"The framers of our Constitution meant we were to have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion." --Billy Graham
I'll admit it, I have been terribly distracted the past few days by the elections, the results and the mounds of laundry that refused to be neglected any longer. And as a result of my distraction and domestic-duty procrastination, I somehow missed the train-wreck of a situation occurring 15 minutes east of my hometown.
Mt. Vernon, Texas. Franklin County. Lake Cypress. One of my favorite places.
When I was young, my family spent quite a bit of time in this quaint, little town located right off of I-30. We camped at Lake Cypress, loved eating at Barnstormers and when my parents could afford to take us to the dentist, we went to one located in Mt. Vernon.
Mt. Vernon's school system reputation has always been strong and their athletic programs, competitive. In fact, when my husband and I decided to move back to East Texas, we seriously considered planting roots in Franklin County because it is such a great place to live and raise children.
So, yesterday, when I received a private Facebook message from a childhood acquaintance asking me for my thoughts regarding Mt. Vernon ISD's current legal woes, I was caught completely off guard.
How had I missed this? Admittedly, I have been very, very distracted.
So this morning, I googled the situation in nearby Franklin County and almost vomited my Dr. Pepper. Upon reading the situational facts and the legal jargon, I felt sick. Is this for real? How can this be happening in small town Texas?
Great, just great.
Great, just great.
First, Houston. Now, my own backyard.
Our faith, dear friends, is very much under attack.
Here's the DL: Mt. Vernon ISD has been accused of, and I am quoting, "pervasive religious endorsement". An atheist/agnostic watchdog group known as Freedom From Religion Foundation or FFRF, has filed an official complaint against the school district citing numerous infractions such as displayed crosses, some containing scripture, some simply works of art, Christian t-shirts and certain quotes displayed on the school walls referring to the Bible. Here is the most irritating quote to the bless-their-hearts-they-are-so-misguided group: "Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face." The quote is attributed to Former President Ronald Reagan by Mt. Vernon high school, but some have also attributed it to Thomas Paine.
Now, read that quote again.
Yeah, seriously. If I were an atheist, I wouldn't be offended by that. But I'm rational. And the true irony of this situation and the thousands of other situations like this across the country, is that for people who claim that Reason is their god and that Logic is their messiah, these atheist groups seem awfully defensive. Logically speaking, there is absolutely NOTHING offensive about that quote. Nada. But unfortunately, we aren't living in a bastion of rational, logical and reasonable minds.
Geez...why don't these people get REAL jobs?! Seriously. God-rejecting, faithless people and their well-organized groups have got to be the most super-sensitive, overly emotional, unreasonable people on the planet!! In fact, I'm completely convinced that some atheists, not all, but those who attack religion, faith and most specifically, Christians, sit around and look for reasons to file "official complaints" and frivolous lawsuits in a selfish, narcissistic attempt to "legally justify" their nonbelief and in some ways, further suppress their well-hidden fear of being lost, wrong and Hell-bound.
They can say they don't have fear, that they aren't a little concerned about their decision to be a-religious, but that, dear friends, is an enormous load of garbage. People focus their attention on the issues that consume their thoughts. Humans obsess over things they can't understand but want to, things they want to be part of but can't control.
These watchdogs groups aren't looking to be "free from religion" because it's their constitutional right to be so. They are simply trying to erase the part of our national history that doesn't reconcile with their chosen, faithless views on life. They want to do away with what makes them uncomfortable.
But, even knowing that, this situation still makes my blood boil!! Why are they sooooo offended by something that really shouldn't matter to a person with no belief? Why does Ronald Reagan's reference to the Bible so encite their "logical" minds? Why does an elementary school teacher's crosses so offend someone seemingly immune to God's existence and His Word?
Here's what I think:
It's because they are scared. See, if they were really so intellectually superior to those of us with faith, they would feel sorry for us. They would pity our simple-mindedness and allow us to cling to the religious things that make our lives bearable. They would be able to ignore the annoying, irritating simplicity of our faith and laugh at our stupidity behind closed doors. But they don't do that. They fight us. They are scared of us. They fear our faith and our resolve. And their fear is exacerbated by their personal uncertainty. You see, their minds and hearts are deceived by an Enemy weaker than our God. Satan can't control someone as completely as God can save them. The Enemy will NEVER possess the strength of our Lord. God will always win out. God will ultimately be victorious. Even though these non-believing individuals have rejected Him in this life, He still tugs at their hearts and stirs in their souls. And because He loves them, He will continue to make them question themselves and their lack of belief until their day of judgement arrives.
When I consider that reality, my heart breaks for them. I pity their self-absorbed, meaningless, misguided lives and pray that one day they will be saved, set free from a terribly deceptive Enemy, reverse course and be Heaven-bound.