America: I Wish She Were "Hot or Cold"
I live in the northeast Georgia area. I’ve spoken often -- to God and man -- of how blessed and thankful I am to have been born in the greatest nation the world has ever known. Not only that, but I’ve also been extremely blessed to have grown up in one of the most conservative and one of the most Christ-influenced areas in the United States.
My political district is the Georgia Ninth. According to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, Georgia’s Ninth is currently the third most Republican district in the U.S. Yes, Republican doesn’t always imply conservative (and certainly doesn’t imply Christian), but of course, conservative -- especially conservative Christian -- almost always equals strongly Republican. Thus, whatever political madness America must endure, I can usually take solace in the fact that my area of the country will be somewhat shielded from the fallout. Thank God and the Founders for the vertical separation of powers!
Of course, such “political madness” is especially prevalent when the realms of politics and faith collide. A recent case in point involves a public high school, Chestatee High School (CHS) in Hall County Georgia, which is about 15 minutes from my home. Along with writing and maintaining a website, I currently teach mathematics at another high school within the same district. Thus I became very curious when my lovely wife approached me the evening of August 12 with the news of the spiritual and potential legal conflict that was brewing at CHS.
Just after we got our four children to bed, Michelle informed me that Hall County School district, due to prayers and references to Scripture involving the football program at CHS, was under threat of a lawsuit by the American Humanist Association. My reply: “Good!”
As lawsuit after lawsuit results in courts across America tossing out the marriage amendments passed (usually overwhelmingly) by dozens of states; as nudists seek to exercise their “right” to be naked; as San Francisco politicians export their home-grown perversions (warning: graphic) to other parts of the country; as corporation after corporation pays homage to the (tiny) homosexual community; as self-identifying “Christians” kill unborn children “in the name of Jesus;” as so-called “evangelical” pastors “come out” in support of homosexuality; more and more Americans, whether they like it or not, are being forced to make difficult moral decisions. In other words, many Americans, who would prefer to remain on the sidelines as we continue to debate the moral issues in America, are being forced to declare with whom they stand.
As Screwtape cautioned Wormwood: just as warfare with bullets and bombs renders one of the best weapons of Satan (“contented worldliness”) useless, the mounting moral conflicts in America are pushing many of us out of a contented and willful ignorance and complacence and into a place that the enemy of all mankind really doesn’t want us to go: a place where we are forced to confront the social, political, and spiritual consequences of our beliefs and behaviors; a place where we also must examine why we believe what we believe -- and, determine if what we believe is really the truth.
This is why I say….let’s have it out. As I noted on the Redskins nonsense, let’s debate the morality and the justness of all these matters. Let us each loudly and clearly cast our moral standards before the American people, the courts, and most importantly, the Creator and see where we stand. This is certainly not to imply that, at least when it comes to the American people and the courts, such a confrontation will produce results that you or I will like. However, as Christ warned the Church at Laodicea, let us not be “lukewarm!”
If America is to stem her descent into a spiritual and moral winter, then Christians across the country must do their best to ignite fires of faith in their families, churches, communities, schools, places of work, and so on, and be the light we are called to be. We do not need Christians who see compromise (with Scripture) as the way forward. Neither do we need Christian monasteries or compounds where biblical values and truths are hoarded and hidden from our nation.
What we need are communities full of faithful families led by fathers and mothers who want to work hard, raise children, attend church, and pass on their biblical values to the next generation, and the next, and so on. As Psalm 78 implores the rebellious nation of Israel: fathers teach your children, so that they will in turn teach their children -- so it should be with every nation that wants to walk in the truth.
Such communities need to be “cities on a hill,” welcoming all those who want to join, so that the American people can clearly contrast the ways of those who are “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” with those who seek to live the “godly life in Christ Jesus.” Thus Americans can clearly choose whether to be part of, as Augustine put it, the “City of God” or the “City of Man.”
And we need more communities to react like the Hall County community did once word of the lawsuit became public knowledge. On Friday, August 15, The Gainesville Times reported that after the Hall County School system received the threat from the atheist group, “at least three prayer events were organized on school (CHS) grounds.” In addition, a Facebook page -- to facilitate and encourage the prayer groups -- was started that received over 11,000 “likes” in just over a day. Other high schools in Hall County, including my own, Johnson High, joined the prayer movement.
Perhaps most encouraging, as Todd Starnes noted in his piece on the issue, was the response of Hall County School superintendent Will Schofield. “Unfortunately when school systems get letters like this and people start rattling sabers, usually the first reaction by a lot of school districts is, ‘Oh my goodness, we don’t want to be in the news. We don’t want to be sued, so we better stop doing whatever we are doing,’” Schofield said. He added, “I don’t think that will be the first reaction of the Hall County School Board.”
Such should be the reaction, not only on matters concerning public expressions of faith, but on the definition of marriage, on abortion, on sexual perversions, on the breakdown of the family, on postings of the Ten Commandments, and on each and every moral issue that we face. In other words, America is in the midst of a battle for her soul and it’s time that more Christians started acting like it.
Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt-Free Living in a Debt-Filled World