Let’s not forget that it was from a church, the Old North Church in Boston, that the famous lantern signaled to neighboring towns the direction of the march by British soldiers. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned his famous poem to give tribute to the midnight ride of Paul Revere and the essential role that the church played in communicating the movement of British soldiers. Longfellow’s poem, which was once learned by nearly every American, began with this:
LISTEN, my children, and you shall hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
Longfellow then explained the instruction given by Paul Revere:
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch Of the North Church tower as a signal light,— One, if by land, and two, if by sea; And I on the opposite shore will be, Ready to ride and spread the alarm Through every Middlesex village and farm, For the country folk to be up and to arm.’
We would not be the free land we are today if not for the activism of our churches throughout our formative years. But the Johnson Amendment silenced them by threatening their tax-exempt status if they speak out on elections, even in the face of peril to our country.
Donald Trump, when accepting the nomination for president in July, promised to repeal the Johnson Amendment. We need to allow churches to become a beacon of liberty again, as they were in colonial times.
Listen to the radio commentary here: