Recently, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson characterized the controversy over Terri Schiavo's 2005 euthanasia case in Florida as "much ado about nothing." Attorney David C. Gibbs III, founder and chief general counsel of the National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL), takes great exception to Dr. Carson’s comment. Gibbs was the attorney who represented Terri’s family in their efforts to save the life of their beloved but severely disabled daughter and sister.
Candidates running for office in 2016 are facing a multitude of issues as we dive headlong into yet another election season. Truly, the stakes for our nation and for religious liberty have never been higher. This is why it’s so important for pastors all across our nation to be speaking out individually and from their pulpits on the issues of the day. As the spiritual shepherds of millions of souls, our pastors have a tremendous responsibility to preach the Word, which includes educating those who sit in their pews on what the Bible has to say to these pressing issues of our time. As Christians, we all need to be educated biblically about these matters so we know how we should respond at the ballot box. There is only one area in particular where churches need to be careful: the official endorsing or opposing of particular political candidates.
It seems that hardly a week goes by where we don’t hear about another public school that’s in the process of further chipping away at the First Amendment. Last week, in response to the complaint of one parent, a Tennessee public school superintendent halted a long-time practice by Gideons International of making Bibles available to students in the Tennessee public school. According to local news sources, the nonprofit group, which has been responsible for placing millions of Bibles in hotels, prisons, hospitals, military bases, and schools all around the world, has been giving away Bibles at the school for years. Students were never required to take the Bibles—they were never even handed a Bible. Bibles weren’t sent home in student’s backpacks, and teachers weren’t handing them out. Students weren’t told to read them or to memorize anything. The Bibles were simply available in the school library for students to take, free of charge, if they wanted to.
At the National Center for Life and Liberty, we strongly hold our values and beliefs but enjoy and encourage free expression of ideas. Indeed, we fight battles every day so that we are all free to express ideas free from social condemnation or government interference.
With that foundation, as believers we also hold that the free expression of ideas must be done with dignity and respect. Profanity, name-calling, or ridicule will not be tolerated on our social media platforms. You can expect such comments to be deleted. It’s about treating one another with decency.
We wanted to update the “God Is a Myth” story.