OHIO BANS THE NAME JESUS FROM THE STATEHOUSE
By Dr. Patrick Jonston
August 24, 2007
Did you know that the Ohio Statehouse has recently disallowed Christian pastors from mentioning the name of Jesus when they open the daily session with prayer? When Pastor Keith Hamblen of Calvary Bible Church in Lima prayed “in Jesus’ name” on the floor of the Ohio Statehouse, Democratic minority leader Chris Redfern stomped off the floor in protest. Catering oh so tenderly to the religious pluralists in the House, the Republican majority leader is willing to offend Christians.
“I have received several legitimate complaints from members recently about the disregard for the guest minister guidelines, more specifically the increasing tendency of guest invocators to use language referring to a particular deity,” the Republican majority speaker John Husted said in a memorandum to all Ohio House members. “If a prayer is not received in writing and approved by the Clerk’s Office at least 72 hours prior to a session day, the guest invocator will be asked not to deliver the prayer.” He cited the Supreme Court as the authority to police public Christian prayers, and asked for the representatives to “help enforce this policy with your guests.”
With Republicans like this, my friend, who needs liberals?
For too long Bible-believing Christians have been intimidated by bureaucratic bullies with an ambitious animosity against public expressions of the Christian faith. The Supreme Court’s denial of our Christian heritage and misinterpretation of the “separation of church and state” have belittled us into silence. It is absolutely tyrannical that our government should prevent us from praying “in Jesus name” in the Statehouse, dig our Ten Commandment monuments up out of our Courthouses and public school lawns, and prevent our public schoolchildren from learning any theory for the origin of life besides atheistic ones.
The term “separation of church and state” is coined from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote the Danbury Baptist Association in which he told them that the state would not interfere with religion, not that people of religion should be silent in the houses of government or the public square. The same time that Thomas Jefferson wrote this letter, he presided as superintendent of the public school district of Washington, D.C. Can you guess what two textbooks were required reading in every classroom? The Bible and Isaac Watts’ hymnal!
The New England Primer, which was used by Americans to teach public school children how to read for the first two centuries of our nation’s existence is full of Christian doctrine and admonitions to fear God and abstain from sin. Imagine that! For most of our nation’s history, public school teachers taught the Bible, prayed Christian prayers, and sang Christian songs in the course of their duties. Noah Webster, one of our nation’s first educational bureaucrats, said, “Education is useless without God and the Bible.” Useless!
The first amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” State governments are not Congress. Christian pastors are not Congress. When the first amendment was penned, most of the states had state-sponsored Christian denominations. This was not what the first amendment forbade. The present interpretation of the first amendment is completely foreign to its authors.
In 1892 in the Supreme Court decision Holy Trinity Church vs. U.S., the Court cited 88 historical precedents to conclude “we are a Christian nation." Reading that decision would be a good history lesson for those unfortunate enough to have learned American history in our public schools, which have either omitted or denigrated America’s Christian heritage for a generation. We have abandoned Christianity to subsidize the pagan anti-christian religion of secular humanism.
I intend to be the next Republican State Representative for Ohio District 94, but I am a believer in our crucified and risen Lord first. Jesus has saved me from sin and hell and given me new life, and I will not betray Him for 51% nor for the favor of the judges who disregard the rules of order and right which heaven itself has ordained. As your State Representative, I will not be ashamed of the name of Jesus, not on the campaign trail and not in the Statehouse. I refuse to accept the dichotomy that is so often practiced by professing Christian statesmen who try to keep their faith and their secular life in separate, distinct categories. Jesus is either Lord over all or not at all. As your State Representative, I will follow the Bible first. All usurpacious policies from the religious pluralists in bureaucracy take a back seat to the authority of God and His Word. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords – there is not a speck of sand, not a heart of man, not a government office in the land that is impervious to His rule and Word.
As your State Representative, I will not allow Christians to be bullied by Ohio’s leaders or your religious monuments to be dug out of your Courthouses. I will submit and fight for legislation to prevent the state and federal governments from depriving you of your right to believe and practice your religion publicly without fear of discrimination and persecution. I will do everything in my power to bring us back as a people to the Christian principles upon which this nation was founded.
It’s not enough to vote Republican anymore. It’s not enough to support candidates who profess devotion to conservative principles, because men are sinners and will lie to secure our vote. We must support leaders who have proven character and who have demonstrated that they are absolutely committed to our values about life, liberty, and the lordship of Jesus Christ. John Jay, American’s first Supreme Court Chief Justice said, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
We must be advocates of not just personal reformation, but also national reformation. We must, as a nation and a people, return to the God of our forefathers and His ways, or we will not long remain free. God is the Judge of nations, not just individuals. His Word warns us, “The wicked, and every nation that forgets God, will be turned into hell.” But if we return to the God of our forefathers, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”
If you have never given time or effort to support a candidate for public office before, I urge you to do so now. If you are disillusioned with the finger-in-the-wind politicians who lie and deceive and exploit the treasury for personal gain, I need your support. It is not enough to criticize the status quo and bemoan the moral decadence of this generation - we must be active and support an alternative. I want to submit and fight for legislation to allow pastors to pray in Jesus’ name in the Statehouse. I want to ban abortion in Ohio and to stiffen penalties for violent crimes like rape and child molestation. I want to improve the quality and cost efficiency of education by cutting out the self-serving bureaucracy and putting parents at the helm of the education of their own children. I want to reduce the power of the state over our lives by reducing unreasonable bureaucratic regulation and cutting the pork out of our state budget to decrease our tax burden and to make Ohio more competitive and increase jobs. I want to do away with property taxation that makes the government the actual owner of all property. I want to secure our second amendment and God-given right to keep and bear arms for defense in public places. But I need your help! Convincing voters of the worthiness of our cause requires the support of those in our community who share my values. Will you please send me a check today?
Thank you so much for your support and, most of all, your prayers. The foes of life and liberty are formidable, but “the battle belongs to the Lord.” When pleasing Him is the measurement of success, we cannot lose.
(State law requires me to record your occupation when I submit records to the Ohio Secretary of State, so please put your occupation on the check. Thank you.)
© 2007 Patrick Johnston - All Rights Reserved
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Patrick Johnston and his wife Elizabeth reside in Zanesville, Ohio, with their six young home-schooled children. Patrick is a family practice physician and founder of the Association of Pro-life Physicians, which is dedicated to restoring a remnant of physicians in our communities who are convinced that life begins at conception and who will not commit nor refer for abortions (www.ProLifePhysicians.org).
He founded the Alliance to Reform Education Funding to fight public school levies and promote Christian home-schooling (www.StopSchoolLevies.org). Dr. Johnston is committed to revival in the church, and the restoration of Biblical law and constitutional government in America. Dr. Johnston is currently campaigning for State Representative for District 94 in Ohio. Their family ministry -
With Republicans like this, my friend, who needs liberals?