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Monday, Aug. 29, 2016



It is essential to elect people who believe in God

We talk about the power of prayer.

About how it can transform a life, enlighten and guide us. Inspire us.

Many refer to themselves as “prayer warriors,” and they belong to prayer groups in churches all across our country, coming together to pray – every day. Praying for healing. For peace. For wisdom. For the poor, and those who are hurting.

But is prayer enough? The Bible tells us that faith alone, without works, is dead, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?” And, yes, oh Lord, yes, we need both this year, if we ever needed them, for sure.

This was no more evident in recent days than in the miraculous relief efforts of churches from all over our country, who rolled up their sleeves, packed up 18-wheelers that were full of supplies, drove into Baton Rouge and assisted those who lost nearly every material possession they owned during the historic flooding there.

The truth is, though, our country has always needed its churches and prayer. You may not have needed it – but our country has – and still does. It’s right there in the Declaration of Independence, hiding in plain sight. It says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Did you catch it? The reason that prayer is so very needed for our country, and our very way of life, is that without the Creator, there are no rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. None. And because government’s duty is to protect these rights for us, it’s necessary that we elect men and women who pray. You don’t necessarily have to, but those whom we elect must.

After all, if we continue to elect those who don’t acknowledge our rights come from our Creator, or that there is even a Creator, at all, how can these elected officials possibly pretend to protect our rights, if they don’t believe the Creator is the source of those rights to begin with?

Put another way, we are all free to believe what we wish, or not to believe at all. This isn’t about your religion, and frankly, that’s a personal matter, anyway. But what matters to every single one of us is that we elect a government that acknowledges our rights come from God because, if they don’t come from God, they must necessarily come from man – and what man can give, man can also take away.

There is more reason for concern here, though. The share of Americans who identify as atheists has roughly doubled in the past several years – and that’s just the beginning of it. In fact, for every o n e admitted atheist in our country, there are three more Americans that say they do not believe in God or a universal spirit, either.

This declining faith is most evident in our young people. Consider that 70 percent of those ages 65 and older express an absolutely certain belief in God or a universal spirit, but only about half of adults under 30 feel the same way (51 percent).

In fact, it is estimated that by 2050 the percentage of the U.S. population attending church will be almost half of what it is today. Those that profess no particular spiritual belief already make up 21 percent of our electorate – and that is up 50 percent from 2008.

Non-believers even make up a larger voting bloc than Catholics, than Protestants, or any other religious group out there.

And for some reason, they also make up a significant portion of the Democratic Party – more than 25 percent of Democrats are nonbelievers. This influence was reflected in the 2012 Democratic Party Platform which did not mention, whatsoever, our Creator, in any shape, form or fashion. In the Democrats’ 2016 platform, there were three (3) shorthand references to God, but in the context of an individual’s “God-given” potential (but no mention of any redeeming value that religion provides to society).

But if it is too unholy of an idea to replace “God” with the arbitrary power of government officials, who pretend to know what is best for us, that limit what we can say, and that minimize the expression of our faith, then prayer alone is likely not enough for you.

Instead, we must also elect men and women who believe in God (even if you don’t) to preserve our unalienable rights. And not because any of us are less holy, but because elected officials who already believe in God, already know it will never be their right, nor has it ever been, to decide yours.

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman and attorney. He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in The Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com.


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