In my “Playground Player” forum at Chessgames.com ( http://www.chessgames.com ), a many-sided theological discussion has been going on for some two weeks now. I would like to bring part of it here, for my readers.
“Robed Bishop” (we are mostly anonymous at Chessgames) has posed a question to me. It’s a serious question, deserving of a serious answer. I will post it here, with minimal editing.
RB: PP, I have a question for you. Given the threat that you see to Christianity in America, as you document daily, what do you think should be done? But before you answer that, let’s see if we can agree on a few fundamentals first.
1.We can generally divide Americans into three groups. Group A are vocal Christians, those who fight for Christianity and live it daily. Group B are vocal atheists, non-believers who right to remove prayers from schools, etc., enforcing the separation of church and state. Group C are those who are everyone else, including those who believe in God but do not practice their religion and would not fight to keep Christianity as part of the “American way,” non-vocal atheists (those not trying to influence anyone), Jews, Buddhists, etc.
2. Group C is the largest group, followed by Group A, then Group B. It’s not important that Group A be bigger than Group B, but it is important that Group C be the largest.
- That America was founded on Christian ideals (indeed, settlers fled England at least in part to avoid religious persecution). That historically American has been a “Christian nation,” using Christian symbols, etc.
2. That grounded in the First Amendment and Supreme Court opinions is the fact of separation of church and state.
3. That to the extend that these two propositions are contradictory, vocal atheists have been using the separation argument to eliminate Christian symbols and traditions in America by removing prayer in school, etc.
The Current Situation
1 That by removing Christianity from our schools, courts, etc., we have weakened or eroded Christianity generally in America.
2. That one way Christianity is weakened in America by the separation of of Christian ideals described in #1 is that Christianity is not reinforced in schools, etc.
3. That as our children fall away from Christianity, they go from Group A to Groups B and/or C, but mostly Group C. Therefore, as time goes on, unless something changes, Group A will continue to shrink and Groups B and C will get bigger. As group B expands, the rate of change will accelerate.
So to the question.
If you agree that this is generally accurate, then how do you propose to reverse the trend. And let’s eliminate changing the separation of church and state because that ain’t gonna happen.
If you don’t agree that this is generally accurate, then let’s see where we disagree and see if we can come to some agreement. The foundation I’ve laid out is simply a way to define the problem so we can look at solutions. If we cannot agree on the problem we won’t be able to discuss solutions.
That’s a hard question, very well laid-out, and it’ll take me some time to answer it. But for the moment, this post is long enough.