Scripture has often been deemed offensive. Possession and the use of the Bible have often faced legal hurdles, sometimes costing the very life of its owner. However, the Bible has also seen better times:
- JOHN QUINCY ADAMS, our sixth president said, "So great is my veneration of the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens to their country and respectable members of society. I have for many years made it a practice to read through the Bible once a year."
- JOHN ADAMS, our second president said, "The Bible is the best book in the world." He also believed, "Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their own law book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited...what a utopia; what a paradise this region would be!"
Consequently, under the direction of such widespread sentiments, pray and the Bible had even found an abiding home within the halls of the United States Congress. However, its high national regard is quickly deteriorating. Rather than being prescribed reading, the Bible is now often proscribed! Here’s one recent example:
- The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Ohio has agreed to weigh the arguments in a case involving elementary students who were prevented from reading the Bible on the school's playground during recess.
- Samuel and Tina Whitson, parents of Knoxville (TN) student Luke Whitson, filed suit in June 2005, claiming Karns Elementary School principal Cathy Summa violated their son's First Amendment rights by stopping the Bible studies. They chose to pursue the matter even though the school soon thereafter changed its policy to permit students to read religious texts during their own time. A Knoxville jury sided with the school district in 2009 and a U.S. district judge turned down a request to overturn that decision, prompting the appeal.
The Bible has been banned for numerous reasons. Some kings had perceived that the Bible had dignified the common man – the masses – and this might make them less manageable. Others banned the Bible because they wanted a monopoly on religion and feared that once the masses had the Bible in hand, their monopoly would be shattered.
Today, our secular authorities cry out, “separation of church and state,” as if using a Bible in the public schools would violate the First Amendment. Such an argument is highly disingenuous, especially in light of how those who have venerated the First Amendment exalted the use of the Bible:
- Our first president, GEORGE WASHINGTON said, "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."
Certainly, Washington saw no conflict between government and the use of the Bible.
- Our third president, THOMAS JEFFERSON said, "The Bible is the source of liberty." He further stated, "The Bible makes the best people in the world."
Clearly, Even the deistic Jefferson understood that the public use of the Bible constituted no violation of the “separation” clause. How could "The Bible [be] the source of liberty," if it is to be hidden under a bushel basket as many are today demanding? It could only “make…the best people in the world" if it is openly used.
By attempting to separate the Bible from any public use, the secularists may be using a slight-of-the-hand by appealing to the First Amendment – the very Amendment which guarantees that government would not prohibit the free exercise of religion in any context.
If the secularists’ are not concerned about the intention of the Constitution, then from where does their concern arise? I think that Jesus would have had something to say about this:
- "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. (John 15:18-20)