Rise of the Totalitarian Atheistic State
There is a bonus scene at the end of the movie “God’s Not Dead 2,” that seemed comical to many because it is so far-fetched. A pastor is, very peacefully and matter-of-factly, arrested for refusing to hand over his sermons to the state.
Two police officers hand cuff him and read him his Miranda rights. “Sorry about this pastor,” one of the officers says, as they put him in the backseat of their patrol car and drive the willing law breaker away.
His two Christian friends Mark and Rev. Jude are left behind. Mark says, “What do we do now?” To which the Rev. Jude responds: “Same as always Mark. We pray … in faith.”
But the scene is not at all far-fetched.
The state of Georgia recently tried to compel, under the threat of law, Dr. Eric Walsh, a Seventh-day Adventist lay minister, to “produce a copy of [his] sermon notes and/or transcripts.”
Dr. Walsh is the real-life, willing law breaker, who refuses to comply with this clear violation of his constitutional rights. “No government has the right to require a pastor to turn over his sermons,” he said.
The voices of many groups committed to fight against the rising threats to religious liberty in our country were heard immediately. Penny Nance, the CEO & President of Concerned Women for America(CWA), the organization where I serve as legal counsel, said:
The words of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” still reverberate today – especially as we witness the “Gestapo-like” tactics of his native state. The state of Georgia’s blatant attack on religious freedom, as they discriminate against another pastor, Dr. Eric Walsh, is indeed a threat to every American, whatever our religious beliefs.
The director of CWA’s local chapter in Georgia, Tanya Ditty, demanded “an immediate end to this type of anti-religious bigotry.”
This is significant because this is not an isolated event in the state of Georgia. Remember Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran, who was fired by the state of Georgia because of his Christian faith?
Dr. Walsh was also fired for his faith by state officials in Georgia.
After offering Dr. Walsh the position of District Health Director, the Director of Human Resources for the Department of Public Health Lee Rudd actually sent an email to his subordinates asking them to listen to Dr. Walsh’s sermons online.
He was fired the next day.
This is real life, not a movie. Today, in America, we have government officials combing through employees and applicants’ sermons as part of their review and hiring/firing processes.
They got caught on this one, but we would be naïve to think this is not happening in many other places. The chilling effect is incalculable.
There is another troubling pattern in Georgia we cannot ignore. Both Dr. Walsh and Fire Chief Cochran are very distinguished, highly qualified African-American public servants whose many accomplishments mount to nothing in the state’s view because of their faith.
Dr. Walsh holds both a medical degree and a Doctorate in Public Health (Dr.P.H.). He was even appointed to President Obama’s Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDs for his distinguished work in that area.
Chief Cochran’s career is also stellar. His service as Fire Chief of Atlanta was so impressive that he was similarly called to serve as a Fire Administrator for President Obama.
These are the sort of men and role models our African-American youth need so desperately. Instead, the State of Georgia crucifies them for their faith to send a clear message of what is truly valued.
Still today, with such clear evidence of wrongdoing, the state is dragging them through endless judicial proceedings at the taxpayer’s cost to make an example of them (and their families).
We are witnessing the rise of the totalitarian atheist state in America. Pray, we must, in faith, as Rev. Jude said. But faith without works is dead, and we must rise up against the states’ increasing violation of our liberties. We must get politically engaged and demand respect for our freedoms, while we still can. Time is running out.
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