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Fall 2002
David Barton - 10/2002
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Winning The Culture War In America

Because of a number of measures passed by the US House, American culture is on the verge of dramatic improvement. Yet most citizens have heard little about this or little beyond the favorite issues reported by the national news (currently, the congressional debates over corporate accountability, social security reform, and prescription drug plans). Nevertheless, the House has already passed:

  • A ban on human cloning
  • A ban on partial-birth abortions
  • A permanent repeal of the Marriage Penalty Tax
  • The “Child Custody Protection Act” to prohibit the transportation of minors across State lines in order to avoid parental consent or parental notification abortion laws (This keeps groups like Planned Parenthood from transporting young girls to other States to obtain abortions without telling their parents as required by their State's laws.)
  • The “Community Solutions Act” to allow churches and ministries to have a place at the public table without being discriminated against or having to compromise their faith or doctrines
  • The “Two Strikes and You're Out Child Protection Act” that imposes life sentences on repeat offenders of sexual crimes against children
  • A permanent repeal of the death tax. (Proverbs 13:22 declares that “A wise man leaves an inheritance to his children's children,” but under the current tax code, the federal government is able to take up to 80 percent of an inheritance by the time that inheritance reaches the “children's children” - grandchildren. This law would permanently ban that immoral tax.)
  • The “Sudan Peace Act” to penalize Sudan for its on-going practice of human slavery and religious persecution [Update: The Senate finally passed this measure late in the session, before adjourning.]
  • The “Vietnam Human Rights Act” to penalize Vietnam for its religious persecution of Christians (similar to that formerly practiced against Christians in the old Soviet Union)

These are some of the bills that can change America - and even the world. So why have most Americans never heard of these measures? Because these bills have only passed the House; the Senate has refused to act on them. Imagine! The Senate refuses to ban human cloning, partial-birth abortions (and this time we have a President who would sign that ban), to halt government discrimination against churches and ministries, to ban the marriage penalty tax and the death tax, and so many other measures of direct interest to people of faith. Consider how different American culture would be today if the Senate would just act on these measures.

In addition to passing sound legislation, another means of changing the culture is through the judiciary - and President Bush has nominated 103 “strict constructionist” judges to the courts. (A “strict constructionist” judge is one who upholds the Constitution as it is written rather than rewrites it to reflect his own personal beliefs.) The Senate is largely refusing to confirm the President's God-fearing judges to the most important places on the bench. In fact, there are several vacancies in the 9th Circuit that the Senate has refused to fill; if Bush judges had been on the bench, it is very possible that a different three-judge panel would have been chosen and that the decision against “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance would not have been rendered.

Without a doubt, the Senate has been the impediment to positive cultural change in America over the past two years. Yet the Senate is not to blame for this travesty - Christians are. Why?

There are 60 million evangelicals in America; in the last election only 15 million voted (24 million of those 60 million evangelicals are not even registered to vote)! In that same election, five Senators lost who, if still in office, would have provided a comfortable majority of Senators to confirm President Bush's judicial nominees and to act on the 53 bills already passed by the House but now stalled in the Senate. Those five Senators lost by a collective total of 100,000 votes in those five States - and 45 million evangelicals did not even vote in that election!

President James A. Garfield (an ordained minister of the Gospel) foresaw a century ago where we are today:

Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If that body be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. If the next centennial does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.

America is where it is because Christians did not aid in controlling the political forces in the last election. The Rev. Charles Finney, a leader in America's Second and Third Great Awakenings in the early and mid 1800s, reminded Christians of a lesson that we need to remember today. He warned:

The Church must take right ground in regard to politics. . . . [T]he time has come that Christians must vote for honest men and take consistent ground in politics. . . . If he will give his vote only for honest men, the country will be obliged to have upright rulers. All parties will be compelled to put up honest men as candidates. Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently. . . . God cannot sustain this free and blessed country which we love and pray for unless the Church will take right ground. Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation are becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they think God does not see what they do in politics. But I tell you He does see it, and He will bless or curse this nation according to the course [Christians] take [in politics].

Psalm 33:12 declares that “Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord;” and if America does not stay blessed, it will be because Christians did not stay involved! In this election, thirty-three States have Senate races; and all fifty States have congressional races. Christians in every State need to look at each congressional and Senate candidate on the ballot, examine them all from a Biblical viewpoint, and then elect the most God-fearing, God-honoring of those candidates to serve in Washington. Let's make a difference in this year's elections so that our culture will begin to change in a positive direction!


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