06 October 2009

The Cross of Christ is Not a Secular Symbol

Below is a link to an excellent article on one more constitutional messy situation we as Christians are facing - is the Cross a Christian symbol and if so should it be permitted on public land. With his usual clarity Mohler follows the twists and turns of the case which goes to the supreme court this week. The situation involves a 6 ft. cross on the Mojave National Preserve in California. I found the statement by lawyers for the American Center for Law & Justice quite interesting: This case is only the most extreme example of a phenomenon that has plagued the federal courts for the past three decades. Ideologically motivated citizens and public interest groups search out alleged Establishment Clause violations, almost always in the form of a passive religious symbol or display of some sort, and make a federal case out of offense at the display. The basis for standing is typically that the religious display offends the sensibilities of the plaintiffs. The offense may be characterized as an affront to religious values, or as one in which plaintiffs feel stigmatized as political or community outsiders. But the sum and substance of the injury is that the display bothers the plaintiffs.

Yes, someone's sensibilities have been offended and it turns into a court case. As Mohler aptly points out, This raises one of the central constitutional questions faced by the Court: Is being offended or bothered by a display sufficient cause to be granted standing for a federal lawsuit? As numerous observers have recognized, the only claims accepted by the courts in this regard are those related to religious expression or symbolism. "Offended observer" status is a legal disaster. Moreover he points out, At this point, Christians should pay particular attention. While the government's lawyers try to press their case, Christians should reject any argument that presents the cross as a secular symbol. There is nothing remotely secular about the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Arguments for the constitutionality of religious language and symbolism based in the supposedly secular character of the speech or imagery may win in the courtroom, but the arguments are devastating to authentic belief.

Of all people, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ must be the first to insist that the cross is a symbol of Christian faith, pointing directly to the cross on which Christ died as our substitute. The cross must not be reduced to a generic symbol of death and the memory of loved ones.

Read the entire article by clicking on the link below.

1 comment:

Rhett said...

These cases typically only make it this far when they are filed in the People's Republic of California, which sits in the 9th Federal Circuit, the Circuit that gets overturned the most. The Court will probably get this one right--the Cross will stay up.

This case (regardless of the outcome) will stand as a testament to Christian tolerance. Six of the nine members of the Supreme Court are Catholic, and one is Protestant. And I am sure that all will approach the case unbiased by their beliefs and submit to the law of the land as they understand it.

Could you imagine facing a tribunal of any other religion in such circumstances? I'm sure I wouldn't want to.

Pray for our Justices and pray that God is glorified through them regardless of the outcome.