Thank you for your opinion. That's what it boils down to though. Atheists complained because a government institution (government schools) were endorsing a specific religious belief system. They were right and the correct changes were made. Yet many Christians disagree with the constitution and want a totalitarian Christian state. Want proof? Virtually none of those bemoaning the removal of Christian prayer from government schools are calling for instating Wiccan prayers or Hindu prayers in public schools.
"What ya'll are complaining about is that not everyone wears the label "Christian" and therefore the government can't endorse Christianity." I haven't seen anyone say that.
As far as the "us vs. them nonsense"? "...and so that we might be rescued from abnormal and wicked humans; for not everyone belongs to the Faith!" 2 Thes. 3:2 Perfect example. You (apparently) want government schools to endorse Christian prayers and (apparently) label everyone else as abnormal and wicked. The facts of the matter is that many who pray Christian prayers are abnormal and wicked (do you follow current events?) and many who do not are not.
I personally don't disagree with everything you've said. I don't think anyone is talking about hating or abusing anyone, or endorsing "fundamentalist Christianity". Believing in a faith that disputes "anything goes"? Wishing for a culture that embraces Jesus Christ and His ways? You bet. You are free to believe whatever you wish - and so is everyone else. That's the point. The founders fled Christian states fully understanding that state sponsored religion in any form is a recipe for oppression/disaster. That's why Jesus is never mentioned in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
And God will bring it about. I believe there's a purpose for the decline/falling away, as He works everything according to His will. People are seeing through the facade of fundamentalist superstition and so naturally some sects of Christianity will see a decline.
Byron, I didn't say everyone who didn't pray Christian prayers were abnormal or wicked. I believe that's your assumption. I was addressing you saying "us vs. them nonsense". If you don't see there's a difference in believers and unbelievers, I probably can't fix that. It's all through the Book and IMO, God-revealed.
As far as further discussion on this matter, I believe I'll try to refrain. I really don't enjoy discussing when someone takes 1 +2 and adds it up to 4. You're mind's obviously already made up, and you also want to tell me what I think. If I can't just share my thoughts and them be taken as how I say and mean them, I really don't want to take the time and energy trying to keep correcting misapplied motives to what I'm saying.
It's fine, I still love you, I just don't want to engage in fruitless debates - especially when what I believe and say ends up being interpreted as something else. James.
You know I like to think big picture . When someone expresses ideas I try to see what the idea is like if followed through upon to it's implied goal. When we make statements bemoaning the absence of state sponsored prayer then I like to get to the heart of the matter - that's why I extend the ideas to their logical/illogical end. So I'm not really doing 1+2 = 4 but I'm filling in the unspoken gaps to fill out the equation.
Sorry for my generalizing and using your statements as a springboard to make my points. It's just how my mind works.
And my OCD mind works down to every jot and every tittle LOL - and if I feel I have to keep going back, clarifying, and re-laying the groundwork of what I was attempting to say, then I'll often opt out. When someone addresses me directly, I take it as directed at me. LOL. Forgive me as well.
I had written up some thoughts for clarification, because I do like to be clear (and taken on point, as well). I'll post this, as I believe it's a good summary for what I'd like to say, and hopefully any further wrangling on my part won't be necessary. Everyone has an understanding, a point of view.
It would be great to have one nation, under God. A nation and a people who's God is YHWH, Father of His son, Yesu.
Not where open worship is legally mandated, nor where it is condemned and outlawed
; where it is
encouraged, embraced, and permeates the culture and society. Laws can't ensure the latter, "the ideal". However, negative
laws can discourage it and ban it, when those laws are allowed to exist and be enforced; when the hearts and minds of the people have grown cold and far from God.
It must come from the heart, and come from God moving amongst His people; intervening, and setting straight the crooked paths.
A good prayer and a contrite heart may be, that each of us would be a help and not a hindrance.