The end is near for the First Amendment of the Constitution. It had a good run -- 215 years -- and it may coast along for a little bit longer. The 2004 elections, however, make it clear that it’s days are surely numbered.
Death won’t come suddenly. It will be a slow, convulsive and painful death as people of conscience gasp for the last breaths of the air of freedom that made dialogue about religion civil in this country.
Chief among those choking the life out of religious liberty are Baptists. Seminal in conceiving liberty of conscience and instrumental in giving it birth as a civil right, Baptists are now eager to bury it alive and cover it over with the dirt of civil religion.
Perhaps it will flower again in the soil above the graves they are digging for those who are prepared to take up a cross and follow Jesus. Some sort of crucifixion is sure to befall all who stand against an imperial civil religion's claim to divine blessing for a nation that willingly embarks on crusades to exercise dominion over all the peoples of the earth.