Harry Truman’s Christmas; Religious Liberty for our Servicemen AND All Americans
On May 14th,
1948, President Harry Truman (1945-1953), against strong pressure from the State
signed a memo making the
This is the Christmas that a war-weary world has prayed for through long and awful years. With peace come joy and gladness. The gloom of the war years fades as once more we light the National Community Christmas Tree. We meet in the spirit of the first Christmas, when the midnight choir sang..."Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men..."
It is... fitting for us to
remember that the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of peace, of love, of
charity to all men. From the manger of
In love, which is the very
essence of the message of the Prince of Peace, the world would find a solution
for all its ills. I do not believe there is one problem in this country or in
the world today which could not be settled if approached through the teaching of
the Sermon on the Mount. The poets' dream, the lesson of priest and patriarch
and the prophets' vision of a new heaven and a new earth, all are summed up in
the message delivered in the Judean hills beside the
This is a solemn hour. In the stillness of the Eve of the Nativity when the hopes of mankind hang on the peace that was offered to the world nineteen centuries ago, it is but natural, while we survey our destiny, that we give thought also to our past--to some of the things which have gone into the making of our Nation.
You will remember that
With our enemies vanquished we must gird ourselves for the work that lies ahead. Peace has its victories no less hard won than success at arms. We must not fail or falter. We must strive without ceasing to make real the prophecy of Isaiah: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
In this day, whether it be
far or near, the Kingdoms of this world shall become indeed the
The HHS Mandate -
The annual skirmishes over
Christmas continue (See
Manger No Danger, and
Display Restored) but looming large are other major religious liberty cases
In an Orwellian public relations move, liberals dubbed conservative reaction to this Mandate a "war on women," suggesting conservatives want to "prevent women from access to contraception and deny women control over their own bodies." At stake is the closure of Christian businesses, schools, and hospitals that will not bow to the regulation and violate the fundamental tenets of their faith.
While 89 lawsuits have been filed against the Mandate, the Supreme Court has chosen to take two cases: Hobby Lobby, a large national and evangelical Christian-owned business, and Conestoga Wood, a small Mennonite family-owned business. For Hobby Lobby the issue is not paying for contraceptives, but for induced abortions. An op-ed in LA Times explained, "Hobby Lobby... provides excellent health insurance, which includes coverage for most -- but not all -- contraceptives. However, because of the Greens' firm belief in the dignity of human life and about when and how it begins, Hobby Lobby cannot provide coverage for some of the required drugs because they could cause an abortion." Businesses that fail to comply face unthinkable daily fines that none can pay and hope to stay afloat. Many more businesses are liable now but await the resolution of this case before they must pay. Churches are exempt, but non-church religious organizations must submit to the Mandate by January 1, 2014 or similarly face fines (see Majority Oppose Mandate; LA Times: Business people shouldn't be required to check their faith at the door; Alliance Defending Freedom Report).
Finally, it was announced today (December 12, 2013) that FRC and 15 other organizations have submitted a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel requesting that the Department of Defense (DOD) act to ensure that military training materials "not rely on information from organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) ... that engage in groundless and highly pejorative mischaracterizations of long-standing ministries and organizations for their own political purposes." Materials have been discovered that claim evangelical Christians are among the nation's greatest national security threats (see FRC Release, Letter). Please pray, too, for speedy passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including language calling for religious liberty protections in the Armed Services. Over the Holidays, perhaps your family could consider and pray over all of the above-mentioned serious challenges to our First Freedom -- Religious Liberty. As always, thank you for praying!