Jesus Lives in Rhode Island (So, Bring It On, Baby!) An open invitation to the Freedom from Religion Foundation

There’s been a buzz in the Rhode Island news this week.

One Rhode Island town is still reeling from losing a lawsuit by a child atheist that resulted in the removal of a school prayer from the walls.

Now, this week, the Mayor of Woonsocket received a letter from the Freedom from Religion Foundation based in Madison, Wisconsin, informing him that a memorial to WWI and WWII veterans located in the fire department parking lot is unconstitutional because it features a cross.

The organization is demanding the removal of the memorial. They also want the Firefighter’s Prayer taken down from the fire department website.

Originally, I was upset. Seriously. How can people go after veterans and firefighters? Have you read the firefighter’s prayer? How pathetic is it to demand its removal?

Plus, Rhode Island is so economically strapped that these groups know we can’t afford to fight lawsuits. We’re a wonderful little place to set legal precedents before taking on the big guys. It’s humiliating to be bullied, to suffer injustice, to be small and poor.

I wanted to fight.

And I will.

But not with the weapons of this world.

Jesus told the Israelites who were suffering great oppression from Rome, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” Matthew 5:38-41

So, here’s what I want to say to the Freedom from Religion Foundation:

Take them. Take them all. Take every cross on every inch of public property. Remove every prayer from every website and wall. Have at every single symbol of faith you can find. I’ll help you tear them down.
 I’ll work with you toward the day when they are all gone because, in that moment, you will see Him.

Jesus.

You can’t remove Him.

Not by sending threatening letters or by lawsuits or court orders and not by bullying, strong-arm precedent setting gestures.

Jesus lives.

He’s not a religion – He’s the lifeblood of our existence. In Him, we live and move and have our being. All of us. Even you.

Jesus helped me to see that we have nothing to fear from the efforts of the atheists. When they ask us to tear down a cross, we should tear down two.

He doesn’t abide in wooden crosses or websites.

He lives in us.

And we’re not going anywhere, baby. You can’t legislate my heart.

Bring it on, people. We may be a small state. We may be poor and oppressed. We may not have the money to fight your lawsuits but Jesus lives here.

Jesus lives in Rhode Island and He’s not going anywhere.


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7 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Regina says:

    Absolutely fantastic! AMEN!

  2. Felicia says:

    Wow! Lori, what a wonderful, biblical response to persecution. You are so right – we too often get caught up in the accessories of our faith and forget that no one can snatch us from His hand. No one can tear down the only cross that really matters – the one Christ died on. He is victorious! All their efforts only serve to make Jesus known. The real Jesus. The one that lives in His followers when they respond like THIS. Thank you!

  3. Marcia says:

    If you think about it, there are crosses everywhere. Grave markers, telephone poles, the capital T. Good luck in getting rid of all of them! 🙂
    I’m sorry to hear my old home state of R.I. is going for this. P.S. I’ve read the end of the book, though, and we win!

  4. Heather says:

    We had this very conversation with our kids when we passed the FFR billboard on rt.95. The can take all the religious symbols away, and all our holidays can be turned secular. But they can never take Jesus out of hearts. They can’t steal him from us!

  5. YEAH! America Christians are too comfortable compared to those who know every moment they don’t take a breath without Him. I’m praying we all come to this realization–what it does for a person’s faith! What can man do to me? Jesus is everywhere I step.

  6. Amen, Lori! Very inspiring post filled with REAL truth. Thank you!

  7. Thank you all for weighing in. I pray that we can be the salt and light we need to be so that people can see Jesus even if all the symbols of our faith are destroyed!