Over the past 50 years, Jesus Christ, God and the Bible have been banned from public schools, government buildings and even street corners. Now any mention of Christ in many town council meetings has become a taboo.
The latest victim to be raped of their First Amendment rights of free speech and religion is Longview, Washington. Located along the Washington-Oregon border, Longview is only about 30 miles west of Mount St. Helens, site of the spectacular volcanic eruption in 1980.
Now, Longview may be on the verge of its own eruption. Mayor Don Jensen told the Kelso-Longview Ministerial Association that they are no longer allowed to mention Jesus Christ in their prayers at council meetings. They can mention God in a nonsectarian way, but not Jesus.
And the reason behind the order?
According to Jensen, it’s because they fear a possible lawsuit down the road if someone invokes the name of Jesus:
“It’s not my choice to stop this, but I don’t know how we can put our citizens at jeopardy and cost our city and our citizens a lot of money.”
In other words, the atheist minority has succeeded in bullying yet another community to turn away from the Creator of the universe for fear of offending someone and being faced with a lawsuit. In fact, it seems that the Mayor’s decision was based largely on the complaints of one local atheist, Dan Smith who told the local news:
"I do not want public prayer in my public building. If I could have it my way there would be no religious – start the meetings with the banging of the gavel, and let's go."
Longview City Council meetings have been opened with a Christian prayer since the 1950s, but that seems to have come to a screeching halt. Mark Schmutz, Pastor of North Lake Baptist Church told the local news:
"They've asked us for years to schedule those invocations and we are those who believe Jesus is the Son of God."
"We could say God and we could end with Amen but we shouldn't be specific about which religion or which God we're calling upon."
"People talk about lawsuits on a regular basis and nobody wants litigation, so you get to this place where it's just easier not than to fight this fight."
"We are ministers of the Gospel of Jesus and to not speak the name goes past our own convictions.”
What really gets my ire up on cases like this is that a thousand Christians could complain to the mayor and city council about not being able to say the name of Jesus Christ and it won’t make a difference. The complaint of one sad atheist is allowed to rule the day and infringe on the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion of many of the town’s residents.
In today’s America, the complaining of the one tramples on the constitutional rights of the many. And you want to know why that it? Because most of America’s Christians have sat on their lazy butts and refused to do anything to stop it. In reality, the Silent Majority is just as guilty as the few crotchety atheists for driving Jesus Christ out of our public life. If you are one of those lazy Christians, take a good look in the mirror before you start to complain about what is happening to Christianity in America today. Your silence has spoken as loudly as the shouts of the few that have caused you to lose what you once had.