“The most effective method of those who would dare to remove God from the fabric of the United States of America is to prey upon the ignorance of Christians.”
That is the mantra of local attorney, author and teacher Tad Armstrong.
Since penning “It’s OK to Say God” last year (a book focusing on the first 16 words of the First Amendment, otherwise known as the religion clause), Armstrong has garnered national attention.
He was recently asked to speak at Covenant America in Kansas City Sept. 13 and 14 on the topic of “Freedom and Ignorance Cannot Coexist.” Conservative icon Glenn Beck will be the keynote speaker for the event on Saturday evening.
“In a free society,” Armstrong said, “we all have obligations to maintain education about government and the Constitution. If we do not, we lose freedom. They can’t exist side by side.”
Armstrong is a firm believer that Americans are not fully educating themselves on political issues, especially when it comes to the Constitution. And those who are not educated will easily be led by tyrants, he derives from the Bible.
Hosea 4:6 states, “My people parish for lack of knowledge," he noted.
Armstrong said the harsh reality of society’s ignorance became clear when he heard a story believed to be true of an elderly couple visiting the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C. The couple was saddened to realize that a quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt, “So help us God,” was omitted from the passage, he said.
Armstrong asks, “Who started the rumor that we aren’t supposed to talk about God?”
If anyone wanted the concept of God to be removed, the quickest way to do so would be to make people believe they aren’t supposed to talk about God, he said. America has not forbidden its people from talking about their faith. In fact, he said, Christian messages are all over the government and in our nation’s capital.
He said people like to blame the government for silencing Christians, which is untrue. The media and cultural groups are doing that, he said. People like to blame to government for forbidding religion in public places, but America made it clear that the people want those separate when they left England for freedom, he said.
“We fled England because there was no wall of separation between the church and state,” Armstrong said. “They shed blood over this.”
So where did the idea that Christians are not to speak about their faith come from? The changing culture and Christians who are complaining rather than educating themselves on the truth, he said
“There’s no question there’s a cultural war going on in this country, no doubt,” Armstrong said. “But half of the problem is ill intended Christians who would rather cry victim.”
Americans have mistaken political correctness in today’s society for the rumor that they must be silent Christians.
“There is no Constitutional right not to be offended,” Armstrong said. “That’s the natural conclusion to political correctness we have going on.”
The only way to really know what freedoms Americans possess and the extent of those freedoms is to study core Constitutional cases. He believes that if Americans haven’t read them, they have no credibility to discuss an issue.
That's where his educator role comes into play, as founder of the local "Earn It, Learn It or Lose It" or ELL Constitution Clubs.
ELL began in Edwardsville in early 2005 after he was challenged as a lawyer to share his knowledge with the public. While the club has sessions all over the Madison County area, Armstrong leads the club in Edwardsville and Fairview Heights. Since the club was founded, two classes have graduated from a four year program. The program is spread out over four years because it takes 49 sessions to substantially cover what the Constitution says and the core cases clarifying Americans’ rights.
His latest endeavor is in getting a new TV or radio program launched. He said he is trying to get a segment generated that would allow anyone interested in truly knowing about America’s Constitution the chance to become educated.
He also is working toward providing material on his website www.ellconstitutionclubs.com for download.