Op/ed: "Where's the 'Tolerance' for Christianity?"

September 13, 2006

Source: World Net Daily


On September 13, 2006 the World Net Daily published an opinion piece by Judge Roy Moore on the ten commandments controversy, "When did religious freedom cease to include the right to pray according to your own conscience? On Sept. 7, 2006, oral arguments were heard in the appeal of a case called Hinrichs v. Bosma, where the Indiana House of Representatives has been ordered by a federal judge to 'refrain from using Christ's name or title' in opening prayer – a practice which had been unopposed for over 180 years.

This week in Virginia, Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt is being tried before a special court-martial for his public opposition to the new Navy policy prohibiting chaplains from praying in the name of Jesus during certain command functions. Since their earliest history, both the Indiana Legislature and the chaplains in the Navy have been ending prayers in the name of Jesus.

These cases illustrate a nationwide trend in which public prayers in the name of Jesus Christ are being silenced. Such prayer censorship, however, is neither legal nor historical.

Go back to another Sept. 7 – back to 1774 – when the Rev. Jacob Duch�, an Episcopal clergyman, opened our First Continental Congress in prayer at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pa. After reading Psalm 35, Rev. Duch� began to pray extemporaneously for wisdom, safety, peace and order for all those assembled from the various colonies, concluding 'in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and Our Savior, Amen.' John Adams, who later became our second president, wrote that he had 'never heard a better prayer, or one so well pronounced.' Congress responded in the congressional journals showing their appreciation to Rev. Duch� 'for performing divine Service, and for the excellent prayer.' (Emphasis added)

For over 230 years, legislative bodies, public assemblies and even our courts have opened with prayer in the name of Jesus, a fitting recognition in a land originally founded 'for the Glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.' (Mayflower Compact, 1620.)... However, many today protest acknowledgments of Christianity because of 'religious diversity,' 'cultural pluralism' or a perceived duty of 'government neutrality' toward religion. Citing the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, they work to remove any reference to Jesus Christ in public prayer.

Such opposition misses the critical point: that liberty of conscience is a central principle of the Christian faith."