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America is ‘Christian nation’

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By Camille McClanahan

When the tragic events of 9/11 transpired, Williamstown Christian Church Senior Minister Gary Swick was the administrator of a Christian school in Winchester, Ky.

Swick says that Sept. 11, 2001 is a date much like that of Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese launched a surprise air attack on the U.S. Naval Base at Pearl Harbor.

“We’ll all remember where we were and what we were doing on that day,” Swick said. “I had about 130 students, plus teachers that I was responsible for that day.”

When his secretary called him into her office to see what was being broadcast on TV, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

“I was watching when the second plane hit the tower,” he said. “At first everybody thought that maybe it was a tragic accident, but when the second plane hit, and we heard about what took place in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon, we realized that we had a big problem on our hands.”

He began getting calls from concerned parents wanting to know if they were going to close the school and send children home. Taking into consideration that many parents would be at work, he decided to finish out the school day.

“As much as possible we kept it from the kids,” he said. “We realized this was an historic event, but at the same time, we didn’t think the kids, without their parents guidance, were prepared to handle what was taking place.”

He also got calls from the local media asking why they were still in session, since many other schools had dismissed.

“I said, ‘Because God is still on the throne, no matter what happens—no matter what this day may bring, we trust that he is going to take care of us.’”

He said that the next week, they dismissed classes and allowed students to watch the televised memorial service, after their parents had time to talk with them.

Swick believes that one of the “greatest tragedies” in the aftermath of 9/11, is the expansion of the idea that America is no longer a Christian nation and he is disturbed that there will be no prayers at the 9/11 Memorial Service at Ground Zero in New York City.

“Our forefathers built this nation on Christian principles,” he said. “There are people who will argue against that, but  I don’t think you can read their writings without finding that they were strongly Christian men—90 percent of their quotes, if you read their writings, are from the Bible. Those striving to be politically correct have erased all connections between the faith of the majority of our people and the remembrance of 9/11, in order to keep from offending anyone. What they have forgotten is that in doing so, they have offended the majority of those who still believe this is a Christian nation.”

Swick said that on Sunday, Sept. 11, he’ll remind his congregation that ‘this was the day,’ and they will observe a moment of silent prayer. Then, for the next two weeks he will be preaching about dealing with bitterness.

“There comes a day when you have to fight the battle, but then there comes a day you have to set the resentment behind you and go on.”