Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
— Matthew 5:9
Wednesday February 17, 2010 was Ash Wednesday, which marked the start of Lent, the traditional 40-day period of fasting, prayer, and penitence for many Christians around the world. Lent is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. In observance of the day, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and many other Christians hold church ceremonies in which the “foreheads of the faithful are marked with the sign of the cross with ashes made from last year's Palm Sunday palms as a sign of repentance and reminder of mortality.”
The “Principles of 98,” as they came to be known, are rarely discussed in modern history lectures even though these are integral to understanding how our federal Constitution was intended to function. These are the principles of state interposition or nullification that assert that if the federal government fails to check itself through one of its three branches, then it would be up to the states to rein in the feds.
The Tampa Bay area of Florida may be the unfortunate site of the looming apocalypse, as local Christians and atheists battle over billboard space. Six months ago, a retired businessman paid $50,000 to rent 10 billboards that condemned the separation of church and state. In retaliation, the United Coalition of Reason has spent $100,000 to erect signs that read, “Are you good without God? Millions are.”
A pink version of a popular board game has some Christian leaders seeing red. The Ouija Board, which has been a staple of kid’s sleepovers and teen parties for years, incorporates a board covered with numbers, the alphabet, and other words and emblems, along with a pointer that “mystically” answers questions posed by participants.