Monday, July 20, 2009

Christianity Under Fire I

This is the first in a new series of blogs under the title Christianity Under Fire (CUF) – a term shared, I’m sure, by many other authors who feel that indeed our Faith is Under Fire. While we scour all sorts of media for our topics and examples, admittedly it’s very difficult to find such articles from liberal sources. And unfortunately, we have to sometimes rely more on the conservative media to get them to us. Although, in my opinion, they do cry “Wolf” a little too often, they are still providing accounts of situations that the mainstream media would rather you not know about.

Our first such CUF topic was an item written by Bob Unruh and posted by WorldNetDaily (WND) on June 19, 2009. It was called “City corrals Christians at weekend Arab fest; Judge won't let ministry deliver tracts on sidewalks”.

Here’s the bottom line: A federal judge allowed festival organizers in Dearborn, Michigan to ban a Christian ministry from handing out religious information on public sidewalks. Dearborn is 30 percent Muslim according to WND. The celebration of the city’s Arab International Festival followed later that weekend.

Judge Nancy Edmonds’ decision, however, did not intervene with the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Arabic Christian Perspective (ACP) group by both the Thomas More Law Center and the Becker Law Firm.

ACP workers and volunteers have attended the same festival five previous years without any disruption of the public peace. But this year Dearborn police warned ACP their people would not be allowed to walk the public sidewalks to hand out information and instead would be confined to a specific spot. Negotiations prior to the lawsuit being filed failed to resolve the issue. Why this year, why this group?

Here’s what the president of the Thomas More Law Center, Richard Thompson, had to say: "It's ironic that while Americans are applauding the free speech exercised by hundreds of thousands of Muslims on the streets of Iran, the city of Dearborn is restricting free speech rights Christians are attempting to exercise on the city's public sidewalks". Again why this year, why this group?

Law Center attorney Robert Muise, who argued for the Christians' rights before Edmonds said, "This case involves an important constitutional question regarding the government's ability to prohibit peaceful speech activities". I repeat, “why this year, why this group?”

Finally Mary Landroche, director of the city's department of public information, said the judge's ruling agreed the city had the right to establish rules for maintaining order. "[She – judge Edmonds] did agree with the city we have an interest in controlling the crowds," Landroche told WND. She added the city's rules are "content-neutral," but she could not provide information about any other group impacted by the change. She also said the city just decided the public sidewalks are "part of the festival grounds." You know what’s coming – “Why this year, why this group?”

All this took place because the American Arab Chamber of Commerce in Dearborn filed a complaint saying “we do have to think about the safety of everyone” as the Detroit News quoted there spokesperson. The AACC in Dearborn also indicated there was "no problem" with the Christians being at the event. So, somebody please tell me, “Why this year, why this group?”

And then according to the WND, the complaints cited a police statement that the Christians would be classified among "political parties and protesters," and would be limited to a single location. So, who made Christians a political party to be defeated or fought against? Who labeled us as ‘protesters’ in today’s sense of the word? I promise this is the last time I’ll ask it: “Why this year? Why this group? Why Christianity?”

Might it just have something to do with the fact that people of all kinds, of all faiths, of all nations, of all political agendas, etc., really sense a change in America that is becoming more and more evident since the big event in Washington on January 19th, 2009? Is it possible that Washington with what they say or don’t say, with what they do or what they leave undone, is signaling the fact that it is time to forget the “faith of our fathers” and accept “the faith of our brothers”? Time to forget Christianity and embrace other faiths, not the least of which is Islam? (Remember the trouble Jacob got into when he agreed to Laban’s idea of marriage.)

I remember back in the days when I worked in government. One of the big pressing issues at the time was the political agenda of the feminist movement. This movement knew that the time to make progress on all their causes was during the terms of liberal governments that were sympathetic to their goals. I see a clear parallel now in the United States. The country has a government that wants to embrace the world at the expense of what are clearly strong American values and belief systems – including those that espouse the family and Judeao-Christian tenets. If it continues in this course, I believe, its citizens will ultimately lose the very freedoms they celebrated last July 4th.

Anyway, that’s how this Presentologist sees it. In the meantime, keep on ortho-thinking, scan the media for more CUFs, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter

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