This is one of the first things you see if you decide to send your Internet browser into the realm of “Freedom From Religion:”
“Won’t you join FFRF in our critical work to promote nontheism and defend the constitutional separation between religion and government?”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has a passion for the idea that the constitution has created a separation between church and state. To this organization, this creates an open door to shut down religious practices whenever they may appear.
In local news, there has been a recent attempt from the FFRF to cut out the revival in West Virginia- a revival which started in the local student body. The foundation was said to have presented a letter to the Mingo County Superintendent, which deemed that the “Appalachian Awakening” revival which took place in Mingo County for several weeks, was “blatantly unconstitutional.”
The revival has been a fast-growing movement in the area, which has caught major attention through various news media. Evangelist, Matt Hartley, was the primary speaker at the revival.
The letter, signed by FFRF’s staff attorney, Patrick C. Eliot, also stated:
“Finally, the content of Hartley’s talk included his personal religious opinions about gay and transgender Americans. It is shocking that a public school would allow him to address students on these subjects.”
So, where do I begin?
This organization stands to “defend the constitutional separation between religion and government.” This idea is taken from the First Amendment of the US Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…”
What the FFRF is not focusing on is the second part to this decree, which continues “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
The FFRF employs the use of doublespeak and “facts” to persuade others into conforming to their ideals.
In the previously mentioned letter, there is a line which shouted to me from the black and white page. “Schools should strive to create an inclusive, secular environment in which to educate students.”
Quick vocab lesson?
Inclusive- including or covering all the services, facilities, or items normally expected or required.
Secular- denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.
This request from the FFRF seeks to make everyone feel included, while telling students that they are not free to practice their first amendment rights.
As a reporter who attended a few of these events, I am aware of the voluntary attendance. No person was pressured into attending. I am also aware that while school clubs have faculty sponsors, they are student-led. Students chose to be a part of this movement. Taking away their choice to do so would be a direct violation of the first amendment the FFRF seems to hold so dearly.
While the double-speak and agenda of the FFRF is under question, let’s examine another statement found on their website.
“The history of Western civilization shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion.”
If we want to talk about social and moral progress, it’s probably safe to say that the civil rights movement and the abolition of slavery played a huge part in the “progress” we’ve made.
If so, isn’t there something worth noting? Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Baptist minister. Rosa Parks? Lifelong Methodist. Harriet Tubman was a Methodist Episcopalian, and Sojourner Truth was believed to have been a Seventh-day Adventist.
These are just a few of the MANY religious leaders of revolution. They were all believed to be religious, yet they somehow made a difference in this world. Wild thought.
As mentioned, the letter from the FFRF stated that the fact that a public school would allow Hartley to address the topics he chose was “shocking.”
Why is that? Is the Truth “shocking?” Because I’m not shocked by your disregard for my religious freedom. God warned me you were coming.
“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming… For this they are willingly ignorant…” (2Peter 3:3-5)
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happen unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1Peter 4:12-13)
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour:” (1Peter5:8)
Maybe you are ready to write off the existence of God and disregard the Truth we hold to, but that doesn’t mean we have to fall. You continually demand that believers conform to the new ideas and practices this world is throwing our way. I’m happy to report that YOUR world (the one you’re so worried about offending) is not OUR home.
“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:16)
To the administrators, teachers, parents, and ministries who are involved in allowing the youth to freely proclaim the name of the Lord: Keep fighting. Show those around you that the Truth holds firm.
“Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any many fall after the same example of unbelief.” (Hebrews 4:11)
To the students who are being called to witness, share, or accept the Gospel: Keep fighting. Don’t allow the FFRF to tell you that you’re being bullied into something. Don’t let ANYONE look down on you for the choice you’ve made to be a part of God’s family.
“Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1Timothy 4:12)
To those responsible for the attempts to spoil the work God is doing in West Virginia, I’ll be praying for you. It’s not too late to recognize the ignorance of your worldly ways. Until then, I think our friend Matt Hartley said it best.
“Man didn’t start this and man can’t stop this.”