This will appear in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana USA, week of 3/30/2015.

When the founders of our country sat down and performed tyranny against the home country England, they knew that they could possibly be signing their own death warrants. Still they raised themselves above personal value, signed one of the greatest documents ever penned and became sons of anarchy. This pivotal moment in history began a journey of a fledgling country to become the most powerful country in the history of the world. The country, The United States of America, was founded on Christian values that had been influenced by the writings of John Locke a century earlier but with one distinct difference from earlier countries’ beginnings that were based on a specific religion. Instead of having a state government religion such as the Church of England in the United Kingdom or the Catholic religion in the Holy Roman Empire, the United States build its government in a manner that would allow everyone to practice their own religion without interference by the federal government. Also, the Constitution was amended to insure this right and guarantee that there would be no state sponsored religion.
For two hundred years different religions lived side by side. There were times that some religious persecution did occur but it was not universal and it was eventually suppressed by laws of the land. We would celebrate holidays that were present since the early days of the country and had become a part of the norms of a great nation. Then over the past twenty years individuals felt that the customs of America were not in line with what the country should be. The ability for one person to complain that they were being oppressed was the root cause for many of our holidays to change in appearance. Christmas took on a new meaning and to many is nothing more than a big party filled with lights, glitz and glamour. Some stores were founded by individuals who were well grounded in religious values. These stores turned their backs on what made America great. Instead of allowing the true definition of Christmas being the focal point of the holiday many stores have turned it into a marketing campaign with no religious significance.
This attempt for America to be religiously tolerant by ignoring all aspects of any Christian identity had consequences that were not expected. When a person or a group feels threatened, the person or group takes a defensive posture to protect itself. If the threat continues and the life or identity is in jeopardy, the group transitions to an offensive position. That is what has happened to the attack on Christianity. Instead of living in peace and in tolerance of all religions, we have witnessed more negative rhetoric aimed at the Muslims and other religions living in our country, rhetoric that was not heard several decades ago. Instead of being identified as American, citizens are being segregated according to religious belief. This was not the original intent but the consequences are apparent. Alas, the pendulum of tolerance is finally swinging in the opposite direction.
Easter is my second most favorite holiday. Not only does it hold a great religious significance but it also signals a new beginning as springs brings a reassurance that life continues. This year is even more significant for our country. In the past the majority of our television networks shunned shows of religious significance during the Easter period. Many schools now refer to the Easter holiday as the Spring Break with little or no true meaning to the origin of the holiday. Despite this snub of the religious significance of Easter, we are now witnessing a change in the direction taken by some major networks in their behavior toward the holiday.
Bill O’Reily has written four books based on individuals that died before their time but had a major impact on world History. He takes an historical view of the person and all actions in the book must have some type of historical backup. O’Reily’s third book was Killing Jesus. The National Geographic channel took the story and has made a television movie of it with the same name. To prove the tolerance of our great country and how the pendulum is truly swinging toward a more open-minded society, the actor playing Jesus is a Muslim.
NBC has provided the biggest surprise of the Easter season. It will air a mini-series called A.D. the Bible Continues. It is produced by the husband and wife that presented the Bible on the History Channel two years ago. The series starts right after the crucifixion. This is a major undertaking for NBC.
CNN is in the middle of an historical documentary called Finding Jesus and is leading the charge of religious documentaries into the Easter season this year.
While this Easter Season is experiencing a renaissance in America there are still some that snub their noses at American values. ABC will be airing a show based on a book of the same name, “Good Christian Bitches”. Perhaps they will have a somewhat better selection for the next Easter season.
Happy Easter everyone.

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