There is apparently no separation of church and state in Iowa, at least according to Governor Terry E. Branstad (R), who signed a proclamation “in the name and by the authority of the State of Iowa,” inviting “all Iowans who choose to join in thoughtful prayer and humble repentance according to II Chronicles 7:14 in favor of our state and nation to come together on July 14, 2014.”
Of course, you can’t do that. But Branstad did it anyway:
It turns out that no matter what the United States Constitution promises, Republicans will ignore it at every opportunity, if not actively attempt to overturn it. And there isn’t much the federal government can do about it. If the federal government were to send the troops in every time a Republican governor or legislature got out of hand, we would have to bring all the boys and girls home from overseas. That’s how bad nullification efforts have gotten. And of course, you know you can’t count on the courts. Even if a lower court rules against the Republicans, they’ll take it to the Supreme Court and you know what that means.
Here is the proclamation if you want to peruse it:
Click here to view full size image.
Jeremy Hooper at Good as You, points out that this proclamation of Branstad’s derives from a group calling itself “Prayer 7-14-14.” As evidence, he presents their spin on what is needed on July 14, 2014:
HISTORY & PURPOSE of 7-14-14
WE ARE A NATION, WHO HAS FALLEN FROM HER INTENDED PURPOSE, AND WE HAVE A GOD WHO IS PURSUING US BACK INTO OUR DESTINY… JUST AS HOSEA PURSUED GOMER, GOD IS PURSUING US
This is not about a single day of prayer, fasting and true repentance, but it is about a lifestyle journey of letting our hearts awaken and allowing God’s very breath to fill us. It is understanding we have strayed from God, our first Love, and realizing the only way back is through true heart-felt repentance. Repentance that brings change and realizing that repentance has many depths to it. It’s about forgiving one another and not allowing the enemy to rule us through offenses. Realizing there is diversity in unity. It is about knowing who we are in Christ! That He first loved us and He still loves us and is pursuing us to come back to Him.
God is saying Blow the trumpet in America, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly; Gather the people… (just as they did in Joel 2:15 in Zion)
Since 2011 God has been speaking to me through dreams, visions and His word about our Nation. Below I have referenced one dream and given two references, in scripture, that show God speaks through dreams and visions and tells us we need to be able to discern the times..
AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS IN THE LAST DAYS, SAYS GOD, THAT I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT ON ALL FLESH; YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, YOUR YOUNG MEN SHALL SEE VISIONS, YOUR OLD MEN SHALL DREAM DREAMS…I WILL SHOW WONDERS IN HEAVEN ABOVE AND SIGNS IN THE EARTH BENEATH; …THE SUN SHALL BE TURNED INTO DARKNESS, AND THE MOON INTO BLOOD, BEFORE THE COMING OF THE GREAT AND AWESOME DAY OF THE LORD. AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED!
WHEN IT IS EVENING YOU SAY, ‘IT WILL BE FOUL WEATHER TODAY, FOR THE SKY IS RED AND THREATENING.’ HYPOCRITES! YOU KNOW HOW TO DISCERN THE FACE OF THE SKY, BUT YOU CANNOT DISCERN THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES….
ON 4-20-13 God spoke to me through a dream and His word…
In the dream I was writing on a red, white and blue shirt, “Something will start to churn in you today.” I wanted to change the word to move, but I heard a voice say “NO, it is churn.” I happened to be reading through Hosea again for the third, fourth or fifth time, and I was starting at Chapter 11 that day. When I got to verse 8, you can see below, it said His heart CHURNS (just like in the dream)within Him and His sympathy is stirred.
I knew God was is pursuing America to turn back….
In Hosea 11:8 it says…though they call to the Most High, none at all exalt Him…) How can I give you up, Ephraim? (America) How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart CHURNS within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim (America) For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; and I will not come with terror…
In the book of Acts
Believers were experiencing a profound dimension of spiritual unity.
They were of one heart, (in tune or in sync with one another)
Going the same way spiritually
Of one soul (one mind – breathing spiritually together)
Corporate prayers of God’s people crying out to Him together brought the unleashing of the power of the Holy Spirit!
In the book of Ezra
Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Lord
He called Israel to repentance and to turn from dead traditionalism and moral impurity – from an idolatrous lifestyle
Ezra 10:1 Now while Ezra was praying and while he was confessing, weeping, and bowing down before the house of God, a very large assembly of men, women, and children gathered to him from Israel; for the people wept very bitterly.
Through Ezra’s prayer and repentance for his nation the people began to realize they had moved away from God into idolatry. The word says a very large assembly gathered to him and wept very bitterly. They confessed they had trespassed against God and had taken pagan wives (were walking in idolatry), but realized there was still hope in spite of their sin. They made the decision to confess to the Lord and turn from their ways back to Him.
Imagine, one man’s prayers turning a Nation back to God. Imagine God’s people coming together to confess our sins and turning our Nation back to God.
In the Book of Hosea
Feeling the hurt from Gomer’s betrayal, Hosea begins to understand what God is doing. The pain he experiences when his wife is unfaithful is the same pain God experiences when His people are unfaithful, that is, when they seek relationships with other gods and forge alliances with foreign nations. This violates their covenant with God.
CAN WE FORGO OUR MENIAL DIFFERENCES IN THE BODY OF CHRIST, FOR HIS SAKE?
CAN WE PUT OURSELVES ASIDE FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR NATION?
CAN WE COME TOGETHER, AS GOD’S PEOPLE, AND HUMBLE OURSELVES, PRAY, SEEK HIS FACE, TURN FROM OUR WICKED WAYS SO GOD WILL HEAR FROM HEAVEN, FORGIVE OUR SINS AND HEAL OUR LAND?
ASK YOURSELF – WHAT CAN I DO , WHO CAN I FORGIVE, WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT ARE HINDERING ME FROM COMPLETELY SURRENDERING MYSELF TO GOD???
WE NEED YOU! WHATEVER STATE YOU ARE IN YOU ARE A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE DESTINY OF OUR NATION!!!
As you can see, these people have not even a passing familiarity with the origins and history of America. They have some vague notion of pilgrims, religious freedom and a City on a Hill. And as you can see, the governor is not much better informed, referring to John Hancock as president. As Hooper points out, it is possible they are referring to Hancock’s tenure as president of the Second Continental Congress May 24, 1775 to October 29, 1777 and then again 1785-6, but that is giving them too much credit. And George Washington’s proclamation was issued on October 3, not October 17. These matters aside, Branstad is right in saying we have had an overabundance of religion in our public sphere, but mistakes made yesterday do not obligate us to repeat them today.
This is just another reaction to the increasing diversity and plurality of our nation, not only demographically in terms of ethnicity, but also in terms of religiosity. People are turning away from organized religion in droves. And this comes at a time when ethnic nationalism is on the upswing, when conservative extremists are warning that “white Americans” will rise up over marriage equality, abortion, and their so-called “religious freedom,” which means their freedom to take your freedom away.
Matt Staver, reports Right Wing Watch, said the other day,
“We’re seeing the beginning groundswell of a potential new American Revolution,” Staver said, asserting that if the government continues to trample on religious liberty, the nation will soon “run into that decision point of persecution and/or revolution.”
And Rick Wiles also warns of a civil war:
I warned in 2008 that Barack Obama’s mission is to instigate a second Civil War in America. His regime is deliberately ripping the country apart and if the US Military doesn’t take action soon to arrest Barack Obama and remove him and his regime from the White House, there will be no country left for the military to defend. We are on the edge of collapse as a nation. Jesus Christ is America’s only hope. Let us pray that Almighty God delivers us from this very real tyranny that seeks to persecute the saints of God.
And a loony group called Operation American Spring has sent documents to Congress “demanding the resignations of six, top government officials, including Articles of Impeachment against President Obama, for violating their oath of office, and/or by committing high crimes against the state, and requiring Congress to enforce the demands, or be held accountable.”
Taken in context, the Brandstad Proclamation must be seen as just another aspect of the conservative knee-jerk reaction against their loss of privilege, and a stab at the religious (and other) liberties of all other Americans. This is “our” country, they are saying, “and you had better get used to that fact.” Payback is coming, they say. They use God’s name a lot but they are really thinking about their own vengeance, and how they will make the nonbelievers pay. Nationalism by itself can be scary enough, but ethnic nationalism, and worse, an ethnic nationalism fueled by religion, is a very real threat to American liberties. American would do well to take notice, and act accordingly.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.