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Monday, March 28, 2005

11th Rant: The Separation of Church and State Issue

Many people claim that the phrase "The Separation of Church and State" is la constitutional principle, but they are so wrong. Following are a few items which prove otherwise:

from http://www.noapathy.org/tracts/mythofseparation.html

The Myth of
the Separation of Church and State

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Anytime religion is mentioned within the confines of government today people cry, "Separation of Church and State". Many people think this statement appears in the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution and therefore must be strictly enforced. However, the words: "separation", "church", and "state" do not even appear in the first amendment. The first amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The statement about a wall of separation between church and state was made in a letter on January 1, 1802, by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut. The congregation heard a widespread rumor that the Congregationalists, another denomination, were to become the national religion. This was very alarming to people who knew about religious persecution in England by the state established church. Jefferson made it clear in his letter to the Danbury Congregation that the separation was to be that government would not establish a national religion or dictate to men how to worship God. Jefferson's letter from which the phrase "separation of church and state" was taken affirmed first amendment rights. Jefferson wrote:

I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. (1)
The reason Jefferson choose the expression "separation of church and state" was because he was addressing a Baptist congregation; a denomination of which he was not a member. Jefferson wanted to remove all fears that the state would make dictates to the church. He was establishing common ground with the Baptists by borrowing the words of Roger Williams, one of the Baptist's own prominent preachers. Williams had said:
When they have opened a gap in the hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the world, God hath ever broke down the wall itself, removed the candlestick, and made his garden a wilderness, as at this day. And that there fore if He will eer please to restore His garden and paradise again, it must of necessity be walled in peculiarly unto Himself from the world...(2)

The "wall" was understood as one-directional; its purpose was to protect the church from the state. The world was not to corrupt the church, yet the church was free to teach the people Biblical values.

The American people knew what would happen if the State established the Church like in England. Even though it was not recent history to them, they knew that England went so far as forbidding worship in private homes and sponsoring all church activities and keeping people under strict dictates. They were forced to go to the state established church and do things that were contrary to their conscience. No other churches were allowed, and mandatory attendance of the established church was compelled under the Conventicle Act of 1665. Failure to comply would result in imprisonment and torture. The people did not want freedom from religion, but freedom of religion. The only real reason to separate the church from the state would be to instill a new morality and establish a new system of beliefs. Our founding fathers were God-fearing men who understood that for a country to stand it must have a solid foundation; the Bible was the source of this foundation. They believed that God's ways were much higher than Man's ways and held firmly that the Bible was the absolute standard of truth and used the Bible as a source to form our government.

There is no such thing as a pluralistic society. There will always be one dominant view, otherwise it will be in transition from one belief system to another. Therefore, to say Biblical principles should not be allowed in government and school is to either be ignorant of the historic intent of the founding fathers, or blatantly bigoted against Christianity.

Each form of government has a guiding principle: monarchy in which the guiding principle is honor; aristocracy in which the guiding principle is moderation; republican democracy in which the guiding principle is virtue; despotism in which the guiding principle is fear. Without people of the United States upholding good moral conduct, society soon degenerates into a corrupt system where people misuse the authority of government to obtain what they want at the expense of others. The U.S. Constitution is the form of our government, but the power is in the virtue of the people. The virtue desired of the people is shown in the Bible. This is why Biblical morality was taught in public schools until the early 1960's. Government officials were required to declare their belief in God even to be allowed to hold a public office until a case in the U.S. Supreme Court called Torcaso v. Watkins (Oct. 1960). God was seen as the author of natural law and morality. If one did not believe in God one could not operate from a proper moral base. And by not having a foundation from which to work, one would destroy the community. The two primary places where morality is taught are the family and the church. The church was allowed to influence the government in righteousness an d justice so that virtue would be upheld. Not allowing the church to influence the state is detrimental to the country and destroys our foundation of righteousness and justice. It is absolutely necessary for the church to influence the state in virtue because without virtue our government will crumble -- the representatives will look after their own good instead of the country's.

Government was never meant to be our master as in a ruthless monarchy or dictatorship. Instead, it was to be our servant. The founding fathers believed that the people have full power to govern themselves and that people chose to give up some of their rights for the general good and the protection of rights. Each person should be self-governed and this is why virtue is so important. Government was meant to serve the people by protecting their liberty and rights, not serve by an enormous amount of social programs. The authors of the Constitution wanted the government to have as little power as possible so that if authority was misused it would not cause as much damage. Yet they wanted government to have enough authority to protect the rights of the people. The worldview at the time of the founding of our government was a view held by the Bible: that Man's heart is corrupt and if the opportunity to advance oneself at the expense of another arose, more often than not, we would choose to do so. They firmly believed this and that's why an enormous effort to set up checks and balances took place. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. They wanted to make certain that no man could take away rights given by God. They also did not set up the government as a true democracy, because they believed, as mentioned earlier, Man tends towards wickedness. Just because the majority wants something does not mean that it should be granted, because the majority could easily err. Government was not to be run by whatever the majority wanted but instead by principle, specifically the principles of the Bible.

Our U.S. Constitution was founded on Biblical principles and it was the intention of the authors for this to be a Christian nation. The Constitution had 55 people work upon it, of which 52 were evangelical Christians.(3) We can go back in history and look at what the founding fathers wrote to know where they were getting their ideas. This is exactly what two professors did. Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman reviewed an estimated 15,000 items with explicit political content printed between 1760 and 1805 and from these items they identified 3,154 references to other sources. The source they most often quoted was the Bible, accounting for 34% of all citations. Sixty percent of all quotes came from men who used the Bible to form their conclusions. That means that 94% of all quotes by the founding fathers were based on the Bible. The founding fathers took ideas from the Bible and incorporated them into our government. If it was their intention to separate the state and church they would never have taken principles from the Bible and put them into our government. An example of an idea taken from the Bible and then incorporated into our government is found in Isaiah 33:22 which says, "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king..." The founding fathers took this scripture and made three major branches in our government: judicial, legislative, and executive. As mentioned earlier, the founding fathers strongly believed that Man was by nature corrupt and therefore it was necessary to separate the powers of the government. For instance, the President has the power to execute laws but not make them, and Congress has the power to make laws but not to judge the people. The simple principle of checks and balances came from the Bible to protect people from tyranny. The President of the United States is free to influence Congress, although he can not exercise authority over it because they are separated. Since this is true, why should the church not be allowed to influence the state? People have read too much into the phrase "separation of church and state", which is to be a separation of civil authority from ecclesiastical authority, not moral values. Congress has passed laws that it is illegal to murder and steal, which is the legislation of morality. These standards of morality are found in the Bible. Should we remove them from law because the church should be separated from the state?

Our founding fathers who formed the government also formed the educational system of the day. John Witherspoon did not attend the Constitutional Convention although he was President of New Jersey College in 1768 (known as Princeton since 1896) and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. His influence on the Constitution was far ranging in that he taught nine of fifty-five original delegates. He fought firmly for religious freedom and said, "God grant that in America true religion and civil liberty may be inseparable and that unjust attempts to destroy the one may in the issue tend to the support and establishment of both."(4)

In October 1961 the Supreme Court of the United States removed prayer from schools in a case called Engel v. Vitale. The case said that because the U.S. Constitution prohibits any law respecting an establishment of religion officials of public schools may not compose public prayer even if the prayer is denominationally neutral, and that pupils may choose to remain silent or be excused while the prayer is being recited. For 185 years prayer was allowed in public and the Constitutional Convention itself was opened with prayer. If the founding fathers didn't want prayer in government why did they pray publicly in official meetings? It is sometimes said that it is permissible to pray in school as long as it is silent. Although, "In Omaha, Nebraska, 10-year old James Gierke was prohibited from reading his Bible silently during free time... the boy was forbidden by his teacher to open his Bible at school and was told doing so was against the law."(4) The U.S. Supreme Court with no precedent in any court history said prayer will be removed from school. Yet the Supreme Court in January, 1844 in a case named Vidal v. Girard's Executors, a school was to be built in which no ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister of any sect whatsoever was to be allowed to even step on the property of the school. They argued over whether a layman could teach or not, but they agreed that, "...there is an obligation to teach what the Bible alone can teach, viz. a pure system of morality." This has been the precedent throughout 185 years. Although this case is from 1844, it illustrates the point. The prayer in question was not even lengthy or denominationally geared. It was this: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country." What price have we paid by removing this simple acknowledgment of God's protecting hand in our lives? Birth rates for unwed girls from 15-19; sexually transmitted diseases among 10-14 year olds; pre-marital sex increased; violent crime; adolescent homicide have all gone up considerably from 1961 to the 1990's -- even after taking into account population growth. The Bible, before 1961, was used extensively in curriculum. After the Bible was removed, scholastic aptitude test scores dropped considerably.

There is no such thing as a pluralistic society; there will always be one dominant view. Someone's morality is going to be taught -- but whose? Secular Humanism is a religion that teaches that through Man's ability we will reach universal peace and unity and make heaven on earth. They promote a way of life that systematically excludes God and all religion in the traditional sense. That Man is the highest point to which nature has evolved, and he can rely on only himself and that the universe was not created, but instead is self-existing. They believe that Man has the potential to be good in and of himself. All of this of course is in direct conflict with not only the teachings of the Bible but even the lessons of history. In June 1961 in a case called Torcaso v. Watkins, the U.S. Supreme Court stated, "Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism and others." The Supreme Court declared Secular Humanism to be a religion. The American Humanist Association certifies counselors who enjoy the same legal status as ordained ministers. Since the Supreme Court has said that Secular Humanism is a religion, why is it being allowed to be taught in schools? The removal of public prayer of those who wish to participate is, in effect, establishing the religion of Humanism over Christianity. This is exactly what our founding fathers tried to stop from happening with the first amendment.

1. Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Writings, Merrill D. Peterson, ed. (NY: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), p. 510, January 1, 1802.

2. John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution (MI: Baker Book House, 1987), p. 243.

3. M.E. Bradford, A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States Constitution (Marlborough, N.H.: Plymouth Rock Foundation, 1982), p. 4-5.

4. John Witherspoon, "Sermon on the Dominion of Providence over the Passions of Men" May 17, 1776; quoted and Cited by Collins, President Witherspoon, I:197-98.



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from http://www.wallbuilders.com/resources/search/detail.php?ResourceID=9

The Separation of Church and State

by David Barton



In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” The “separation of church and state” phrase which they invoked, and which has today become so familiar, was taken from an exchange of letters between President Thomas Jefferson and the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, shortly after Jefferson became President.

The election of Jefferson-America’s first Anti-Federalist President-elated many Baptists since that denomination, by-and-large, was also strongly Anti-Federalist. This political disposition of the Baptists was understandable, for from the early settlement of Rhode Island in the 1630s to the time of the federal Constitution in the 1780s, the Baptists had often found themselves suffering from the centralization of power.

Consequently, now having a President who not only had championed the rights of Baptists in Virginia but who also had advocated clear limits on the centralization of government powers, the Danbury Baptists wrote Jefferson a letter of praise on October 7, 1801, telling him:

Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office, we embrace the first opportunity . . . to express our great satisfaction in your appointment to the Chief Magistracy in the United States. . . . [W]e have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State out of that goodwill which He bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you. . . . And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.1

However, in that same letter of congratulations, the Baptists also expressed to Jefferson their grave concern over the entire concept of the First Amendment, including of its guarantee for “the free exercise of religion”:

Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty: that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals, that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. . . . [T]herefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. 2

In short, the inclusion of protection for the “free exercise of religion” in the constitution suggested to the Danbury Baptists that the right of religious expression was government-given (thus alienable) rather than God-given (hence inalienable), and that therefore the government might someday attempt to regulate religious expression. This was a possibility to which they strenuously objected-unless, as they had explained, someone’s religious practice caused him to “work ill to his neighbor.”

Jefferson understood their concern; it was also his own. In fact, he made numerous declarations about the constitutional inability of the federal government to regulate, restrict, or interfere with religious expression. For example:

[N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.Kentucky Resolution, 1798 3

In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. Second Inaugural Address, 1805 4

[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808 5

I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808 6

Jefferson believed that the government was to be powerless to interfere with religious expressions for a very simple reason: he had long witnessed the unhealthy tendency of government to encroach upon the free exercise of religion. As he explained to Noah Webster:

It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors . . . and which experience has nevertheless proved they [the government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious [effective] against wrong and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion. 7

Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination-a fact he made clear in a letter to fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush:

[T]he clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly. 8

Jefferson had committed himself as President to pursuing the purpose of the First Amendment: preventing the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity” by the Episcopalians, Congregationalists, or any other denomination.

Since this was Jefferson’s view concerning religious expression, in his short and polite reply to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802, he assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government. As he explained:

Gentlemen,-The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association give me the highest satisfaction. . . . Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of government reach actions only and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties. I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association assurances of my high respect and esteem. 9

Jefferson’s reference to “natural rights” invoked an important legal phrase which was part of the rhetoric of that day and which reaffirmed his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights. While the phrase “natural rights” communicated much to people then, to most citizens today those words mean little.

By definition, “natural rights” included “that which the Books of the Law and the Gospel do contain.” 10 That is, “natural rights” incorporated what God Himself had guaranteed to man in the Scriptures. Thus, when Jefferson assured the Baptists that by following their “natural rights” they would violate no social duty, he was affirming to them that the free exercise of religion was their inalienable God-given right and therefore was protected from federal regulation or interference.

So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? 11

Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.

Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only once prior to the 1947 Everson case-the Reynolds v. United States case in 1878), unlike today’s Courts which publish only his eight-word separation phrase, that earlier Court published Jefferson’s entire letter and then concluded:

Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson’s letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. (emphasis added) 12

That Court then succinctly summarized Jefferson’s intent for “separation of church and state”:

[T]he rightful purposes of civil government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order. In th[is] . . . is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State. 13

With this even the Baptists had agreed; for while wanting to see the government prohibited from interfering with or limiting religious activities, they also had declared it a legitimate function of government “to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.”

That Court, therefore, and others (for example, Commonwealth v. Nesbit and Lindenmuller v. The People ), identified actions into which-if perpetrated in the name of religion-the government did have legitimate reason to intrude. Those activities included human sacrifice, polygamy, bigamy, concubinage, incest, infanticide, parricide, advocation and promotion of immorality, etc.

Such acts, even if perpetrated in the name of religion, would be stopped by the government since, as the Court had explained, they were “subversive of good order” and were “overt acts against peace.” However, the government was never to interfere with traditional religious practices outlined in “the Books of the Law and the Gospel”-whether public prayer, the use of the Scriptures, public acknowledgements of God, etc.

Therefore, if Jefferson’s letter is to be used today, let its context be clearly given-as in previous years. Furthermore, earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter-words clearly divorced from their context-have become the sole authorization for a national policy. Finally, Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.

For example, in addition to his other statements previously noted, Jefferson also declared that the “power to prescribe any religious exercise. . . . must rest with the States” (emphasis added). Nevertheless, the federal courts ignore this succinct declaration and choose rather to misuse his separation phrase to strike down scores of State laws which encourage or facilitate public religious expressions. Such rulings against State laws are a direct violation of the words and intent of the very one from whom the courts claim to derive their policy.

One further note should be made about the now infamous “separation” dogma. The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment-as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

Endnotes:

1. Letter of October 7, 1801, from Danbury (CT) Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson, from the Thomas Jefferson Papers Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

2. Id.

3. The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, editor (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900), p. 977; see also Documents of American History, Henry S. Cummager, editor (NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1948), p. 179.

4. Annals of the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1852, Eighth Congress, Second Session, p. 78, March 4, 1805; see also James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.

5. Thomas Jefferson, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.

6. Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830), Vol. IV, pp. 103-104, to the Rev. Samuel Millar on January 23, 1808.

7. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. VIII, p. 112-113, to Noah Webster on December 4, 1790.

8. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. III, p. 441, to Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800.

9. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. XVI, pp. 281-282, to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1, 1802.

10. Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker (Oxford: University Press, 1845), Vol. I, p. 207.

11. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), Query XVIII, p. 237.

12. Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 164 (1878).

13. Reynolds at 163.

From http://www.nychristiancoalition.org/SEPARATION.HTM

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE




The left asserts that the framers intended a ”separation of church and state” meaning that the government should never allow any religious event to take place in any public domain. They claim that any such event would be endorsement of religion which is prohibited by the Constitution.




Let’s check it out. Here’s what the framers intended according to the evidence:


They believed Christianity ought to be encouraged but not any particular denomination.They believed that religion should never be forced on citizens. Nevertheless, they believed that an adherence to Judeo-Christian principles was absolutely necessary to the ordering of a just society. Separation of Church and State meant that the government must never encroach on the domain of the Church by establishing or favoring any one sect of Christianity over others. But it was presumed that all rely on “Divine Providence” publicly, as well as privately. There was no distinction.




The phrase, “Separation of Church and State” is nowhere to be found in any of our founding documents. It originated in an obscure personal letter President Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association assuring them that the federal government would not establish a national religion.




The First Amendment to the Constitution states:

“Congress shall makes no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” What does that mean?




Fortunately for us, this question was addressed almost 150 years ago (a time much closer to the thoughts and sentiments of the founders.) In 1854 a committee of Congress studied the question concerning exactly what constitutes the “establishment of religion.” (Is it praying at a high school football game over the public address system? Is it displaying the Ten Commandments in the school hallway? Is it erecting a crèche in a public square?Here was their conclusion:




“What is the establishment of religion? It must have a creed, defining what a man must believe; it must have rites and ordinances, which believers must observe, it must have ministers of defined qualifications, to teach the doctrines and administer the rites…Had the people, during the Revolution had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and the amendments the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged; not any one sect (denomination). (Italics mine.)




In more recent times, in 1952, Justice William O Douglas wrote the opinion of the court in a case: Zorach vs, Clawson, in which he states:


*”We are a religious people, and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.”




So it’s clear. They intended for Christianity to be a vital part of all our institutions, but refused to allow the government to have authority over the church in any area. The “Wall of Separation” was intended to protect religious people from the government, not the other way around. Listen to what a few more founders said:




George Washington, The Father of our country:




*[i]“It is impossible to govern without God and the Bible”




*”Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness…”




Just a few others:




*”Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the governing of any other.” –John Adams




*“The highest glory of the Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government and the principles of Christianity.”-John Quincy Adams.




We are a Christian nation in the sense that most Americans identify as Christians, and an even greater number identify with the Judeo-Christian tradition. The fact that there is no state Church does not mean we are a secular nation. The fact is most of our citizens are Christians, and our form of government is based on a Judeo-Christian worldview. For example, revenge is not excused because our tradition says vengeance belongs to God, etc.




The Founders never intended to set up a “religious society” but rather establish a society that would find its anchor in the teachings of the Old and New Testaments.




We can go on and on with evidences of all kinds, e.g., Congress ordering Bibles during the war for soldiers, George Washington’s orders to attend Sabbath services, Ben Franklin’s call to a three day fasting and prayer period when they were deadlocked at the Constitutional Convention, and on and on, and on. There is a preponderance of evidence to conclude that the founders fully expected we would always rely heavily on the Judeo-Christian worldview for an orderly society.




Only someone who purposely refuses to see truth would say God has no place in our public institutions.




Yes, there is to be a separation of church and state, but it is to protect the Church from the state, and this is where there is presently a gross violation. The state and the Church are to be equal confederates in providing balance. Neither should have authority over the other, but they should act as a counterbalance for each other.




This article is intended to counter the outright lies of organizations such as Americans for Separation of Church and State and The American Civil Liberties Union. These two organizations are at the vanguard of a move to remove every vestige of our Judeo-Christian heritage from the minds of Americans in order to advance their agenda, which places man in the place of God. This religion is termed “Secular Humanism.”




A study of their material indicates they approach this subject as a liberal theologian approaches his: Assert your desired conclusion first, then find evidence –at least one piece, somewhere, somehow, anywhere, anyhow, to “prove” your point. Using this method almost anything can be “proved.”You can always find some kind of evidence, somewhere, that can at least be twisted into seeming to prove any given assertion. For example, if I want to prove that a good Christian should be willing to hang himself for Christ, I can pick one verse of the Bible that says, “Judas hung himself.” Then another verse that says, “Go and do likewise.” From those two verses I can string together the idea that you should go hang yourself if you wish to follow Christ. “Ridiculous!” you say. Well that’s exactly how these organizations build their argument. They purposely discount volumes of evidence that contradict their desired assertions, while using any bit of information, and twisting it however they must, to prove their point.




I have tried to keep my commentary to a minimum letting the original documents speak for themselves. This is something the left cannot do, because they know that without choosing the evidence and twisting it to meet their desires they have no case. I believe truth is on our side and I present this to you in the hope, and confidence that you will agree, as I believe any prudent, reasonable man would.





(For further study I would recommend the book, “The Myth of Separation” by David Barton which can be ordered from http://www.wallbuilders.com/ )


















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*[i] “America’s God and Country” William Federer


More articles on this subject later

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