Dedicate yourselves to thankfulness. Colossians 3:15

Monday, March 2, 2009

Courage to proclaim religious heritage America's most pressing issue

"Unless we define who we are and have the courage to proclaim it, we will lack the wherewithal to face future exigencies." -- Louise Friend of Friendsville, Maryland

Published in Cumberland Times-News Letters March 2, 2009. (Written by Louise Friend of Friendsville, Maryland.)

To the Editor:

When Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian, arrived at Heathrow Airport to present to the British Parliament a screening of his film, Fitna, the frightened Home Secretary ordered him deported.

Lord Ahmed, a Muslim member of the House of Lords, had threatened descent of 10,000 Muslims on Britain’s Parliament if Wilders were admitted. Wilders’ short film is a compilation of video footage from various recent Muslim terrorist atrocities and its documentation has earned him death threats as well as the Home Secretary’s unwelcome.

Wilders appeared on Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor recently, and during the interview he made a simple but profound statement. “I think we should embrace our identity and be proud of our Judeo-Christian heritage,” Wilders said. He is correct.

Unless we do embrace our identity and take pride in our Judeo-Christian heritage, then America, like Britain, will cower in the face of evil tyranny. This, I think, is the most pressing issue facing America today — even more than the economy, important though the economy may be. Unless we define who we are and have the courage to proclaim it, we will lack the wherewithal to face future exigencies.

America’s richness derives in part from its multicultured and multi-faith composition. But despite our varied backgrounds and faiths, most of us share an overriding belief that by some power greater than ourselves, we have been granted certain inalienable rights.

While the multiculturalist, perhaps in an attempt to be “fair,” would deny distinction between good and evil, virtue and vice, nobility and baseness, most Americans would not ascribe moral equivalency between life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, say, and death, bondage and despair.

And one need not be a Jew nor a Christian to believe such. So where did we Americans get such a notion?

We often describe America’s Founders as being men of the Enlightenment, and so they were, but by and large, most were also men of the Bible. They displayed an interesting array of theologies, and a few merely articulated a vague and shadowy sense of a Divine Providence.

But whence the Enlightenment? I am convinced that the European Enlightenment with its argument for individual significance and consequent freedoms could not have arisen from any philosophical seedbed other than that provided by a Judeo-Christian foundation.

So while each American, in his or her right to conscience, may adhere to any faith or lack thereof, each of us may also imbibe, enjoy and treasure the fruit emanating from a Judeo-Christian rootstock. And this we should celebrate.

Geert Wilders offers a courageous voice in a politically correct West run amok. We do not need to “reboot” America’s image to ingratiate ourselves with those who hold a world view altogether contrary to our own.

We need to reinforce our image and identity by proclaiming boldly our heritage and world view, and we need to do it with pride and without apology.

Louise Friend

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