Is there a war on Christians in America? More and more Christians seem to think so, and even political leaders are arming themselves against the atheist plot to overthrow our Christian theocracy and claim the death of god. Think that’s funny? Not everyone is laughing. If the memes in my social media news feeds are correct (and how could they not be?) then we are surrounded by people who are living in this reality.

God is in control and will protect the righteous….but apparently the “righteous” are in crisis mode anyway. And with good reason. Secular groups are harvesting their children for Satan. And if it is illegal to be a Christian, how will they protect them?

I have strong opinions about the separation of church and state. Not only because it is obviously important, but because it is such a simple thing that gets misunderstood over and over again. If you know me, then you know how much I hate misunderstandings about basic ideas.

The most common topic that pops up in this debate is the presence of god in our public schools. When Christians hear that a school has been asked to cease some kind of religious activity they often react with fear and outrage. They claim god has been “kicked out” of schools, Christianity is forbidden, and religious freedom has been stripped! It just isn’t true. Most of the schools who receive warnings have a hard time distinguishing between church and school as it is. God is everywhere.

Let’s look at an organization like The Freedom From Religion Foundation. I recently had a very civil interaction with another blogger whose main objective appears to be fighting the war on Christians with written prayers. She also offers a background story with each prayer. She believes the FFRF is attempting to “remove religion from our culture” based on news stories where the FFRF has sent letters or filed law suits against those who violate laws requiring a separation of church and state.

She used an example of the football team whose coach and eighteen team members were baptized on the football field after school. Now, if they had rented the field out for a non-school event this would be fine. Or, if the students organized a Christian group and had this event (while the coach merely supervised) that would also be fine. But just in case one of those team members doesn’t identify as Christian (and they may not be open about that), let’s be safe and not make any student feel obligated to join in. The FFRF sends a letter, the school agrees to comply going forward, end of story.

The same logic applies to that marching band whose band director had them playing a hymn and actually forming a cross on the field. This is a clear example of pressuring student band members to acknowledge one specific faith. Now, when audience members get up and sing that hymn at half time? That’s legal. Or, if student band members had organized their own Christian club and wanted to play the song without direction from staff? Absolutely legal.

The fact that the teacher cannot instruct students to play Christian music and form religious symbols at a half time show is hardly damaging the Christian cause. It’s a minor detail to ensure fairness. This separation applies to every religion; and it would be embraced by American Christians everywhere if other religions were anywhere near the popularity of Christianity.

Is it unreasonable to ask that students not be pressured to conform to popular religious activities at school? Christians can parade Jesus through schools all they like as long as they are not doing it in a way that pressures others to participate. And if it does? An organization like the FFRF might send you a letter explaining your mistake. They will even offer you a legal solution to keep your religious practice without violating the law. If you comply? End of story. If you continue to violate the law, you may find yourself in court.

If someone tells you that these organizations are suing teachers and schools over something else they are lying to you. You should ask yourself why they would lie to you. Wouldn’t it make more sense to simply educate Christians on the legal ways to share their faith? Because there really are no limits. There’s always a legal way to do it.

I have stood in the auditorium or gym of many public schools and given my Christian testimony to a room full of kids. We sang about god and pressured them to ask Jesus into their hearts. Right there at school. How did we do it? We gave the schools a reduced rate for our secular anti-drug assembly as rental payment for use of the facilities that evening.

All perfectly legal.

Christians do know all the workarounds, they just get bold when their communities are so immersed in Christian culture. These are the places students need protection the most but we can only demand that they not be pressured to participate. Often Principals and staff are relieved when an organization like the FFRF steps in because these communities would tear them apart if they tried to stop the religious activities that have been going on for years.

So if there isn’t a war on Christianity, why is this happening so frequently now? Why does there seem to be such a push-back against the church in general? Certainly it does seem that more people care about this fight, but part of that has to do with knowledge. With the internet even the smallest bible belt communities now have access to a world of ideas. The church can no longer shelter their congregations from the outside world; and the outside world can see them, too.

In spite of all their freedom Christianity is losing ground in America. Not because of an attack, but rather because of a reveal. And I’m not talking about problems within the church. When given the bigger picture, a truly free country should  be more diverse. Communities that claim to be almost entirely Christian might as well be wearing a sign that says, “We don’t like outside information getting in.”

It’s a simple mathematic conclusion that when you give a group of people all available information, at least some percentage will have thoughts that don’t conform with the majority. In many communities across America Christianity has held a monopoly on knowledge for far too long. Eventually they might even have to gain membership fairly, with no advantages at all! Is that persecution? Loss of freedom?  Hardly. This isn’t about right or wrong, or good and evil. It isn’t even about war. It’s just basic math….and this is what freedom truly looks like.

 

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