America without Jesus
October 2, 2003
administrators of Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore, Washington launched an
engraved brick fundraiser to build a playground, Dan and Olga Buchanan put in
$100 for a brick in their name. In August, the Buchanans received a letter from
the playground coordinator telling them that the brick was unconstitutional
because it contained the words, "Thank you Jesus."
In her letter, the playground coordinator wrote, "Because the Saint Edward
State Park Playground is located on public land, our intent and unwritten policy
for all of the 511 bricks sold was to engrave only non-religious requests in
order to uphold the separation of church and state as dictated by our state
Last week, the American Center for Law and Justice filed suit against the state
of Washington for violating the freedom of speech and religion of Dan and Olga
Buchanan. Not only has the state denied the First Amendment rights of a couple
of generous donors, the state has positioned itself in stark opposition to Jesus
In speaking of Jesus Christ in Isaiah 53, the prophet writes, "He is
despised and rejected of men." Here in America, Jesus Christ remains
despised and "rejected" of men. But the type of rejection that is now
happening in America is on a scale indicative only of a nation drowning in
irreligious self-interest and anti-Christian relativism.
America's government is not officially Christian, but its people ought to be. As
John Adams wrote, "The constitution is only fit for a moral and religious
On top of the multitude of lawsuits and city council decisions and judicial laws
that have arisen in recent months concerning the Ten Commandments, we are now
told that a fundraiser brick paid for with private dollars and containing the
word "Jesus" is an offense to the public domain.
America needs Jesus. The extent to which our government now goes to prohibit
mention of His name is characteristic of government's general attitude toward a
variety of issues involving our nation's Christian culture and heritage.
In Washington State, where state park officials told the Buchanans that
"Jesus" is off limits, the state House of Representatives passed a
rule last year banning the mention of Jesus Christ in prayers on the house
floor. Last month, a Wiccan high priestess in South Carolina won a lawsuit
against the City of Great Falls leading to a similar censorship of Jesus' name
at city council meetings. And earlier this year, a California appellate court
ruled that city councils in California are not allowed to use the name of
"Jesus" during their invocations.
Like the Buchanans, Robert and Mildred Tong of Chicago bought a $50 brick at
Senn Park in July, intending to have a message to their young children engraved,
"Jesus is the cornerstone." Chicago Park District officials denied the
request, telling the Tongs that their request was inappropriate because it would
appear as "endorsing expressions of religious beliefs."
The Christians of America have never experienced religious repression like that
which is constantly inflicted on Christians in places like Sudan, China,
Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, or North Korea. But as the title of
David Limbaugh's new book Persecution suggests, America's neglect of spiritual
acceptance in the public square is becoming a dangerous new veracity.
What we are experiencing is a radical privatization of faith. Largely
unchallenged, the privatization of faith occurs at the same time as government
at all levels refuses to privatize the functions of social power it has usurped.
Government has taken upon itself the burden of duties once reserved for church,
family, and private organizations.
Enlightened from the filching of moral and civic responsibility, the social
institutions of America have fallen to napping at the helm while the political
institutions — using the public schools and a thousand other programs — have
molded a generation of Americans dedicated to the false faith of moral
The privatizers of faith are the same social engineers who demand universal
public health care, who embrace public welfare, who bid a nation to come learn
their simple doctrine of the solitary value of tolerance. That is, except
tolerance for Christians.
To reverently speak the name of Jesus Christ in public is today an offense more
rank than to take His name in vain while condemning the existence of absolute
truth. To prohibit the name of Jesus in public was once the death wish of
ideologically insane communists and humanists. Today, strict secularism has
become the unconditional demand of bureaucrats and legislators and judges at all
levels of government.
Given the immensity of the government monster that has grown up in opposition to
the name of Jesus and other references to God's Word, Christians can easily
choose to shut up and be silent, ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ.
We can choose to join the deadly fight in the flesh that will claim the flesh of
America. Or we can get back to fighting the war of the spirit. As Douglas
MacArthur said, "It must be of the spirit if we are to save the
Hans Zeiger is a conservative activist and columnist from Puyallup,
Washington. As a 19-year-old Eagle Scout, Hans is the founder and president of
the Scout Honor Coalition, a grassroots network of Americans dedicated to
preventing and countering politically correct attacks on the Scouts.
Hans writes a column that appears in Renew America, the Seattle Sentinel,
WorldNetDaily.com, GOPUSA.com, OpinionEditorials.com, Sierra Times, American
Daily, America's Voices, The Right Report, and other publications. Hans was a
freelance columnist for the Seattle Times NEXT page, and he has written articles
for the San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Daily News, Baltimore Sun,
Insight, Birmingham News, Conservative Battleline, Wisconsin State Journal,
Tacoma News Tribune, The New American, and Townhall.com.
Previously, Hans served as chairman of Washington Young Americans for Freedom
and was a Research Assistant at the Evergreen Freedom Foundation in Olympia,
He has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including
National Public Radio, the Lars Larson Show, Point of View, Republican Radio,
Crosstalk, Concerned Women Today, the Ken Hamblin show, and the Laura Ingraham
show. Hans has been referenced on the Rush Limbaugh Show and in newspapers and
magazines, including National Review, Education Week, Mother Jones, and Agape
News. A dynamic public speaker, he has preached in churches, keynoted civic
organization conventions and rallies, and debated Left-wing activists in
Hans is the author of Get Off My Honor: the War on the Boy Scouts, to be
released by Broadman and Holman Publishers of Nashville, Tennessee in 2005.
A graduate of Puyallup High School, Hans is a sophomore at Hillsdale College in
Michigan where he is majoring in American Studies. His website is www.hanszeiger.com.
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