Friday, August 13, 2010
The long term prophetic nature of yes being yes and no being no
In July 2005, I covered a story where six teens and two adults were arrested for praying in front of the White House. The US Park Police SWAT team made a big deal of it. One policeman was ordered to move in and he said while throwing his arms up in the air, "They are praying for God's sake." Those praying were cuffed and hauled away. Even as a journalist covering the event, the police told me to move out of the area or I would be arrested, too. Some regulation prevents people from occupying space on the sidewalk in front of the White House for more than a few minutes. This regulation apparently trumps the Constitutional right of freedom of religion, peaceful assembly and free speech.
On June 25th, some 50 high school students attending a Young America's Foundation leadership conference visited the Lincoln Memorial. They were so moved by the experience that they spontaneously broke into singing the National Anthem. Fox News reports the students were ordered to stop singing by the Park Police because they were violating a federal law because it was a demonstration in an area that must remain, as they put it, "completely content neutral." That was the first time the students attempted to sing the Anthem. Then one girl said, "This is America. We sing the National Anthem. Who says on the Lincoln Memorial that we can't sing the National Anthem? Thats what I want to know."
Then as a demonstration of civil disobedience, the students sang the National Anthem again. Apparently, the Park Police were worried that the students were being political by singing the Anthem because authorities kept stressing that any demonstration must be "content neutral." The students, however, were spontaneous and demonstrating never crossed their minds until they were told they couldn't sing the National Anthem on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Students interviewed said that singing the song became political after they were told they were breaking the law by singing it. The students, however, were not arrested as were those who prayed in front of the White House.
This nation is in deep trouble when praying before symbols of national government and singing the National Anthem at memorials to freedom and justice are considered breaking the law. I am offended that our government a would even consider these actions improper. I am also offended that our government would deliberately run this country amuck. We as Christians have a say. Many say firmly that these things are wrong, but our actions are not aligning with our words. As Jesus said, in Matthew 5:37, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these comes of evil." Time to back up what we say we believe. Its about changing hearts more than it is about elections.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!