War on Religion
If you doubt there is a War on Religion, consider this. Every day in America we hear of high school cheerleaders who can't use religious words like faith, Jesus Christ, hope and love on banners; valedictorians at high schools are told not to include religious messages or risk punishment; proselytizing in the military is grounds for a courts martial; desecrating war memorials with crosses because they are religious symbols; HS football players cannot put memorial crosses on their helmets; and on and on and on. Tell me that this action by the Chinese government is not the same thing that is happening here! "Chinese police reportedly surrounded the town of Donglu on Sunday to prevent its residents, the majority of whom are Catholic, from holding a procession in honor of the Virgin Mary." Religious prejudice and intolerance is growing in Europe often under the guise of tolerance. It is exactly the same thing that is happening here. It makes the War on Religion seem like such an insufficient label for what must really be going on, a totalitarian fear and censorship of religious activity throughout the world, including America. Religion and Public Life in America makes the case that "today's secular culture views orthodox Christian churches as troublesome, retrograde, and reactionary forces. They’re seen as anti-science, anti-gay, and anti-women—which is to say anti-progress as the Left defines progress. Not surprisingly, then, the Left believes society will be best served if Christians are limited in their influence on public life. And there won’t just be arguments; there will be laws as well." Wake up America and demand the return of Religious Freedom in America. The country was built on the principle. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America grants freedom of worship, speech & press; the right to petition the government & to assemble peaceably. Specifically with regard to "religion" it states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Many on the left have tried for at least 50 years to re-write history with regard to "separation of church and state" and to downgrade the religious beliefs of the founding fathers. This quote should satisfy both questions: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports ... and let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." George Washington, Farewell Speech, 9/17/1796 (from "Being George Washington"). See the dialogue from both sides below.

A Pope and a President in Poland

7/9/17
By Peggy Noonan,
from Wall Street Journal,
7/6/17:

In a good Warsaw speech, Trump invokes one of Pope John Paul II’s great 1979 orations.

The greatest speeches given in Poland in the modern era were delivered in June 1979 by a pope. Ten months into his papacy, John Paul II sweetly asked the government of Poland for permission to journey home from Rome to visit his people. Europe was divided between the politically free and the unfree, on one side the democracies of Western Europe, on the other the communist bloc. Poland had been under the Soviet yoke since the end of World War II.

John Paul knew his people: They did not want dictatorship, and a primary means of resistance was through their faith. Every time you took communion it was a rebellion, a way of reminding yourself and others that you answered to a higher authority. The Catholic Church of Poland survived precariously, within limits, under constant pressure, as John Paul well knew, having been a cardinal in Krakow for 11 years. What would happen when the first Polish pope went home? If Warsaw refused his request it would be an admission of weakness: They feared his power to rouse and awaken the people. But if they invited him they risked rebellion, which would bring on a Soviet crackdown and could bring in Soviet troops. They chose to invite him, calculating that as a sophisticated man he would, knowing the stakes, play it cool. He happily accepted their terms: It would be a religious pilgrimage, not a political event.

And so it began. On June 2, in Victory Square in the Old City of Warsaw, John Paul celebrated Mass. Halfway through, the crowd began to chant: “We want God! We want God!” He asked: What was the greatest work of God? Man. Who redeemed man? Christ. Therefore, he declared, “Christ cannot be kept out of the history of man in any part of the globe, at any longitude or latitude. . . . The exclusion of Christ from the history of man is an act against man.” Even those who oppose Christ, he said, still inescapably live within the Christian context of history. And Christ is not only the past for Poland, He is also the future, “our Polish future.” The chant turned to thunder: “We want God!”

The next day he spoke outside the cathedral in the small city of Gniezno. Again, he struck only spiritual themes—nothing about governments, unions, fights for political freedom. “Does not Christ want, does not the Holy Spirit demand, that the pope, himself a Pole, the pope, himself a Slav, here and now should bring out into the open the spiritual unity of Christian Europe . . .?” Oh yes, he said, Christ wants that. At both events he was telling Poles that they should see their position differently. Don’t see Europe divided between free and unfree, see the wholeness that even communism can’t take away. The map makers think they’re in charge. We know who’s really in charge.

Years later I asked Lech Walesa about the impact of the pope’s trip. Poland, he said, always knew that communism could not be reformed but could be defeated. “We knew the minute he touched the foundations of communism, it would collapse.” *** And so to President Trump’s speech in Warsaw. Near the top he deftly evoked John Paul’s 1979 visit and the sermon that brought on the chants. “A million Polish people did not ask for wealth. They did not ask for privilege. Instead, one million Poles sang three simple words: ‘We want God!’ ” He called the Polish people “the soul of Europe.” It was a grown-up speech that said serious things. Article 5, the NATO mutual defense commitment, is still operative. Missile defense is necessary. He called out Russia for its “destabilizing activities.” He spoke as American presidents once did, in the traditional language of American leadership, with respect for alliances. But he did it with a twist: The West is not just a political but a cultural entity worth fighting for. It is a real thing, has real and radical enemies, and must be preserved.

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