The Biblical story of Daniel in the lion's den is one of the more famous stories of the Old Testament. In the story, Daniel is commanded to not pray by a decree from King Darius. Imagine that! Can you imagine any government forbidding its people to pray? What kind of totalitarian state would do such a thing? OK, perhaps Red China or North Korea, but that's about it, right? Oh, did I mention that Daniel was a government employee? (I guess the ACLU has been around a lot longer than everyone thought.)
Well, friends, think again. The nation that is resurrecting the totalitarian policies of old King Darius is none other than the good old United States of America.
For example, in an adjoining county to my hometown in Florida, a federal district judge by the name of Casey Rodgers has instigated criminal charges against a high school principal by the name of Frank Lay and his athletic director, Robert Freeman. Their crime: praying. Their possible sentence: jail. Darius' prosecutors are federal attorneys Randy Hensel and Dixie Morrow.
According to court records, Lay is accused of asking Freeman to offer a blessing before a January 28 luncheon at Pace (Florida) High School for people who helped with the school's new fieldhouse.
And guess what? The documents in which the judge sought the criminal charges are sealed, meaning they are not open to public view. Why they are sealed, an unusual step, could not immediately be determined. (Source: Pensacola News Journal) [Criminal charges in Pace prayer suit, by Carmen Paige, August 2, 2009]
Egad! A school employee asked to offer a blessing at a luncheon! Jail is not enough: to the lion's den with him! Or maybe even the burning fiery furnace!
What's that, you say, about religious liberty, the First Amendment, state sovereignty, and the Tenth Amendment? Those things are but relics from the "old republic." They are but memories of a bygone era. This is a new day, a new Amerika.
In today's Amerika, federal dictates are tantamount to the Law of the Medes and Persians. Federal judges have the authority of Caesars. Federal courts rule over states and local communities, as did Britain's royal governors in the original 13 Colonies. Federal police agencies use force and intimidation not unlike Hitler's SS. In short, this monstrosity known as the federal government has become a ubiquitous, gargantuan, out-of-control leviathan that is eating up the liberties (not to mention the tax dollars) of the American people faster than Elizabeth Taylor went through husbands.
Of course, since the feds are now jailing people who pray, there are other candidates they must consider worthy of the lion's den: those antiquated preachers who still quote the Bible's condemnation of homosexuality should also be cast into their pit. And, surely, the feds will want to add people who yet read (and believe) the words of George Washington, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Jefferson to the list of condemned.
And what about all those deluded souls out there who still believe in the right of the people to keep and bear arms? The feds must surely believe that they belong in the furnaces. Then there are the misguided simpletons who believe that free markets are superior to socialized medicine. Maybe they are the ones who will inhabit all these empty prison compounds we see the feds putting up all over the country.
Well, why not? People who believe in the right to life; who believe illegal immigration must stop; who oppose the United Nations, the New World Order, and gun control; and who voted for Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin have already made it to the feds' "potential terrorists" list. What's next? The lion's den?
Let's face it: the America our forefathers bequeathed to us is dead and dying! All that is left are vestiges of a once-proud and free republic. As the Scripture says, "Woe be unto them that call evil good, and good evil." And there is another verse of Scripture that applies here: "For rulers are not a terror to good works."
But in Pace, Florida, a good man who is doing a good work (Frank Lay) is being terrorized by an oppressive federal government that is behaving as badly as did old King Darius. Therefore, from an historic, constitutional, and Biblical perspective, it is both an illegitimate and unlawful power.
Only when the various "free and independent states" begin reclaiming their sovereignty and standing up to this tyrannical federal leviathan in defense of their God-given liberties will the rights and freedoms of the American people begin to re-emerge. Until then, Frank Lay faces jail for PRAYING.
Yes, America has a modern-day Daniel.
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the pastor of Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts a weekly radio show. His website is here.