Category Archives: Uncategorized
Haaretz has announced what it thinks is an important archaeological discovery. Here is their story:
The Lost Home of Jesus’ Apostles Has Just Been Found, Archaeologists Say
Archaeologists believe Julias, the home of Jesus’ apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip, was located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee
Noa Shpigel and Ruth Schuster
Archaeologists think they may have found the lost Roman city of Julias, the home of three apostles of Jesus: Peter, Andrew and Philip (John 1:44; 12:21). A multi-layered site discovered on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, in the Bethsaida Valley Nature Reserve, is the spot, the team believes.
The key discovery is of an advanced Roman-style bathhouse. That in and of itself indicates that there had been a city there, not just a fishing village, Dr. Mordechai Aviam of Kinneret College told Haaretz.
None other than the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius – in fact the only source describing this city’s existence – wrote that the Jewish monarch King Philip Herod, son of the great vassal King Herod, transformed Bethsaida, which had been a Jewish fishing village, into a real Roman polis (Ant. 18:28. Though whether it was built on Bethsaida, or by it, remains unknown.
Philip flatteringly renamed the city “Julias” after Livia Drusilla, who after marriage would become known as Julia Augusta, the mother of the Roman Emperor Tiberius.
“Josephus reported that the king had upgraded Bethsaida from a village into a polis, a proper city,” Aviam says meticulously. “He didn’t say it had been built on or beside or underneath it. And indeed, all this time, we have not known where it was. But the bathhouse attests to the existence of urban culture.”
Josephus himself would take over fortifying Bethsaida’s defenses (as reported by himself) ahead of the Great Jewish Revolt against Rome that began in 67 C.E., and would end in disaster for the Jews in 70 C.E. Josephus himself claims to have been hurt in battle in the swamp near Julias (Life 399-403).
There are actually three candidates for Julias: this one, called el-Araj; and two nearby sites by the lake. After unexpectedly finding the bathhouse and other Roman-era remains below the (previously known) Byzantine ruins at the site, the archaeologists think this site, at the delta of the River Jordan on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, is the strongest candidate.
What the archaeologists found at el-Araj is an older layer dating from the late Roman period, the 1st to 3rd centuries C.E., two meters below the Byzantine level. That Roman layer contained pottery sherds from the 1st to the 3rd centuries B.C.E., a mosaic, and the remains of the bathhouse. Two coins were found, a bronze coin from the late 2nd century and a silver denarius featuring the Emperor Nero from the year 65-66 C.E.
And has a major missing church been found too? The excavators found walls with gilded glass tesserae for a mosaic, an indication of a wealthy and important church. Willibald, the bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria, visited the Holy Land in 725 C.E., and in his itinerary, he describes his visit to a church at Bethsaida that was built over the house of Peter and Andrew. It may well be that the current excavations have unearthed evidence for that church, say the archaeologists.
A key argument in favor of el-Araj being Julias lies in a mistake about the level of the Sea of Galilee, claim the archaeologists.
Based on calculations by the excavators of nearby Magdala, most archaeologists assume that the level of the lake was 209 meters below sea level during the Roman period. They therefore assume that the site of el-Araj was under water until the Byzantine period. But either the ancient Romans had gills, or it wasn’t.
The Roman layer discovered is 211 meters below sea level. The level of the lake was evidently lower than previously thought, “and el-Araj most certainly was not under water in the Roman period,” they state.
Geologists Prof. Noam Greenbaum from Haifa University and Dr. Nati Bergman from the Yigal Alon Kinneret Limnological Laboratory, studied the layers of the site and concluded that the site was covered with mud and clay that were carried by the Jordan River in the late Roman period, which corresponds to a gap in material remains from about 250 C.E. to 350 C.E. Later, in the Byzantine period, the site was resettled, the archaeologists conclude. Stay tuned for further discoveries as excavations, funding permitting, continue.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/1.805402
Dennis Prager starts off explaining American values. The French, representing most of European thinking, have” Liberty, Equality and Fraternity” while the United States has “Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum.” It is the “In God We Trust” that Prager says is under attack and it is that with which he devotes his talk.
Prager tells us:
“The notion that you can get rid of God and retain American Values is false.”
He then goes on to explain the War against God. He reminds us that all our Rights are from God. That is the American way. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But the secular society that disavows that is saying that we can do fine without God.
“If there is no God, murder is not wrong,” says Prager. All morality then becomes subjective, that is made up.
“Everything is a value. Nothing is fixed”
Prager then tells us the question he is apt to ask women when coming in contact with them: “If you could have a great career or a great marriage which would you choose?”
The problem is, according to Prager, You can devalue anything that is a value for nothing is intrinsic. And that is how he sees today’s secular society.
We invite you to watch the entire video from one of today’s great religious, political and philosophic minds – Dennis Prager
“Where there is no God, there is no wisdom.”
Pastor Charles Nestor II gives a proof for the existence of God from the findings in quantum physics.
Who Is The Ultimate Observer?
So if consciousness plays such an important part in what kind of world we live in, then perhaps we shape our own reality and we determine what kind of world we live in by the interpretation we individually assign to our Observations. That makes us spiritual people and the world a spiritual place not a mechanical one. If that be so then this is where science and religion join hands.
I am struck by the words of Neale Donald Walsch:
“When what you are doing is a reflection of what you are being, rather than an attempt to create what you wish you were being, you will know that you have produced lasting change in yourself. This is what produces lasting change in the world.”
“Remember what was said earlier. You cannot do peaceful, you can only be peaceful. You cannot do loving, you can only be loving. You cannot do unified, you can only be unified.”
“Seek, then, to shift your state of being. Do not seek first to change the world, seek first to change the self.”
“When you achieve that, your actions will automatically change.”
And then add Theologian Dr. Kenneth Boa who said this:
“Being and doing are clearly interrelated, but the biblical order is critical: what we do should flow out of who we are not the other way around. Otherwise our worth and identity are determined by achievements and accomplishments, and when we stop performing, we cease to be valuable. When people answer the question ‘Who are you?’ by what they do, the world has a way of responding, ‘so what have you done lately?’”
“CONSCIOUSNESS CREATES REALITY” – PHYSICISTS ADMIT THE UNIVERSE IS IMMATERIAL, MENTAL & SPIRITUAL
“Consciousness creates reality,” a statement that has gained a lot of attention across various alternative media outlets around the world. Make no mistake, consciousness has been (for quite some time) studied by numerous scientists, especially in its relation to quantum physics and how it might be correlated with the nature of our reality.
“Looking for consciousness in the brain is like looking in the radio for the announcer.” – Nasseim Haramein, director of research for the Resonance Project
“I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.” – Max Planck, theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918
“It was not possible to formulate the laws of quantum mechanics in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner, theoretical physicist and mathematician. He received a share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963
The statement that “consciousness creates reality” comes with a number of different questions. Does this mean we as individuals (and on a collective level as one human race) can shape and create whatever reality we’d like for ourselves? Does it mean we can manifest a certain lifestyle, and attract certain experiences? Does it happen instantly? Does it take time? How do we do it?
Although we might not be able to answer these questions with absolute scientific certainty, we do know that yes, a correlation between consciousness and our physical material world does indeed exist in some way, shape or form. The extent of that correlation (again from a modern day scientific point of view) is still not well understood, but we know of the correlation, and we know it must have some sort of significance.
“A fundamental conclusion of the new physics also acknowledges that the observer creates the reality. As observers, we are personally involved with the creation of our own reality. Physicists are being forced to admit that the universe is a “mental” construction. Pioneering physicist Sir James Jeans wrote: “The stream of knowledge is heading toward a non-mechanical reality; the universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine. Mind no longer appears to be an accidental intruder into the realm of matter, we ought rather hail it as the creator and governor of the realm of matter. Get over it, and accept the inarguable conclusion. The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” – R.C. Henry, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University , “The Mental Universe” ; Nature 436:29,2005) (source)
The Science Behind The Statement “Consciousness Creates Reality”
The quantum double slit experiment is a very popular experiment used to examine how consciousness and our physical material world are intertwined. It is a great example that documents how factors associated with consciousness and our physical material world are connected in some way.
One potential revelation of this experience is that “the observer creates the reality.” A paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics Essays by Dean Radin, PhD, explains how this experiment has been used multiple times to explore the role of consciousness in shaping the nature of physical reality. (source)
In this experiment, a double-slit optical system was used to test the possible role of consciousness in the collapse of the quantum wave-function. The ratio of the interference pattern’s double slit spectral power to its single slit spectral power was predicted to decrease when attention was focused toward the double slit as compared to away from it. The study found that factors associated with consciousness “significantly” correlated in predicted ways with perturbations in the double slit interference pattern. (source)
“Observation not only disturbs what has to be measured, they produce it. We compel the electron to assume a definite position. We ourselves produce the results of the measurement.” (source)
Although this is one of the most popular experiments used to posit the connection between consciousness and physical reality, there are several other studies that clearly show that consciousness, or factors that are associated with consciousness are directly correlated with our reality in some way. A number of experiments in the field of parapsychology have also demonstrated this.
Sure, we might not understand the extent of this connection, and in most cases scientists can’t even explain it. However they are, and have been observed time and time again.
Below is a video demonstration from the film “What The Bleep Do We Know.”
Other examples that we’ve written about are government sponsored psychokinesis experiments, the global consciousness experiment, intelligence agency remote viewing experiments, thoughts and intentions altering the structure of water, the placebo effect, teleportation studies and more. You can find more details about those specific experiments HERE.
Some other related CE articles that relate to this subject are listed below:
How We Can Incorporate This Information Into Our Lives & Use Consciousness To Transform The World
Change requires action, but the place within which that action comes from is most important.
Modern day science, especially quantum physics, has been catching up to ancient mysticism and concepts that are/were so deeply ingrained in various cultures throughout the ancient world. One great example of this is the fact that everything is energy , and nothing is solid. You can read more about that here.
“We are what we think, all that we are arises with our thoughts, with our thoughts we make the world.” – Gautama Buddha
“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.” – Dalai Lama (source)
A great example of quantum physics meeting ancient wisdom is seen in the fact that Nikola Tesla was influenced by Vedic philosophy when pondering his ideas of zero point energy. You can read more about that here.
So why is this relevant? It’s relevant because new physics, as mentioned above, is pointing to the fact that the observer shapes the reality. The way we think and perceive could be responsible and play a vital role in the physical construct we see in front of us.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Unknown
If we look at the world and examine it on a collective level, what do we see? How do we perceive it? Right now, the masses perceive it as being born, going to school, paying bills, raising a family and finding a “job” within the current paradigm to support yourself. No judgement here, but many people on the planet are not resonating with this experience. They want change. We’ve been repeating and perceiving our reality this way for a very long time, with very little information about what is really happening on and to our planet. It’s almost like we are robotic drones that are trained and brainwashed to accept things the way they are. To not question what is happening in our world and to continue on with the status quo, only caring for ourselves and our own lives. As Noam Chomsky would say, our consent has been manufactured. If we continue down this path and continue to perceive and view reality as “this is just the way it is,” we will, in essence, prolong that type of existence and experience for the human race without ever changing it.
In order to create and manifest a new reality for ourselves, our thought patters and the way we perceive reality must change. What changes the way we perceive reality? Information does. When new information emerges it changes the way we look at things and as a result, our reality changes, and we begin to manifest a new experience and open our minds to a broader view of reality. Not to say that we can’t manifest a new physical form in the blink of an eye, and that we are not capable of doing that, but it appears to be something that takes time, something gradual, something we don’t quite understand yet.
What’s also important about teachings from new physics is that, if factors of consciousness are associated with the creation of our reality, that means change starts within. It starts with the way in which we are observing the outer world from our inner world. This touches on the earlier point of how we perceive our reality. Our perception of the external world might very well be a reflection of our inner world, our inner state of being. So ask yourself, are you happy? Are you observing, perceiving and acting from a place of love? From a place of hate or anger? From a place of peace? All of these factors are associated with our consciousness, with our observation, the one (or the many) who are doing the “observing” might play a large role in what type of physical world the human race manifests for itself, what do you think?
We are indeed the observers, can we create change and break patterns to open up new possibilities, change our direction, all through the way in which we observe ourselves, others and the world around us.
I believe that the human race is in the process of waking up to a number of different things, simultaneously. As a result, the way we perceive and “observe” the world around us (on a mass scale) is starting to drastically change. So if you want to help change the world, change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi
“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” This statement (worldview statement) was by Lord Kelvin in 1900, which was shattered only five years later when Einstein published his paper on special relativity. The new theories proposed by Einstein challenged the current (at that time) framework of understanding. This forced the scientific community to open up to an alternate view of the true nature of our reality. A great example of how things that once were regarded as truth have changed.
“Lord Kelvins statements bares with it the voice of paradigms past…We knew that the Earth was flat, we knew that we were the center of the universe, and we knew that a manmade heavier than air piece of machinery could not take flight. Through all stages of human history, intellectual authorities have pronounced their supremacy by ridiculing or suppressing elements of reality that simply didn’t fit within the framework of accepted knowledge. Are we really any different today? Have we really changed our acceptance towards things that won’t fit the frame? Maybe there are concepts of our reality we have yet to understand, and if we open our eyes maybe we will see that something significant has been overlooked.” – Terje Toftenes (source)
From the Middle Ages until the advent of the skyscraper, Cathedrals were often the world’s tallest buildings.
In 1311, the spire of Lincoln Cathedral surpassed the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
They reached for the heavens to the glory of God.
Immerse yourself in the majesty of these magnificent monuments with Gregorio Allegri’s captivating Miserere mei, Deus as we take a journey inside England’s Medieval Cathedrals.
Bristol Cathedral, Bristol
A unique feature of Bristol Cathedral is its 14th-century Decorated Gothic vaulting. The short lierne ribs of the choir form beautiful stellar patterns that historian Nikolaus Pevsner called “superior to anything else in England” in terms of spatial imagination.
Canterbury Cathedral, Kent
One of the largest cathedrals in England, Canterbury Cathedral is famous for its 12th- and 13th-century stained glass, its perpendicular nave, the tomb of the Black Prince, and the site of St. Thomas Becket’s murder.
Chester Cathedral, Cheshire
Chester Cathedral’s choir has exquisite figurative carving dating from 1380.
The building of the nave, which began in 1323, was halted by plague and not completed until 150 years later.
Chichester Cathedral, West Sussex
Notable features include a transitional retro-choir, early Norman relief carvings and the 15th-century belfry. The spire can be seen from the English Channel.
Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
Architecturally, Ely Cathedral is outstanding both for its scale and stylistic details. Built in a monumental Romanesque style, the galilee porch, lady chapel and choir were rebuilt in an exuberant Decorated Gothic.
One of the most important features is the central octagon built in 1322, which experts consider to be a wonder of English cathedral architecture.
Exeter Cathedral, Devon
A good example of the Decorated Gothic style of the 14-th century, Exeter Cathedral has the longest medieval vault in the world—running between two Norman towers built over the transepts.
Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire
Massive masonry piers characterize the Norman nave, and the largest medieval window in the world is the area of a tennis court.
The cloisters have the earliest example of fan-vaulting, making a distinctive setting for scenes of the Harry Potter film series.
Hereford Cathedral, Herefordshire
A Norman nave and large central tower with unusual north transept and porch house an important treasure—the Mappa Mundi, a medieval map of the world dating from the 13th century.
The Early English Lady Chapel is considered “one of the most beautiful of the thirteenth century”.
Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire
The only one of the cathedrals to have retained three spires, Lichfield Cathedral suffered serious damage during the English Civil War. Even though all of the stained glass was destroyed, the Lady Chapel retained some of the finest medieval Flemish painted glass in existence.
Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire
The third largest in Britain, Lincoln Cathedral was reputedly the tallest building in the world for 238 years (1311–1549). The central spire collapsed in 1549 and was not rebuilt, but even so the Victorian writer John Ruskin called it “out and out the most precious piece of architecture in the British Isles and roughly speaking worth any two other cathedrals we have.”
Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk
Norwich Cathedral’s Norman tower surmounted by a 15th-century spire is the second tallest in England, surpassed only by Salisbury Cathedral. The spectacular vaulting has hundreds of ornately carved, painted and gilded bosses, each decorated with a theological image, and said to be without parallel in the Christian world.
Oxford Cathedral, Oxfordshire
One of the oldest in England, Oxford Cathedral’s 13th-century stone spire perfectly complements Oxford’s tradition as “the city of dreaming spires”. But the late-15th-century pendant vault over the Norman chancel is its most unusual feature.
Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
Known for its imposing Early English Gothic West Front, Peterborough Cathedral’s nave has a decorated wooden ceiling which is unique in Britain and one of only four in Europe.
The structure of the building remains largely unaltered since it was completed almost 800 years ago.
Ripon Cathedral, North Yorkshire
Dating from the 7th century to 1522, Ripon Cathedral’s choir is famed for its richly carved 14th-century stalls, with many lively figures among the carvings.
St Albans Cathedral, Hertfordshire
St Albans is the second longest cathedral in the United Kingdom (after Winchester), but it has the longest nave. Much of the structure was built from bricks salvaged from the nearby site of an ancient Roman town called Verulamium. Medieval wall paintings and a painted wooden roof from the late 13th century are among its other attractions.
Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire
With its harmonious proportions and the tallest spire in the United Kingdon, Salisbury epitomises the English Medieval Cathedral. It houses the world’s oldest working clock (from AD 1386), and the best surviving of the four original copies of Magna Carta.
Wells Cathedral, Somerset
Wells has been variously described as “unquestionably one of the most beautiful” and as “the most poetic” of English cathedrals.
Pure Early English Gothic of the late 12th and early 13th centuries, Wells features deeply sculpted moldings and has retained much of the original glass.
Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire
The longest medieval cathedral in the world, Winchester’s spectacular perpendicular nave has been literally carved out of the original Norman interior, with its tall arches and prominent vertical design.
Winchester features elaborate wooden carvings from many different periods as well as a magnificent stone screen behind the High Altar.
Worcester Cathedral, Worcestershire
Worcester Cathedral incorporates styles from every century from the 11th to the 16th.
The earliest part of the building is the multi-columned Norman crypt, with the nave showing a unique and decorative transition between Norman and Gothic over a 200-year period.
The Cathedral chancel contains the tomb of King John.
York Minster, North Yorkshire
One of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe, York Minster has a very wide Decorated Gothic nave with the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the world. The large central window has fine Flowing Decorated tracery called the “Heart of Yorkshire”.
Now an honorific title, “Minster” is attributed to churches established in the Anglo-Saxon period as missionary teaching churches.
When Dinesh D’Souza talks about Crayon Christianity he is emphasizing the fact that many Christians have not progressed from the simple teachings of their faith they learned as a child.
D’Souza talks about being able to contend for our faith. We need to equip ourselves with a more adult and complete understanding of our faith so that we will not lose it to those who have enticing other answers. Too many Christians are unprepared for the onslaught of sophisticated Atheism, he preaches.
We need to know about Atheism and what Atheists are saying that has little truth. In short we need to become adults in our religion and to actively pursue a study of it. And to do that we need to get beyond Crayon Christianity and into a mature realization of why we are Christians. If we ae practicing something for which we do not know why, we are mindless robots.
In short we must go BEYOND KNOWLEDGE INTO WISDOM.
Dennis Prager (Author & Radio Host) and Michael Shermer (Publisher, Skeptic Magazine) join Dave Rubin to discuss why they believe or don’t believe, atheism vs agnosticism, the probability of parallel universes, and whether or not they think the other one could be right in their beliefs .
You can’t learn morality from nature
Dennis Prager (Author & Radio Host) and Michael Shermer (Publisher, Skeptic Magazine) join Dave Rubin to debate morality, God, and murder.
There is no good and evil if there is no God. There is only opinions of good and evil.
Dennis Prager and Michael Shermer
One of the points that Prager makes that you will find in the videos above is that most Believers have doubts at one time or another. But then he goes on to say Atheists have no doubts. This points out the difference between an ideological obsession and a religious truth. You can’t worship the absence of something.
If you are having doubts at this moment these two videos are well worth watching. And by the way Part 3 is yet to come and will be featured in an upcoming post.
Did the Founding Fathers want American society to be religious or secular?
SOMETHING I WROTE 7 YEARS AGO:
This time of year there are many “religious issues.” Bill O’Reilly will tell you that there is a War on Christmas. So the Lexington Libertarian will bring out of moth balls from its archives a post on misinterpretation of the First Amendment and the separation of church and state.
In Christine O’Donnell’s debate with Chris Coons, she was almost laughed off the stage for challenging that the phrase “separation of church and state,” or “a wall of separation between church and state,” appeared in the Constitution.
The first amendment has two religious clauses.
(1) “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” which is the Establishment Clause.
(2) “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” the Free Exercise Clause.
Neither of these is called the Separation Clause because separation of church and state is never mentioned in those terms in the Constitution. Now those at the O’Donnell-Coons debate and other elitists in academia try to tell us that not establishing a religion is the same thing as separating religion and state into separate corners, to borrow a fight game analogy. This is just gobbeldy gook and those in their smugness who haughtily try to shower any who say otherwise with scorn are trying to interpret their own agenda into something where the meaning and intent is entirely different.
WHERE DID THE PHRASE “SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE”
The origin of the phrase “separation of church and state’”comes from correspondence between the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists and Thomas Jefferson. The Danbury Baptists were concerned that if a Connecticut state religion was instituted by law that their freedom to worship would be compromised. They sought reassurance that this would not happen. You might remember that much earlier the Puritans had fled Europe, because of religious persecution in countries that had a state endorsed religion, to set up shop in Massachusetts. There they put in place in essence a state Puritan religion prompting Roger Williams and the Baptists to flee to Rhode Island in order to freely practice their religion.
So the Danbury, Baptists in 1801 wrote in their letter to Jefferson:
“Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty; that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals; that no man ought to suffer in name, person or effects on account of his religious opinions; that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.”
Jefferson replied on January 1, 1802.
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” (emphasis added)
Often times the Supreme Court will take under advisement the intent of the writers of the Constitution and the historical context in which statues were written as well as the actual wording of the Constitution itself. It is only fair then to do the same here, to probe just what the framers had in mind and just what situations the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause were aimed at.
James Madison, often called the author of the Constitution, had a slightly different wording in the original draft of the First amendment Religious Clauses. In the first draft Madison wrote:
“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed.”(emphasis added)
This draft was hotly debated and eventually through compromise we ended up with what we have now. But during that debate Madison made it plainly clear what motivated him and what his purpose was in crafting the First amendment.
He said, “he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience, or that one sect might obtain pre-eminence, or two combined together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform.”
So we see the framers, whose context was that they came from European monarchies with state religions, were determined that there would be no national church and that everybody would have the religious freedom to worship as they pleased.
That is a far cry from the modern application of this amendment. We have gone from a “hands off” attitude to removing all religion from the government. That was never the intent of those who wrote the rules. Today we interpret the first amendment to remove all religion from the marketplace. The 10th Amendment cannot be displayed on government buildings, crosses are yanked out of remote areas and prayer while school is in session, even a moment of silence is not allowed.
In that school prayer case, Wallace versus Jaffree, 1985, Justice Rhenquist in the dissenting opinion said, “It is impossible to build sound constitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of constitutional history, but unfortunately the Establishment Clause has been expressly freighted with Jefferson’s misleading metaphor for nearly 40 years.”
The Liberal Left who disregard the Constitution whenever it gets in their way now are seen to be championing a strict interpretation of our sacred document while in the process adding words and meanings that are not there. All this to create a secular society that is religious neutral. But neutrality was never the design of the framers nor was free expression of religion in the marketplace deemed either offensive or illegal.
ONLY RELIGION INITIATED BY THE STATE WAS CONSIDERED TO BE DETRIMENTAL AND OUT OF BOUNDS. RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION INITIATED BY INDIVIDUALS WAS CONSIDERED TO BE MORAL AND LEGAL.
There is no national religious endorsement of any religion by the government and there hasn’t been such for centuries. Today all the application of the First Amendment Religious Clauses has been geared to stifling the religious expression of individuals. The framers were never concerned with what individuals were doing; they were concerned with what government might do.
In the process the Left has hurdled America from freedom of religion to freedom from religion. The result has been the state, our government, taking an antagonistic attitude to any religious expression.
……………The Lexington Libertarian, October 2010
“You gotta get down on your knees, believe, fold your hands and beg and plead, you gotta keep on praying.”
“Cause we’re still worth saving, we can’t go on like this and live like this, we can’t love like this, we gotta give this world back to God”
How I found God at Columbia
Very few people can say that they found God or religion at college or graduate school. The university, after all, is a radically secular institution that either ignores or disparages religious belief in God.
Yet, one day, when I was a graduate student in international affairs at Columbia University, I had what can honestly be called an epiphany.
I remember it very clearly. Since entering graduate school, I was preoccupied with this question: Why did so many learned and intelligent professors believe so many foolish things?
Why did so many people at my university believe nonsense such as Marxism? I was a fellow at the Russian Institute where I specialized in Soviet affairs and Marxism, and so I encountered professor after professor and student after student who truly believed in some variation on Marxism.
Why did so many professors believe and teach the even more foolish notion that men and women are basically the same? At college, it was a given that the differing conduct of boys and girls and of men and women is a result of different, i.e., sexist, upbringings. The feminist absurdity that girls do girl things because they are given dolls and tea sets, and boys do boy things because they are given trucks and toy guns, was actually believed in the mind-numbing world of academic intellectuals.
And why were so many professors morally confused? How could people so learned in contemporary history morally equate the Soviet Union and the United States, regard America as responsible for the Cold War, or regard Israel as the Middle East’s villain?
One day, I received an answer to these questions. Seemingly out of nowhere, a biblical verse — one that I had recited every day in kindergarten at the Jewish religious school I attended as a child — entered my mind. It was a verse from Psalm 111: “Wisdom begins with fear of God.”
The verse meant almost nothing to me as a child — both because I recited it in the original Hebrew, which at the time I barely understood, and because the concept was way beyond a child’s mind to comprehend. But 15 years later, a verse I had rarely thought about answered my puzzle about my university and put me on a philosophical course from which I have never wavered.
It could not be a coincidence that the most morally confused of society’s mainstream institutions and the one possessing the least wisdom — the university — was also society’s most secular institution. The Psalmist was right — no God, no wisdom.
Most people come to believe in God through what I call the front door of faith. Something leads them to believe in God. Since that day at Columbia, however, I regularly renew my faith through the back door — I see the confusion and nihilism that godless ideas produce and my faith is restored. The consequences of secularism have been at least as powerful a force for faith in my life as religion.
If our universities produced wise men and women, curricula of moral clarity, and professors who loved liberty and truth, not to mention loved America — there is no question that my religious faith would be challenged. I would look at the temple of secularism, the university, and see so much goodness and wisdom that I would have to wonder just how important God and religion were.
But I look at the university and see truth deconstructed, beauty reviled, America loathed, good and evil inverted, elementary truths about life denied, and I realize that one very powerful argument for God is that society cannot function successfully without reference to Him.
So as much as I shudder almost every time I read of another academic taking an absurd position, I also feel my faith renewed.
Ironically, the worse the universities get, the greater their tribute to God.