Separation of Church and State - the Truth

 

Starting in America and then spreading throughout the world is the slogan "Separation of Church and State" and it is now the guiding principle behind the new Europian Constitution, that may destroy Europe forever. What is the truth behind this slogan that started in 1947 in America and now is trying to virus the entire world?

 

What does America's First Amendment's "Establishment Clause," which says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" really mean and what does it not mean?

 

The truth is, the notion of "the constitutional separation of church and state" that has transformed America into a de facto atheistic, secular state, is a lie.

 

It is one of the truly outrageous, malignant and provably false the "Biggest Lie" of our generation.

 

In reality, throughout the late 1700s the era of the Revolutionary War and the subsequent adoption of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, including the First Amendment Christianity permeated America from top to bottom. In 1777, with the Revolutionary War threatening the flow of Bibles from England, Congress approved the purchase of 20,000 Bibles from Holland to give to the states.

 

No fewer than six of the 13 original states had official, state-supported churches "establishments of religion"! Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and South Carolina refused to ratify the new national Constitution unless it included a prohibition of federal meddling with their existing state "establishments of religion."

 

Still other states required those seeking elected office to be Christians.

 

The Continental Congress routinely designated days of "fasting and prayer" and other religious observances, appointed government-funded chaplains, and appropriated money to pay for Christian missionaries to convert the Indians.

 

What 'wall of separation'?

 

First a quick civics lesson. The section of the Constitution that deals with religion is Amendment I of the Bill of Rights the first 16 words of it, anyway.

 

There's the "Establishment Clause" ("Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion") and the "Free Exercise Clause" ("or prohibiting the free exercise thereof").

 

The "Establishment Clause" that's the one today's courts almost always focus on simply prohibits the federal government from "establishing" a national church, or from interfering with the established churches in the states! (Remember, several states already had state-supported "establishments of religion.")

 

Let's go back in time and witness the conversation among those who debated and approved the wording of the Bill of Rights, and find out what they really meant.

 

The date is June 8, 1789. James Madison key architect of the Constitution and a leading member of the First Congress is proposing the following wording for what ultimately will become the religion clauses of the First Amendment:

 

"The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, infringed."

 

The representatives debate this for a bit, and then turn it over to a committee consisting of Madison and 10 other House members, which comes up with a new version:

 

"No religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed."

 

More debate. Madison explains that "he apprehended the meaning of the words to be, that Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience."

 

Rep. Benjamin Huntington complains the proposed wording might "be taken in such latitude as to be extremely hurtful to the cause of religion." So Madison suggests inserting the word "national" before the word "religion," to assuage the fears of those concerned over the establishment of a national religion and of being compelled to conform to it. (After all, wasn't that precisely the reason their forefathers the Puritans had come to America in the first place to escape the tyranny of England's compulsory state religion?)

 

But Rep. Gerry balks at the word "national," because, he argues, the Constitution created a federal government, not a national one. So Madison withdraws his latest proposal, but assures Congress his reference to a "national religion" had to do with a national religious establishment, not a national government.

 

A week later, the House again alters the wording this way:

 

"Congress shall make no law establishing religion, or to prevent the free exercise thereof, or to infringe the rights of conscience."

 

Meanwhile, the Senate debates other versions of the same amendment and on Sept. 3, 1789, comes up with this wording:

 

"Congress shall make no law establishing articles of faith or a mode of worship, or prohibiting the free exercise of religion."

 

The House doesn't like the Senate's changes and calls for a conference, from which emerges finally the wording ultimately included in the Bill of Rights:

 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

 

Joseph Story, appointed by President James Madison to the Supreme Court in 1811, where he served for the next 33 years until his death, explained exactly how the high court regarded the First Amendment in his celebrated "Commentary on the Constitution of the United States":

 

"Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the amendment to it now under consideration [First Amendment], the general if not the universal sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.

 

"The real object of the [First Amendment] was, not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism [Islam], or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects, and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment, which should give to an hierarchy the exclusive patronage of the national government.

 

Rep. Elias Boudinot proposed a resolution asking the president, George Washington, to issue a national Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.

 

Boudinot said he "could not think of letting the session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice, in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings he had poured down upon them."

 

On Sept. 25, 1789, Boudinot's resolution was passed, and within two weeks Washington responded with the following Presidential Proclamation:

 

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

 

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

 

The Real Wall of Separation

 

Ironically, Jefferson intended for his letter to the Danbury Baptists to reassure them that the new federal government would not endanger the free expression of their religion. This is widely known. But what is not well known is that Jefferson did not actually coin the phrase "separation of church and state."

 

Rather, he borrowed the metaphor from the sermon, "The Garden and the Wilderness," which was very familiar to Baptists of the time. As Jim Henderson, senior counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice explains it:

That sermon, rendered by Roger Williams (the founder of the Rhode Island Plantation colony) and a Baptist, depicted the church as a garden, the world as a wilderness, and the wall as a device of the Creator's invention that protected the garden from being overrun by the wilderness. Williams explained that, from time to time, for the purpose of disciplining sin in the church, "it hath pleased" the Almighty to break down the wall.

 

Thomas Jefferson, ever the politician, knew when he communicated with the Baptists that "The Garden and The Wilderness" was well known and widely read nearly two generations later. He appealed to them in the terms of their own great man's idiom.

 

There you have it. The "wall of separation" was meant to protect "the garden" of the church from being overrun by "the wilderness" of government. No wonder Chief Justice Rehnquist has said, "The metaphor of a 'wall of separation' is bad history and worse law. It has made a positive chaos out of court rulings. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned."

 

Even James Madison, father of the Constitution, seemed to have something to say about this case:

 

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

 

The Courts Power

 

The Supreme Court is supreme only over lower federal courts; it is not supreme over the other branches of government."

 

Supreme Court justices can also be impeached, just like presidents.

 

Presidents aren't compelled to obey unlawful Supreme Court decisions?

 

Some presidents, including Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln, have defied Supreme Court orders.

 

Now Armed with knowledge, Do something about it.