Since the removal of prayer in schools in 1962, there have been many other situations where “freedom of religion” has been misconstrued by the court system as “freedom from religion.”
The statement in the First Amendment that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” has become known as “the Establishment Clause.” In misconstruing it, the courts have often placed their decisions in direct opposition to the second half of that statement: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” None of the cases where the “Establishment Clause” has been used by the courts to strike down free exercise of religion in the public square has ever been based on a law passed by Congress. The laws have changed on actions by judges in our courts, especially at the Supreme Court level.
At times, the conflict has been between the free exercise of the Christian faith in the marketplace and an individual who is offended by the practice who then sues the former. In additional to the removal of prayer from the public square, there have been cases calling for the removal of the Ten Commandments from government offices and land, removal of nativity scenes from public land, removal of Bible reading in the public places, and inequitable access to public facilities and funds by Christian groups.
Points for Prayer:
- Repent, as Daniel did in Daniel 9, on behalf of our governing leaders and our judges (this is often referred to as identificational repentance), especially our Supreme Court Justices, for laws and judicial decisions that misconstrued the First Amendment.
- Pray that many of these decisions would be challenged and overturned, so that true freedom of religion is secure in the United States once again.
- Use the Isaiah 22:22 / Matthew 16:19 keys to shut the spiritual door where the First Amendment is used to shut down Christian activities outside the walls of our church buildings.
- Intercede for those who hate Christians and seek to close Christian businesses or otherwise cause believers harm. Declare that they would not be able to misconstrue the First Amendment to their advantage in the future. Pray that we would show compassion toward them and that they would come to know the love of Christ.