Posts Tagged ‘home schooling’

Obama And Democrat Party Want To Bring Sweden’s War On Parents By Government Takeover On America

April 12, 2012

Click on the link below to see the video of this terrible story:

http://downloads.cbn.com/cbnnewsplayer/cbnplayer.swf?aid=29058

Does this sound familiar to you?  Read this trying to see how “rights” get turned on their head and perverted.  The child has a “right” to daycare so the state forces parents to put their children under the totalitarian control of the state beginning at age ONE.  And of course it is a bad thing for parents to “indoctrinate” their own children; they belong to the state and the state as god and as final arbiter of justice decides which indoctrination is proper.

Swedish Home-Schoolers Flee ‘Parental Inquisition’
By Dale Hurd
CBN News Sr. Reporter

STOCKHOLM, Sweden — Sweden used to be synonymous with freedom and safety. The nation was a haven for political refugees from around the world.

But today, Sweden is creating new political refugees: the home-schooler.
 
One of the escape routes for home-schoolers from Sweden is by ship, two hours across the Baltic sea to the Åland Islands. It’s a part of Finland where the locals speak Swedish and where parents can home school in freedom.

Sweden’s home-school movement has been crushed by a state apparatus that wants children as young as one year old in daycare, and all children in a classroom with a state-approved curriculum.

“The Swedish government believes that [the] state takes better care of children than parents,” said Jonas Himmelstrand, president of ROHUS, the Swedish Homeschool Association.

They [the government] are slowly going to more of a police state, where children are more controlled. They have to be in school,” he added.
 
Freedom in Finland
 
Himmelstrand and his wife Tamara were threatened with tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of fines for home-schooling. The family slipped quietly out of the country and is beginning a new life in Finland.

“We had many friends tell us, ‘Please get out, we’re worried about you,'” Himmselstrand recalled.
 
Home-schooling parents Magnus and Cina Wallen-Henriksen worked in the music industry in Stockholm before fleeing to Finland.
 
“We were afraid to stay. Our children were in danger and our family was in danger,” Cina said.
 
“The choice [to leave] was quite easy to make,” Magnus added.
 
Most Swedish home-schoolers don’t make the decision for religious reasons, but because they see the educational and social development home schooling provides.
 
“We noticed our children are enjoying how they learn at home and in other places,” Cina explained. “Our children developed fast and good, both emotionally and social and intellectual.”

Government Takeover?
 
Before 2010, it was possible to home-school in Sweden. But new laws now ban the practice in almost all cases and forces private schools to teach the state curriculum.
 
Swedish human rights lawyer Ruby Harrold-Claesson calls what’s happening in Sweden a “parental inquisition.”
 
“Sweden’s treatment of parents in the area of education is totalitarian, essentially. They want to take children from birth to graduation and control them,” said Michael Donnelly, director of international relations at the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.
 
Donnelly claims Sweden’s treatment of parents violates established standards of human rights.
 
“In fact, the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights signed in 1947 actually says … that parents have a ‘prior right’ to decide the kind of education their children should have,” he explained.
 
But Sweden’s ambassador to the United States said, “The [Swedish] government does not find that home schooling is necessary for religious or philosophical reasons.”

Fear of ‘Indoctrination’
 
Parents are pressured to put their children in daycare at age one.
 
“One mother told me when she went with her 18 month son to his medical checkup, and he was not in daycare. They said, ‘Oh, your son is not in daycare? But he has to go to daycare. He needs that and you need to work,'” Himmselstrand told CBN News.

“The argument they give about this is that every child has a ‘right’ to daycare. This is not a right that parents are allowed to interfere with.”
 
Donnelly said there is a bad historical precedent for Sweden’s control of children and education: the dictatorships of the last century.
 
“This seems to be what’s happening in Sweden,” he said. “They want to get the kids. They want to socialize them in the way they think is appropriate, and they don’t want the parents involved.”
 
Texan Lisa Angerstig married a Swede and lives in Uppsala with their four children. The couple is fighting fines levied over the home schooling of their son.
 
“Sweden does not believe it’s a parent’s right to choose how you raise your children, period,” Angerstig said. “They believe if you’re keeping your children at home, it’s possible you’re indoctrinating them.”
 
She believes the Swedish government’s actions prove it believes parents are a negative influence on their children.

‘No More Housewives’
 
A major issue for the Swedish government is gender equality.
 
The motto for a leading educator in the country states, “Sweden: No more housewives, but higher wages for women.”

Tamara Himmelstrand said she used to experience the daily disapproval of stay-at-home moms in Sweden.
 
“The incredible disdain Swedish society has for motherhood and the work that I was doing [made me feel like a bad person],” she said.
 
But Sweden’s experiment with state control of children and families does not seem to be going so well. The Swedish government’s own report shows the psychological health of Swedish youth is declining faster than in 11 comparable European countries.

“And this is being discussed [by experts],” Jonas Himmselstrand said. “Why are Swedish young people so psychologically unhealthy, so full of anxiety, so easily depressed?”
 
“If you ask any developmental psychologist in Sweden who is into this question, they would say, ‘You know, it has a likely connection to the fact that 93 percent of all 18 month to 5-year-olds are in daycare, often for many hours a day,” he continued.
 
Educational test scores have dropped as well.
 
“Sweden is one of the richest countries in the world. Our children should be doing absolutely the best of any country in the world, but they’re not,” Himmselstrand said.
 
The home-school families who have sacrificed so much by fleeing Sweden say it is a relief to finally be able to teach their children in freedom.
 
But what about the nation they left behind? One European Union study suggests Swedish family policy is making the nation’s adults worse parents.
 
Dale Hurd also reported from Uppsala, Sweden and Mariehamn, Finland.

Don’t think for a single nanosecond that this crap isn’t going on in Obama’s God damn America, too.

And in state after state and with politician after politician, wherever homeschooling is most under attack, Democrats are behind it.

None of this is anything new, folks.  Socialists ALWAYS target the children.

Some quotes I’ve accumulated on liberal secular humanists wanting to destroy parents’ rights to parent so that THEY get indoctrination power:

  • Richard Dawkins says, “How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents? It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe in manifest falsehoods? Isn’t it always a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs that they are too young to have thought about” even as he demands the right to do just that with his atheistic evolution.
  • Richard Rorty argued that secular teachers ought to “arrange things so that students who enter as bigoted, homophobic religious fundamentalists will leave college with views more like our own.” And he claimed that students are fortunate to find themselves “under the benevolent Herrshaft of people like me and to have escaped the frightening, vicious, dangerous parents.” He blatantly and arrogantly warned the parents who were literally paying to send their children to him, “we are going to go right on trying to discredit you before the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.”
  • Steven Weinberg wrote that “Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization”?
  • Christopher Hitchens wrote that “All religions and all churches are equally demented in their belief in divine intervention, divine intercession, or even the existence of the divine in the first place”? He wrote that, “How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith? He charged that “religion has always hoped to practice upon the unformed and undefended minds of the young.”
  • Richard Dawkins wrote, “The great unmentionable evil at the center of our culture is monotheism”?
  • Scott Atran said, “Religious belief requires taking what is materially false to be true and what is materially true to be false” in a warped commitment to “factually impossible worlds.”
  • Richard Dawkins: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”
  • Richard Lewontin says of education: “the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural forces of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, science, as the only begetter of truth.”
  • Carolyn Porco says, “Let’s teach our children from a very young age about the story of the universe and its incredible richness and beauty. It is already so much more glorious and awesome – and even comforting – than anything offered by any scripture or God concept I know.”
  • Woodrow Wilson – as president of Princeton and as an early progressive fascist – said, “Our problem is not merely to help the students to adjust themselves to world life… but to make them as unlike their fathers as we can.”

We won’t just be Sweden soon.  We’ll be the worse of both Sweden AND Greece soon…

It’s all par for the course in Obama’s God damn America.

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Bill Maher Keeps Documenting The Fact That To Be A Liberal Is To Be A Hypocrite And An Abject Dumbass

March 14, 2012

Bill Maher had something to say about Rick Santorum’s wife and children:

BILL MAHER: But I bring up the old tale of the poisoned apple — no, not “Snow White,” that’s a fairy tale – because the Adam and Eve story is taken literally by half the country and it’s no coincidence that the type of tree which god forbade Adam and Eve eating from was the Tree of Knowledge. Rick Santorum homeschools his children because he does not want them eating that f–king apple. He wants them locked up in the Christian madrassa that is the family living room not out in public where they could be infected by the virus of reason. If you’re a kid and the only adults you’ve ever met are mom and dad, and then they’re also the smartest adults you’ve met, why not keep it that way? Why mess up paradise with a lot knowledge? After all, a mind is a terrible thing to open.

You can watch him make an ass out of himself and all of liberalism in general right here.

For the record, you can click on that link above or this one to read a little bit about how superior homeschooled kids truly are.

You can learn that home-schooled kids score highest on both the SAT and the ACT tests.

You can read about another “Christian madrassa” kid who was not allowed to eat the “f-ing apple of reason.”  Who scored 1,570 out of a possible 1,600 on his SAT with a perfect 800 in math.

Or you can read this from today:

Virginia girl, 6, youngest ever in U.S. spelling bee
Reuters – 4 hrs ago (3/13/12).

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A 6-year-old U.S. girl will become the youngest contestant ever in the Scripps National Spelling Bee after winning a regional competition in Virginia.

Lori Anne Madison, of Woodbridge, Virginia, won the Prince William County spelling contest earlier this month, beating out 21 top elementary and middle school competitors. Her winning word: “vaquero,” a word of Spanish origin meaning cowboy.

“My parents quiz me. I read lists and I have a really good memory,” Madison, who is home-schooled, told Fox’s WTTG-TV, a Washington-area station.

Madison was believed to be the youngest competitor ever, the Cincinnati-based National Spelling Bee said on Tuesday. Based on incomplete records, the previous youngest contestant was 8, it said.

The spelling contest has been held annually since 1925. This year’s event will be May 29 to June 1 in Washington, with 277 participants from the United States, U.S. territories and other countries.

Madison will be sponsored by the News & Messenger newspaper of Manassas, Virginia.

(Reporting By Ian Simpson; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Philip Barbara)

In other words, evil doesn’t just make you liberal, it makes you a truly stupid human being who is catastrophically unable to understand basic reality.

And, yes, Bill Maher also provides a very graphic documentation of the fact that liberals are abject hypocrites:

This guy who mocks Rick and Karen Santorum as parents and mocks their children and mocks their religion – stupidly and falsely, I might add – also has called Sarah Palin a “cunt” and a “dumb twat” to document that he is an offensive misogynist bigot who makes Rush Limbaugh look like a saint in the pantheon of feminism by comparison.

For the record, I bet that dumb twat cunt Sarah Palin is smart enough to know that home-schooled kids run academic circles around their government-schooled competition.

But of course that won’t stop Barack Obama – in spite of all of his hoity-toity self-righteous sanctimony from pocketing Bill Maher’s $1 million donation.

You see, Obama said “People’s families are off limits.”  But what he clearly meant to say (you know how the media always reinterprets what Obama said so it won’t sound so damn stupid?) is that LIBERAL people’s families are off limits.  Sarah Palin’s and Rick Santorum’s families are good for huntin’ and even better for eatin’.

Obama thanks you for your gift, Maher.  And all liberals should also thank you for showing the world what liberals and liberalism is really like.

Of course, liberals could prove that wrong by refusing to watch his program so that Bill Maher ends up living in a box on the sidewalk like he ought to.  But that aint going to happen: because liberals truly are abject hypcrite dumbasses.

Only a liberal would believe that a reasonably intelligent parent wouldn’t make a better teacher for his or her own child than a government bureaucrat who is warehousing forty of somebody else’s kids.

The Manhattan Declaration As The New Barmen Declaration

November 25, 2009

Christians are hearing about the Manhattan Declaration with great excitement.  It is a tremendous document with tremendous support from some tremendous Christian figures.

The actual declaration (linked to above) is some 4,000 plus words long, and is available to read at the link above.  But here is the nutshell version:

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:

  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

I hope you stand with me – and with (at last count as of November 24, 2009) 106,738 other believers – and sign this declaration.

It reminds me of another time, and another declaration: the Barmen Declaration of 1934, which was a point-by-point denunciation of the fascist and racist ideological doctrines of Nazism and a positive expression of true Christian faith against a government and a culture that had become evil.

Adolf Hitler attempted to redefine – or “Nazify” – the Church and transform it into a component of his ideological agenda.  At one point in its history Germany had been the seat of the Protestant Reformation, and while Germany had since become the most secular humanist nation in Europe, there was still a vestige of Christianity remaining.  And Hitler wanted to harness that still-influential vestige toward his own ends.  The government thus passed resolutions to limit the influence or dictate the agenda of the church.  One demanded the purging of all pastors who rejected “the spirit of National Socialism.”  Another resolution categorically rejected the very foundations of Judeo-Christian transcendent morality even as it tried to conflate “being a German” with “being a Christian”:

“We expect that our nation’s church as a German People’s Church should free itself from all things not German in its services and confession, especially from the Old Testament with its Jewish system of quid pro quo morality.”

The German Confessing Movement was a reaction against the German government’s attempt to impose its agenda upon the Christian Church in Germany.  As Gene Edward Veith put it in his book Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview:

The Barmen Declaration thus sets itself against not only the German Christian aberration but against the whole tradition of modernist syncretism that made it possible.

[Article 1 affirmed Christ as the transcendent authority and source of values (as opposed to the German race, the Nazi revolution, or the person of Adolf Hitler)].  Article 2 asserts the sovereignty of Christ over all of life.  Article 3 asserts Christ’s lordship over the church and rejects “the false doctrine, as though the Church were permitted to abandon the form of its message and order to its own pleasure or to changes in prevailing ideological and political conventions.”  That is to say, the world does not set the agenda for the church.  Article 4 teaches that church offices are for mutual service and ministry, not for the exercise of raw power.  Article 5 acknowledges the divine appointment of the state, but rejects the pretensions of the state to “become the single and totalitarian order of human life, thus fulfilling the Church’s vocation as well.”  Article 6 affirms the church’s commission to proclaim the free grace of God to everyone by means of the Word and the sacraments.  “We reject the false doctrine, as though the Church in human arrogance could place the Word and work of the Lord in the service of any arbitrarily chosen desires, purposes, and plans [pp. 60-61].

One article, entitled “Hitler’s Theologians: The Genesis of Genocide,” takes time to describe how various key German liberal theologians systematically tore apart the Bible and orthodox Christianity – and in so doing systematically undermined the ethics and morality of the German people in preparation for the hell to come.  The author begins with Friedrich Schleiermacher, called “the founder of Liberal Protestantism,” and profiles the “contributions” of Friedrich Nietzsche, Julius Wellhausen, and Adolf von Harnack.

Georg Lukacs has observed that tracing the path to Hitler involved the name of nearly every major German philosopher since Hegel: Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Dilthy, Simmel, Scheler, Heidegger, Jaspers, and Weber [page 5, The Destruction of Reason].  And Max Weinreich produced an exhaustive study detailing the complicity of German intellectuals with the Nazi regime entitled Hitler’s Professors: The Part of Scholarship in Germany’s Crimes Against the Jewish People.  Ideas have consequences, and it was the ideas of these liberal theologians, philosophers and scholars who provided the intellectual justification and conceptual framework for the Holocaust.  Thus Nazism did not merely emerge from a liberal theological system, but from a distinguished secular humanist intellectual tradition as well — a distinguished intellectual tradition that had repudiated all the moral and spiritual values inherent to the orthodox Christianity of the Confessing Church.

Josef Hromadka wrote that:

“The liberal theology in Germany and in her orbit utterly failed.  It was willing to compromise on the essential points of divine law and of “the law of nature”; to dispose of the Old Testament and to accept the law of the Nordic race instead; and to replace the “Jewish” law of the Old Testament by the autonomous law of each race and nation, respectively.  It had made all the necessary preparation for the “Germanization of Christianity” and for a racial Church.”

Veith subsequently says, “in deciding whether or not to sign the Barmen Declaration … the dividing line was clear.”  And he states, “The German Christian theologians predictably denounced the confessional movement as being ‘narrow’ and ‘fundamentalist.'”  He rightly described the opponents of the Barmen Declaration as being “modernists,” “existentialists,” and “dialectical” in their thinking.  The theologians who rejected Barmen were men like Emanuel Hirsch, who taught that the resurrection of Christ was only a spiritual vision, and that the idea of a physical resurrection distorted Christianity by focusing attention to the hereafter rather than to the culture and community of the present.

In short, it was Christians who thought like the evangelicals and fundamentalists of today who signed the Barmen Declaration and openly opposed Nazism, and it was “Christians” who thought like the mainline liberals of today who stood for the German Christian Nazification of Christianity and for the resulting Nazification of German ethics and morality.

Confessing Church pastors and priests who resisted this Nazification of the church paid dearly.  Thousands of clergymen were hauled away to the concentration camps.  According to the Niemoller archives, 2,579 clergymen were sent to Dachau alone – and 1,034 of them died in the camp.  And that only refers to the priests and pastors – not the untold thousands of devout Christians such as the Ten Booms who perished in the death camps for their opposition to Nazism.

An article entitled “Asking ‘Why Nazism?’” reviewing a book by Dr. Karla Poewe has this:

“One of the dangers of liberal Christianity, where all sorts of interpretations are permitted, is that it can easily slip into becoming a new religion,” Poewe says. “This is what happened. In a bid to rid Germany of what it saw as Jewish Christianity, several home-grown practices sprang up, including some that incorporated Icelandic and pre-Christian sagas, as well as ideas from German Idealism.”

Although initially these new religions were separate and disorganized entities, they eventually came under the umbrella of what was known as the German Faith Movement. Hitler saw in it a mechanism for transmitting and reinforcing the National Socialist worldview. “He shaped its followers into a disciplined political force but dismissed its leaders later when they were no longer needed,” Poewe says.

We’re clearly not to the point where Jews, or Christians, or anyone else are being gathered by the thousands and placed in death camps.  But we’re beginning to see a trend that is frightening, as government, with the assistance of liberal “Christian” churches and organizations, are trying to impose their will upon the church and its agenda.

We’ve had a “hate crimes” law imposed upon us that makes homosexuality a protected behavior.  And one evangelical expresses the Confessing Church position in a nutshell:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said in a written statement the bill “is part of a radical social agenda that could ultimately silence Christians and use the force of government to marginalize anyone whose faith is at odds with homosexuality.”

In another recent case, a Christian mother who has homeschooled her child is being forced to put her ten-year old child in public school, not to improve her academic education, but to limit her exposure to Christianity and forcibly expose her to a government-approved “public” point of view:

According to the court order, the guardian concluded that Amanda’s “interests, and particularly her intellectual and emotional development, would be best served by exposure to a public school setting in which she would be challenged to solve problems presented by a group learning situation and…Amanda would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior.”

This is a shocking case, in which the government is usurping both parental and religious freedoms.  And there are many similar usurpations today, in which our government is actively opposing Christian values.

Nearly fifty million babies have been killed in this country by a government-sanctioned “pro-choice” system.  Gene Edward Veith addresses the “pro-choice” movement and its philosophical underpinnings:

Existential ethics brackets the objective issues on abortion entirely.  At issue is not some transcendent moral law, nor medical evidence, nor a logical analysis.  The content of that choice makes no difference.  If the mother chooses to have the baby, her action is moral.  If she chooses not to have the baby, her action is still moral.  If she bears a child against her will or aborts a child against her will — then and only then is the action evil.  Those who believe that abortion should be legal do not consider themselves “pro-abortion.”  They are “pro-choice.”  The term is not only a rhetorical euphemism but a precise definition of existential ethics.

Existentialism is also reflected in those who are “pro-choice” but personally oppose abortion.  They do not believe in abortion for themselves, but refuse to impose their beliefs on others.  In this view, a belief has no validity outside the private, personal realm of each individual.  Moral and religious beliefs are no more than personal constructions, important in giving meaning to an individual’s life, but not universally valid.  Or, to use another commonly accepted axiom, “what’s true for you may not be true for me.”

Such a view of truth flies in the face of all classical metaphysics, which sees truth as objective, universal, and applicable to all” (page 96, Modern Fascism: Liquidating the Judeo-Christian Worldview).

We can return to the historical analysis of Nazism presented by Karla Poewe, and what happened when such “anything goes” belief systems were allowed to rule.  [I have written an article describing how existentialism became a primary component of Nazism, and link to it HERE].

Before we leave the issue of abortion as a vile violation of Christian ethics and morality, let us consider one more voice:

“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child – a direct killing of the innocent child – murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?” — Mother Teresa

Christians should fight for life.  And allowing a human being to live should not be a “choice,” but a duty.

In 2003 one David Allen Black wrote an article bearing the question, “Do We Need A New Barmen Declaration?”  No Christian with a knowledge of history can answer any other way than, “YES!

The Barmen Declaration was written in 1934, but in many ways it was already too late: The Nazis were already in power.  Hitler was in his second year of power; and the ideas of the liberal theologians, the existentialist philosophers, and the amoral intellectuals were already firmly in place.

It is my fervent hope that we finally have that “New Barmen Declaration” to answer the evils of our own day.  If we already should have written one, then every day that passes is one more day wasted; if we are acting pro-actively, then let us thank God that we acting before it is too late.

From the UK Telegraph:

At last, Christians draw a line in the sand against their PC secularist persecutors

By Gerald Warner UK Last updated: November 24th, 2009

At long last, Christian leaders have faced up to their persecutors in the secularist, socialist, One-World, PC, UN-promoted axis of evil and said: No more. In the popular metaphor, they have drawn a line in the sand. For harassed, demoralised faithful in the pews it will come as the long-awaited call to resistance and an earnest that their leaders are no longer willing to lie down supinely to be run over by the anti-Christian juggernaut. This statement of principle and intent is called The Manhattan Declaration, published last Friday in Washington DC.

It is difficult to believe that so firm an assertion of Christian intransigence in the face of persecution will not have some beneficial effects even here. For this Declaration is no minor affirmation by a few committed activists: on the contrary, it is signed by the most important leaders of three mainstream Christian traditions – the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and Evangelical Protestants. For an ecumenical document it is heroically devoid of fudge, euphemism and compromise.

The Manhattan Declaration states that “the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions”.

For Barack Obama, the PC lobby, the “hate crime” fascists and, by implication, their opposite numbers in Britain, the signatories have an uncompromising message: “We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.” That is plain speaking, in the face of anti-Christian aggression by governments. The signatories spelled it out even more unequivocally: “We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, but we will under no circumstances render to Caesar what is God’s.”

In a world where a Swedish pastor has been jailed for preaching that sodomy is sinful, similar prosecutions have taken place in Canada, the European Court of Human Rights (sic) has tried to ban crucifixes in Italian classrooms, Brazil has passed totalitarian legislation imposing heavy prison sentences for criticism of homosexual lifestyles, Amnesty International is championing abortion, David Cameron has voted for the enforced closure of Catholic adoption agencies, and Gordon Brown’s government has just been defeated in its fourth attempt to abolish the Waddington Clause guaranteeing free speech – this robust defiance is more than timely.

The signatories are unambiguously expressing their willingness to go to prison rather than deny any part of their religious beliefs. Those signatories are heavyweight. On the Catholic side they include Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia; Adam Cardinal Maida, Archbishop Emeritus of Detroit; the Archbishops of Denver, New York, Washington DC, Newark, Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Louisville; and other Bishops. The Orthodox include the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and the Archpriest of St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. There are also the Anglican Primates of America and Nigeria, as well as a host of senior Evangelical Protestants.

In terms of influence on votes and public opinion, this is a formidable coalition. It has served notice on the US government that further anti-Christian legislation will provoke cultural trench warfare and even civil disobedience. As regards the sudden stiffening of resistance among the usually spineless Catholic leadership, it is impossible not to detect the influence of Benedict XVI.

We need more declarations like this, on a global scale, and the requisite confrontational follow-up. This is Clint Eastwood, make-my-day Christianity – and not before time. From now on, any governments that are planning further persecution of Christians had better make sure they have a large pride of lions available for mastication duties. The worm has turned.

As a young Christian, I was inspired by the music, lyrics, and album cover of Keith Green’s album, No Compromise.  The cover says it all:

The Manhattan Declaration – like the Barmen Declaration – calls for Christians who are willing to stand up and be singled out even in the face of persecution or punishment.

I hope you are willing to be one of those Christians.