“Christian Citizenship Sunday: How You Can Have Maximum Patriotic Impact” – courtesy of Family Research Council
“Christian Citizenship Sunday:
How You Can Have Maximum Patriotic Impact”
Turn with me to Matt. 22:15-21. Stand, Read, Pray. On July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia, our Founding Fathers signed a document declaring our independence from the tyranny of those who would enslave the minds, the souls, the lives of men. But what many Americans don’t realize is that with the same document, we not only declared our independence from Great Britain, we just as strongly declared our dependence upon Almighty God. For the Declaration of Independence begins by proclaiming that we are subject only to the “laws of nature and nature’s God.”1 Do you remember how it ends? It ends with these words: “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” Do you know what the word reliance means? It means dependence. The signers of the Declaration were staking everything on God watching over them and seeing them through in their struggle for freedom: “With a firm reliance upon the protection of Divine Providence.”2
Hear this statement well: Our Founding Fathers did not believe in the separation of God from government. They believed that this nation was founded by God, protected by God, preserved by God, and prospered by God. It all depends on God! And based on that belief, they were willing to pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. They put it all on the line. Of those fifty-six men who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, and in each case subjected to torture. Several lost wives, children or entire families. One lost his thirteen children. Two wives were brutalized by the British. All were at one time or another victims of manhunts and driven from their homes. Twelve signers had their homes completely burned. Seventeen lost everything they owned. Indeed these men not only pledged but gave their lives, and their fortunes, and not one went back on his sacred honor.3 Because of the blessing of God, the nation they sacrificed so much to help found has become the greatest nation on earth and the envy of the world, and is still intact for us to enjoy after 234 years and may God continue to bless America.
That brings us to you and me, here and now. If these Patriots willingly laid it all on the line for this nation, don’t you think we should do more than simply sing patriotic songs, remember the fallen, and wave the flag? I think so. Not only that, but Jesus said so. Look at our text (Matt. 22:15-21): The religious leaders were trying to trap Jesus on the issue of paying taxes, but Jesus turned the tables on them. He asked them for a coin, and then asked whose portrait and inscription was stamped on it. They replied: “Caesar’s.” Jesus responded: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s” (v. 21). His point: All citizens—including His followers—are obligated to support their government.
Unlike citizens of the Roman Empire, Americans are blessed to have, as Abraham Lincoln put it, a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”4 Have you noticed that the original parchment of the Constitution begins “We the People” in big, bold letters? The bottom line: Our form of government requires our active involvement. How can we “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” in America today? Well I want to mention 5 things that every Christian ought to give his/her government, 5 things that every Christian can do to have maximum patriotic
impact as we think about what that meant then, what it means now, and what it means to you and me personally. First…
1. SEEK GOD FOR YOUR GOVERNMENT
Paul encourages: “I urge then first of all that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (1Tim. 2:1-4). Notice Paul says: “First of all,” not secondly, thirdly, fourthly, but first of all we are to pray for everybody in general, but then specifically we are to pray for our elected leaders: our President, our Congressmen, our Senators, Judges, our Governors, our Mayors, our Councilmen, Commissioners, our Law Enforcement officials, etc.—for all who have a place of authority.
We don’t pray that they would continue in their wickedness, but we do pray that God would give them wisdom–wisdom to lead our nation according to the Judeo-Christian principles this nation was founded upon. “The heart of the King is in the hand of the Lord; He directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases” (Prov. 21:1). Above all we pray that they would come to know Christ and be saved (v 4). That is really the only way our nation will be changed is through the Gospel. It is only through a relationship with Jesus as Lord that our elected officials will lead in such a way that we will be able to live “peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (v 2).
Bottom line: The future of America does not depend on the people in the State House, the Court House, the Houses of Congress or the White House, but on people in the Church House, it rests on you and on me. That is 2 Chron. 7:14. The Bible says, “If my people who are called by my name…” So God’s people must humble ourselves, God’s people must seek His face, God’s people must turn from sin to biblical righteousness before God will be disposed to hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our land. We must pray.
Unfortunately, the times are desperate but the church is not. We need to cry out to the Lord on behalf of our nation and its leadership, and get desperate before the Lord. Not “now I lay me down to sleep” kind of prayer. Not “Good food, good meat, good Lord, let’s eat” kind of prayer. But prayer that lines up with the will of God, prayer that reaches the heart of God, prayer that moves the hand of God. Pray like the future of the nation depends on it because it does, Amen? Listen, if we do not pray for our nation and our leaders, not only will we continue to have little impact on the direction of America, but we are sinning against God. First of all, pray. Seek God for Your Government. Second…
2. SUPPORT YOUR GOVERNMENT
Now bear with me on this one. There are a couple of ways we can support our government:
A. First, pay taxes to your government. That brings us back to our text. When Jesus is asked about paying taxes, He commands that we are to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Matt. 22:21), and He also leads by example (Matt. 17:24-27). Paul speaks of the government’s responsibility
to punish evildoers and instructed: “This is why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing” (Rom. 13:6). Now be honest—this one hurts—especially around April 15th.
Admittedly, there is a lot of waste and questionable spending, especially by the current regime in Washington. Like the Titanic, we have hit an iceberg, we are taking on water, we are still afloat, so some people are still having fun throwing snow balls on the deck, but we are about to drown under a sea of debt and rising taxes unless drastic measures are taken, and the first one is to stop the spending and borrowing against our children’s future. The Bible says: “Let no debt remain outstanding…” (Rom. 13:8), but we are amassing debt at an unsustainable rate. Now I know what you are thinking, you’ve complained but the politicians aren’t listening, they don’t care, and they are going to do it anyway. But the great thing about America is that if we don’t like the way our public officials are spending our hard earned money, we can vote for change, to borrow a phrase, and I’ll say more about that later.
However, when we think with a cool head for a moment, we actually do benefit from some of the goods and services provided by the government. First of all, we have the greatest military force in the world and the finest young men and women serving in it. We have law enforcement, roads, schools, libraries, and parks, etc. So pay your taxes but hold your elected officials accountable for how they spend them. Another way to support our government and make a positive patriotic impact is to:
B. Take pride in your nation. Paul says in Romans 13:7 that we should respect and honor our government. It’s OK to take pride in your country. The Psalmist proclaimed: “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy” (Psalm 137:5-6). Listen, it’s alright to be patriotic. Don’t let anybody tell you that as a Christian you can no longer be a red-blooded American, that you shouldn’t express appreciation for men and women in uniform, that you shouldn’t get a lump in your throat when you see the Stars and Stripes waving, that you shouldn’t stand and sing with a lump in your throat or a tear in your eye: “God bless America, land that I love.” America is not a god to be worshipped, but it is perfectly OK to be patriotic and give honor when honor is due. You can take pride in your country as well as pay taxes to your country and in that way support your government. Third…
3. SUBMIT TO YOUR GOVERNMENT
Peter instructs: “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king who is the supreme authority or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13-14; cf. Rom. 13:2-5). The Greek word for “submit” means to fall in rank under an authority. Government exists to keep order, and we must submit to the rule of law. Christians of all citizens ought to be model citizens. We ought to obey the laws of the land. If we rebel against the rule of law, we are in fact rebelling against the God who ordained it (Rom. 13:1-2).
Then Peter says in v 17 that we are to show these authorities respect: “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” Now sometimes
respecting our government is a tall order. Just think about who was in charge when Peter wrote this: Nero. Nero wasn’t exactly an Eagle Scout. Indeed, Nero was a brutal, wicked ruler, responsible for the deaths of both Peter and Paul. Ever noticed that we name our sons “Peter” and “Paul” and our dogs “Nero?” Yet, God’s word says that we are to respect the governmental authority. We may not have much respect for the man of the office, but we must respect the office of the man. Submit to your government. That is the Scriptural ideal. However, sometimes you must…
4. STAND UP TO YOUR GOVERNMENT
George Washington is credited with saying that “Government… is a troublesome servant and a fearful Master.”5 Sometimes, we must stand up to our government. Now there’s a time and place for civil disobedience, but it should come only as a last resort, especially in America, which was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles and biblical laws. However, if the government commands what God condemns, then you are obligated to disobey.
The midwives disobeyed Pharaoh’s command to kill all the Hebrew baby boys (Exod. 2:15-21). Daniel disobeyed King Darius’ order not to pray to His God (Dan. 6:1-23). The same Peter who wrote that we should submit to the government’s authority and respect the King (1 Peter 2:13-17) is the same Peter who boldly told the religious rulers who ordered him to stop preaching about Jesus: “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29). Christians in Asia Minor disobeyed the Imperial edict to swear: “Caesar is Lord,” threw their incense to the ground in defiance, and declared: Christ is Lord!” (Rev. 2:8-10; 2:13). They were all blessed by God for their civil disobedience.
As Citizen Christians, we need to use our freedom to defend our freedom or we may lose our freedom. In many ways, that time has come. Decisions are being made by our government and courts on the great moral issues of our day and on our rights as Christians, so we cannot afford to be silent. But when we do speak out, have you noticed how the critics cry foul, claiming “Separation of Church & State,” and saying: “You don’t have a right to speak about public policy and law! Go cower in your church, lock yourself in your little stained glass prison, and stay there!” And that’s exactly what the devil wants—the salt shackled in the sanctuary and the light locked up in the church house.
But the last time I checked Christians are not second class citizens of America. Your voice needs to be heard. In fact, the Bible commands it. Jesus said: “You are the salt of the earth… the light of the world!” (Matt. 5:13-16). The Bible says “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!” (Ps. 107:2). That’s you and that’s me. God urged his people: “Shout it aloud! Do not hold back! Raise your voice like a trumpet! Declare to my people their rebellion, and to the house of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1). You find examples throughout the Bible.
Moses petitioned Pharaoh for the liberty of God’s people.
Nathan confronted King David for his sinful actions as a leader.
Elijah faced off against King Ahab who promoted idolatry and immorality.
Isaiah condemned moral decay in the culture.
Amos inveighed against injustice in society. Daniel pronounced judgment on King Nebuchadnezzar for promoting idolatry.
John the Baptist pointed out the adultery of King Herod, etc.
We must stand up and let our voices be heard in the same way and persuade our government of the eternal and infallible truths of God’s word and how these principles apply to the policies and laws of our nation and to the character of its leaders.
We need to stand up with righteous indignation and say: “Killing babies in a mother’s womb is wrong!” We need to speak out with moral outrage and say: “Redefining marriage to include homosexuals is wrong!” We need to remind those black robed tyrants masquerading as judges about America’s Judeo-Christian foundations, and with holy fury shout: “Taking away our religious heritage is wrong!” Sometimes we must stand up to our government and say: “That is enough. STOP!” Yes, you need to seek God for your government, support your government, and submit to your government, but sometimes you need to stand up to your government! And that time has come. But finally, you need to…
5. SELECT YOUR GOVERNMENT
There are many ways we can participate in our government, such as helping with a voter registration drive, commenting on legislation and public policy, speaking out on moral and social issues, writing editorials, holding public office, volunteering for the election commission, etc. Perhaps the most basic form of participation is voting—selecting our government. Exodus 18:21 says: “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials…”
Voting is a simple act with a significant impact. When we vote, we help determine who will lead our nation, make our laws, and protect our freedoms. Founding Father Samuel Adams said: “Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote… that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”6 Let me give you three practical actions steps on voting:
> Step 1: Register to Vote: I realize this is a no-brainer, but you can’t vote unless you’re registered. And there are a lot of eligible Americans are not even registered to vote. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as many as 35% of the voting-age population are not registered. That translates to as many as 65 million Americans! What’s worse is that less than half of the voting-age population actually votes in a given election!7 Some might say: “What’s the difference, my one vote doesn’t really count.” Yes, it does! Check out your Bulletin Insert for several examples where one vote or a few votes made a tremendous difference. All I need to say is “Florida recount” and you get my point. First you need to register, and it is so easy to do. In fact, you will have an opportunity to register right here at church this morning.
If you need help, there is a team who will assist you in filling out the Voter Registration Form, and they will make sure it is turned in so that you can fulfill your Christian responsibility as a citizen of America to vote in the upcoming primary and election. Step one: Register to Vote.
> Step 2: Register a Friend: Take your friend a Voter Registration Form and help them fill it out and send it in. Point your friends to www.ivotevalues.org, a voter registration, education, and mobilization website where they can fill out their form online, print it, and mail it in or take it to their election commission office. Help organize a Voter Registration Drive at a Christian Bookstore, your service club, your college, place of business, etc. –just be sure to get permission. Step Two: Register a Friend.
> Step 3: Vote Your Values: Make the commitment to vote in the upcoming primary and in the general election. Did you know that in 2000, a little over half (51.3%) of eligible Americans voted. In 2002’s mid-term elections, the numbers were even worse when only 37% of eligible Americans voted! In 2004, 55.1% voted, but the number fell back to 37.1% for 2006.8 In 2008, the number rose to 56.8%.9
Of self described evangelical Christians, numbering around 60 million, the percentages are worse. In 2000, only 25% voted.10 While nearly 50% voted in 2004,11 the number fell back to about 33% in 2006.12 The number climbed to 50% in 2008.13 Consequently, over the last 4 elections, slightly less than 40% of evangelicals voted. But that is not enough.
Here’s an old proverb that is still true today: “Bad politicians are elected by good people who don’t vote.” Certainly, the Bible says: “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” (Proverbs 29:2). And if you don’t vote, you have no right to groan. So voter-apathy is indefensible, especially among Christians, who have been commanded by Christ to penetrate our culture as salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16) and participate in government as engaged citizens (Matt. 22:21). So go against the rising tide of apathy in America—Vote!
But hold on because I am not done. Don’t just vote for the sake of voting. Take it one step further and vote your values. Think about this: Every candidate has his or her own set of values and positions on important issues. Don’t you think that where a candidate stands on the issues is far more important than the party he or she belongs to? Shouldn’t we vote for candidates who share our values? John Jay, our nation’s first Supreme Court Justice and one of the 3 authors of the Federalist Papers explaining our U.S. Constitution said: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation… to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”14
Unfortunately, many Christians don’t even consider biblical values when voting, often choosing candidates whose positions on moral issues are at odds with their own beliefs, convictions, and values. A recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that nearly 2/3rds of Americans say their faith has little to do with their voting decisions. That’s tragic because Jesus expects us to let our faith influence every part of our decision making—including the democratic process. You need to get informed on the issues, study the party platform statements, know what the candidates stand for, read what they say about the issues, check out their websites, find out who are their enemies and who are their friends, then weigh the candidates’ values against biblical values, and prayerfully consider voting for the ones who are the best match with your values. The closer we get to election time, www.iVoteValues.org will be a great place to start.
One Caution: Don’t align yourself too closely with a political party or a politician. That is unwise because we need to be free to call all political parties and politicians to repentance when they step outside of biblical morality and principle. Founding Father Benjamin Rush is quoted as saying: “I have been alternately called an Aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat.”15 Our loyalty needs to be first, last, and always with the Lord Jesus Christ. And look for statesmen to support, not mere politicians. Politicians think about the next election; statesmen think about the next generation. And strongly consider voting for candidates who believe like you do. Don’t just vote to be voting—vote your values!
> Question: What are your core values as you think with me about all these candidates, the primaries, and the 2010 election? I realize that there are multiple opinions among Bible-believing Christians when it comes to issues such as the economy, energy independence, heath care, taxes, national security, immigration, etc. Certainly there are important moral issues with public policy implications that Christians should be concerned about, such as poverty, environmental stewardship, racial equality, etc. As important as those issues are, let me mention three values that I believe rank higher than some of these others: Life, Family, and Freedom.
> Life: Life is precious. Miraculous. Delicate. Created by a loving God who makes every human being unique (Ps. 139:15-16). Life made in the image of God is a fundamental, God-given right. According to the Declaration of Independence, “All men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”16 The order is significant. Life is the first God-given right of every human being. If you don’t have life, you certainly can’t enjoy liberty or pursue happiness.
Unfortunately, our God-given right to life in America has been undermined in our “culture of death.” Every day in America, more innocent human beings are put to death than those who died in the 9/11 attacks. Abortion ends the lives of more than 1.2 million unborn children in America every year. Fully 22% of all pregnancies end in abortion,17 and the overwhelming majority of those innocent children are simply sacrificed on the altar of convenience. Nearly 50 million babies have been murdered by abortion. It is the American Holocaust. Proverbs 24:11 says: “Rescue those who are being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.”18
Consequently, I believe it is our duty as followers of Christ and citizens of America to find out where the candidates stand on the biblical value of life. Ask what their position is on abortion, cloning, embryo-destructive stem cell experimentation, and euthanasia. We value life. Second, we value –
> Family: Family is essential. Basic. Necessary. The family is the basic building block of society, and the first institution created by God. Genesis 1:27: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them.” Gen. 2:24 says: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Study after study has shown that every child needs the influence of a father who is male and a mother who is female. Every civilization in history is built upon the institution of marriage between a man and a woman. The welfare of children, the propagation of the faith, the wellbeing of society, and the orderliness of civilization are all dependent upon the
stability of traditional marriage. When this God-given pattern is undermined, the whole superstructure of society becomes unstable. Any deviation from the divine pattern invites disaster.
Heterosexuality is the divine pattern; homosexuality is a deceptive perversion. Today the sacred institution of marriage is under attack by radical homosexuals and their allies in the courts, who are seeking to redefine it. Consequently, where a candidate stands on the value of traditional marriage and particularly on a Marriage Protection Amendment is absolutely critical. Because as goes the family, so goes the nation. Christians ought to fight for the biblical definition of marriage. We value family. Third, we value –
>Freedom: Freedom is priceless. Cherished. Fragile. Gal. 5:1 says: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Freedom must be nurtured. Defended. Protected. That is the intention of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”19 Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court has ignored the original intent of the Founding Fathers, trashed four centuries of America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, and turned a statement in one of Jefferson’s private letters on its head in declaring a two-way “Wall of Separation” between church and state.
The Result: Black robed tyrants feel compelled to remove all religious influences from public institutions. The High Court outlawed public prayer in the schools in 1962,20 out went public Bible reading in 1963,21 and in 1980, down came the Ten Commandments from school house walls!22 This agenda of radical secularization has not only been zealously prosecuted by the activist courts, but by extension, the various public entities, school boards, educators, and teachers. For example, some have declared it to be unconstitutional:
For Kindergarten students to recite: “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food.”23
For a student to ask and for the teacher to answer whose birthday is being celebrated at Christmas.24
For two Middle School students to bring their Bibles to class, which were confiscated, called “garbage,” and thrown into the trash can by their teacher.25
For students in nine western states to recite the Pledge of Allegiance including the words: “One Nation, Under God.”26
For an Honor Guardsman to say: “God bless you and this family, and may God bless this country” at the graveside of a veteran.27
For a county government building exterior to display our national motto: “In God We Trust.”28
I say again, if we don’t use our freedom to defend our freedom we will lose our freedom. George Washington in his Farewell Address said: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.” Nobody ought to claim to be a good citizen, a patriot who takes Christianity out of culture, God out of government.
So you need to find out where the candidates stand on the value of religious liberty. Find out which candidates are aligned with groups like the ACLU and Americans for Separation of Church and State, who seek to remove all public expressions of religion. Find out which candidates are in favor of protecting and even restoring America’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Find out where the candidates stand on our First Amendment right to religious freedom. We value Life, we value Family, and we value Freedom!
How can Christians obey the command of Christ to render to Caesar, how should believers relate to our civil government, how can we make maximum impact? Five things: Seek God for your government, support your government, submit to your government, stand up to your government, and select your government.
After our Founding Fathers unanimously approved the Declaration of Independence, and it was later signed, there was a call to celebrate –to fire cannons, to fill the sky with fireworks, and to ring the bells in celebration! And the very first bell they rang was in the belfry of the very hall where they approved the Declaration of Independence to summon the people to hear the first public reading of America’s founding document. They rang that bell—we know it as the “Liberty Bell.” Where did it get its name? From July the fourth? From the Declaration of Independence? No. The name comes from the Scripture that imprinted on that bell years earlier – Lev. 25:10 – which says: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof!” And that is the mission of every believer. So on this July 4th, let’s proclaim liberty throughout the land and “Let Freedom Ring!”
Freedom will ring louder, freedom will ring clearer, if Christians all across America will do these 5 things and “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Just imagine the impact Christians could have on the direction of our government, the character of its leadership, and the moral health of our nation if we all simply applied biblical principles to every aspect of our lives—including our patriotic duty as Citizen Christians.
Bow: The cornerstone of our efforts must be prayer. Pray for this broken nation full of broken families full of broken people who have broken God’s laws and broken God’s heart. Pray for a radical return to God in America so that we can truthfully be one nation under God again. For some of you, there is a more basic prayer to pray. The greatest need is to give your heart to Jesus and place your life under God’s rule as Lord. More important than being a citizen of the greatest nation on earth is to become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. America will one day be no more, but the Kingdom of God will endure forever. Will you become a citizen of the Kingdom by bowing before Jesus and pledging your allegiance to Him?
1 As found in One Nation Under God: Our Founding Documents (Nashville: For Faith & Family Publishing), 10.
2 Ibid., 18.
3 Summarized from Paul Harvey, Our Lives, Our Fortunes, Our Sacred Honor (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1976). See also, D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What If America Were a Christian Nation Again? (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 37-40.
4 Abraham Lincoln, “Address at Gettysburg,” delivered on November 19, 1863 as found in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler (Rutgers University Press, 1953), 7:22.
5 Attributed to George Washington by Frank J. Wilstach, A Dictionary of Similes, 2d ed., (New York: Bonanza, 1924), 526.
6 Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1907), 4:256, originally in the Boston Gazette on April 16, 1781.
7 See the statistics provided by the U.S. Census Bureau at http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/voting.html.
10 Focus on the Family, Citizen Magazine, September 2003, “Believers at the ballot box: Election 2000 by the numbers.”
11 A total of 125,736,000 votes were cast; twenty-three percent of voters were self-identified as “Evangelicals,” thus translating into 28.9 million votes. If you say that there are 60 million evangelicals, then you get a number close to 50%. See sources at New York Times, “Religious Voting Data Show Some Shift, Observers Say,” (at: http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F17F7355B0C7A8CDDA80994DE404482&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fE%2fEvangelical%20Movement); and U. S. Census Bureau, “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2004” (at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/p20-556.pdf).
12 In the 2006 elections, a total of 85,251,089 votes were cast; twenty-four percent of voters were “Evangelicals,” thus translating into 20.5 million votes. Again, if you assume 60 million evangelicals, you get basically a 1/3 voter turn out. See sources at George Mason University, “United States Elections Project: 2006 Voting-Age and Voting-Eligible Population Estimates” (at: http://elections.gmu.edu/Voter_Turnout_2006.htm); New York Times, “Religious Voting Data Show Some Shift, Observers Say” (at: http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50F17F7355B0C7A8CDDA80994DE404482&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fSubjects%2fE%2fEvangelical%20Movement).
13 http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1022/exit-poll-analysis-religion where the evangelicals represent 23% of the electorate (132,618,580), which yields 30.5 million out of 60 or so million self-described evangelicals.
14 John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890), 4:365.
15 David Ramsay, An Eulogium upon Benjamin Rush, M.D. (Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1813), 103.
16 Founding Documents, 10.
18 Obviously those who are justly sentenced to death by Capital Punishment are another story (See Genesis 9:5-6).
19 Founding Documents, 46.
20 Engel v. Vitale 370 U.S. 421, (1962).
21 Abingdon School District v. Schempp 374 U.S. 203, 220-221 (1963).
22 Stone v. Graham 449 U.S. 39 (1980).
23 Frank J. Murray, “Federal Court Hears Lawsuit Over Kindergarten Christian; New York School may relent, may let tot say grace at meals,” The Washington Times, June 12, 2002. While the child was eventually allowed to pray, the fact that her prayer was challenged by school officials demonstrates the point.
24 Florey v. Sioux Falls School District, 494 F. Supp. 911 (U.S.D.C., S.D. 1979).
25 News Release, “School Officials Trash ‘Truth for Youth’ Bibles and Ten Commandment Covers,” Liberty Counsel, May 19, 2000.
26 Newdow v. United States Congress, 292 F. 3d 597, 608 (9th Cir. 2002).
27 David O’Reilly, “Honor Guardsman is Fired for Blessings,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 22, 2003.
28 “N.C. County Will Fight “In God We Trust” Lawsuit,” The First Amendment Center, August 15, 2003; http://fac.org/news.aspx?id=11828. “N.C. County Will Fight “In God We Trust” Lawsuit,” The First Amendment Center, August 15, 2003; http://fac.org/news.aspx?id=11828.