By Editorial Staff
Published September 1, 1989
The United States Supreme Court may be on the verge of reviewing exactly what the Bill of Rights means by forbidding government “establishment of religion.”
Justice Anthony Kennedy, the newest Supreme Court Appointee, wrote in a conservative dissent to a recent ruling that the Constitution provides for church-state separation in only two instances. First, the “government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in any religion or its exercise.” Second, the court should outlaw any “direct benefits” that tend to create a state religion.
Ever since 1947, when Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority opinion for the Everson case, the phrase “wall of separation between church and state” has become progressively ingrained into the consciousness of the American people. In late twentieth century America, the vast majority of persons have come to assume that church and state should be separated.
Since January 1982, however, the “separation” issue has again become a matter of debate as a result of a federal judge’s ruling in McLean vs. the Arkansas Board of Education, which banned the teaching of creation science in public schools.
The conservative dissent in the court’s controversial County of Allegheny vs. A.C.L.U. case marked the emergence of a minority led by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Byron White, and Chief Justice William Rhenquist. Kennedy claims that the 5-4 majority ruling in the Allegheny case, written by Harry Blackmun, and a whole series of Supreme Court decisions, “reflect an unjustified hostility toward religion, a hostility inconsistent with our history and our precedents.”
Kennedy’s position has worried some liberal activists. Lee Boothby, counsel to Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said that if Kennedy’s position prevails “we would be litigating hundreds of cases we thought we had settled.”
One more vote in favor of freeing restrictions against religion, perhaps from Sandra Day O’Connor or a new Bush appointment to the court, could in effect undo 40 years of laws. Rulings on everything from school prayer to public aid for church agencies could be changed.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » National Events
Your comments are welcome!
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?
Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
$4.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)