Our Faith and Heritage Has Held America Together in Crisis

by Archbishop Council Nedd II

In November of 1861, as the nation faced the prospect of a long and bloody civil war, a lone preacher from Ridleyville, Pennsylvania wrote to Treasury Secretary Salmon P. Chase with an idea.

The Reverend M. R. Watkinson proposed that America’s currency be used to remind its citizens of our common religious heritage and the divine inspiration that gave birth to United States.  Secretary Chase agreed, and “In God We Trust” was added to the design of the two-cent coin in 1864.

Today, America faces new challenges concerning our national safety and unity.  We must contend with an unpopular war oversees, crises in health care and education and a government that seems more concerned with trivial partisan matters than in solving real problems.

Secretary Chase and the Reverend Watkinson realized back then that the true strength of the United States was its unique commitment to being “One nation, under God.”  Today, however, there are people among us who are determined to subvert religious expression and undermine our common heritage and national unity.

Instead of celebrating the religious convictions that inspired America’s founding and helped build the shared heritage that still binds our people together, these radicals are attacking them.  Under the guise of promoting “liberty,” they are pitting American against American in a ruthless attempt to ban all recognition of God from public life.  They lobby to change our currency.  They push to ban prayer in schools.  They fight tooth-and-nail to tear down a picture of the Ten Commandments from a courthouse wall.

Instead of using their considerable energy and organizational skills to solve real problems, they attack Christian groups that serve the poor by administering government grants.

These soldiers in the army of political correctness claim religion is divisive and hurtful.  Yet it is they and their dangerous fanaticism that seek to devolve and divide our nation into primitive tribes of squabbling special interest groups.  America is a religious nation founded on religious principles.  That is a fact.  Our belief that there is a higher power than politicians or government is a unifying force.  It is a heritage that we are obligated by our creator to defend.

It is time to push back against these radicals and their ridiculous ideas.  We must stand up to the militant left and its efforts to divide our great nation by banning the public recognition of God. For too long, anti-religious radicals have been awarded too much respect.  Their arguments are no longer the kooky ideas thought up by out-of-touch college professors.  The anti-religion lobby in the United States is large and growing.  Its influence has spawned an entirely new vocabulary of hate speech such as “Jesus freak” and “Christofacists.”  Bigoted comments are also directed at our Jewish brothers and sisters on so-called “progressive” online forums.

This contempt for people of faith and America’s roots is tearing our nation apart.

Over 150 years ago, America faced a great challenge.  Our leaders rose to the occasion by placing their faith and the fate of their nation in God’s hands.  Will our leaders do the same today, or will left-wing interest groups succeed in dividing our nation even further?

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Project 21 member Council Nedd II, the bishop of the Chesapeake and the Northeast for the Episcopal Missionary Church, is the honorary chairman of In God We Trust (http://www.ingodwetrustusa.org) – a group formed to oppose anti-religious bigotry.  Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org .

Published by The National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21 or the National Center for Public Policy Research.

PRESS RELEASE: Conservative Cleric Asks in New Book: Does America Hate God?

Despite a Faithful Public, Government Increasingly Hostile to Public Displays of Religion

PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD – Author Council Nedd II is a man willing to address the crucial question so many people are wondering about right now: Does America hate God? Nedd, a current bishop in the Anglican church and a former Capitol Hill staffer, is the author of the new book Does America Hate God? Faith Under Fire. In that book, he addresses issues of American culture, clashes of values and the actions of government and radical anti-religious activists that have come together to make open practices of faith harder and harder in our society. From the removal of the Ten Commandments from courthouses to attacks on crosses at veterans’ memorials to the misrepresentation of the history of the founding of the republic, Bishop Nedd speaks on the battle being waged to preserve religious freedom in the United States. In the book, Nedd writes: People of faith are ostracized in our popular culture. Religious characters in movies and television shows are regularly portrayed as gullible oafs, judgmental bigots or outright hypocrites. The cultural elite seem to want people to look to them for guidance, rather than to God… Americans of faith need to push back against the radical secular minority imposing itself on the rest of America. “It’s not my goal nor my desire to tell Americans that their nation is inhospitable to our Lord and Savior, but the signs of the epic battle between faith and the established elite are all around us,” said Bishop Nedd. “While it is Christian doctrine to turn the other cheek in the face of insult, it is not a sin to stand up to this brazen assault on religion.” Bishop Nedd is the rector of St. Alban’s Anglican Church in Pine Grove, Pennsylvania and the archbishop of Abu Dhabi. He has participated in relief missions to the Middle East and Africa. Additionally, he is the national chairman of the nonprofit organization In God We Trust and a founding member of the Project 21 black leadership network. He has participated in countless interviews over the past two decades on issues of faith and contemporary politics. He is currently a regular guest on the One America News Network and the RT network. He is also the author or two other books: The Final Four: A Spiritual Journey Through Advent (2013) and Teach Me How to Pray (2014). Chapters in Does America Hate God? Faith Under Fire deal with the importance of faith in the founding of America, how modern government is hostile to faith and how popular culture exhibits an obvious hostility toward religion. Drawing from a perspective gained from being both behind the pulpit and behind some of America’s leading modern lawmakers and thought leaders, Nedd brings a unique perspective to the public policy debate over faith and freedom. Does America Hate God? Faith Under Fire is published by Terebinth Books and was written with David W. Almasi.

Atheist Bullies

AR-709149522by Archbishop Council Nedd II

On the History Channel, they’ve turned the Bible into a miniseries.

It’s a hit. Nielsen reports the first installment had over 13 million viewers — a record for basic cable in 2013.

According to one of the network’s presidents, the channel “launched an incredible and coordinated [media] campaign” to lure viewers to this faith-based programming.

This got me thinking about media coverage of the Christian faith and how atheists choose to attack God.

In late 2012, the American Humanists Association targeted American children. The group unveiled a web-based campaign informing young people they are “a bit old for imaginary friends.”

The huge atheist media buy included online display ads on youth-oriented websites including Google and YouTube as well as the Cheezburger sites, Pandora, Reddit and Facebook. Disney, National Geographic Kids and Time For Kids were approached, but rejected the ads.

AHA also bought 200 interior and exterior bus ads in Washington, D.C. and a billboard in Moscow, Idaho.

The atheist media strategy left me curious. Why didn’t they run advertisements deriding faith in Detroit… or Cairo, Riyadh, Kabul or Abuja?

If it were about money, they certainly could have stretched their dollars further in those markets. If it was about reaching more people, they could have generated more significant buzz in places where faith — Islam, for instance — is more prominent in everyday life.

If it was a dialogue the atheists wanted, why not choose places with more opportunity for true engagement.  Christians, Western Christians and American Christians in particular are less likely to talk openly about God. Most Muslims, however, even those who are not particularly devout, always seem willing to talk about their faith.

Atheist ads mainly fall on the deaf ears among Western urban dwellers. They usually only draw attention from people like me who are willing to defend my faith and publicly counter their claims. By choosing the high-profile but low-interest areas, what they did indicates a bid for media attention.

Realistically, atheists could run ads in Jakarta, Indonesia if they really wanted impact. Why don’t they?

The likely case is the organized atheist/humanist movement is being a bully. While Christians are bound and encouraged to express their faith and proclaim the gospel, they are, by nature, more understated.

Consider the passive nature of Christian martyrdom. Islamic martyrdom can be quite proactive when under real or even perceived attack.

Remember the Christian reaction to the atheists’ “mock nativity scene” at the Wisconsin State Capitol this past Christmas? There were no mob scenes, riots, burnings or other actions garnering international attention. In comparison, reaction in Cairo, Benghazi and Sana’a to Internet postings from the film “Innocence of Muslims” resulted in all of the above.

In general Christians may get outraged. For most, it ends there. Muslims, on the other hand, may respond openly and actively to an attack on what they consider holy.

The writer and activist Andrew Vachss once said: “Life is a fight, but not everyone’s a fighter. Otherwise, bullies would be an endangered species.” I’m not aware of the American Humanist Association mocking the practitioners of zoolatry, Sikhs and Hindus or Jews — and I don’t encourage it.

What I’m pointing out is that organized atheists seemingly target only Christians. The bully can dominate the playground of the mockery of God, and Christians maybe won’t fight back — at least not in the way to stop the bully.

We seldom, if ever witness the atheist bully attack Muslims. Bullies don’t typically attack when they know there will be an open and active response. We don’t witness the bully attacking Hindus. This would be politically incorrect and morally repugnant.

We Christians worship the One True Living God.  His ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts.  Christians are expected to be faithful to God’s word, which often requires turning the other cheek and trusting in God’s ultimate protection.  God has promised to take care of his own.

So maybe the atheists should rethink their approach.

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Project 21 member Council Nedd II, the bishop of the Chesapeake and the Northeast for the Episcopal Missionary Church, is the honorary chairman of In God We Trust (http://www.ingodwetrustusa.org), a group formed to oppose anti-religious bigotry. Comments may be sent to Project21@nationalcenter.org .

Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.