Sunday, December 4, 2011

Persecution in America: US Bureaucrats Ban Christianity. Again. And Get Away With It. Again.

Christianity is not a "faith tradition", it is a religion: the largest, most widespread religion in the world, and globally, it is growing. It is growing through conversion by freedom of choice because Christ offers hope and freedom to everyone: true liberty that fuels joy, peace, democracy, science, abundance, compassion.

Christianity is the only religion of truth and life. There is no other. To believe Jesus is the Son of God, who was born, was crucified, died, who rose to real, physical life again: to believe this requires following His final directive, the only commandment He gave after His resurrection: to "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature."

Preaching the Gospel is the central action of our faith, no matter what our denomination,and was commanded by Jesus. The word "proselytizing" is an inappropriate negative, and is not descriptive of or a synonym for,

Jesus does not attempt to force anyone to believe in Him and neither do Christians. But to follow Jesus means that we speak the Truth, that we ask our Father God to bless those who do not believe, that we tell them the Good News, so they have the opportunity to make their choice.

Recently, the Navy, following the US Army's lead in banning Bibles and forbidding Christian practice and faith by our soldiers, and following up the VA's ban on praying to God and Jesus at the Houston National Cemetery of this summer, decided to push the envelope further and ban Bibles and anything related to Christianity from being read to, used or given to wounded veterans in Walter Reed hospital. Here's a PDF of the original memo from C.W. Callahan, Chief of Staff. The ban is hidden at the very end, right after a ban on homemade cookies: "No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit."

It is persecution to compel a Christian to forego mentioning our faith in ANY task we do, whether we are at work or play, on the street or in a public building, an employee or a volunteer or a client.

Unelected bureaucrats are violating the LAW and the Constitution of the United States of America if they  try to forbid, limit, or control Christian expressions or statements of faith, worship, or study are forbidden. The courts have consistently upheld our right to not only believe but to teach our beliefs.

And those of us who do what we are told, and obey such directives, are denying our Lord Jesus Christ, as surely as Peter did, out of fear.

I am guilty. I have had opportunities - in the recent as well as distant past - to stand up quietly for Christianity's place in the workplace, and I didn't. I've had chances to witness that I didn't take because I was afraid of being embarrassed or of being chastised.

I am a "by the book" kind of person, and I follow rules. Like other civilized people all over the world, I tend to do what I am told by people in authority. Fundamental Christian tenets ask us to love others in truth, to be gentle and compassionate in how we talk about our faith, how we share the Gospel.  But I have used that respect for others and my need to be liked and to "be nice" as an excuse for conforming to the world instead of conforming to God.

There was a time when we could get by on just being nice, because we could trust our elected representatives, our bosses and the people who work in government to uphold our rights as Christians to believe and express our faith. But no more. More and more, we see that many of those in positions of authority are abusing their positions and giving orders that mistreat Christians, acting at the behest of the intolerant shrill to give priority to novelty cults and abusive cultures, and are trying to force Christians into the closet.

I keep a Bible at work. I always have. It isn't there for preaching, but for me to read - especially for comfort when I am anxious. There's always something in the workplace to be anxious about, no matter what our job, and reading, remembering, the Word of the Lord can help so much.

I don't know how I might react if I were ordered to remove the Bible from my desk at work.  I am afraid I might meekly comply: taking my Bible home and living with greater anxiety, justifying my inaction by the perceived need to keep my job and pay my bills, and forgetting that God has promised to take care of me and all my needs, and that He always has.

I pray and hope that faith could overcome fear.

Please Father God, give me strength to put You first: to obey all laws but those that deny You. Please give me courage to be faithful in these little things. Grant that my daily life can help proclaim the Gospel of Your Son Jesus, the Christ, that others may meet Him and that Your Will be done on earth just as it is in Heaven.

UPDATE Tuesday, Dec 6th: Please see the updated post  for latest information on this matter. 


  1. I read the memo. Quoting from it:

    "No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts are allowed to be given away or used during a visit" by family members to their "Wounded, Ill, and Injured" loved ones at Walter Reed.

    So wounded, ill, and injured military men and women are no longer entitled to enjoy the comfort of prayer and faith in God?

    Who makes up these "policies"?

  2. I can't imagine. How a statement like that could even be entertained outside a junior committee, much less implemented by a high-ranking official, tells me that those who lead these organizations are no longer our peers. They do not share the American values and culture that their very jobs exist to defend. :-(

    May the Lord in His Mercy be kind to the USA, and bring us Godly leaders to restore decency and honesty to our country.

  3. Tina - The policy is being rescinded (they say).

    Family members of Walter Reed patients are saying that the policy is intended to keep aggressive proselytizers from harassing patients and handing them dirty materials that could cause infections.

    Unfortunately, the policy memo says no such thing, even though whoever wrote it took pains to point out that eating homemade cookies exposes patients to dangers of infection.

    The memo most emphatically states that the no Bible, no religious materials, no artifacts (crosses, crucifixes, religious medals, etc., etc.) applies to everyone visiting Walter Reed patients, starting with family members.

    It's difficult to believe that a policy affecting religious practice could be so carelessly written (the Military doesn't have lawyers, all of a sudden?) and promulgated without the intention of restricting the military members religious practice. Even if it were (and whoever wrote and approved it should be fired ON THE SPOT because they are WAY above their pay grade), this is exactly the type of wording that gives nutcases the ammunition to prevent members of the military from having prayers uttered at their funerals and to outlaw the name of God from being spoken in a military cemetery (but no restriction, one cannot help noticing, on use of that Arabic name).

    Whatever the case, this policy is conveniently another foot in the door for granting official non-PC status to Christianity and Christians.

    Please let us know if the wording of the rewritten policy comes to your attention.

  4. Good grief. That's the first time I've ever heard anyone claim the Bible, tracts or rosary beads might "carry disease" - although having spent a long time doing PR/Corp communication (albeit for a public company), I am not surprised by the creative rationalization.

    No, I imagine you are correct, and we are seeing the "boil the frog" method: push push, then claim to back off only to sneak in more change on another front or in a different city a couple of months later.

    That's the way progressives operate ,from what I have seen: they ignore all rules themselves, and make up their own new rules to promote their own new causes. It happens in private companies and in government agencies. Progressive causes staff the marketing arm, which then takes over policy and begins insinuating its political agenda into the company's operating methods. Which is probably how Butterball turkeys ended up being made "halal" without any labeling to inform the consumer.

    The methods that the Obama administration has employed to run our country like a left coast corporation have opened the door for progressives to serve as civilian advisers to the military as well.

    This is a long, long, long battle to preserve America during this era of upheaval - but then, it is one Christians have fought for 2000 years. Jesus won, though, so all shall be well in the final outcome. :-)



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