('76 Editor) Americans from the major Christian faiths, seeing an imminent move by the civil power against God-given elements of a sustainable and free society, are putting their names to a resistance manifesto known as the Manhattan Declaration.
Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical leaders developed the declaration in recent weeks and released it on Nov. 20. It spells out why the biblically faithful citizen cannot consent to laws and policies that destroy innocent human life, redefine marriage as something other than the union of one man and one woman, or trample religious liberty. And it envisions the potential need for civil disobedience to such laws.
The Manhattan Declaration in full, some 4700 words, is here. A summary is here. The online signature page for adding one's name, as more than 197,000 individuals have already done, is here. I signed in a gesture of wholehearted agreement and active support. Will you?
(CCU Student) When asked to write on big things that college has taught me, I contemplated what I was going to write on. I thought about everything that has happened to me in the past three months, which entails many successes and heartbreaks simultaneously. In the end, I was reverted to the three themes from our University’s symposium: Family, Faith, and Freedom. I concluded that those three elements are vital to my everyday life and have taught me more than any textbook ever can.
Family. For a college freshman like myself, many students choose their college to either get away from or stay close to their family. It is often times a very impacting factor in the college decision process, as it was for me. Personally, I flew 2,000 miles to come here for college to attain self-reliance and independence. I have been reminded numerous times that this is indeed a mixed blessing; and while I have flourished in my new environment and taken advantage of my new freedoms, at the end of the day, I find myself phoning home to keep in touch with my parents. I’ve been taught that family is something that is irreplaceable and unique, something that through the thick and thin lasts for a lifetime.
Faith. This is a concept that I have grappled with for the past three months, but always found myself at rest when placing my life in Jesus Christ. Coming to Christian college, you expect to reach your fullest potential spiritually, as you are provided two chapels a week, Bible class, and Sunday morning church. But in my case, I became so involved and overwhelmed that I became numb to God for a period of time. I woke up one day and realized that I had forgotten which order my priorities truly belonged in. From there, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but I have realized that placing my complete life in God’s hands is the best way to live an effective life on earth.
Freedom. For eighteen years, I have never valued my freedom as extensively as I do now days. Never in my life did I imagine the government taking control of the banking, automobile, and healthcare industries. Who is to say within the next year that they won’t be telling me which football team I can cheer for? I am beginning to realize that I need to stop taking even the simplest of civil liberties for granted; and to trust that God has a plan through all of this.
College is nothing like I had ever imagined; is both good and bad ways concurrently. I have been blessed with people placed in my life who have guided me for these past three months and mentored me into a Godly young adult. I have also learned the hardships of self-management, which prove to seldom provide time to sit in silence and listen to what God has in store for me. When these times become tough, and things appear to be crumbling, I always look to Isaiah 43:19, which states: See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Drew Goorabian is a CCU freshman from Clovis, California, and a member of the Centennial Institute Program Board.
(CCU Student) The general concept of attending college originally was presented to me in high school as a way to spend an exuberant amount of money in order to obtain a degree and practical life skills, all of this in order to potentially obtain a job sometime in the future. When it came down to choosing what college to attend after high school, I had good enough grades to where I could reasonably get into just about any college short of an Ivy League school. While I am not trying to downplay the importance of a good education, I wanted a college that was going to teach me more than just how to make money or be successful in an office setting. I wanted to nurture my faith and become a better man of God. Because I made the choice to go to CCU, I learned three important lessons that I learned not necessarily in the classroom, but through the people and social environment God has placed around me The first of these is that my education at CCU (or anywhere for that matter) is going to be what I make it out to be. I feel like anytime I talk to a graduating senior, their advice to me is that even though I can go to class just to get a good grade, the more I put into my education the more I will get out of it. I see this idea as a parallel of my spiritual life. God can provide me with the best church, friends, and environment, but when it comes down to it, I will get a lot more out of my relationship with Christ if I am willing to make it a priority and put more into it. Likewise, I can be getting the best education in the world but if I am not learning and growing as a man in Christ or if I am just attending class to make a good grade, it is going to be harder for me when I get out of school. However, if I am involved in a good church and am actively participating in a good Christian environment, then it will likely be easier for me to maintain my faith. While at the same time if I am presented with the best education and good job opportunities it will be easier for me to be successful. The second lesson I already knew to an extent, but grew to solidify and establish within my own life. I learned that I want to live life with God as my here and now reality, and not as some distant inference or philosophical ideal. While I believe I maintained a healthy relationship with Christ prior coming to college, I, like many Christians today, lived more through Biblical legalism then through a relationship with Christ. While I still have no overcome this completely I have come to realize that God’s word is not just a handbook of laws sent by some distant omnipotent being, but a guidebook sent by a loving Father who sincerely wants to see His children live up to the potential He created them to be. Like my father on earth, God wants the best for me and is there every day when I need Him. I know this may sound somewhat cliché at first, but recognizing that God and His word is not just some distant philosophy but the here and now reality was a huge step for me in my walk with Christ. The most important lesson I have taken from college so far is that the most significant way I can invest my time is in people. I see this as a very counter-cultural idea especially for anyone high school-college age group. Our entire lives up to this point have for the most part revolved around us. We need to get our grades up so we can get a good job or get into a good school, and we need to pad up our resume with our accomplishments in order to impress somebody in power. It is not difficult to see why living this way it can be easy to focus solely on yourself. I learned however that even if I do work hard to get the best internships and great grades, I simply will not be as fulfilled if I do not invest my energy in other people. Like most other parents in America, my parents would always have me finish my homework before hanging out with my friends. Now that I am in college, I realize that I need to set aside time and make it a priority just to see how life is going for somebody else. In no way am I advocating failing classes and skipping out on your extra-circulars just to see people. I am simply stating that when you are always on the go, it can be hard to make time for what is truly important at any stage in your life, and that is the people God has placed near you. Do not read this and think to yourself that a formal education is pointless and that you need to quit your job in order to hang out with your friends. I just have learned personally in my life I cannot live life solely trying to obtain my next goal such as an internship or good grades. When I look back at my college experience, I do not want to see someone who lived legalistically and whose main focus was to be as productive as possible, but someone who was able to affect and possibly completely change the lives of others.
JT Weinroth is a CCU sophomore from Sedalia, Colorado, and a member of the Centennial Institute Program Board.
(Denver Post, Nov. 22) Were you as shocked as I was to read in the paper last Sunday that Frontier Airlines’ new boss prays for his employees and sees them as made in the image of God? The very idea. Who would want to work for a man like that? It certainly cast a pall over my Thanksgiving season.
One of those offended by Bryan Bedford’s faith-based capitalism was Buie Seawell, a DU ethics professor and Presbyterian minister. Since principles such as respecting co-workers are “universal values,” scolded Seawell, “God would be pleased if we did that without doing it in his name.”
But the right reverend is wrong. The equal dignity of every individual is NOT a universal value. Ask the billions who live under Islamic, Hindu, or Marxist oppression. It matters whether we’re regarded as endowed by the Creator or evolved from slime. So acknowledgment of the Author of our liberties has been understood by great men from Washington and Lincoln to FDR and Reagan as being essential to the preservation of those liberties.
America’s tradition of Thanksgiving, first proclaimed by President Washington, is integral to this. When leaders in business and media, education and science, the military and the arts, as well as political leaders, reverence higher authority at this or any time of year, they ennoble themselves and all of us. Of clergy who rebuke them for it, the less said the better.
On this day in 1963, Nov. 22, two of the most influential men of the century died. One, of course, was John F. Kennedy, slain in Dallas. Remember his pledge that the United States would “pay any price, bear any burden, to ensure the survival and the success of liberty”? If our sense of purpose is less certain now, perhaps it’s from forgetting a truth asserted by another voice that was silenced the same day, C. S. Lewis.
“I was not born free,” insisted Lewis, the Oxford don and Christian apologist. “I was born to obey and adore.” Much as Washington, Wall Street, Hollywood, and Rev. Seawell might bridle at this idea, countless God-fearing Americans including Frontier’s Bedford would cheerfully assent. None of us is self-made or self-sufficient. Yet many of us forget it’s so. Only those who remember are fit for freedom. Thanksgiving Day is about the remembering.
Indeed at our house, as mentioned earlier, we try to make this a gratitude season, Thanksgiving month. Some of the markers are communal, others are personal. Some are celebratory and others somber. Day by day, regardless, it’s possible to say with Lincoln’s Second Inaugural – quoting the Psalms, after four years of war and only days before his own death – “The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” During this present November, for example, only the ingrate could fail to lift up thanks on the 3rd for our voting rights, on the 9th for our Berlin Wall victory, and on the 11th for our brave veterans. Even in mourning the jihadist massacre at Fort Hood on the 5th, we had occasion to be thankful for our country’s compassion to victims, its justice to evildoers, its resilience in adversity. My family rejoiced in birthdays for a grandson on the 13th and a daughter on the 18th. What have been your family’s gratitude moments this month?
It was also on Nov. 22 back in 1858, notes historian Tom Noel, that our pioneer forebears organized Denver as a city. Achieving statehood 18 years later, they took the motto Nil Sine Numine, “Nothing without the Spirit.” It’s inscribed on the chairs, the stairs, and even the doorknobs in our State Capitol, reminding all who enter there to reverence higher authority. May we as Coloradans be not forgetful but mindful on Thanksgiving Day 2009.
Editor's Note: Today was the last day of classes at Colorado Christian University, prior to a ten-day Thanksgiving break. As students headed home, Prof. Greg Schaller compiled the quotations below to remind them of our country's cherished tradition of an official day of gratitude to the Almighty, in times of prosperity and adversity alike. Of all the campuses across the land, think how few were those where any such academic reminder took place. -- John Andrews
Continental Congress November 1, 1777... National Thanksgiving Day Proclamation: Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received, and to implore such farther blessings as they stand in need of; and it having pleased him in his abundant mercy not only to continue to us the innumerable bounties of his common providence, but also smile upon us in the prosecution of a just and necessary war, for the defense and establishment of our unalienable rights and liberties; particularly in that he hath been pleased in so great a measure to prosper the means used for the support of our troops and to crown our arms with most signal success
Samuel Adams, Governor of Massachusetts, Thanksgiving Proclamation, 1795: And I do recommend that together with our Thanksgiving, humble Prayer may be offered to God, that we may be enabled, by the subsequent obedience of our Hearts and Manners, to testify the sincerity of our professions of Gratitude, in the sight of God and Man; and thus be prepared for the Reception of future Divine Blessings.
George Washington's October 3, 1789 national Thanksgiving Proclamation: WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." President John Adams' March 23, 1798 national Fasting and Prayer proclamation: AS the safety and prosperity of nations ultimately and essentially depend on the protection and blessing of Almighty God; and the national acknowledgment of this truth is not only an indispensable duty which the people owe to Him, but a duty whose natural influence is favorable to the promotion of that morality and piety, without which social happiness cannot exist, nor the blessings of a free government be enjoyed…
October 3, 1863 Abraham Lincoln national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation: It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people; I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him that, for such singular deliverances and blessings; they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
(CCU Faculty) My conservatism is not due to either nature or nurture. Neither my parents nor my grandparents were religious or conservative. In fact, everyone in my family was Democrat until the Reagan administration, yet now none of them are.
My conversion to Christ came in the early 70s after four years of college as a history major, specializing in ancient history. I became more and more fascinated with how the Bible fit into history, how archeology seemed to confirm events in the Bible, and how Christianity so effectively described the human condition.
My conversion to limited government came in the mid-70s while stationed with the Army in Berlin. I lived near the wall and spend my time listening to the phone calls of Communist East Germans. In the late 70s I began a graduate program in Modern European History at a campus of the University of California, where I specialized in totalitarianism (specifically Fascism, Nazism, and Communism). In 1976 I voted for Jimmy Carter, but by 1980 my enthusiasm for big government solutions began to wane. In 1984 I tried to convince my grandmother to vote for Reagan instead of Mondale. She replied that she was a Texan who had never voted Republican, and that to vote for one would be to disgrace her ancestors who were all from the South.
My conversion to free market economics came in the 80s, after teaching high school several years on the east side of LA. The state of California passed legislation requiring that every high school senior take a semester of economics. In less than a year an economics teacher had to be found for every high school in the state. My principal discovered that I was the only member of the faculty who had taken several economics courses as an undergrad, so he told me that I would teach the new course. Unfortunately, I had attended a Cal State campus, where my professors were Keynesian and taught economics is a manner which seemed incomprehensible. I told my principal that I was not up to the challenge, but he informed me of a summer program at UCLA run by the Academy for Economic Education, where I could be adequately equipped to teach the course. My instructor was an economics professor from Pepperdine, who convinced me that free market economics was vastly superior to what I was taught at Cal State. Over the next several years as I taught the course, the superiority of the free market was confirmed by how Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had transformed their economies.
There are still a few conservative ideas which I have a few problems with, but in every case they seem to be far better than the liberal or socialist alternative.
('76 Editor) Hearing from Greg Schaller, my CCU professor pal, about an online book club starting up at Redstate.com, I compared their list with mine as compiled a few years back at the suggestion of Kevin Teasley, my school-voucher activist pal. The overlap is interesting, and either list is a needed reminder that we're well repaid by devoting more time to the writings that endure, and less to the ephema of journalism, TV-radio, or blogs (this one included).
So first, here's the read-and-respond shelf recommended by Redstate:
1. A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard
2. Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg
3. Economics in One Lesson by Hazlitt
4. Liberty & Tyranny by Mark Levin
5. The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek
6. The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk
7. Free to Choose by Milton Friedman
8. Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater
9. The Federalist Papers
10. Democracy in America by Tocqueville
11. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
12. God and Man at Yale by W.F. Buckley
13. Witness by Whittaker Chambers
14. The Political Writings of St. Augustine
Then here's my list as put together for Teasley back in 2003. He asked for my "ten best" in terms of books that had the greatest impact on my life. The order in which they are listed is a combination of chronology and categories, not necessarily the most impactful from 1 thru 10. 1. Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy It taught me to love the Bible.
2. The BibleIt engaged me with Jesus Christ. 3. The Everlasting Man, G. K. ChestertonIt grounded me in Christian tradition. 4. Mere Christianity, C. S. LewisIt showed me the beauty of truth.
5. The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry GoldwaterIt awakened me politically.
6. The Law, Frederic BastiatIt was my primer in political economy.
7. The Road to Serfdom, F. A. HayekIt set me against collectivism.
8. Ideas Have Consequences, Richard WeaverIt bonded me to the permanent things.
9. The Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. TolkienIt convinced me that life is a sacred quest.
10. A Man for All Seasons, Robert BoltIt inspired me with the possibility of heroic integrity.
In looking over the authors on both lists, I'm gratified to have met, or seen in person, Bill Buckley, Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, Russell Kirk, Jonah Goldberg, and Barry Goldwater. This is said not to name-drop, but rather to record my sense of obligation for helping to hand on our heritage of faith and freedom to the rising generation of the 21st century, in return for having known -- if only slightly -- some of the giants who handed on that heritage in the 20th century.
Prior to last week's Colorado Christian University all-campus event, the "Symposium on Faith, Family and Freedom," members of the CCU faculty and fellows of the Centennial Institute have engaged in a spirited debate over the proper role of faith in the public square. Part of this debate has turned on the question of whether or not our founders were Christian and the level that Christian ideas and values went into the shaping of our government. There was a discussion of whether some scholars over-emphasize, while others ignore, the role that Christianity played in the American founding.
As Christians we are, of course, conflicted between the two “cities” in which we reside. While our ultimate hope and aspiration is our residence in the City of God, our temporary residence leaves us concerned with the City of Man. As Christians, our ultimate concern is with salvation; as citizens of the earth, we are concerned with establishing the best possible political order in our temporary residence.
The tension that exists between these two cities is great. It has been central to our recent debate on our country’s founding fathers. As we consider our founders, most can be placed into one of two camps: Christians or Deists. As Christians, we know that our salvation is found only through the saving work of Christ. Deists do not subscribe to this belief and, as such, are not saved. This is of great concern to Christians, as God commands us to evangelize those who are lost.
When we turn to our consideration of the City of Man and the establishment of the best regime, we need to temporarily set aside our primary concern for the lost, and consider what pragmatic doctrines work toward the establishment of good government. As Christians, we can agree that Jefferson’s deism is indeed faulty and ultimately tragic. However, his worldview that recognized a Creator God who authored the proper order of how man ought to live in society is one that Christians can wholeheartedly endorse.
Doug Bandow and the CCU Symposium summarized well the common ground that our Christian and Deist founders shared: A common Christian moral worldview. Both sides of our recent debate concerning the role of faith in both the founding should agree on this.
So while the debate will continue regarding whether the role of Christianity in the shaping of our founding has been over- or under-emphasized, we can certainly share this common ground.
My dad’s father was a tough Scottish builder. The story I’ve heard is that when he began to follow Christ, there was a radical change in his life. He gave up drinking, he gave up gambling and he gave up soccer. In his mind, they were all associated together with his previous life. He needed a clean break from all of it. Consequently, when my dad was growing up and wanted to go out for high school football, he was not allowed to. His dad still held all those associations together.
However, when I grew up, it was very different. My dad encouraged me to sign up for sports. So I played baseball and swam competitively. I wasn’t the greatest athlete. But when I played, my dad was often there. When I hit the ball, he cheered. When I struck out, he sighed and gave me a pat on the back, encouraging me to do better next time. All through my growing up years he made sure I knew how to swim. We played catch in the back yard, tossed the football, played volleyball, croquet, horse shoes. He took me and my brothers to professional baseball, football, hockey and basketball games. He was not a sports fanatic, but he understood the grace of sports.
Last week in Colorado we had a great ride. The Broncos are on a roll—so far. The Rockies, even though they have now been eliminated, won the Wild Card spot in the post season playoffs. We have college football in full swing. The World Series is just around the corner. So we are all talking about sports.
Of course, it is easy to go overboard on sports, especially in a sports town like Denver. More than one sermon has been preached about how our culture is so obsessed with games that some practically burn incense to the sports god. Sports can become an idol when it becomes the ultimate thing in our lives taking God’s rightful place, and not, as it was created to be, a second thing.
On the other hand, I don’t believe we say enough about what I call “the grace of sport.” I am not talking about graceful athletes like Michael Jordan (basketball), Joe DiMaggio (baseball), Walter Payton (football), etc.. I am talking about the gift of play. I think we forget God’s tender mercy in giving us games like baseball (I say this as a baseball nut).
God created us so we can play. Sport or play is a grace. It is not a saving grace (which redeems us and is found in Christ alone). It is a minor grace—a common grace. Every good and perfect gift comes from above, James 1.17 tells us, from our heavenly Father. Do we believe that? An old hymn put it this way: “This is my Father’s world, he shines in all that’s fair.”
What common grace comes to us through sports? For one, games like baseball and football relieve the weight of life. They help take our minds off of things like terrorism, turbulent markets, and politics we don’t like.
Sport also satisfies our competitive urges. As my friend Jim Ryan, who played with the championship Broncos says, “sports create contrived dramas or battles. It sets up artificial crises which in turn help us deal with the real crises and the real battles of life.” How true.
Along with all that, sports teaches us lessons that are crucial for life. In the NT, Paul seems to commend the discipline, achievement and rewards of the Greek games as a way of understanding the ultimate crown which Christ gives.
In 1 Corinthians 9.25, he commends the discipline and self control learned in sports when he compares the Christian life to a race. “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” Sports teach the lesson of delayed gratification for the greater reward.
In 2 Timothy 2.5, Paul highlights the importance of learning to play by the rules. “If anyone competes as an athlete,” he writes, “he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules.” Learning to care about the referee’s verdict and playing by the rules is extremely important in every aspect of life.
In 1 Corinthians 9.24, Paul compares the Christian life to a race aiming at our reward. He writes, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” Not only are we to live for the ultimate reward, we are to live it like a runner doing all that we can to get towards finishing well. In Philippians 3:13,14, he writes, “one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
And in Hebrews 12.1-3, the writer of that letter imagines us all in a race surrounded by the a stadium full of people, only this crowd is all those saints who have gone before us. He wants us to learn endurance. With their example in mind he says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.”
As it turns out, the New Testament is full of passages which demonstrate good things which come through sports. As good things, they are a manifestation of God’s common grace. There are good things for the coach who is trying to teach life lessons to kids. There are good things for followers of Jesus who want to know how to finish well. And there are good things for the person who wants to play for the glory of God.
I don’t know if my grandfather, whom I deeply admire, ever understood that. But I am so grateful my father did.
What should be the relationship of church and state? The founder of the church, Jesus Christ, proclaimed that we should “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and render unto God the things that are God’s. The reason we could do both was because His “kingdom was not of this world.” We could be good citizens of the Roman Empire and good citizens of God’s kingdom at the same time. Many Jews in Jesus’ day wanted to rebel against Roman authority, but Jesus told his followers to pay their taxes to Rome.
Christ’s followers in the first few centuries of the church also got this perspective correctly. The Roman Empire demanded that everybody worship Caesar as God, or at least burn incense to him as a sign of loyalty to the state. Because the early Christians refused to do this, they were burned at the stake or thrown to the lions. Those on the left wanted to overthrow the state, and those on the right wanted Christians to worship the state, but Christ and his early church had the right perspective.
In Britain 300 years ago there were two political parties, the Whigs and the Tories. The Whigs emphasized personal freedom and the rights of man. The Tories emphasized tradition and divine right monarchy. Radical Whigs on the far left were mostly deists pushing to overturn the monarchy. At the other extreme were radical Tories, who demanded that everybody submit without question to the king, as a sign of their loyalty to the state. My doctoral dissertation was on this struggle between the two extremes, and of those who tried to get church and state in the right perspective. It was John Locke who had that correct perspective, reminding us of the need for personal liberty, freedom of conscience and religious toleration, yet also that we should fulfill our duty to the state, who held power by “the consent of the governed.” Locke encouraged an end to the reign of the tyrant James II, replacing it with that of William and Mary, who agreed to freedom of conscience in religious toleration and to a more limited government in the English Bill of Rights.
Our founding fathers also experienced this tension. On the left was Thomas Paine, a radical deist calling for radical change. On the right were the Tories demanding tradition and insisting that we should not rebel against the king and the established church. The founders proceeded cautiously, entreating the king to respect individual freedom, and rebelling only when it became obvious that there was no other way to end tyranny. They also insured that there would be no established church or official prayers.
Today America is again torn by the extremes of radical change and disbelief on the one hand and a closely entangled church-state relationship on the other. While one side wants rebellion (figuratively speaking) and a rejection of all things sacred, it sometimes seems the other wants to wed church and state again in a new Roman Empire or Tory divine-right monarchy. We should follow Christ, and “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and render unto God the things that are God’s.” We should not allow Caesar to dominate the church, nor allow the church to dominate the state. We should respect personal freedoms, and serve the kingdom of God. While the Romans and the Tories wanted the church to submit to an emperor or king, let us follow the teachings of Christ and the founding fathers by maintaining a separation of church and state.