Sun shines on a great nation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I’m back on my soapbox this week, so bear with me, please.

I was pleased last week when, just before the Presidential Inauguration ceremony, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the lower court ruling, which said that prayer at the ceremony is a critical part of our nation’s history and is constitutional.

On the other hand, I am dismayed because the court did not altogether dismiss the case. It is still a live controversy.

This has all transpired because self-proclaimed atheist, the Reverend Dr. Michael A. Newdow filed a federal lawsuit against President George W. Bush to prohibit prayer in the Inaugural swearing-in ceremony on January 20th – an attack on our country’s cherished heritage and religious freedom. He argues that as an atheist, he is offended by the inclusion of prayers. Dr. Newdow has vowed he will not give up his fight against prayer and he will no doubt continue this litigation.

Newdow began his pursuit of striking God from the inauguration and the Pledge of Allegiance after deciding he didn’t agree with the words on our U.S. currency; &uot;In God We Trust.&uot;

He filed the Original Complaint against the United States Congress, the State of California, and local School District parties, claiming the phrase under God in the Pledge violates the First Amendment.

In 1977, Newdow became an ordained minister and established his church, the Universal Life Church. He also started his second religious institution, the First Amendmist Church of True Science (FACTS), a ministry that holds a firmly atheistic view of the world. Now, he is trying to take away the words in the Pledge, which, according to statistics, most of us hold dear.

As I said, I am extremely pleased and thankful to God that our President was allowed to express his faith in the creator. I am grateful to those who fought against Newdow’s efforts to strike God from such an important event in our nation.

I shudder to think what actions or events would have followed had Newdow had his way with the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Reading the Bible, we Christians are told the day will come when we will suffer for our faith. I believe that day is fast approaching and I pray for the souls of those who would follow people like Newdow. This is only my opinion, mind you, but as for me, I choose to echo the words on our currency and those of the Pledge of Allegiance.

I recorded the inauguration and watched it later. I saw the sun break through gloomy clouds just as the presidential party arrived at the special inaugural platform built on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol, and my heart sang for the hallowed words I knew I was about to hear; &uot;So help me, God.&uot;

Houston pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell ended his benediction by praying &uot;in the name of Jesus,&uot; probably sending secularists again into a fit of outrage.

That was a brave and noteworthy moment for the Christians of this nation.

Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, atheist or Christian, our President is our leader and I pray that we can unite as a nation of people who believe in the freedom for which our forefathers fought. Isn’t it, after all, our pursuit of freedom that allows us all our personal beliefs?

I believe the words of 1 Timothy 2:1-3; &uot;I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority….&uot; and I pray that every person can support our nations democratic principles.

After all, did not the events of last week offer reassurance that those principles and our constitutional government really can survive–and must.