On Wednesday the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission held a public hearing about construction of a monument of the Ten Commandments.
The legislature authorized the monument in 2015. The monument is based on one that has been upheld as constitutional elsewhere. It would be placed on the grounds of the Arkansas Capitol Building to list the Ten Commandments and commemorate their influence on western law.
Unfortunately the monument has drawn criticism from some. That’s why Family Council sent a representative to the hearing and submitted a statement to the Secretary of State’s office in support of the monument, saying,
Family Council supports the construction and placement of the monument of the Ten Commandments on the Arkansas Capitol Grounds. The Ten Commandments have left an indelible mark on western law. They represent one of the earliest examples of the rule of law–a cornerstone of our democratic republic. The principles embodied in them have served as a foundation for civil laws for centuries. No other moral or civil code has been held in higher esteem by Americans. Commemorating the Ten Commandments and acknowledging their importance are entirely appropriate for the State of Arkansas.
As our country marks Columbus Day, the Colson Center for Christian Worldview has re-released a 2003 commentary from the late Chuck Colson about Christopher Columbus, the rise of science in Europe, and the role Christianity played in scientific discovery.
Science only happened in areas whose worldview was shaped by Christianity, that is, Europe. Many civilizations had alchemy; only Europe developed chemistry. Likewise, astrology was practiced everywhere, but only in Europe did it become astronomy.
That’s because Christianity depicted God as a “rational, responsive, dependable, and omnipotent being” who created a universe with a “rational, lawful, stable” structure. These beliefs uniquely led to “faith in the possibility of science.”
You can listen to Chuck Colson’s entire commentary below or read it here.
When we talk about the value of religion to American society, we often mean moral or spiritual value–like the way Christians and churches espouse biblical truth and point people back to God. The Church’s primary “value” in the world is spiritual–not monetary.
However, to prove religion is valuable in more ways than one, researchers writing in the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research and Religion have published a study evaluating religious institutions’ economic contributions to American society.
After examining the revenues of religious organizations as well as the fair market values of the goods and services these organizations offered, researchers estimated “religion” in America contributes at least $378 billion to the U.S. economy annually–and possibly as much as $1.2 trillion or more.
Faith-based healthcare networks contribute $161 billion annually (13.9 percent of the total contribution of religion to the U.S. economy). Congregations contribute about $327 billion annually (28.2 percent), plus an additional $91.3 billion if schools and daycare are taken into account (together making 36.1 percent of the total). Higher education adds $46.8 billion annually (4 percent), charities add $95.2 billion annually (8.2 percent), and businesses [with religious roots] add $438 billion annually, slightly more than a third of the total (37.8 percent).
Obviously, this research is imperfect–a point the study’s authors carefully make–but when you consider how many hospitals and adoption agencies were founded by religious organizations; how many Christian charities contribute to things like disaster relief, and how many churches are backing their efforts financially; and how many churches run food pantries, homeless shelters, daycares, and schools; it becomes apparent that people of faith are having a tremendous impact on the world–both in spiritual and economic terms.