Prayer Targets: Dr. Ben Carson on Leadership; Important Prayer Case; Religious Liberty Abroad; VVS
August 07, 2013
Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. Isaiah 51:7
Dear Praying Friends,
The amazing story of Dr. Ben Carson is documented in his book and feature movie, "Gifted Hands." He retired as Professor of Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Oncology, and Pediatrics, and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. He is recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and author of five bestselling books. Ben and his wife, Candy have three grown sons. Co-founders of the Carson Scholars Fund, they have rewarded over 4,800 4th-11th grade students who have proven to be academic and humanitarian role models. He writes:
When our forefathers knelt and prayed for wisdom at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, then stood up and together assembled a seventeen-page document known as the Constitution of the United States of America, they were clearly guided by the hand of God. Today the forces of political correctness would expel God from every public sphere in American life, and the hearts and minds of every man, woman, and child in America are up for grabs in this cataclysmic battle between the lovers of men and the lovers of God. Some would rather never choose between the two, but life is full of choices, and our individual and collective choices determine the quality of our existence.
I believe it is time for us to stand up and be counted. We can no longer be passive because the Judeo-Christian way of life in America is at stake. We need not be ashamed of our faith, and we certainly should not allow those who believe differently to change who we are in order to be politically correct. Yes, we should accept them with brotherly love as we have been taught, but we should never compromise our belief system. We do believe in God, and we do believe in the right of everyone to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We do believe in an orderly government that facilitates these goals rather than impedes them. It is time to set aside political correctness and replace it with the bold values and principles that founded our nation and caused it to race to the pinnacle of the world faster than any other nation in history. It is time to stop apologizing and to start leading, because the world is desperately in need of fair and ethical leadership. If that leader is not America, then who will it be, and where will they lead? If we apply logic to solving our problems and add the godly principles of loving our fellow man, caring about our neighbors, and developing our God-given talents to the utmost so we become valuable to those around us - allowing these values and principles to govern our lives - then not only will we remain a pinnacle nation, we will truly be "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
It is my prayer, America, that God will continue to shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. I pray that with his blessings our past will be but a stepping stone to a bright future and that our best days will truly lie ahead of us - a beautiful new beginning! (Ben Carson, M.D., America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, 2012).
In his book, Carson outlines the role of prayer and faith in the Founders' lives, in his own life, and he rips at the absurdity of political correctness that is repressing prayer in the public square today. After Dr. Carson spoke at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, the Wall Street Journal headlined its story, "Ben Carson for President." Politics or not, godly cultural leadership will be at the forefront of Dr. Ben Carson's future agenda. Please pray for him and his family!
All-important Prayer Case before U.S. Supreme Court - This fall, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Town of Greece v. Galloway. The Town Council in Greece, New York, has long allowed townspeople of all faiths to open town meetings with a prayer - Christians, Jews, and off-beat religious and irreligious groups have been represented. In 2008, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, representing two offended townspeople, sued claiming these prayers to be unconstitutional. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys defended the town. Such prayers open Congress each day, as well as state legislatures and countless county, city, and town councils across America.
The old "endorsement test" is often used by the courts to decide religious liberty cases. Under this test if the government allows religious expression in some public venue - a school, courthouse, school-owned football field, etc. - and someone who attends the event is offended, it can be adjudged by a court as a violation of the Establishment Clause. "Endorsement" is thus in the eye of the beholder. Historically, the Establishment Clause was applied when a citizen was coerced to participate in some religious practice. Coercion was the measure that determined a violation. FRC Attorney Ken Klukowski believes this is the most important religious liberty case in decades and that the court could set aside the endorsement test, so often used by the enemies of faith to secularize our nation. He sees a better-than-even chance the Court will interpret the Establishment Clause as it was intended by the Framers - not to restrict the free exercise of religion, but to prevent government from imposing a national religion.
If so, the First Amendment would be restored to its proper place in deciding many religious liberty cases. Eighty-five members of Congress signed on to an Amicus Brief authored by Klukowski, an unusually large number of members take part in such a brief. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), founder of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) Chairman of the Republican Study Committee promoted the Amicus. Briefs have also been filed by 34 Senators and 23 State Attorneys General. The Court will likely hear the case in mid October (see Amicus Brief, ADF Overview; hear Ken on Washington Watch Radio (2/3 across dial), SCOTUS Proceedings & Orders).
- May God answer the prayers of God-fearing people across America who are eager to see the Supreme Court uphold the First Amendment as it was intended! (Num 25:11; Pr 22:28; Ecc 8:12; 12:13; Lk 18:1-8; 1 Cor 14:12)
U.S. Abandons Religious Liberty Abroad - Dr. Thomas Farr, Director of the Office of International Religious Freedom in the State Department (1999-2003), gave sobering testimony to Congress in June, saying the U.S. has abandoned its role in promoting and defending religious liberty around the world (see Blackwell, Weigel).
- May God give us leaders who value religious liberty at home and abroad! May God not allow us to rest until our mission to carry religious liberty to all men has been revived! (Ex 18:21; Lev 25:10; Is 57:15-21; 61:1; 62:6-10; Gal 5:11; Act 5:29)
Values Voter Summit - Dr. Ben Carson will be one of the speakers at this year's Values Voter Summit. Joining FRC and FRCAction, Heritage Foundation, AFA Action, American Values, Liberty Counsel and Liberty Counsel Action, Media Research Center and Young America's Foundation will bring to Washington, D.C., the leading Christian and conservative voices from across America on Wednesday, October 10 through Sunday, October 13, 2013. Expect this to be the most powerful and informative VVS yet. I urge you to visit the conference website, pray over this important gathering of social, fiscal and national defense conservatives. If you can come, visit us in the Prayer Room where dedicated prayer warriors from around the nation will keep the prayer fires burning throughout the conference. Given our nation's crisis, the timing of this year's VVS couldn't be more important (see Values Voter Summit Website).
- May God cause this years VVS to have a profound impact in informing Christian and conservative leaders, and in shaping the 2014 elections for righteousness! (2 Chr 7:9; 30:22-31:2; Ps 133: all; Pr 11:14; 2 Tim 2:15)
Thank you for praying!