Are Christians under attack?

Considering that many core religious behaviors and religious icon placements have been legally challenged (and many defeated), I’d say that could be the case. However, I think that some of the things that did make its way into these arenas did so with the tacit expression that might makes right. Things didn’t get challenged initially because of the political and social climate. However, the balance has shifted. The unfortunate thing is that there doesn’t seem to be any willingness on any side of the issue to look for mutual agreement on anything. The easy answer would be to believe that putting all of this stuff back into play would make everything better. However, the power of religion does not lie in its symbols. If one were stripped of their physical possessions, it doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be able to express faith. It wouldn’t make you any less devout. It might be a lot chillier, but faith isn’t something you wear or carry around with you. The same goes for posting the 10 Commandments or hanging a crucifix. It doesn’t guarantee that you will follow the Divine word any closer. It certainly wouldn’t make you more religious. It won’t even guarantee a certain level of public behavior. It is a standard that everyone has to make an active effort to model their behavior around. It’s a collectively agreed upon moral standard, essentially. The first problem I see is that many people, even those who profess faith, see a great deal of dissonance between the religious behavioral standard and the reality of how willing people seem to be to abandon that standard to serve themselves. This doesn’t mean that the religion has failed. It means that it may appear that only a few take its tenets seriously. Even those following faith closely grow weary of seeing personal interest take precedent over the greater good. Accoutability almost hinges on applying it only when other people are involved. The truth is this: morality/religious values have to be taught in a home environment over a long period of time. Values are not instilled overnight. It is a trial-and-error process that allows for some mistakes, hopefully small ones, before it becomes part of one’s character. However, because the home life that we once had appears to be dissolving; we are left with other, more temporary sources for our children to draw from. Role Models that upheld honesty and persistence have been traded for those who “agree to cooperate with the authorities.” It is also troublesome that remorse is expressed, simply because that person was caught. What we are looking at here is the fundamental change in how we are raising our children. The family dynamic has changed on many levels. I believe the divorce rate, although no longer 50%, is still fairly high. This would probably mean that many children are being raised by one parent, which is not the easiest of tasks either. With the overall trend seeming to be the erosion of the middle class and a widening rift between the haves and have-nots, the economic pressure to raise a family has changed, too. Even having a second income in the home doesn’t always guarantee more financial breathing room. What makes it even more disparaging for some parents is that many of the current parents remember that second incomes used to me better vacations or more disposable income. More often than not, it is just keeping up with the expenses. You don’t even have to be an irresponsible spending fiend when it comes to credit cards. The level of education, the availability of jobs, where you are located and the local economy, and a whole host of factors can make it difficult to keep up. What does all this mean to religion? Well, having a little education under my belt, I would say that it could be linked back to something like Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs. You tend not to have the emotional resources to explore your spirituality when you are working so hard to get your basic physical needs met. Ultimately, you don’t even need to be Christian to be fed up with how politically correct everything has gotten. While I don’t think we need to have religions icons at the forefront of our legal system, school and government, everyone needs to take a great big chill pill when it comes to being around other peoples’ religious icons. Everyone should just tell the ACLU to mind their own business and deal with it. When someone wishes you a Merry Christmas or says God Bless You, your first thought shouldn’t be pressing charges. Along with that, mainstream religions should also mellow out when it comes to sharing the table with other faiths. Well, that takes care of THAT issue. -sj

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