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
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 Christ.
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
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
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."
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 phenomenon.
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.
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 relativism.
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
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
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 flesh."
Hans Zeiger, 18, is a columnist, speaker, and activist. An Eagle Scout, he is president of the Scout Honor Coalition.