I recently heard a former U.S. Senator talking on a radio show. He told about an informal survey that he began conducting with students whenever he would speak at college or high school campuses. He would poll his audience, asking them to choose which of the following ideals was found in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."Separation of church and state" OR "Free exercise of religion"
Even though the "free exercise of religion" is specifically mentioned in the First Amendment, the Senator shared that more and more often, a majority of students believe the actual phrase "separation of church and state" is included in the Constitution. Now, stop and think about that for a minute. We are talking about people who have been through years in our school system, many of which are at higher learning institutions in America. No doubt many of the students surveyed were taking some type of history or civics courses at the time. Furthermore, it wasn't a question about some obscure part of the document, but the very first amendment. It is in the news all the time. It is the start of the Bill of Rights, which almost everyone studies at some point during their public schooling. The bottom line is that every American citizen with a high school diploma should know at the very least that Congress should do nothing to establish a religion and should do nothing to prohibit the free exercise of religion! It is in black and white as an essential part of our founding documents!
So then, why? How? What happens to cause so many people to ignore the obvious, explicit statement written right before their eyes and make up a new reality? How do people go about creating a different "truth" out of thin air?
Let me leave those questions hanging out there for now, and make another proposal. I believe this is the same thing that many of us have done with the Bible, especially the New Testament, even with the church and Jesus himself. We have read in new "truths" to the original text, things that are clearly not there (and skipped over things that clearly ARE there at the same time). We have equivocated terms, substituted one set of principles and practices for another man-made set. We have spliced and dissected and picked apart divinely inspired guidance and changed it so much in the process that we have killed the "living Word" in some ways. We found a way to extract its power, and replaced it with our own. We took over control. Instead of being the servant, we tried on the clothes of "master" and we became comfortable with how they fit.
I am starting a new series of blogs, entitled The Abduction of Jesus, to further explore these ideas. I welcome you to join me on this journey. Realize that it might be uncomfortable at times. You may disagree with me often. Most of all, let's grow and think together. Add your "voice" to the mix and make comments along the way....Because, you see, I believe someone kidnapped the Christ child, and the Church needs to seriously begin a frantic search to find him. If we don't, then we all pay the price; we all suffer; we are all lost!