Saturday, March 24, 2018

Comments On Separation Of Church and State

        "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." (First Amendment of the Bill of Rights)

        The very first section of this amendment is the subject being addressed in this article, namely the fact that the secular world has intentionally misused it to suppress our religious freedom. It appears that many Americans have been deceived into believing that this clause prohibiting the state from enforcing a particular religion on the people and the free exercise of religious profession somehow means that religion should have no influence in the political sphere of society. The term coined for this notion of religion being excluded from governmental affairs is known as the "separation of church and state", which had actually originated from the U.S. Founding Father Thomas Jefferson in a private letter to a Baptist congregation located in Connecticut for the express purpose of soothing fears revolving around the possibility of the federal establishment of what would essentially be a religious dictatorship. Thus, this boundary exists to defend, not hinder, the freedom to act in accordance to deeply held religious convictions. It was meant to prevent the government from interfering with religious freedom, not to provide government aid in suppressing it. This metaphorical reference to a "wall" has been misinterpreted by Everson v. Board of Education, resulting in the formation of a dangerous mindset among people in modern times. It has been taken completely out of its respective historical context.

        The phrase "separation of church and state" has been reinterpreted in such a manner that was never even imagined by the earliest predecessors of American governmental offices. Ironically, neither the word nor the concept (as defined by atheists) appears in the Bill of Rights and Constitution. All that the first sentence to the First Amendment is saying is that the government neither has the authority to enforce a particular religion on the general populace nor that state can prohibit religious freedom. The First Amendment exists to protect religious expression. It is there to uphold freedom of religion. It is there to promote the diversity of belief systems, not suppress them. The meaning of the First Amendment has been redefined by secularists to fit a meaning directly contrary to its original intent. It does not exist to separate God from the American government. The First Amendment exists to keep government out of religious business. Our nation's forefathers believed both the church and state to be held accountable to God, and, in fact, to be led under His authority. It is because of the lofty moral principles taught in Christianity that America has ever been a prosperous and blessed nation. America was founded on Christian principles. No religion is to function as the state religion. A person can practice any religion that he or she desires, insofar that it does not infringe on the rights and security of others. That is the authentic meaning of the First Amendment. Politics should operate on moral principles. It would be impossible to create an absolute gap between religion and politics because people make decisions based on their worldviews.
        "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate 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."
          -"...not one of the ninety Founding Fathers stated, argued for or against, or even referred to such a phrase when they debated for months about the specific words to use when writing the First Amendment. Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789 reveal that none of these men, including Thomas Jefferson, ever used the phrase, "separation of church and state."
  • Consider The Words Of Chief Justice William Rehnquist Of The U.S. Supreme Court:
          -"The ‘wall of separation between church and state’ is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.”
  • Consider The Words Of Late Chief Justice Antonin Scalia During A Speech At Colorado Christian University:
          -“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over non-religion…That’s a possible way to run a political system. The Europeans run it that way… And if the American people want to do it, I suppose they can enact that by statute. But to say that’s what the Constitution requires is utterly absurd.”
          -"A church had been meeting in the United States Capitol for more than five years before Congress officially occupied the Capitol. The first session of both houses of Congress at the Capitol began on November 17, 1800."
  • Consider The Confession Made By Professor Samuel Walker On The Issue Of Emerson v. Board of Education:
          -“In the 1947 Everson decision, the Supreme Court gave new meaning to the establishment clause of the First Amendment.”
  • Consider The Words Of The Northwest Ordinance Of 1787 In Article III:
          -"Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged."

1 comment:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The Northwest Ordinance also provided for the publishing of Bibles for sending to the Indians.