On Glenn Beck’s TV show last Thursday he had a panel of pastors and religious leaders on to discuss religion in America – its history, and its necessary role for returning this country to its founding principles.
STEPHEN BRODEN, FAIR PARK BIBLE FELLOWSHIP, AND CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS IN TEXAS: [T]here’s a screaming need for the church to be involved in the public square. I think we have been bludgeoned and bullied and pushed out right out of the public square because of an insidious thing called political correctness. And there’s a desperate need for us to return to being biblical correct and being constitutionally correct.
I think that the thing that we’re fighting here against, Glenn, is that there is a power grab on the part of the progressive left. And in order for them to effectively pull power from America, they have to marginalize and negate the Judeo-Christian influence in public square.
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GLENN BECK: But shouldn’t religion form principles?
DAVID BARTON, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF WALLBUILDERS: That’s where you get most of your principles and great philosophers – Montesquieu and others – said that there’s no government that exists that’s not founded on some religious principles. It’s just which set of religious principles we take.
The Founding Fathers had a really good understanding of basic biblical Judeo-Christian principles. We’ve got a lot of Jewish Founding Fathers, Christian Founding Fathers, all mixed in there together, but they had a real common core that number one, there is a moral law that comes from God. That has become our common law. That’s why we say arson and larceny and murder and theft and rape are all wrong, because they’re wrong in the scriptures. That’s the moral law, the common law.
The next is the judicial law and that can change over time. You know, in Texas, we used to hang horse thieves. We don’t anymore, but it’s still wrong to steal horses.
And you finally have your social compact laws. And that’s the laws we agree on to govern a society, with its sidewalks or traffic tickets, or whatever.
But you don’t compromise the moral laws. And that moral law given by God is what the Declaration called the laws of nature and the laws of the God who created nature.
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STEPHEN BRODEN: I think the failure of pastors to take the lead in this issue – on these issues is the reason why we are seeing the kind of problems or melees that we’re seeing in our culture today.
In addition to that, I want to introduce my friends to the idea of hate crime legislation, introduce them to the idea of a 501-C3 that is used to knock Christians around and keep them silent, from speaking out in America today.
I want to introduce them to the idea of ENDA, which is Employment Non-Discrimination, which is bullying people and pushing Christians into hiring people that they should not hire.
We are experiencing, in America, a soft tyranny and we need to resist it. We need to recognize what it is, call it what it is. The Bible says that the Christians – that the gatekeepers, that the shepherds have failed. And our shepherds in America have strengthened the hands of the evildoers because they have been silent for too long.
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BECK: You started a project – what is it? The Manhattan –
ROBERT GEORGE, PROFESSOR OF JURISPRUDENCE AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY AND THE FOUNDER OF AMERICAN PRINCIPLES PROJECT: The Manhattan Declaration.
GEORGE: We’ve spoken today, Glenn, about the need for people to speak out. People of all faiths, certainly all Christians, to speak out. Here is an opportunity to do it. www.manhattandeclaration.org
BECK: What is that?
GEORGE: This is an opportunity to join religious leaders, many of whom are here today, in pledging fidelity to three great foundational principles of our civilization and our polity: The sanctity of human life in all state and conditions; the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, and religious freedom and rights of conscience.
Everything else is built on those core principles. There are other important issues – those are foundational. Everything else are depends on respecting them. And we have gone too far from them.
And we pledge in the Manhattan Declaration – Catholics, Evangelical Protestants, Eastern Orthodox Christians – all united together despite our theological differences on these moral and political principles.