Monday, December 31, 2012

It's a Not So Brave New World

January 1, 2013 begins a new era in American life, and not coincidentally, a new era in this blog. In one sense, that new era began when the United States ratified our collective rejection of a capitalist society and plunged headlong into European styled socialism by re-electing our first (and until now our only) European styled socialist president. The old America we grew up with, where we could count on our investments going up, where we expected to leave a better life to our children, where Americans were certain that capitalism was better than socialism, fascism and communism, where we were allowed to be proud of our country and proud of our accomplishments - that country is gone. Probably gone forever. It's odd to think that less than forty years removed from Ronald Reagan our country has so institutionalized liberalism, socialism and communism into the very fabric of our government that we cannot return to historic Americanism again.

But that's only the economic and political side of things. The real change is in this country's attitude toward freedom of religion. For the first time in our history, we now have a government that is actively opposed to the free exercise of religion. That attitude is prominently evident in the government's prosecution of Hobby Lobby and a host of other Christian oriented businesses for their resistance to providing abortion-causing drugs as a part of regular health care. The government argues that these Christian based businesses are secular because they are not churches and do not engage in worship. The present administration has redefined freedom of religion to mean "freedom of worship." In this government's opinion, worship belongs within - and only within- the four walls of a church building. Thus, the government reasons, these businesses engaged in secular activity are subject to government regulation and intervention and have no right to religious liberty because they do not "worship". Never mind that the business is based entirely upon the religious convictions which give rise the the business in the first place.

The danger in such convoluted governmental thinking is that churches are likely to be persecuted in much the same way whenever they engage in what the government deems secular activity. So much for Christian schools and colleges. So too for benevolence organizations, nursing homes, orphanages, rescue missions, youth training missions - and just about anything else not considered by our supreme leaders to be worship.

That's why this blog must change with the times. The new world we've entered has also come under the preacher's roof, so to speak, as it has invaded every other home in our once-great land. So expect a bit more of an edge from this preacher, and a bit more of a political commentary as our government and politics impacts and infringes upon our sacred convictions. The preacher's roof must become a shelter in the time of storm.