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 Taking the Lonely Stand...

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Female Number of posts : 147
Location : Ohio
Registration date : 2008-01-27

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Name: Sis. Du Wright
Church Attendance: Never Misses a Church Service
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PostSubject: Taking the Lonely Stand...   Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:22 am

Taking the Lonely Stand
“... and if I perish, I perish.” – Queen Esther
By Judge Roy Moore


The decree had been signed and proclaimed throughout the realm that on a certain day hundreds of thousands of men, women and children would be cruelly, and without mercy, put to death. Issued by Xerxes I, king of the Persian empire from 485 to 465 B.C., the decree came at the request of an evil adviser who sought to rid the kingdom of the Jewish people. A young Jewish woman named Esther, who had become queen, risked her own life and saved the lives of her people.

Esther – like Joan of Arc, Martin Luther and George Washington – altered the course of history by taking a lonely stand in the face of strong opposition and at great cost. Inspiring his

— Judge Roy Moore —

fellow countrymen to a patriotic zeal for their country despite the hardships they faced, revolutionary pamphleteer Thomas Paine once wrote, “I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.” At a time in our country when principle has given way to power in the political process and liberty is sacrificed to political correctness and the passions of corrupt politicians, we need men and women of courage to stand for truth and justice. Fortunately, we still find such individuals among us.

Naval Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt served our country for 15 years until he was given an order that he could not follow: Do not pray in the name of Jesus at public military functions. Risking his military career, Lt. Klingenschmitt publicly objected to the new policy of the secretary of the Navy and continued praying in the name of Jesus at public functions. The Navy then proceeded to court-martial the chaplain and quietly discharged him from the Navy, depriving him of retirement benefits despite his stellar service record. Though his personal sacrifice was great, it yielded results. Because of the attention Chaplain Klingenschmitt had brought to Navy and Air Force policies restricting chaplain prayer, Congress ordered those policies revoked, giving back to chaplains the freedom to pray as their consciences dictate.

In another recent incident, at New Jersey’s Bayonne High School, valedictorian Jeremy Jerschina took his own brave and lonely stand, one that denied him the opportunity to address his fellow graduates at the school’s commencement ceremony. When Jeremy was first given the opportunity to speak as a reward for finishing first in his class, he was excited and expressed his desire to pray during his speech. In Jeremy’s words, “God and Christ are the reason I did how I did in high school, and are what I stand for most.” School officials wrongfully told him that prayer would violate the constitutional separation of church and state, and gave him an ultimatum: Remove the mention of God from his address or do not speak at all. On graduation day, Jeremy informed Principal Richard Baccarella that he could not deny his belief in God and therefore would not give the commencement address.

A callous disregard for Jeremy Jerschina’s religious beliefs and freedom of expression deprived him of the opportunity to give his high school commencement address as the valedictorian of his class. But Jeremy’s willingness to sacrifice and stand up for his faith has no doubt inspired countless others to do the same.

More recently, a resident of Fargo, N.D., by the name of Martin Wishnatsky decided to take his own stand for God. Wishnatsky contested the decision of the Fargo City Commission to remove a Ten Commandments monument, which had remained undisturbed on city property for almost 50 years. He organized a petition drive to have the question of the disposition of the monument put before the voters in an election. Needing 2,850 valid signatures to have the issue placed on the ballot, Wishnatsky collected over 5,000 signatures, which he presented to the commission on July 2. Faced with overwhelming evidence of the people’s will, one commissioner changed his vote on the matter and the commission decided 3 to 2 to reverse their earlier decision. The Ten Commandments monument will remain as a public acknowledgment of the sovereign law of God because of the dedicated and courageous leadership of one man.

One need not be a national leader or an important figure in the eyes of the world to make a difference for faith and freedom. All we need, as Paine noted, is a stout heart and a conscience directed by God to stand up for what is right. Just like Lt. Klingenschmitt, Jeremy Jerschina and Martin Wishnatsky, you never know when your opportunity will come, but when it does, do not shrink from the service appointed to you. Draw strength from God and “pursue [H]is principles,” even unto death.


Judge Roy Moore is the chairman of the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Ala., and the author of “So Help Me God.” He is the former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was removed from office in 2003 for refusing to remove a Ten Commandments monument he had placed in the Alabama Judicial Building to acknowledge God. He can be reached at www.morallaw.org
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