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Christian Coalition Predicts an Uprising

Cut off from our traditional sources of reflection, people of faith get confused about what is right and wrong. Trying to honor a piece of Scripture, we become unfaithful to the rest of it. Hardly knowing how we even got there, we find ourselves in blatant conflict with traditional Christian ethical behavior.

The ruling should not come as any surprise. Based on the law and current case history, Judge Thompson reached the only conclusion possible.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” /> 
Obviously, not everyone sees it that way. In a message to supporters, John Giles, director of the Christian Coalition of <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Alabama, wrote that “this ruling seriously erodes our religious freedoms, the acknowledgment of God and the moral foundation of our law.” Giles went on to predict that because of this decision there is likely to be a “national uprising.”            
A national uprising? He did not say “vocal dissent” or “non-violent resistance” or even “civil disobedience.” He said a national uprising. Maybe before we let loose the dogs of holy war against the American judicial system, we should take stock of what this ruling does and does not do.           
The court did not rule that Scripture is invalid. In fact, Judge Thompson agreed with Judge Moore that the Ten Commandments are an important part of American law and morality. 
The court did not rule that Scripture is illegal. Every American who owns a Bible gets to keep it.  
The court’s ruling does not disrupt our worship practices in anyway. There will be no padlocks put on church doors. There will be no steeples removed and taken out of sight. There will be no silencing of the reading of Scripture on any prescribed worship day. 
The court’s ruling does not affect our right to religiously educate our own children in our own homes and churches. It did not rule against family prayer or family devotions. The court has not made any ruling that would keep us from preaching our message and sharing it with our neighbors and friends. 
This ruling has done nothing to restrict the “free exercise” of genuine faith communities at all. If there is any doubt about this, just flip through the channels on any given Sunday morning. You can get all the religion you want, and then some.              
Talk of a national uprising against a legitimate court of the United States is irresponsible. This is especially true coming from the leader of a religious organization. While it is true Giles did not call for a national uprising, he also didn’t do anything to discourage it. 
Unfortunately, this is what happens when faith issues become detached from legitimate faith communities. Instead of determining the appropriate use of Scripture based on theological and biblical principles, promoters of the monument argue the fine points of English common law and cultural folklore. 
Cut off from our traditional sources of reflection, people of faith get confused about what is right and wrong. Trying to honor a piece of Scripture, we become unfaithful to the rest of it. Hardly knowing how we even got there, we find ourselves in blatant conflict with traditional Christian ethical behavior.   
This appears to be the case with the Christian Coalition. How else can we explain a group bearing the name of Christ being willing to condone the potential for violence implied in a “national uprising.”   
Where is chapter and verse for that? 
Instead of speculating about an outrageous and unfaithful uprising, a group that carries the name “Christian” should be calling for Christ-like behavior. Failure to do so means if some uprising does occur, the Christian Coalition must bear part of the responsibility for inciting it. 
James Evans is pastor of Crosscreek Baptist Church in Pelham, Ala.