Our Founding Fathers had a sincere focus on freedom of religion. There were no true religious freedoms in Europe, so the newly established colonies grew extremely popular by various protestant denominations. This migration formed many of the colonies into early states whose populations were homogenous in their beliefs. The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that the government shall not establish a national religion. These founders knew that government must be limited in its abilities, in this situation, limited from encroaching on a particular religion or trying to push a certain denomination on the entire population as had been seen throughout Europe.
Following the progressive push since Woodrow Wilson and the turn of the 20th century, secularism has tried its best to change the religious culture of America. What began as freedom of religion became freedom from religion. Instead of allowing people to worship as they wished, the culture became one of preventing someone from seeing other religions. Publicly displayed symbols became offensive and 10 Commandments were taken down from courtrooms. In fact, people now commonly believe that the Constitution states “separation of church and state” which it does not.
This is simply another side effect of larger government. The more power that is removed from the states and the people (10th Amendment) and given to Washington, DC, the more government becomes the god. Moral guidance and abdications are now sought through legislatures. God-given rights are now bestowed by man, which makes them fleeting at best.
Whereas people used to come together through church and community to help others, it is now the job of government. Communities are now just houses where people hide inside. Their responsibility to their fellow man is taken care of through tax withholdings. A homeless man isn’t their concern, there’s a welfare program for that. People are absolved because government is now their guardian.
Now the church has lost its place. Fundamentalists give organized religion a bad name, and protesting troop funerals rarely attracts people to God’s word. Sure, the crazies are only a small percentage, but they stand out when church attendance is dropping and the rest of churchgoers sit idly, and quietly, by.
While secularism pushed to remove prayer and Christmas trees from schools, Christians sat at home. They turned the other cheek until there were no more cheeks to turn. They bought bumper stickers telling the world they still prayed, but the nation kept on its accelerated decline. While politicians advocated for hot topics like abortion, pastors avoided those subjects in the pulpit as if avoiding plague. Offending a parishioner and losing a tithe was more of a concern than standing their ground in firm beliefs.
Some denominations actually abandoned centuries of doctrine to welcome progressive ideologies. Dr. Mike Adams has had many columns on the subject of the United Methodist Church with his new slogan for them, “Open hearts, open minds, open legs.” Pastors have embraced growing social welfare and progressivism, probably due to their admitted compassion, but perhaps out of cowardice.
You see, socialism and/or fascism doesn’t come wrapped in statements like social degradation and immorality. Instead, they are wrapped in words like choice and compassion. If you don’t support expanding government, you don’t care about people. That is their claim, and many people, including those of the cloth, buy into this. The problem is, no government has ever bettered the people more than a limited one driven by capitalism.
Since the War on Poverty began under Lyndon B. Johnson, $16 trillion has been spent to “better” the poor, yet more people than ever rely on the government for their next meal. Generations have grown up in government housing and raise their great-grandchildren there. It is a plight that spending and bureaucracy won’t fix.
The only hope for true riddance of poverty is the empowerment of the people through church and community. By removing government, you put the power and money back in the hands of those who care. Every pastor should think of the good they could do in their community with just half of what the government spends on wasteful and abused social welfare programs.
Once pews are filled and coffers overflowing, every church, regardless of denomination or belief system, will be the true change on this plant that those of faith believe God can do. Churches already cause tremendous good internationally with charities, missions, soup kitchens and toy drives. Imagine their potential if they believed in their own potential and put God ahead of government.