The headline of the news report read: “DOJ Defunds Youth Programs that Reference God.”
As I read the piece by Todd Starnes which appeared on the Fox News web site, I realized something has gone terribly wrong in our nation: “a travesty” to use the words of my friend.
Here are the opening paragraphs of Starnes’s report:
A Louisiana lawman is livid over the federal government’s decision to cut off funds for two programs to help troubled young people, all, he says, because he refused to sign a pledge to bar prayer or any mention of God at their meetings.
Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, La., told Fox News the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights defunded $30,000 for their Young Marines chapter as well as a youth diversion program. Federal officials objected to a voluntary student-led prayer in the department’s youth diversion program and an oath recited by the Young Marines that mentions God, according to Whittington, who blasted what he considers the government’s “aggression and infringement of our religious freedoms.”
“We were informed that these are unacceptable, inherently religious activities and the Department of Justice would not be able to fund the programs if it continued,” Whittington told Fox News. “They wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove ‘God’ from the Young Marine’s oath.”
Reading Starnes’ entire piece brought to mind a law that was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. I remembered this law because it illustrates just how far our nation has moved away from the law’s reasoning in the past 59 years. For today, even the hint of such a law would ignite a raging firestorm of media disapproval and cause the ACLU to go ballistic.
That 1954 law to which I am referring officially inserted the words “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance.
Congress quickly passed the law and Eisenhower signed it. The reason for such swift action was because in the mid-1950′s at the height of the Cold War against the Russians, our foreign policy was fueled by fears that Communism would spread globally. Thus, inserting the words, “under God,” faithfully distinguished America from those godless communists.
The forced absence of God and the prohibition of people under Communist rule to believe in a power greater than the Communist State was one of the reasons why we were actively fighting the Cold War.
During that time period, the vast majority of Americans, and their leaders, believed that we were in fact, “under God,” and HIS protective shield. Therefore, it was just a matter of time before our nation would prevail over that godless Soviet State. (See the year 1991 if you need to be reminded how this all worked out.)
Here is what President Eisenhower told the nation as he signed the law:
From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this re-dedication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning…. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.
One can hardly imagine President Obama giving such a speech today. In fact, contrast Eisenhower’s words to what Department of Justice lawyers recently told the sheriff who got his funding cut for programs that “focus on character-building, leadership, and promote a drug-free lifestyle.”
As Starnes writes in his Fox News piece, the sheriff was told he would not be given any money unless he wrote a letter pledging not to pray or use the word “God.”
It truly is a sad day in America when our government resembles the Communists we defeated in the Cold War.
Incidents like this one in Louisiana ask the question, “Is our nation still ‘under God,’ or has HIS protective shield been lifted?”