I think unbelief has more to do with rejecting the God of the Bible than it does a secular ideal of keeping church and state separate, a concept that isn’t stated or hinted at in the U.S. Constitution. Rebel sinners will do what is in their nature to do: continue to deny the living God.
Last summer, I wrote an article for WORLD about the American Atheists’ lawsuit to remove the Ground Zero Cross from the National September 11 Museum & Memorial. While clearing debris after the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, a worker discovered crossed steel beams in the rubble. This piece of steel became a symbol of faith at the center of tragedy and hope for restoration. The atheist group claims the cross violates the Establishment Clause. I learned about the lawsuit after reading about the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filing an amicus brief on behalf of the defendants.
In March, a federal court dismissed the suit. The court contended that the cross is a historic artifact and doesn’t violate the Establishment Clause, which prohibits Congress from establishing a national religion. Even if the court had declared the cross a Christian symbol, it wouldn’t constitute an establishment of national religion. The atheists were defeated in this round, but they’re relentless in their unbelief.
Last week, the ACLJ reported that the “angry” atheists are continuing the legal battle and appealing the case. The ACLJ will support the defendants with another amicus brief.
What drives atheists to demand that the government remove an object that gave hope to people toiling amid death and destruction? Is it because the cross reminds us that this world is fleeting, and there are better things to come? Regardless of what atheists claim, Islamic terrorists destroy in the name of their god. Attempting to eradicate religion from the public square and push it into the closet won’t change fallen man’s nature. And that nature is to rebel. The only way to subvert that nature, decrease the number of people who kill in the name of false gods, and avoid the wrath to come is through Christ.
Christians have risked life and limb to carry that message through the ages, and we’ll continue to do it:
You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5: 13-16)
Isn’t it amazing to know that among today’s unbelievers are tomorrow’s brothers and sisters in Christ? God is still saving.