Who does President Barack Obama think that he can change the wording of the Declaration of Independence? Again and again he presumes to quote the great declaration while making a significant change: He omits the word "Creator."
Americans know that the Declaration of Independence proclaims as a matter of fact that they "are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights." But when Obama recites this line, he omits the word "Creator."
Listen carefully to how Obama censors that famous line. Here are his own words: "all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights." He doesn't say who endowed us.
Obama has done this so often that it can't be a slip of the tongue or a glitch of the teleprompter. Changing the words of the Declaration of Independence is part of Obama's determination to remove everything religious and every mention of God from every aspect of our public life in order to fundamentally transform us from "one nation under God" into one nation under the federal government, especially the executive branch, with no higher power recognized.
On this Fourth of July, we should remind ourselves that the great Declaration of Independence is not only the proclamation of our independence and sovereignty, but it is also the official affirmation of our belief and faith in God. The declaration asserts God's existence as a "self-evident" truth and states that the purpose of government is to secure our God-given unalienable individual rights.
The declaration contains five references to God -- God as our creator, God as supreme lawmaker, God as the source of all rights, God as the world's supreme judge and God as our protector.
Shortly before we started hearing fireworks for this year's Fourth of July, the movie "For Greater Glory" opened in local theaters. It is a compelling dramatization of the Mexican government's persecution of Christians from 1926 to 1929, a bloody piece of history that has hitherto been ignored by historians and filmmakers.
This wasn't in some faraway Muslim country; it was in our next-door neighbor's. It's instructive for Americans, who have peacefully enjoyed religious liberty for more than two centuries, to realize the depth of hatred that some people have for religion in general and Christianity in particular.
The movie is a worthy addition to the genre of successful religious films that portray Christian heroes who died for their faith, such as "A Man For All Seasons" (Thomas More), "Becket" and "The Robe."
In 1926, Mexican President Plutarco Elias Calles brutally enforced laws to suppress religion. Soldiers on horseback broke into churches, vandalized church property, killed priests and strung up dead bodies on posts to terrify the people.
Government officials, an elite openly admiring Soviet Communism, were determined to destroy all visible evidences of religion, including the cross and other Christian symbols, the wearing of traditional garments by Catholic priests and nuns, and religious processions. Soldiers could order anyone to repeat "Long live the federal government," with death the punishment for refusal.
Mexico's Constitution required the schools to be active participants in the battle to secularize the country and suppress religion. The Constitution stated: "Education services should be secular, and, therefore, free of any religious orientation."
About 90,000 Mexicans died in the fighting that ensued as the Christians, calling themselves Cristeros, resisted bravely. They got little or no help from the Vatican, but eventually, in 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized 25 Cristero saints and martyrs. The U.S. government apparently was interested only in protecting its oil interests.
Our first reaction to the killings in this movie is "of course, this can't happen here." The bloody part may be improbable in the United States, but the contempt for religion here is already evident.
It's not difficult to imagine the hateful words of the Mexican president being repeated in the United States by the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State and various other atheist litigators who are aggressively pushing supremacist judges to ban the Ten Commandments -- our national motto -- and crosses from schools and from every public place, even when their purpose is to honor servicemen who gave their lives on our behalf.
Through speeches and regulations, President Obama is trying to eliminate all public references to religion, to force religious worship behind closed doors and to coerce religious institutions into financing drugs and procedures that violate their religious faith. Obamacare will force Christian hospitals, colleges and schools to pay for abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations for their employees.
If they don't obey Obama's orders, the penalty is financial death. It's no wonder that Obama campaigned as a messiah in 2008 saying, "We are the ones we've been waiting for."
Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer, conservative political analyst and author of 20 books. She is the co-author, with George Neumayr, of a new book released this month titled "No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom."
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