DULUTH — Executive Director J. Robert White and the Georgia Baptist Convention are sending every pastor/church an amazing, compelling, fast-paced documentary, One Generation Away, which we hope you will show in your church. This film, which was the winner in the Best Documentary category at the 2015 Christian Worldview Film Festival, expresses how radical secularists are working to destroy our freedom of conscience.
In this film you will see why they want to take down the cross at the Veterans Memorial in San Diego, penalize Hobby Lobby for taking a stand on their Christian convictions, muzzle military chaplains, and force a florist and cake baker to conform or pay the price of not participating in same-sex weddings.
Our religious freedom is obviously eroding before our very eyes and One Generation Away challenges us to become better stewards of that religious liberty.
Appropriate and proper
The war memorial cross on Mount Soledad in the La Jolla neighborhood of the city of San Diego, Calif. has been a prominent landmark for over 60 years, but in recent years it has been the object of litigation regarding its legal status. In 2011 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 43-foot cross violated the constitutional separation of church and state.
In the film Governor Mike Huckabee exclaims, “It is outrageous to me that someone would take offense to a cross that was put there by and for veterans to commemorate their service in the war; and I am wondering when is the lawsuit going to happen that will force us to go to Arlington Cemetery and take down every cross in Arlington.”
Huckabee added, “It is not the government’s job to determine which symbols of faith are appropriate and proper. It is the government’s job only to protect that there is a freedom to have religious expression and the Constitution expressly forbids Congress from getting involved and making a law that would be an impediment to anybody’s expression.”
One Generation Away explains the “Establishment Clause” in our Constitution, which says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Stephen McDowell, president of Providence Foundation, explains, “Prohibiting ‘the free exercise thereof’ means that civil government simply has no right to get involved in how individuals worship or how they fulfill their duty to their Creator.”
The movie clearly explains that the First Amendment’s “free exercise clause” gives us the right to carry what is in our heads into the affairs of our daily lives both in private and in the public square.
Where duty lies
Matthew Franck, director of the Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution, stated, “The First Amendment is the first of our rights and if it is sacrificed it undercuts the ground of all our other rights, because it is founded in a duty we have before any duties as citizens. Before any duties to the state, before any duties to obey the law, we have a duty to our Creator and that is why it comes first.”
Alarming and unsettling illustrations are provided to reveal how our religious freedom is being challenged and compromised. Christian business owners are being charged with discrimination. The faith of military chaplains is under fire and some have been forbidden to pray in Jesus’ name.
“It is chilling to hear a public official say that his fellow
citizens who disagree with him (because of their faith) need to be rehabilitated.”
Robert George, Princeton University
There is an obvious move to constrain our faith to the four walls of a church on Sunday morning. Any expression of faith outside those four walls is becoming more and more unacceptable to our secular society. This film poignantly illustrates that grim reality in no uncertain terms and clearly points out that people of faith are now being offered freedom of worship, but not freedom of religion. Consider the huge difference between those two terms.
Dr. Robert George of Princeton University stated, “It is chilling to hear a public official say that his fellow citizens who disagree with him (because of their faith) need to be rehabilitated. That sounds like the kind of things one would hear from a Communist dictator like Leonid Brezhnev or Mao Tse-Tung. This is language we should never hear in a democratic republic or in the United States.”
So, One Generation Away travels the United States (and Europe) in search of a deeper understanding of the religious freedom clauses in the Constitution’s First Amendment. The captivating film asks hard questions about the status of religious liberty in America today and includes leading voices on both sides of the issue. One Generation Away discovers that our “first freedom” – religious liberty – is one that demands attention at this critical point in American history.
The film highlights the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who attempted to get the church in Germany to take a stand against the Nazi regime of Adolph Hitler in the 1930s. Bonhoeffer did everything he could to wake up the church, but they didn’t wake up and by 1936-37 the church had lost because they failed to take a stand.
The good news is that the American church is slightly more attuned to the rumbling herd in the distance than the German church was in the 1930s, but the bad news is only slightly.
Ronald Reagan said, “We are the last best hope.” However, if we can’t get it right, what does that say for the rest of the world?
A free people must be an educated people. We have an obligation to be well informed. One Generation Away is a powerful informational guide, a wake up call, and a plea for pastors to stop talking about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and become a Dietrich Bonhoeffer. The film challenges us to stand vigorously and courageously for our Constitutional rights and religious freedom before it is too late.
Ken Carpenter, producer/director of One Generation Away, has been recognized for a wide variety of film, video, and television projects. He has worked with Focus on the Family, Tyndale Publishers, PAX TV, and many others. In addition to making the film available to churches at no cost or obligation (other than registering a date with the producers so that support material can be provided) Echolight, the film’s production company, will be making Carpenter available whenever possible to be onsite for the showing of the film and to conduct question-and-answer sessions after the film is shown.