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DALLAS (BP)--As Americans watch citizens of Middle Eastern nations pour into their streets seeking freedom from oppression we should be grateful for our own liberties. But we should never be complacent. Ronald Reagan once said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
If you havenít noticed, weíre losing some freedoms:
-- Thereís a battle going on over health care. Members of Congress are deciding whether or not to fund this massive transfer of power to the government. And courts are looking at a fundamental question: Can the government force us to purchase something -- in this case, health insurance?
-- Students are losing the freedom to express their religious beliefs in public schools and on university campuses. As Christian ideas are excluded from the debate, the practice of Islam gains increased protections.
-- And itís completely politically incorrect to speak biblical truth about the new protected sin: homosexual practice. Americans, even some Christians, are walking on so many eggshells around this behavior that itís intruding into our institutions, like the military and, if we donít stop it, marriage.
Constitution-reading is fashionable among Tea Party types. Thatís great and to be encouraged. But we also need a national civics lesson. We must reclaim the treasure that is the American system of government. Our freedoms were painstakingly enshrined in the words of our founding documents. Our forefathers died for them. But weíre failing to teach our children and our immigrants the true history of our government and how it can be by employed by a free people to retain freedom. Weíre not teaching it partially because we donít know it.
Thatís why author Carol Sewell has published a new book: "We the People." Itís an education, in 200 pages, in American citizenship. Itís written for Christians not because we are a Christian nation but because Christians have a special stewardship in bringing Christ to the culture.
We the People is an engaging primer. First, it shows the reader how to develop a worldview that is distinctly Christian, informed by principles found in the Bible. Then it chronicles our history. The reader is reminded that until the founding of the United States, it was mostly kings who ruled nations. But our Founders wrote documents that "allow a people to govern themselves through elected representatives who answered to the people." Has it always been Christians who run this country? No. And do the believers always act as wise citizens? Certainly not. Right now, it appears weíre getting worse at governing ourselves. People who want things from government support allowing it to grow at the expense of freedom.
But, now more than ever, weíre opening up to forces that would strip us of our freedoms. Within our system are the tools to stop this, if weíll use them. Itís the people who must capitalize upon what the Founding Fathers did 200 years ago. Thatís why Carol Sewell wrote her book. And thatís why Americans should read it.
Penna Dexter is a conservative activist and frequent panelist on the "Point of View" syndicated radio program. Her weekly commentaries air on the Bott and Moody Radio Networks.