Christians need to be aware of. If we stay alert and resolute, our adversaries will not succeed in "exiting Jesus." For further reading and information: Please help support the work of the Wilberforce Forum and BreakPoint. Call 1-877-322-5527 to make a tax-deductible donation today. Or donate online. Allie Martin, "U.S. Lawmakers Look into Religious Hostility Reports," Agape Press, 28 October 2004. Read Liberty Legal Institute's paper, "Examples of Hostility to Religious Expression in the Public Square." (Free Adobe Acrobat Reader required.) Nathan Burchfiel, "Conservative, Liberal Lawyers Resume Christmas Clashes," Cliff Kincaid, "Outlawing Thanksgiving Here and Abroad," Accuracy in Media, 22 November 2004. "Bashing the Boy Scouts: One group whose First Amendment rights the ACLU opposes," Wall Street Journal, 26 November 2004. Susan Jones, "Congress Tries to Save Mt. Soledad Cross," Dennis Prager, "A Jew defends the cross,", 16 November 2004. Mark Gauvreau Judge, "Ghosts of Christmas Past," BreakPoint Online, 24 December 2004.


Chuck Colson


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