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Violations of the Constitution


Harry Reid the Snake

I have had only limited knowledge of the justification used by the BLM in trying to use armed force and property seizure against Cliven Bundy and family. Even Fox News though sympathetic with the Bundy family, gave legal opinions from their contributors – Liberal and Conservative alike – that the BLM had an authentic judicial case against the Bundys.

 

After you read Justin Smith’s report below you will realize the actions of the BLM smack of YET ANOTHER SCANDAL to be assigned to the Obama Administration AND because of the Dem Party Senate Majority Leader – who represents Nevada – a Democratic Party scandal as well!

 

This smacks of money and abuse of power kick-backs to Harry Reid’s son Rory Reid; Chinese land grabbing for a renewable energy plant for a fraction of the land’s worth; connections to convicted lobbyist Harvey Whittemore, the hypocrisy of claiming protection for a tortoise that isn’t even endangered any longer yet willing to look the other way for Rory and Justin throws in the sovereignty grabbing of U.N. Agenda 21.

 

Read and be outraged by the truth of BLM vs. Cliven Bundy!

 

JRH 4/19/14

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Violations of the Constitution

(A Land Management Nightmare)

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 4/18/2014 11:54 PM

 

Cliven Bundy’s twenty year battle over grazing rights became tense and volatile on April 10, 2014, when supporters protested and confronted Bureau of Land Management officers, who had illegally confiscated Bundy cattle, private property, calling them “trespass” cattle. A 1998 court order required Bundy to remove the livestock and pay damages for trespassing; since then, the BLM has exceeded its authority in its attempts to enforce BLM regulations. It is also now evident that Bundy did, in fact, have preemptive rights, which superseded federal claims to the land. And, while this confrontation was troubling and riveting, it is just a small part of a much greater federal assault on all private property rights across America.

 

An estimated 200 BLM armed officers deployed to the Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada, and over the period of three days, they threw Bundy’s 57 year old sister, a cancer survivor, to the ground, tasered one son and arrested another for not protesting in a “designated free speech zone”. The BLM also actually had snipers targeting the protesters, but unknown to them at the time, they had been flanked and militia members from Montana, Texas and Utah had them in their scopes.

 

Several elected officials were deeply troubled by what they saw. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, who could have de-escalated the matter by interceding, only remarked, “No cow justifies the atmosphere of intimidation which currently exists nor the limitation of constitutional rights that are sacred to all Nevadans.” But, Arizona Rep Kelly Townsend was so disturbed by the BLM’s actions that he drove to the Bundy ranch, and later he stated, “I don’t recognize my country at this point,”

 

Since the BLM retreated and ended their siege, Sen. Harry Reid has called the Bundy family “domestic terrorists”, and he has stated that action against the Bundy family would continue; however, as Texas Rep. Steve Stockman (R) explained in a letter to Obama, BLM Director Neil Kornze and Interior Secretary Sally Jewel, the BLM acted in a lawless manner, because it had no “right to assume preemptory police powers; and, it was required to seek assistance, if force was necessary, from local law enforcement”, under U.S. code – 43 U.S.C. Section 1733, Subsection C (April 17, Chris Agee, Western Journalism).

 

Regardless of the coercive manner the federal government acquired this land upon Nevada gaining statehood in 1864, there remains States’ rights and property rights issues, and, according to the BLM’s own regulations concerning improvements and land patents, under sections 49.3.3 – public lands division and 49.3.4 – private lands division, Mr. Cliven Bundy did hold preemptive rights to this land in question. Land patents are the first conveyance of title of ownership to land, which the U.S. grants a citizen who applies for one. As an assignee to his grandfather’s land patents from 1877, Bundy’s grazing rights fell under these rules, as well as the Homestead Act, which states that this land “cannot be held liable in order to satisfy any debt”, which includes the $300,000 in grazing fees Bundy admits owing to the State of Nevada and Clark County; this is the reason the BLM went after the “trespass” cattle, although their court order did not authorize the seizure and sale of these cattle.

 

While it is true that initially much of the problem started in the 1990s and after the Environmental Protection Agency declared 600,000 acres “protected federal land”, due to the “endangered desert tortoise”, this tortoise is no longer on the endangered list. So, why is the land still considered “protected”?

 

The answer is found in over 50 renewable energy projects slated for this land, many of which have been lobbied before Congress by Rory Reid, Senator Harry Reid’s son. The tortoises’ “endangered” status was ignored when Harry Reid pressured the BLM to allow one of his top donors, Harvey Whittemore – convicted of illegal campaign contributions to Reid in 2013, to develop some of the land. The tortoises’ manufactured plight was again ignored, when the communist Chinese ENN Energy Group wanted to buy 9,000 acres in the area for a solar energy farm, at a reduced price of $4.5 million, down from its appraised value of approximately $36 million, according to Reuters.

 

Neil Kornze, appointed by Senator Harry Reid to head the BLM, and, Sen. Reid’s son, Rory Reid have both had their hands in numerous renewable energy projects that considered Bundy’s land and surrounding areas. As of March 21, Kornze was assisting Jonathan Magaziner, an associate of the Clinton Foundation, in his Moapa Southern Paiute Project; and, they have both been instrumental in helping First Solar and CEO Michael Ahearn, former fundraiser for both Reid and Obama, get his project in the area for investors Al Gore, Ted Turner and Goldman Sachs and billionaire Obama fundraiser, Paul Jones, as reported by James Simpson at WND.

 

Also in March, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers have colluded to redefine “navigable waters” and impose a new rule, Waters of the United States that would give them authority over streams on private property, even when the water beds have been dry for hundreds of years, in conjunction with the Clean Water Act. And, as pointed out by Rep Harold Rogers (KY-R), this is “the biggest land grab in the history of the world”, and the economic impact will be profound, essentially freezing economic activity in America.

 

This sort of regulation allows the EPA to join the BLM, the Dept. of Energy and the Army in dictating to the American people, on a massive scale, everything from grazing rights, food production, animal units per month per acre/animal health and the use of energy on private lands. The true goal here is the enrichment of Progressive Democrats at the taxpayers’ expense, as they place every last foot of private land under government control, essentially destroying private property rights.

 

This is a “land management” nightmare straight from the marxofascist ideology of the Progressives, which implements the “sustainable development” of UN Agenda 21 through the illegal and unConstitutional Obama Executive Order 13575 that circumvented Congressional votes rejecting this direction for America. [Blog Editor: I took the liberty to add the bold highlight print]The federal government has never had unlimited authority over the land, and to the contrary, the Constitution made a point of limiting the federal government in this respect in the last two paragraphs of Article I – Section 8, and yet, the Federal Leviathan has taken this authority through our own complacency and acquiescence, and, in many cases, ignorance: This month the Bundy Family and hundreds of American Patriots refused to have their Liberty and Freedom taken away, and they stood against Tyranny, for themselves and all America.

 

By Justin O. Smith

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Edited by John R. Houk

© Justin O. Smith

 

An Affront to America


True 5 Pillars of Islam

I usually like to write an intro for guest writers; however Justin does a much job in his email that I am doing the old copy and pasted to use an excerpt of his introductory email. – John R. Houk

 

… [T]he masses [are] in denial and the media [is] perpetrating fallacies and outright lies.

 

Recently a Daily News Journal editorial was so outrageous in its suggestion that I couldn’t believe my eyes. They suggested that “the faithful” be more supportive of Muslims and the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. That’s like asking a rape victim to hold hands with her rapist

 

I believe that although I specifically address a Tennessee issue, this piece will resonate across America, and many small communities will recognize themselves within this context too; please also note, I do address the national aspect of the problem in limited fashion within paragraphs 5 and 6. Justin O. Smith

 

JRH 4/10/14

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An Affront to America

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 4/9/2014 8:28 PM

 

On March 30, 2014 the Daily News Journal felt the need to chastise many members of the Murfreesboro community, and they seemed to suggest that Christians and Jews, “the faithful”, should support the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, join hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’, as if in so doing, Islam will reform itself, become America’s friend and stop attacking us. The DNJ editorial board called the challenge to the ICM’s expansion and burial ground “affronts to this community”, and yet, they affront the community themselves by not understanding it is our First Amendment right and our duty to question anything that may harm the U.S. and impede the Constitution; the question is not one of any Muslim’s freedom to worship, but instead, it is a question of the harmful effects of the ideology of Islam and the advocacy of Sharia law for the U.S., that occurs daily within the walls of these mosques.

 

Under the First Amendment, we certainly have the right to question the lack of common sense in our leaders, as they turn their backs on Christians truly in need of refuge and protection from islamofascists in Islamic nations and they continue to allow Muslim “refugees” into our sovereign territory – our nation – a people and an ideology that does, in fact and from their own words, seek supremacy over all, here in the U.S. and across the globe.

 

Imam Zaid Shakir is a Council on American Islamic Relations advisor and a regular speaker at CAIR events and the Islamic Center of Nashville. In 2013, Shakir told an audience that under Islamic law “the kafir (infidel) won’t be equal with the Muslim”, and the New York Times quotes him saying that he “still hoped that one day the United States would be a Muslim country ruled by Islamic law.

 

I pose this question to the editorial board of the Daily News Journal: Do we – the American people, U.S. citizens – [to be denied free speech] or do we not have the right to be vigilant and expose real threats [of] Islam, Sharia law and mosques [that] represent to any community in which they are found? Your editorial suggests not, and that is the real affront to the community.

 

Currently there are 227 mosques in California alone; 86 in New Jersey; 67 in Pennsylvania and Texas; 66 in Ohio; 57 in Florida and Illinois; 41 in Georgia; 15 in Tennessee and approximately 2000 nationwide. Most of these mosques are funded by Saudi Arabians of the extreme Wahhabist sect of Islam and led by, for lack of a better term, “radical” Egyptian imams/Muslim Brotherhood who are simply following Islam and the words of Mohammed in the strictest sense.

 

And yes, Muslims do have the right to worship in any manner they choose. They can worship their Three Cranes, the moon, Mohammed, Isa – their false depiction of a Jesus, or Allah. But, they do not have the right to circumvent our laws, create parallel Sharia law courts within our communities and override or supplant every premise and concept of liberty and equality under the supreme law of the land – Our U.S. Constitution – in the name of Islam, as they have already attempted in Michigan, Florida and numerous other states.

 

Scream as loudly as you wish DNJ editors, as you depict a “peaceful” Murfreesboro mosque and just simply ignore the quiet anger and hatred for the U.S. that simmers just under that quiet calm. Or have you forgotten Nihad Awad and CAIR agents of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood group align themselves with this mosque – a mosque that supports Hamas terrorists in Gaza and had the “holy warrior”/jihadist Mosaad Rawash on the board of the ICM?

 

When it pertains to Islamic terrorism, we only see opposition from the Middle Tennessee Islamic community. Remziya Suleyman, islamofascist apologist and “human rights” (read “Muslim”) activist, often boasts that she organized all the Muslims in Tennessee, in order to beat alleged anti-Sharia legislation; this bill was actually an anti-terrorism/material support bill, so essentially, Suleyman equates bills aimed at terror and terror finance as anti-Sharia.

 

In 2010 Awadh Binhazim, a Muslim “chaplain” at Vanderbilt University and a director of the Islamic Center of Tennessee said that as a Muslim, he had no choice but to “go with what Islam teaches”, which is homosexuality “is punishable by death”. Whether one accepts the homosexual lifestyle or not, what other faith in the 21st century holds such a backward and inhuman belief? Binhazim also taught alongside Abdulhakim Mohamed, a terrorist sympathizer and supporter of bin-Laden, at the Al Farouq mosque in New York (9/11 Commission Report).

 

Yasir Qadhi, imam of Al-Maghrib Institute in Memphis – TN, studied under Ali al-Timimi, who was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of encouraging violent jihad against Americans, after 9/11, and Qadhi was on a terror watch list in 2006. In 2003, Timimi stated, “Muslims were overjoyed because of the adversity that befell their greatest enemy” (the U.S.).

 

Where are the reports from the mainstream media and the Daily News Journal on the hate-filled words of imam Yasir Qadhi and his fellow Muslim Brothers? Their refusal to report such threats is the affront to the community.

 

In 2013 Qadhi said that he had been “commanded to fight the people” until they testify “there is no god but Allah” (la illaha illa Allah). And he continued, “The life and property of mushrik (one who worships others besides Allah) holds no value in the state of jihad…which means if they don’t testify…(above quote)…”their lives and property are halal – that is, permitted to be taken by Muslims, if you are “a filthy Christian or Jew.”

 

See VIDEO of imam Qadhi: Tennessee Imam Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi: “Jews and Christians are Filthy, Their Lives and Property can be Taken in Jihad by the Muslims” – Freedom Outpost

 

VIDEO: US Imam preaching theft, rape and murder of Christians and Jews in the US [Direct video link provided by Editor]

 

The affront is to America and Our American Heritage, because Islam is not just a religion, and the Daily News Journal would have us silenced on the violence, the terror and multiple human rights violations Islam brings with it, such as the institutionalized misogyny depicted in ‘Honor Diaries’. They would silence the fact that most of Islam as it exists today, without reform or apology, is incompatible with a free society. These ignorant (see Webster’s 1:a, DNJ) enablers on the DNJ’s editorial board tear at our vigilance in the name of liberty, as they highlight what Americans are doing to supposedly “repress” the Muslim residents and they accept that Islam has political sovereignty. And yet, these are the same fools who go crazy, when Christians stand in defense of the U.S. Constitution, which was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles; these same Progressive multiculturalist fools refuse to admit that there is a global jihad within Islam__ that it is a political project, an imperial project – in a way that modern Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are not, and a historically bloodthirsty faith.

 

Justin O. Smith

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate additions by the Editor

 

© Justin O. Smith

Disputing Separation Church/State Part 7


No Nation Survives without Law

John R. Houk

© April 5, 2014

 

Dougindeap left a comment on the post “The Truth about Separation of Church and State” at NCCR which is a cross post of an Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) brochure that provides reasons for the concept of Separation of Church and State as SCOTUS has set in stone today is and was not a correct interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

 

It is my habit to usually post my perspective on a comment then place the comment below my thoughts. Since Dougindeap divided his comment into eight parts to refute the ADF points. So as I initially began to respond to Dougindeap’s original comment which resulted in various parts with the title “Disputing Separation Church/State” (which as of this writing is up to six parts). You can read an edited version of that comment at the end of my thoughts at SlantRight 2.0 or the NCCR blog. You can read Dougindeap’s unedited comment version at NCCR HERE. I am bucking my typical course and take a valiant effort to briefly take each of Dougindeap’s points to put in my two-cents. I say briefly because I can tell that the six parts of “Disputing Separation Church/State” could go on much longer than I desire to devote to the subject. I have to say something though because I disagree with Dougindeap as much as he disagrees with me. Sadly the slant of the reader’s politics will line the reader with Doug or myself.

 

So here we go.

 

dougindeap commented on The Truth about Separation of Church and State

April 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

 

[Blog Editor: Dougindeap uses the abbreviation “ALF” when I suspect he was thinking Alliance Defending Freedom which would “ADF”. I mention this for clarity’s sake because we all post comments hurriedly in which typos or missing words occur and not as a criticism of Dougindeap.]

 

Dougindeap:

 

You have succeeded in gathering quite a collection of arguments about separation of church and state, nearly all of which I’ve seen and seen debunked many times. I won’t attempt to touch on every one of the many points, but will take the ALF items one by one.

 

1. While Jefferson’s first use of the term “separation of church and state” may have been in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, he hardly was the first to use the term.

 

Certainly Jefferson’s letter had nothing to say about limiting public religious expression. ALF contends against a strawman. No one contends that Jefferson said any such thing.

 

It is important to distinguish between “individual” and “government” speech about religion. The constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square–far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. (Students also are free to exercise and express their religious views–in a time, manner, and place that does not interfere with school programs and activities.) If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

 

JRH:

 

I believe Dougindeap has correctly expressed the meaning of the First Amendment until he gets to the part I took the liberty to highlight with bold print.

 

When Doug says the government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, he is correct to the extent those individuals are under the direct mandate of the government. The problem is the Left Wing assumption that all instruments of the government are representative of the Federal government. THIS WAS NOT THE ORIGINAL INTENT of the First Amendment.

 

The Bill of Rights which are actually the first ten Amendments of the U.S. Constitution provides an intent that must apply to the First Amendment as enumerated in the Tenth Amendment:

 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

 

Just as Doug points out the First Amendment prevents the U.S. Congress to establish a State Church or to make any laws that prohibits the free exercise of religion. The Tenth Amendment brings specificity in that the State government or “the people” (implying local government such as Counties or cities) can define how individuals working as instruments of government are defined on the State and Local level. Hence the Federal government did not end Established Churches on the State level. The States individually disestablished State Churches as it became obvious the State Established Churches were slipping into the minority among Christian denominations in the various States. Ironically Massachusetts one of the most Liberal States in the American Union today was the last State to disestablish their State Church in the 1833. States’ Rights ended the Established Church in the USA and not the enforcement of the Federal government. In the same manner of Original Intent each State has the power of the law to limit or encourage government instruments such as employees from sharing their individual faith.

 

Dougindeap:

 

2. Justice Hugo Black was not the first to “insert” separation of church and state into American jurisprudence. Not by a long shot. A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court first used that term in 1878 in Reynolds v. United States, where it quoted Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists while interpreting the First Amendment.

 

JRH:

 

In Reynolds v. United States Dougindeap fails to mention the reason for the unanimity of SCOTUS in the 1878 religious Liberty case before them. George Reynolds a citizen of the then Territory of Utah was a Mormon that married more than one wife. Reynolds was convicted of bigamy. Reynolds demanded his First Amendment rights of Religious Liberty. The 1878 SCOTUS officially was more concerned about social norms than Religious Freedom. In Christian America in 1878 bigamy was not only illegal it was also a heinous sin. The reality of the 1878 SCOTUS decision was upholding traditional Christian values over the cult of Mormonism (Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints). Mormons then and now believe in the supremacy of the Book of Mormon and certain so-called Mormon prophetic pronouncements (Book of Mormon; Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price) over the traditional Christian values of the Holy Bible. SCOTUS upheld the conviction of George Reynolds in 1878 unanimously. I have no doubts Mormons consider themselves Christians however their theology is so divergent from the orthodox practices of Christianity an intelligent evaluation even today would come to the conclusion Mormonism at best is its own religion and at worst a cult spin-off Christianity. It should be noted the powers that be in Mormonism had the remarkable revelation that marriage is between one man and one woman in order for the Utah Territory could become the sovereign State of Utah in 1890.

 

As to the 1878 SCOTUS unanimous opinion referencing the Jefferson to Danbury Baptists letter WallBuilders provides the actual intent of that Court opinion:

 

Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only twice prior to the 1947Everson 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. (Excerpted from – The Separation of Church and State; By David Barton; WallBuilders.com; January 2001)

 

Dougindeap:

 

3. First, ALF tries to pass off the Supreme Court’s decision in Everson v. Board of Education as simply a misreading of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists–as if that were the only basis of the Court’s decision. Instructive as that letter is, it played but a small part in the Court’s decision. Rather, the Court discussed the historical context in which the Constitution and First Amendment were drafted, noting the expressed understanding of Madison perhaps even more than Jefferson, and only after concluding its analysis and stating its conclusion did the Court refer–once–to Jefferson’s letter, largely to borrow his famous metaphor as a clever label or summary of its conclusion. The notion, often heard, that the Court rested its decision solely or largely on that letter is a red herring.

 

Second, it is ALF that has confused its history. Contrary to its assertion, Justice Black did not write that the Danbury letter may be accepted “almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect” of the First Amendment.” Rather Chief Justice Waite wrote that in Reynolds v. United States. Black, moreover, did not repeat that statement in Everson.

 

Finally, the further notion, suggested by ALF and advanced by some, that the Supreme Court’s recognition of the constitutional separation of church and state in Everson is all Justice Black’s doing is laughable. It bears noting that all nine justices in the Everson case read the Constitution to call for separation of church and state, and indeed all of the parties and all of the amici curiae (including the National Council of Catholic Men and National Council of Catholic Women) did as well; no one disputed the principle, they differed only in how it should be applied in the circumstances of the case.

 

JRH:

 

Actually Hugo Black equally emphasized Jefferson and Madison together. Doug fails to mention that Black’s Majority Opinion included both Jefferson and Madison’s efforts on a State level in Virginia to disestablish any Church to receive tax support because such taxation would be discriminatory toward non-established Christian denominations. Hence Jefferson and Madison were not arguing the removal of recognized Christian Morality but rather the removal of taxpayers’ paying the salary of a State established Clergy. AND so yes, Hugo Black misappropriated the work of Jefferson and Madison use of a States’ Rights issue to apply to Federal authority. Hugo Black attempts to solidify the Church/State separation by adopting Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists. How did Black connect a States’ Rights issue to Federal authority? Then Black used the presumption that the Fourteenth Amendment which officially ended Slavery in all the States by Federal rule of law, then by extension Black presumed the Fourteenth Amendment nullified the Tenth Amendment which in turn pertained to individual State sovereignty bowing to the will of the Judicial and Executive branches of government. This interpretation had the effect to keep the influence of Christianity outside the scope of State level and local level government parameters in the rule of law.

 

Dougindeap:

 

4. That the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, to some who once mistakenly supposed they were there and, upon learning of their error, fancy they’ve solved a Constitutional mystery. To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphorical phrase commonly used to name one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.

 

Contrary to ALF’s supposition, separation of church and state rests on much more than just the First Amendment. It is a bedrock principle of our Constitution, much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day (by which governments generally were grounded in some appeal to god(s)), the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which affirmatively constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions.

 

JRH:

 

Doug mistakenly equates the lack of the words “Wall of Separation of Church and State” in the Constitute is the same as other civics terms not being the Constitution such as “Bill of Rights, separation of powers (i.e. in branches of government), checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty” and so on. The reason Doug is mistaken because all those other terms are specifically spelled out in the Constitution BUT the term “Wall of Separation of Church and State” is not spelled out AT ALL The First Amendment ONLY spells out that Congress cannot make a law to Establish a State Church and that Congress cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion.

 

Dougindeap:

 

5. While the First Amendment undoubtedly was intended to preclude the government from establishing a national religion as you note, that was hardly the limit of its intended scope. The first Congress debated and rejected just such a narrow provision (“no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed”) and ultimately chose the more broadly phrased prohibition now found in the Amendment. During his presidency, Madison vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or compel observance of any religion, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. While some in Congress expressed surprise that the Constitution prohibited Congress from incorporating a church in the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia or granting land to a church in the Mississippi Territory, Congress upheld both vetoes. Separation of church and state is hardly a new invention of modern courts. In keeping with the Amendment’s terms and legislative history and other evidence, the courts have wisely interpreted it to restrict the government from taking steps that could establish religion de facto as well as de jure. Were the Amendment interpreted merely to preclude government from enacting a statute formally establishing a state church, the intent of the Amendment could easily be circumvented by government doing all sorts of things to promote this or that religion–stopping just short of cutting a ribbon to open its new church.

 

JRH:

 

Dougindeap quotes James Madison’s first writing of a proposed First Amendment: “no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed”. I suspect Doug is implying Madison’s influence spoke for all the Congressmen in constructing religious freedom as imputed by Federal government authority en toto as opposed to States’ Rights. That is DEFINITELY not the case because of House deliberation the First Amendment’s form ratified as law is what was sent to the States for ratification. Hence States’ Rights coupled with the Tenth Amendment became the actual Original Intent of the First Amendment which included the individual States upholding the primacy of the values of the Christian religion by which all Denominations upheld regardless of varying theological dogma.

 

Since the Declaration of Independence led to the Articles of Confederation which were then superseded by the U.S. Constitution in 1789 shows that the Founding Fathers bowed to the will of ‘We the People’ in the promotion of the very least the promotion of Christianity as what will maintain the general welfare of the people of the new USA.

 

Here’s an abbreviated list of the Continental Congress pushing Christian Morals and Values for the General Welfare (1774 – 1789):

 

1. Congress’ First Act: A Resolution to Pray – September 6, 1774

 

2. Congress Ordered Purchase and Printing of Bibles – September 11, 1777

 

3. Congress Expressly Promoted Religion – October 12, 1778:

 

Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness: Resolved, That it be, and it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.

 

4. The Declaration of Independence – formally adopted it on July 4, 1776, and signed it August 2, 1776. The Declaration directly appeals to God at least four times

 

5. Congress Appointed Days Of Prayer, Thanksgiving, and Repentance – In the approximately fifteen years of its existence, the Continental Congress approved at least fifteen proclamations calling on the states to appoint days of special worship or honor to God. Dates enumerated from 1777 through 1787.

 

The above lists remarkable does not contain the Northwest Ordinance enacted by the Continental Congress under the Articles of Confederation July 13, 1787. The legislation has 14 Sections and the Fourteenth Section has Six Articles. The purpose for the Northwest Ordinance was to establish a Central government rule of law for expansion westward from the Original 13 States and a method of admitting new sovereign States to the United States of America (then under the Articles of Confederation). Christianity and Religious Freedom combined are expressly part of the designs of the Northwest Ordinance.

 

Sec. 13. And, for extending the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty, which form the basis whereon these republics, their laws and constitutions are erected; to fix and establish those principles as the basis of all laws, constitutions, and governments, which forever hereafter shall be formed in the said territory: to provide also for the establishment of States, and permanent government therein, and for their admission to a share in the federal councils on an equal footing with the original States, at as early periods as may be consistent with the general interest: (Bold emphasis Blog Editor’s)

 

Sec. 14. It is hereby ordained and declared by the authority aforesaid, That the following articles shall be considered as articles of compact between the original States and the people and States in the said territory and forever remain unalterable, unless by common consent, to wit:

 

Art. 1. No person, demeaning himself in a peaceable and orderly manner, shall ever be molested on account of his mode of worship or religious sentiments, in the said territory.

 

Art. 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. …

 

The two bills James Madison vetoed was done correctly. The bills’ goals were to Establish the Episcopalian Church in the city of Alexandria within the District of Columbia and provide public funds to buy land for a Church in the Territory of Mississippi. On a Federal basis the First Amendment specifically states that Congress can make no law establishing a Church. AGAIN this has nothing to do with the laws enumerated to the several States not in the U.S. Constitution (Tenth Amendment).

 

My above thoughts on the history of the Courts and Church Establishment already refute the Doug’s claim that Church/State Separation issues is “hardly a new invention of modern courts.”

 

Dougindeap:

 

6. Dreisbach’s fundamental error is his largely unspoken and unexamined presumption that the Constitution’s separation of church and state is merely a First Amendment textual matter. As noted above, however, it is rather a bedrock principle of our Constitution, resting on much more than the First Amendment.

 

JRH:

 

Already proved this line of thinking is in error by Dougindeap.

 

Dougindeap:

 

7. The Constitution, including particularly the First Amendment, embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religious views without expecting that the government will endorse or promote those views and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religious views of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the establishment clause serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Reasonable people may differ, of course, on how these principles should be applied in particular situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to undercut our secular government by somehow merging or infusing it with religion should be resisted by every patriot.

 

Wake Forest University has published a short, objective Q&A primer on the current law of separation of church and state–as applied by the courts rather than as caricatured in the blogosphere. I commend it to you. http://tiny.cc/6nnnx

 

JRH:

 

The only contention I can agree with Dougindeap is that the First Amendment prevents the Federal Congress from Establishing a State Church and that the Federal Congress cannot enact laws prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Everything else not forbidden by the U.S. Constitution is the purview of each State in the Union of the United States of America. The tiny url posted by Doug does not work or at least not in my Chrome or Internet Explorer browsers. When I Googled ‘Wake Forest Q&A primer on Separation of Church and State’ I discovered Dougindeap has been posting link since at least 2010. I can find no such document online from Wake Forest. Perhaps the closest thing I can find is a PDF document entitled, “Religious Expression in American Public Life: A Joint Statement of Current Law”. I found two links for this document: One by Wake Forest and another posted on the Anti-Defamation League website but both are the same document. Both documents are dated January 2010. The document is a collective work by a bunch of people that are on opposite sides of the Church/State Separation issues. The document is anything but definitive. The closest section talking about the First Amendment and Church Establishment is Chapter Two of the roughly 32 page document with End Notes longer if you include acknowledgements by Wake Forest’s (at least then) Director of Wake Forest University Divinity School and the Center for Religion and Public Affairs. The Chapter Two title is “Is the First Amendment the only constitutional or legal provision that affects these issues?

 

Chapter Two clearly expresses the First Amendment is functional as a Federal law in which there is a large degree of discretion on the State level of law in which the First Amendment does not address.

 

In connection to this PDF document (Religious Expression in American Public Life: A Joint Statement of Current Law), the “diverse” committee that truly consisted of representation of both sides of the political spectrum on Church/State issues was led by Melissa Rogers as the Director of Wake Forest University Divinity School’s Center for Religion and Public Affairs during the PDF document’s 2010 publication. Melissa Rogers is hardly neutral a person that looks equally on both sides of the coin on Church/State issues. Rogers is a downright and overt proponent of the revisionist Left Wingers choosing to exclude the merits of Original Intent of the Constitution in relation to the opinions of the Founders on how Christianity effects the general welfare of a good society. Even the Founding Fathers in James Madison (See also HERE) and Thomas Jefferson that were closer to the secularist Enlightenment discrediting of orthodox theology of Christianity agreed that Christian Morals and Values promoted a good society.

 

Dougindeap:

 

8. While some, including myself, grow tired of the semantic wrangling over the phrase commonly used to describe or name one of the Constitution’s fundamental principles, that principle—by whatever name—remains central and essential to the Constitution and our way of life.

           

JRH:

 

Doug says he is getting weary of wrangling that Separation of Church and State is a fundamental principle of the Constitution. I myself am frustrated about Leftists trying so hard to prevent the historical nature of Christianity of being such a huge influence on the development of our nation. It is my belief that the Leftist efforts at historical revisionism is to transform America into a society that abandons Christianity as a Moral Foundation. Then replace Christianity with a Secular Humanist perspective as a foundation for societal morality. Such a humanist morality places the created on a pedestal above the Creator. No matter how lofty the ideals of man being inherently good, actual history shows that man is inherently evil. That inherent evil exists in human nature because God’s first created human being – Adam – betrayed God the Creator by agreeing with the serpent Satan and partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Why did Adam consume the fruit? Satan told Eve, who Adam did not rebuke, believed the serpent that the fruit would make her and Adam like God knowing the difference between good and evil. Adam’s act of disobedience of God voluntarily sold his nature to the dominion of Satan. Since Adam was made the perpetual steward of God’s created Earth. That meant the earth also came under Satan’s control. Adam’s disobedience led to the punishment of being separated from God which is spiritual death. Humanity and Earth became cursed to a Fallen nature explaining an inherent evil nature. The inherent evil nature of man will inevitably lead to unwholesome if not downright wicked choices in which selfish desires overrule the general welfare of humanity.

 

The good news for humanity God the Creator promised a way out for Adam choosing Satan’s lie as truth rather than God’s holy union.

 

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:

 

“Because you have done this,
You are cursed more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you shall go,
And you shall eat dust
All the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel
.” (Bold Emphasis Blog Editor - Genesis 3: 14-15 NKJV
)

 

Verse 15 is God’s first Promise of a Redeemer to bring humanity back into right standing with God Almighty. Then and only then will humanity not need laws of a government to curb the inclination of a Fallen human nature. Secular Humanism is wrong, humanity is not essentially good.

 

JRH 4/5/14

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The Truth about Separation of Church and State


1st Amendment

 

I have been several parts of a series entitled Disputing Separation Church/State (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). As of this writing I am up to Part Six and there is more to come. In doing the reading for these posts I came across a PDF designed as a brochure to dispute the Leftist influence that has move American Courts to stretch the interpretation of the First Amendment beyond the scope of its original intent. As I said I am still continuing my series on the subject; however below is an excellent to the point and relatively brief synopsis of reasons the present exploitation of the rule of law pertaining to the separation of Church and State is not a legal concept in the U.S. Constitution.

 

JRH 3/31/14

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The Truth about Separation of Church and State

Contrary to popular opinion, the term “separation of church and state” is found nowhere in the United States Constitution.

 

From PDF Brochure:

Alliance Defending Freedom

 

While the First Amendment clearly forbids the creation of a national denomination, it says nothing about the so-called “separation of church and state.”

 

§  The term “separation of church and state” was first used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1801, when he responded to their concerns about state involvement in religion. Jefferson’s letter had nothing to say about limiting public religious expression, but dealt with government’s interference in the public expression of faith.

 

 

§  It was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black who first inserted the term “separation of church and state” into American jurisprudence in his majority opinion of Everson v. Board of Education (1947). He wrote: “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. The wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.”

 

 

§  Black’s opinion was based on a previous misreading of Jefferson’s 1801 letter in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Reynolds v. United States (1878). Black also confused his history. In the opinion, he wrote that the Danbury letter was “almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the First Amendment.”

 

 

§  The First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” No mention is made of a “wall between church and state.”

 

 

§  The true purpose of the First Amendment was to prohibit the federal government from establishing a national church, like the Church of England, or require that sectarian policy be forced on an individual state or on the federal government. While the amendment does recognize a “differentiation between church and the government, it does not mean that they could not cooperate with each other.”

 

 

§  In 2001, Daniel Dreisbach, Associate Professor of Justice, Law and Society at American University, wrote that Black was wrong to apply the term “separation of church and state” to the First Amendment. The danger of Black’s argument, according to Dreisbach, is that it gives constitutional reasons to “separate religion, religious values, and religious organizations from public life.” He continues: “If we can’t talk about religion in any meaningful way in public schools, religious citizens can’t communicate their faith in public life. [The public square] must be ‘sanitized’ of religious messages, and we are left with a strictly secular public life.”

 

 

§  The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its allies, along with other groups hostile to religious freedom, have used Black’s wording to:

 

o   Deny churches the right to rent public school facilities for Sunday worship services.

 

o   Have public displays of the Ten Commandments removed from public buildings.

 

o   Prohibit students from praying at graduation ceremonies or football games.

 

o   Threaten fixed income housing project residents with eviction for displaying signs about prayer in their apartment windows.

 

o   Tell an eight-year-old girl that she cannot pass out handmade Valentines that read “Jesus Loves You.”

 

o   Tell pastors that they do not have the right to speak freely from their pulpits applying Scripture and church teaching to candidates and elections.

 

 

§  In 2005, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in ruling in favor of a public display of the Ten Commandments, wrote: “The ACLU’s argument contains…fundamental flaws… [It] makes repeated reference to ‘the separation of church and state.’ This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state.”

 

 

For almost four decades, the ACLU’s distortion of the “separation of church and state” went nearly unchallenged. Since 1994, Alliance Defending Freedom has taken the ACLU and its allies head-on to expose this distortion and restore the original intent of U.S. Constitution with regard to religious freedom. Since its inception, Alliance Defending Freedom has helped to win many groundbreaking cases in defense of religious freedom and expression. The result is that the so-called “wall of separation,” erected by Hugo Black and others, is slowly starting to crumble. With your prayers and support, Alliance Defending Freedom will continue to tear down the “wall of separation.”

_______________________________

About – ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM: FOR FAITH. FOR JUSTICE.

 

Alliance Defending Freedom is a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.

 

Recognizing the need for a strong, coordinated legal defense against growing attacks on religious freedom, more than 30 prominent Christian leaders launched Alliance Defending Freedom in 1994. Over the past 18 years, this unique legal ministry has brought together thousands of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations that work tirelessly to advocate for the right of people to freely live out their faith in America and around the world.

 

Building an Alliance for Victory

 

Unlike any other legal organization, Alliance Defending Freedom employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to empower its allies and READ THE REST

Disputing Separation Church/State Part 6


1st Continental Congress Prayer

By John R. Houk

© March 30, 2014

 

I began this post as a short introduction to Dougindeap’s comment on the post “Disputing Separation Church/State Part 2” left on my NCCR blog. However as I kept going and going (sorry about the length) I realized I just had to simply add this to the already part’s I had begun which prior to this post had reached Part Five. The way I handled this current post is by responding to Dougindeap’s Part Two comment in stages. If you wish to read Dougindeap’s Part Two comment before commencing my thoughts simply scroll down to the end of these thoughts where it is in entirety.

 

Dougindeap there is a context to the quotes. I sense that you cannot accept the context; which is the Founding Fathers’ belief in Christian Morality. There is only a controversy to the Founding Fathers’ stand on Christian Morality in Left Wing historical revisionism in the lack of understanding to the Christian gravitation toward American Deism. Many if not most of the Founding Fathers embraced a Christian Deism in varying degrees, but those degrees for the majority was the nearly universal context of Nature’s God – the Creator of Nature – being the Judeo-Context of God pertaining to a moral society. The few Deists that embraced the extreme deism from the evolution of the French Revolution was very low in rejecting morality as derived by Christianity. The great American Pamphleteer in Thomas Paine is an example of this small minority of American Deists that placed more stock in the goodness of man over the Biblical Truth of humanity’s Fallen Nature.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. (Thus, whether you offer one or one hundred quotations of the sort you have presented, matters not one wit.) Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted in earlier comments.

 

The Founding Fathers’ religious beliefs in Christian Morality were viewed as necessary to prevent those in government from morally degenerating. Thus preventing the government from corrupting was and is the point for Christian people to step into positions to keep government good. Without goodness in government society becomes morally bankrupt which lends to worse government and eventually the very elitist despotism that led the American Founders to rebel against British Crown rule. Indeed the Constitution kept the government out of religion with a secular government, BUT the Founders expected Christian Morality to be the measuring stick that kept government good.

 

Dougindeap your comment implies the word “blessing” had many meanings beyond what a Christian would consider a blessing derived from the 1828 edition of Noah Webster’s Diction. So I looked it up:

 

BLESS’ING, ppr. Making happy; wishing happiness to; praising or extolling; consecrating by prayer.

BLESS’ING,n. Benediction; a wish of happiness pronounced; a prayer imploring happiness upon another.

1. A solemn prophetic benediction, in which happiness is desired, invoked or foretold.
This is the blessing wherewith Moses–blessed the children of Israel. Deu 33.

2. Any means of happiness; a gift, benefit or advantage; that which promotes temporal prosperity and welfare, or secures immortal felicity. A just and pious magistrate is a public blessing. The divine favor is the greatest blessing.

3. Among the Jews, a present; a gift; either because it was attended with kind wishes for the welfare of the giver, or because it was the means of increasing happiness.

Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee. Gen 33. (Webster’s 1828 English DictionaryBlessings; http://sorabji.com/1828/. [Noah Webster's1828 American Dictionary of the English Language is regarded by many as the finest English dictionary ever published. The dictionary is available in many forms.])

 

Dougindeap you have to explain to me what in this definition is weighted to a non-religious meaning.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

The Constitution’s establishment of a secular government is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. (Bold Emphasis Blog Editor)

 

As I pointed out the bold print above is or at least was true in one direction; i.e. keeping government out of religion, but not the other direction of keeping religion out of government. This is a truer statement: Secular in government and religious in moral foundation of government. And when the Founding Fathers would say “religious” or “religion” they were speaking of Christianity and NOT Secular Humanism. AGAIN, this is the context of the Founding Father quotes AND this makes those quotes extremely relevant.

 

Dougindeap uses selective Left Wing historical revisionism in using the most Christian of the Founding Fathers in John Adams and the ratification of the Treaty of Tripoli between the USA and the Barbary Pirates. You can find a concise evaluation of the Treaty of Tripoli at Ministers-Best-Friend.com. You should read that entire evaluation; however after the Dougindeap quote from his comment I am offering an excerpt to get the truth out there about Left Wing revision history.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

Lest there be any doubt on this score, note that shortly after the founding, President John Adams (a founder) signed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate (comprised in large measure of founders), the Treaty of Tripoli declaring, in pertinent part, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” No need to resort to reading tea leaves to understand that. This is not an informal comment by an individual founder, but rather an official declaration of the most solemn sort by the United States government itself. Note that the Constitution provides that treaties, apart from the Constitution itself, are the highest law of the land.

 

Ministers-Best-Friend.com’s excerpt:

 

 

INTRO: In this Law Commentary we seek set the record straight about the paragraph quoted from Article 11 – assumeded (sic) – of the Treaty of Tripoli ratified by Congress on June 10, 1797during President John Adams’ administration. If there is one thing about the Treaty of Tripoli which anti-Christians cannot escape, it is the fact that no matter how you cut it, the supposed “non Christian section” (Article 11) of that treaty cannot be validated.

 

Wanting to disprove America’s Christian heritage, the Treaty of Tripoli cannot logically or historically be referenced as any “evidence” against the USA as a Christian nation whatsoever. The current modern Treaty of Tripoli so prevalent on the internet and many books and booklets, is totally fraud, a deliberate document of deceit, absolutely false, a complete forgery, and …

 

 

Furthermore, that one of only few presidents to ever be accused of atheism in a Presidential campaign – President Thomas Jefferson (holding “unusual Christian beliefs by any account”) that he led this effort to correct the forged document that made it “seem” the USA was not founded upon Christianity, is all the more compelling when carefully considered.

 

 

Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, and James Monroe, all worked to correct the “forged and fraudulent” Treaty of Tripoli floating in the Arabic world at that time.

 

Nevertheless, because this topic arises so often among people who have never actually studied the subject matter in the first place, an expose’ of the facts surrounding that treaty is long overdue. Let the record speak for itself.

 

The section in question, Article 11 of that treaty reads as follows:

 

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” [Note: “Musselmen” means Muslim]

 

(source): Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America , Hunter Miller, Documents 1-40 :1776-1818 Washington : Government Printing Office, 1931. – Treaty of Tripoli

 

 

Short version of explaining the misunderstanding about the “Treaty of Tripoli”

1) There is no original Treaty of Tripoli in existence anywhere and there hasn’t been for well over 200 years.

 

2) The U.S. ratified Treaty of Tripoli cited today as “the original” was an English version copy of an Arabic version copy of the Arabic original (now missing).

 

3) There is NO Article 11 in the Arabic version of that treaty, experts now agree that Article 11 was spuriously inserted into the English copy, and most probably by the America diplomat Joel Barlow, who helped negotiate the treaty and who was himself a skeptic of Christianity.

 

4) When the tampered English translation version was presented to Congress for ratification in 1797, in spite of Article 11 inserted and included, they had to pass the treaty anyway out of political expedience and immediate urgency to quickly stop the carnage of militant pirate attacks upon American merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Because of the situation at hand, there would be no time tore-draft such a treaty and run it through the diplomatic channels again.

 

5) Eight years later when America gained a military upper hand on the situation, this Treaty was renegotiated in 1805-6, and the “non-Christian” Article 11 phrase was conspicuously removed and absent!

 

6) Those who attempt to use the Treaty of Tripoli as so called evidence proposing that this nation was not founded on the Christian religion, typically ignore the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which formally ended the Revolutionary War.

 

This Treaty, negotiated by Benjamin Franklin and John Adams among others, is truly a foundational document for America, because by this treaty Britain recognized the independence of the United States as a nation. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 begins with the words, “In the Name of the most holy and undivided Trinity… It having pleased the Divine Providence” *

 

No qualified historian or explanatory references of any Congressional records have ever questioned, in the least, the validity of those revealing words of that treaty, as they do concerning the falsified Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli. *(Treaty of Paris, 1783; International Treaties and Related Records, 1778-1974; General records of the United States Government, Record group 11; National Archives)

 

7) The Treaty of Tripoli argument used against Christian America on the part of secular humanists (their “strongest” isolated claim that America was not established upon Christianity) is one based on a shallow examination of a the document. Its claimed “non-Christian part” is readily admitted by non-biased experts to have either been fraudulent or some entry that is unaccounted for. By any standard, the argument lacks credibility due to its obviously spurious nature.

 

 

Joel Barlow was a known Christian critic, and it was Barlow who translated the original treaty from Arabic into English, which is the version that President John Adams and the US Congress ratified.

 

It is no surprise then, from the definitive study on the Treaty of Tripoli in the Hunter Miller Notes, Government Printing Office 1931 under “NOTE REGARDING THE BARLOW TRANSLATION”, that we read:

 

“As even a casual examination of the annotated translation of 1930 shows, the Barlow translation is at best a poor attempt at a paraphrase or summary of the sense of the Arabic; and even as such its defects throughout are obvious and glaring. Most extraordinary (and wholly unexplained) is the fact that Article 11 of the Barlow translation, with its famous phrase, “the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,” does not exist at all.

 

There is no Article 11. The Arabic text which is between Articles 10 and 12 is in form a letter, crude and flamboyant and withal quite unimportant, from the Dey of Algiers to the Pasha of Tripoli.

 

How that script came to be written and to be regarded, as in the Barlow translation, as Article 11 of the treaty as there written, is a mystery and seemingly must remain so. Nothing in the diplomatic correspondence of the time throws any light whatever on the point.”

 

4

 

It’s interesting to see that the controversial “Article 11” was in some form of ascribbled (sic) letter.

 

If Barlow didn’t outright insert it himself, a likely explanation is that the Dey of Algiers wrote this note on the Treaty face to alleviate any worry of the Pasha of Tripoli about entering into a Treaty with an “infidel” (non-Islamic) nation like the United States.

 

The translator assumed this was part of the Treaty and translated it along with the rest of the document. More than likely the clauses of the original document (missing forever) were not numbered, so the translator would have numbered this as Clause 11 between Clauses 10 and 12, as he progressed in trying to organize it.

 

Concerning the true original text of the Treaty, it is documented that none now exists: “— (T)he first source of the texts of those collections was clearly a now missing copy, as is shown by the fact that they include a certification of the text as a copy – “The 1930 Annotation in 2ND Part Treaty with Tripoli 1796: Hunter Miller’s Notes, U.S. Govt .Printing Office

 

So the truth is that the original treaty was written in Arabic and presented to the Barbary Muslim nations in that manner, yet the Arabic treaty has no strange Article 11 in READ ENTIRETY (Blog Editor: Yes this is an excerpt and still there is much more. Read the entire post for the full benefit.)

 

The excerpt is lengthy but is very important for my fellow Conservatives to know that the Left Wing history revisionists are either misinformed or deliberately misleading people on John Adams claiming the USA is in no way founded on Christianity.

 

Dougindeap says,

 

It is instructive to recall that the Constitution’s separation of church and state reflected, at the federal level, a “disestablishment” political movement then sweeping the country. That political movement succeeded in disestablishing all state religions by the 1830s. (Side note: A political reaction to that movement gave us the term “antidisestablishmentarianism,” which amused some of us as kids.) It is worth noting, as well, that this disestablishment movement was linked to another movement, the Great Awakening. The people of the time saw separation of church and state as a boon, not a burden, to religion.

 

When the U.S. Constitution became the Law of the Land in 1789, the First Amendment (1791) and Church-State Establishment was interpreted to be reserved for each individual State which the Federal government would stay aloof but by NO MEANS mandated disestablishment of any of the State Constitutions that specified a State Church.

 

Nor did disestablishment come about as a consequence of the 1787 Constitution 217 or because of the ratification of the First Amendment in 1791. Nor was disestablishment spurred forward as a downstream consequence of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Rather, disestablishment was a state-law affair that had already been percolating in some states when they first adopted constitutions in 1776 and which continued on until completed in 1833. Each state that once had an established church has a unique story to tell on its path to the adoption of religious voluntaryism.

 

… As to the First Amendment, it was well understood at the time of its ratification that the religion clauses (indeed the entire Bill of Rights) were adopted out of a felt need to restrain the new national government. 219 Thus the Establishment Clause, by its terms and its design, was to preserve—as a matter of residual state sovereignty—full authority in the states concerning how the law was to deal in any frontal way with the thorny matter of religion. 220 Indeed, it is not too strong to say that during the early republic, the First Amendment was of little use as a standard around which to rally the forces in support of disestablishment. 221 Rather, disestablishment was a state-by-state affair, and hard work at that. It was a veritable slog with the path forward marked by local concerns and local personalities, as opposed to an issue that some continental-spanning crisis had elevated to a matter of national importance. 222 (Dissent and Disestablishment: The Church-State Settlement in the Early American Republic; By Carl H. Esbeck; BYU Law Review; 11/1/04; Pg. 1449, 1450)

 

This historical fact pointed out by Esbeck further demonstrates that Christian Morality was the measuring stick for government. The First Amendment simply delegated the specifics to the several sovereign States of the early American Republic. The only guarantee was that the Federal government would make no law interfering or establishing a Christian Church on the Federal level.

 

Dougindeap’s point about a disestablishmentarian movement is correct but not because Americans were demanding secularism to overrule Christian Morality that was still considered the bedrock of good government. Rather the disestablishmentarianism movement proceeded because the Second Great Awakening (See Also HERE) spurred the growth of Protestant Denominations that essentially eclipsed and/or challenged the two most influential Denominations prior to the Second Great Awakening. The two mainstay Denominations were the Episcopal Church (formerly Anglican prior to the Revolutionary War) and Congregational Church. The Second Great Awakening spurred the Methodist Church and the Baptist Church to surpass the former majority Denominations in membership. AND THIS is what spurred disestablishmentarianism in the USA. Individual faith became more important than State institutionalized Established Churches which were typically either Episcopalian (the most preeminent) or Congregationalist. This was not a lack of interest of Christianity in government but rather a greater interest in individual Denomination members doing their part to promote good Christian men for Public Office. Of course this meant that prayer still occurred in schools supported by taxes. This meant the continued use of Public Institutions to give honor to God Almighty in the demonstration of Christian affirmation on Court Buildings, Public Buildings, City Buildings and so on to promote the general welfare of the blessings of the Christian God upon American citizens and government.

 

The American religious impulse had become popularistic, personalistic, and democratic. 241 The work of the faith was less focused on the institutional church and more on each individual; lesser attention was given to correct doctrine while greater emphasis was placed on practical living. 242

 

 

If a religious establishment is measured by the legal authority to assess taxes for church support, then disestablishment occurred in the remaining states in the following order: North Carolina (1776), New York (1777), Virginia (1776−1779), Maryland (1785), South Carolina (1790), Georgia (1798), Vermont (1807), Connecticut (1818), New Hampshire (1819), Maine (1820), and Massachusetts (1832−1833). Disestablishment in Virginia, 245 and to a lesser degree its occurrence in Connecticut and Massachusetts, has been written on extensively. (Ibid. pp. 1456, 1458)

 

Dougindeap finishes his comment on an Alex de Tocqueville quote observing that Americans had declared to him “…that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state.” The de Tocqueville quote continues: “…I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.”

 

Frankly I suspect Dougindeap was setting me up for an oft used quote attributed to de Tocqueville in the seminal work “Democracy in America,” but in which scholars have discovered is not actually in the de Tocqueville book:

 

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” (Found on a webpage that has a series of de Tocqueville quotes melded together as if they were written as one thought promoting Christianity as America’s foundation – http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/cdf/onug/detocq.html)

 

The America is great because America is good quote has been used so much it has become a lexicon adage about America attributed to de Tocqueville. Prominent politicians and American leaders including a couple of U.S. Presidents have repeated the adage. Sadly the phrase is not found in “Democracy in America”.

 

John J. Pitney, Jr. wrote about the spurious quote:

 

… Nowhere do they appear in Democracy in America, or anywhere else in Tocqueville.

 

The authenticity of the passage came into question when first-year government students at Claremont McKenna College received an assignment: Find a contemporary speech quoting Tocqueville, and determine how accurately the speaker used the quotation. A student soon uncovered a recent Senate floor speech that cited the “America is great” line. He scoured Democracy in America, but could not find the passage. The professor looked, too – and it was not there.

 

Further research led to reference books that cautiously referred to the quotation as “unverified” and “attributed to de Tocqueville but not found in his works.” These references, in turn, pointed to the apparent source: a 1941 book on religion and the American dream. The book quoted the last two lines of the passage as coming from Democracy in America but supplied no documentation. (The author may have mistaken his own notes for a verbatim quotation, a common problem in the days before photocopiers.) The full version of the quotation appeared 11 years later, in an Eisenhower campaign speech. Ike, however, attributed it not directly to Tocqueville but to “a wise philosopher [who] came to this country ….”

 

 

It’s a shame that politicians are using a knockoff product when the real thing is so fine. Democracy in America offers profound analyses of the roles of religion, morality, and voluntary action, though its insights are subtler than the purple prose of the counterfeit.

 

 

Of course, after decades of repetition, it has in fact become an old adage. It just isn’t Tocqueville’s. (THE TOCQUEVILLE FRAUD; John J. Pitney, Jr.; The Weekly Standard; article found at Tocqueville.org; 11/13/1995)

 

So de Tocqueville’s legend did not actually pen, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Nonetheless it does not make it any less true!

 

Here are some actual quotes that can be found in de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America”. These quotes show the observation that Church/State separation only flows in one direction, viz. government separated from Christianity but not Christianity being separated from government (not necessarily in order):

 

“Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must nevertheless be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of free institutions. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all the Americans have a sincere faith in their religion, for who can search the human heart? but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation, and to every rank of society.”

 

***

 

“… Society has no future life to hope for or to fear; and provided the citizens profess a religion, the peculiar tenets of that religion are of very little importance to its interests. Moreover, almost all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity, and Christian morality is everywhere the same.

 

It may be believed without unfairness that a certain number of Americans pursue a peculiar form of worship, from habit more than from conviction. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious, and consequently hypocrisy must be common; but there is no country in the whole world in which the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America; and there can be no greater proof of its utility, and of its conformity to human nature, than that its influence is most powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth.”

 

***

 

“… Religion perceives that civil liberty affords a noble exercise to the faculties of man, and that the political world is a field prepared by the Creator for the efforts of the intelligence. Contented with the freedom and the power which it enjoys in its own sphere, and with the place which it occupies, the empire of religion is never more surely established than when it reigns in the hearts of men unsupported by aught beside its native strength. Religion is no less the companion of liberty in all its battles and its triumphs; the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law and the surest pledge of freedom.”

 

***

 

The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.

 

I have known of societies formed by the Americans to send out ministers of the Gospel into the new Western States to found schools and churches there, lest religion should be suffered to die away in those remote settlements, and the rising States be less fitted to enjoy free institutions than the people from which they emanated. I met with wealthy New Englanders who abandoned the country in which they were born in order to lay the foundations of Christianity and of freedom on the banks of the Missouri, or in the prairies of Illinois. Thus religious zeal is perpetually stimulated in the United States by the duties of patriotism. These men do not act from an exclusive consideration of the promises of a future life; eternity is only one motive of their devotion to the cause; and if you converse with these missionaries of Christian civilization, you will be surprised to find how much value they set upon the goods of this world, and that you meet with a politician where you expected to find a priest. They will tell you that “all the American republics are collectively involved with each other; if the republics of the West were to fall into anarchy, or to be mastered by a despot, the republican institutions which now flourish upon the shores of the Atlantic Ocean would be in great peril. It is, therefore, our interest that the new States should be religious, in order to maintain our liberties.”

 

***

 

Contented with the freedom and the power which it enjoys in its own sphere, and with the place which it occupies, the empire of religion is never more surely established than when it reigns in the hearts of men unsupported by aught beside its native strength. Religion is no less the companion of liberty in all its battles and its triumphs; the cradle of its infancy, and the divine source of its claims. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law and the surest pledge of freedom.

 

It is clear from these quotes that the Frenchman de Tocqueville admired that government did not interfere in the realm of religion/Christianity, but he also observed that Christianity so embedded in the American did indeed fortify America and that this indeed made America good. Even though did not say it would be a great analytical summation to say of de Tocqueville observations, “America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

 

JRH 3/30/14

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Dougindeap Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 2

(NCCR)

 

By Dougindeap

March 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

 

You offer a string of contextless quotations with the evident aim of showing the religious views of various founders–as if that is the way history is understood or the Constitution is interpreted. Hardly.

 

While the religious views of various founders are subjects of some uncertainty and controversy, it is safe to say that many founders were Christian of one sort or another and held views such as you note regarding religion. In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. (Thus, whether you offer one or one hundred quotations of the sort you have presented, matters not one wit.) Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted in earlier comments. Indeed, that aspect of the Constitution was noticed and discussed in the debates about its ratification, since some were disappointed the Constitution did not acknowledge a deity. Imagine their surprise at all you would now make of the Constitution’s allusion to the “blessings of liberty.” Suffice it to say that the term “blessing” has religious and non-religious meanings and usages. See Webster’s Dictionary (1828).

 

The Constitution’s establishment of a secular government is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

 

Lest there be any doubt on this score, note that shortly after the founding, President John Adams (a founder) signed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate (comprised in large measure of founders), the Treaty of Tripoli declaring, in pertinent part, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” No need to resort to reading tea leaves to understand that. This is not an informal comment by an individual founder, but rather an official declaration of the most solemn sort by the United States government itself. Note that the Constitution provides that treaties, apart from the Constitution itself, are the highest law of the land.

 

It is instructive to recall that the Constitution’s separation of church and state reflected, at the federal level, a “disestablishment” political movement then sweeping the country. That political movement succeeded in disestablishing all state religions by the 1830s. (Side note: A political reaction to that movement gave us the term “antidisestablishmentarianism,” which amused some of us as kids.) It is worth noting, as well, that this disestablishment movement was linked to another movement, the Great Awakening. The people of the time saw separation of church and state as a boon, not a burden, to religion.

 

This sentiment was recorded by a famous observer of the American experiment:

 

“On my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention. . . . I questioned the members of all the different sects. . . . I found that they differed upon matters of detail alone, and that they all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America, I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.” Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1835).

 

____________________________________

Disputing Separation Church/State Part 6

By John R. Houk

© March 30, 2014

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Dougindeap Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 2

 

Edited by John R. Houk

© Dougindeap

David’s Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 1


G Washington & American Praying, Flag & Under God


Thank you David for your glowing comment to Part One. The only thing I might disagree with is the statement:
 
First Amendment. Second, and an important point — the Bill of Rights — only amplify the Constitution, those ten Amendments do not alter it.
 
For the most part the statement is true; however the word “Amendment” does entail amending something that is there. Frankly I am not a Constitutional expert. I can’t vouch that the Bill of Rights amplifies or amends any part of the Constitution document. I am guessing though if I pursued the point I could find something that amends to go along with the amplification.
 
At any rate Dougindeap also commented on Part One which I posted previous to David’s comment below. Dougindeap stubbornly maintains his position that the separation of Church and State is as much a part of the Constitution as the separation of Branch Powers and with enumerated (though as he points out not specified) checks and balances. The enumerated checks and balances are in the description of the powers rather than specifying what is checked and/or balanced.
 
JRH 3/28/14

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David’s Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 1
 
 
John, thank you for the article. I think the big problem is the disconnect between the presuppositions of people and the facts of history as they have been misguided through leftist propaganda. The states at our founding had state religions, churches sponsored by state taxes. These faded over time but were never barred and could return today if the people so choose.
 
However, we do have a separation of church (the bureaucracy) and the state at the federal level, as no official church (entity or bureaucracy) can be established per the First Amendment. Second, and an important point — the Bill of Rights — only amplify the Constitution, those ten Amendments do not alter it. The Bill of Rights are only stating in negative terms what the Constitution already says in its silence.
 
This does not apply however to “the church” (the people) and the state. What might be a better way to form this argument is to point out that the values of the individual — the virtues of morality and virtue — found in their religious faith are never barred from influencing the power of the state. Liberalism (a faith based ideology) is used all the time, yet because of our connection to “the church” those on the right are thought to be by default prevented from having our views and values represented at the table of government. This is completely false as you so eloquently show. How sad that our Republic of Virtue rooted in the moral foundations of Christianity and Western civilization is the only view discriminated against by every single group — including those liberal Christians who should know better.
 
The First Amendment — far from excluding the “church” (the people of faith) it is promoting it, it is advocating for it, by proclaiming that the Federal government cannot discriminate for one sect over another or silence it any way through “law” vis a vis Congress shall make NO law establishing or prohibiting. The Christian moral view of law and its implementation was the view of the Founding Fathers and assumed to be the view of future generations. Without it they knew full well the Republic could not stand. And on that point where do we stand? We have been rudderless for generations and are now sinking by taking on the flood of immorality and calling it good. This stuff is not very hard to understand — unless you are a liberal politician, professor, Hollywood elite or mind numbed media personality.
 
Thank you for all you valuable work!
__________________________
Edited by John R. Houk
© ***David***
 

Dougindeap Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 1


Dougindeap - Separation Church-State blogger

Dougindeap

 

Actually Dougindeap, the post that quotes your original comment is somewhat of an introduction to several parts on the separation of Church/State. Frankly I disagree with your view of (chuckle) your refutation of my refutation. Albeit as part of an introduction a piece on Deism is a good foundation because my experience is that is one of the primary sets of reasoning Liberals use to denigrate the influence of Christianity on America’s Founding Documents. It will take me awhile to get to everything you originally commented on. I’ve managed to get to a Part 5 (so far) and I feel like I am still on the tip of the iceberg in demonstrating you are incorrect about separation of Church/State as far as the people being involved in government is not a valid assertion. The Establishment Cause is a one-way street keeping government out of religion.

 

I have to say your arguments are well thought out even though I disagree with your interpretation of events. This comment is credible enough for me to post without much comment on my part. I’ll probably show another side of the coin with future points to the original comment. :-)

 

JRH 3/28/14

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Dougindeap Comment to: Disputing Separation Church/State Part 1

(At NCCR)

 

By Dougindeap

March 19, 2014 at 12:39 AM

 

I don’t know whether I should be flattered or worried that you intend to go to so much effort to refute my arguments, bit by bit. I appreciate the opportunity, in any event, to explore and air out differing views on separation of church and state. (My pseudonym, by the way, is merely a play on words developed many years ago as part of an April Fool’s joke.)

 

If you aim to refute my arguments, though, you might better focus on what I actually say—and not wander through dictionaries and deism and whatnot. In my argument, I said nothing of such things.

 

But let’s get to my argument. You quote one sentence, which happens to be the topic sentence of a paragraph that explains the argument that you’re supposedly refuting. Here is the full paragraph:

 

Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution, much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the first place, the Supreme Court has thoughtfully, authoritatively, and repeatedly decided as much; it is long since established law. In the second place, the Court is right. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day (by which governments generally were grounded in some appeal to god(s)), the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which affirmatively constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

 

Note that I liken the separation of church and state to the separation of powers and checks and balances because the founders did not state any of these principles in so many words in the Constitution. Rather they drafted the Constitution so as to actually accomplish and implement these principles. With respect to separation of church and state, I pointed to five aspects of the original Constitution plus the First Amendment. I concluded by emphasizing that the principle rests on more than just the First Amendment.

 

How have you gone about refuting this argument? As I read your post, you did five or six things. First, you asserted that my topic sentence is “absolutely FALSE” and, apparently as explanation, further asserted that “[s]eparation of powers as well as government Branch checks and balances are specifically enumerated in the Constitution.” Surely you jest. As you well know, neither those phrases nor the phrase “separation of church and state” or anything like them appear in the Constitution.

 

 

Second, you ignored the explanation I offered and said nothing of the several aspects of the Constitution that reflect its separation of church and state.

 

Third, notwithstanding my observation that the separation of church and state rests on much more than the First Amendment, you focused solely on it and offered your own interpretation of it. You assert that the establishment clause says “Congress can make NO law to establish a State religion (meaning Christian Church in the 1780s)” and elaborate that “Congress specifically, cannot enact legislation that makes a Christian Church a tax supported State institution.”

 

While the First Amendment undoubtedly was intended to preclude the government from establishing a national church or religion as you note, that was hardly the limit of its intended scope. The first Congress debated and rejected just such a narrow provision (“no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed”) and ultimately chose the more broadly phrased prohibition now found in the Amendment. During his presidency, Madison vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or support a church with taxes, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. While some in Congress expressed surprise that the Constitution prohibited Congress from incorporating a church in the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia or granting land to a church in the Mississippi Territory, Congress upheld both vetoes. Separation of church and state is hardly a new invention of modern courts. In keeping with the Amendment’s terms and legislative history and other evidence, the courts have wisely interpreted it to restrict the government from taking steps that could establish religion de facto as well as de jure. Were the Amendment interpreted merely to preclude government from enacting a statute formally establishing a state church, the intent of the Amendment could easily be circumvented by government doing all sorts of things to promote this or that religion–stopping just short of cutting a ribbon to open its new church. Suffice it to say that no court in the history of our country has ever held that the First Amendment means as little as you suppose.

 

You add that the separation in the First Amendment is “one-way,” i.e., “Congress is to stay out of the religion-church business [but t]here is no specified prohibition for Christian Churches to be a moral influence on government.” In this, you are on more solid ground. The Amendment indeed imposes constraints on government and not on individuals and churches. It is important to distinguish between “individual” and “government” speech about religion. The constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square–far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. (Students also are free to exercise and express their religious views–in a time, manner, and place that does not interfere with school programs and activities.) If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

 

Nor does the constitutional separation of church and state prevent citizens from making decisions based on principles derived from their religions. Moreover, the religious beliefs of government officials naturally may inform their decisions on policies. The principle, in this context, merely constrains government officials not to make decisions with the predominant purpose or primary effect of advancing religion; in other words, the predominant purpose and primary effect must be nonreligious or secular in nature. A decision coinciding with religious views is not invalid for that reason as long as it has a secular purpose and effect.

 

Confusion understandably arises because the constitutional principle is sometimes equated with a widely supported political doctrine that goes by the same name and generally calls for political dialogue to be conducted on grounds other than religion. The underlying reasons for that political doctrine are many, but three primary ones are that (1) it facilitates discussion amongst people of all beliefs by predicating discussion on grounds accessible to all and (2) it avoids, in some measure at least, putting our respective religious beliefs directly “in play” in the political arena, so we’re not put in the position of directly disputing or criticizing each other’s religious beliefs in order to address a political issue and (3) since the government cannot make laws or decisions with the predominant purpose or primary effect of advancing religion, it makes little sense to urge the government to do just that. This political doctrine, of course, is not “law” (unlike the constitutional separation of church and state, which is), but rather is a societal norm concerning how we can best conduct political dialogue in a religiously diverse society. Reasonable people can disagree about whether the doctrine is a good idea or not and whether or how it should influence us in particular circumstances.

 

Fourth, you took a tour of deism. As my argument does not rest in the least on any thoughts of deism, I’ll leave you to that.

 

Fifth, you note that many founders were Christians and suggest they therefore must have believed Christian morality to be the foundation of the rule of law. It is not entirely clear to me what you have in mind. To the extent, though, that you mean to say that they founded the Constitution or the federal government on Christianity, I think that is mistaken.

 

While the religious views of various founders are subjects of some uncertainty and controversy, it is safe to say that many founders were Christian of one sort or another and held views such as you note regarding religion. In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted earlier. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

 

Finally, you appeal to the Constitution’s date as evidence the founders had no plan to separate Christianity from the government. True enough, in keeping with the convention of the time, the date is keyed to the Christian calendar. You don’t offer any reason this trivial observation should be regarded as substantive or significant. Are we to suppose that the founding of the government on Christianity is to be surmised from the dating convention? That is grasping at straws.

 

It is, in any event, also moot since the dating language is not part of the text of the Constitution voted upon and adopted by the Convention or ratified by the states. It was apparently just appended by the scrivener who prepared copies of the document.

 

http://www.philipvickersfithian.com/2011/05/us-constitution-and-year-of-our-lord.html 

 

As the founders neither drafted, nor chose, nor decided on the dating language added to the end of the document, that language says nothing of their intent.

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

© Dougindeap

Disputing Separation Church/State Part 5


G. Washington- Rightly Govern only by God & Bible

John R. Houk
© March 26, 2014
 
Here we go continuing to refute Dougindeap’s false belief the Church/State separation is as much a part of the Constitution as are the separation branch powers and checks and balances.
 
Similarly, they [i.e. the Founding Fathers] did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by … (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. (Dougindeap from: The Commonality between Leftist Paradigms & Scientific Theories; SlantRight 2.0; 3/13/14)
 
Dougindeap’s point two is vaguely cryptic. What in the world does he mean by “… they actually separated them by … (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers”?
 
An accurate statement might be seen in a rearrangement of the word order of the Dougindeap quote. How about something like:
 
The Founding Fathers separated powers (since power resides in the government that being separated must refer to the constitutionally defined Branches] by (2) according limiting government by enumerated the Branch powers.
 
This reordering of wording is a point I can get on board with because is a bit more clarity to extract an understanding. The Founding Fathers intent with the Constitution was to limit government in the context of affecting personal Liberty of American citizens. The object of employing checks and balances between the Branches was so that no single Branch could achieve despotic unchecked power over the government and hence over Americans promised Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as a way of life.
 
Government was to be limited to enforcing the rule of law that should be designed for the general welfare according to the moral of Nature’s God – the Creator – Who has placed the measuring stick for what is right and wrong for a good society.
 
I have established in Part Two that the Original Intent of the phrase of “general welfare” of the Constitution’s Preamble was in relation to the framing of Nature by Nature’s God the Creator. I quoted the Father of our Nation George Washington followed by an observation:
 

“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts in the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. — Every step, by which they have been advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.”
George Washington (Quote found, “SEVENPRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY: I LIBERTY IS OF DIVINE ORIGIN; By J. David Gowdy; Institute for American Liberty; Copyright © 1996)
 
As far as Liberty is concerned the Founding Fathers in the majority that religion (meaning Christianity in the 1780s) was essential for a virtuous and moral society to remain cohesive in the practice of Liberty or chaos will ensue that will only despotic rule could quell. (Disputing Separation Church/State Part 2)
 
The should and must recognize that this provides a context for the First Amendment that Justice Hugo Black must have willfully ignored in the majority decision of Everson v. Board of Education in 1947 which ONLY THEN not only upheld the intent of keeping government out of religion BUT ALSO extra-constitutionally added that religion must not have any contact with a taxpayer supported government operation on a Local, State and Federal basis.
 
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. (Bold Emphasis Mine First Amendment)
 
There is no place in the First Amendment that enumerates that Christianity should not be the moral basis for the rule of law foundation in the U.S. Constitution. That which is enumerated is that Congress – the vehicle for legislating law and establishing a government budget – MUST not make any laws establishing an established religion (meaning in the 1780s the Christian Church). And the First Amendment specifically enumerates that Congress shall prohibit the “free exercise” of religion (AGAIN meaning the Christian Church in the 1780s).
 
ERGO Dougindeap is wrong that the Founding Fathers created a Constitutional paradigm of Separation of Church and State in the sense that American practicing Christians must keep their faith out of the government. In relation to the State the only enumeration of power separation is that the government must stay out of the worship business of the Church in not establishing the preeminence of one Denomination over another Denomination whether that be Protestant, Catholic and by extension the Eastern Orthodox Churches that were not common in the USA in the 1780s and 1790s.
 
End of Part Five
 
o   Part One
 
o   Part Two
 
 
o   Part Four
 
 
JRH 3/26/14

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Disputing Separation Church/State Part 4


1st Adam - 2nd Adam in Jesus Christ. Hans Baldung Grien

1st Adam/2nd Adam – Jesus Christ

John R. Houk

© March 25, 2014

 

If you choose to read the preceding parts simply click the links:

 

o   Part One

 

o   Part Two

 

o   Part Three

 

… In the second place, the Court is right. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) according that government limited, enumerated powers, (3) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (4) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (5), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. (Dougindeap from: The Commonality between Leftist Paradigms & Scientific Theories; SlantRight 2.0; 3/13/14)

 

Dougindeap is absolutely correct that the Founding Fathers separated the three branches of government as described in the U.S. Constitution: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. AND in separating those branches the Founders separated the powers thereof with checks and balances hoping to create a government in which the tyranny of despotism or the tyranny of democracy or judicial fiat could be avoided. The intention for the checks and balances was to give voting citizens the power to be a check and balance to the authority of the government vis-á-vis the Liberty of Civil and Individual Rights.

 

BUT Dougindeap presumes the enumeration of powers, checks and balances is also extended to the form of Church/State separate created by Judicial Fiat beginning with the Hugo Black majority opinion in 1947 Everson v. Board of Education:

 

The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. The wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” (See Part 3)

 

I went over the reasons that this judicial fiat was and is bogus in Part Three. Let’s suffice it to say here that Dougindeap’s assertion that Hugo Black’s 1947 majority opinion was not in the mind of the Founders as a rule of law prescribed as part of powers of government in a Church/State separated with checks and balances way back in 1789. Dougindeap lists five points he believes the Founding Fathers established within the Constitution separating Church and State with checks and balances in the same way the three branches of government were enumerated.

 

1. Establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity).

 

I guess we need to examine briefly the Constitution’s Preamble from Part One:

 

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (Bold emphasis mine)

 

In Part One I explained the reason I bold printed a portion of the Preamble:

 

The Free Dictionary listing for “general welfare” goes from the broad meaning found in the Preamble to a specific context carried on from Article 1 Section 8. …

 

THUS the Original Intent of the Founding Fathers understanding of the general welfare included morality. Since the Founding Fathers’ milieu was the 1760s through and a bit beyond the 1790s their concept of morality was not based on a Secular Humanism devoid of God and God the Creator’s morality established in the Bible. (Excerpted from “Disputing Separation Church/State Part 1”)

 

The Original Intent ergo, the Founding Fathers were empowering “We the people” in a secular order BUT under the moral guidance of the Christian God. That is strike one for Dougindeap’s point one.

 

The Signers of the U.S. Constitution that was then sent to the Thirteen Independent States under the Articles of Confederation establishes the importance the Founding Fathers tipped their hat to the Judeo-Christian God of the Holy Bible:

 

Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the states present the seventeenth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty seven and of the independence of the United States of America the twelfth.

 

In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

 

… (Followed by the signatures of the representative of the thirteen original states formally loosely aligned under the Articles of ConfederationBold emphasis mine) [Excerpted from the last paragraphs of “Disputing Separation Church/State Part 1”]

 

That is strike two for Dougindeap.

 

Hugo Black the writer of the majority of the opinion in Everson v. Board of Education stepped beyond the veil by using Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptist Association offering reassurance to their concerns of being a minority Protestant Denomination in Connecticut in which Congregationalism was the Established Church of the State:

 

The Danbury Baptist Association committee wrote to the President stating that, “Religion is at all times and places a Matter between God and Individuals — that no man ought to suffer in Name, person or affects on account of his religious Opinions.” (6) The Danbury Baptists believed that religion was an unalienable right and they hoped that Jefferson would raise the consciousness of the people to recognize religious freedom as unalienable. However, the Danbury Baptists acknowledged that the President of the United States was not a “national Legislator” and they also understood that the “national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State.” (7) In other words, they recognized Jefferson’s limited influence as the federal executive on the individual states. (The Myth Behind “Separation of Church and State”; By Mathew D. Staver; Liberty Counsel; © 2000)

 

Here is President Thomas Jefferson’s reassurance letter to the Danbury Baptist Association:

 

Messrs. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, and Stephen s. Nelson
A Committee of the Danbury Baptist Association, in the State of Connecticut.

 

Washington, January 1, 1802

 

Gentlemen,–The affectionate sentiment 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. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.

 

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 would “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.

 

Th Jefferson


Jan. 1. 1802 (Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert E. Bergh, ed. (Washington, D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States, 1904), Vol. XVI, pp. 281-282. On Wall Builders – “
Letters Between the Danbury Baptists and Thomas Jefferson”)

 

Hugo Black warped the intent of the Jefferson Letter pertaining to the Federal Government v. States’ Rights even though the Tenth Amendment specifically forbade the Federal Government to interfere in State legislation that did not usurp the prerogative of the U.S. Constitution:

 

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people. (Tenth Amendment)

 

Hugo Black excluded the Tenth Amendment and ignored the Founding Document the Declaration of Independence that was penned by Thomas Jefferson under the Continental Congress Committee drafting said declaration:

 

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

 

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

 

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

 

… (Bold Emphasis Mine – The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription; The Charters of Freedom; Archives.gov)

 

The Declaration drafters of which Thomas Jefferson was an integral part of, indeed espoused the ideology that the enfranchised people experiencing unjust tyranny from a despot or despotic government have the right to change that government. BUT who does the Committee empowered to draft a Declaration of Independence claim gives the enfranchised people the right to throw off the bonds of tyranny? The empowerment comes from God Almighty:

 

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them …”

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

 

Strike three Dougindeap. Just as specified by the First Amendment that proclaims government under the law-making power of Congress cannot get involved in religion (i.e. Christianity) but mankind under the moral guidance of the Creator must influence government to keep government from devolving into a tyranny that permits society to use the guidance of human individuals to establish that which moral and good. Why? Because humanity is inherently a fallen nature that gravitates towards ungodly principles when the guiding principles of God are excluded.

 

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

 

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

 

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5: 12 – 21 NKJV)

 

End of Part Four

 

JRH 3/25/14

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Disputing Separation Church/State Part 3


Need SCOTUS Support Constitution

 

John R. Houk

© March 20, 2014

 

In Parts One and Two I examined Dougindeap’s first sentence in his assertion that the separation of Church/State is as embedded in the Constitution as is the paradigm of checks and balances. You can rehash those two parts on the reasons I do not agree with Dougindeap’s assertion.

 

For the sake of continuity here is Dougindeap’s first sentence followed by the second sentence in bold print:

 

Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution, much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the first place, the Supreme Court has thoughtfully, authoritatively, and repeatedly decided as much; it is long since established law. (You can read Dougindeap’s full comment below the post “The Commonality between Leftist Paradigms & Scientific Theories”)

 

Really? Has the Supreme Court actually thoughtfully, authoritatively and repeatedly established as law that Separation of Church/State is a bedrock principle in the U.S. Constitution?

 

Evidently Dougindeap believes 1947 as a period of time to represent “thoughtfully, authoritatively and repeatedly”. The year 1947 is when Justice Hugo Black wrote the majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education in which SCOTUS utilized the phrase,

 

The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. The wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” (Quote found at “The Truth about Separation of Church and State;” AllianceDefendingFreedom.org)

 

Let’s do some simple math. The Continental Congress published the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The U.S. Constitution became implemented as the rule of law in 1789. My calculator tells me there is a 158 years between 1947 and 1789. That span of years is hardly SCOTUS establishing “thoughtfully, authoritatively and repeatedly” separation of Church/State as a “bedrock principle of our Constitution”.

 

You have to wonder if the issue of Separation of Church/State arose on the SCOTUS docket prior to 1947 in which Justice Hugo Black used as stare decisis (Latin for to stand by things decided) to build his majority opinion.

 

I am fairly certain that Justice Hugo Black ignored an immense amount of Judicial decisions and the words of Justices written or spoken outside the scope SCOTUS. AND YET Justice Black based the opinion decision Everson v. Board of Education in 1947 on a non-judicial letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Church that used the phraseology of the wall of separation between Church and State. The Danbury Baptist Church expressed concern that Connecticut was about to establish the Congregational Church as a State supported Church which would infer that even non-Congregationalists would be involved in paying some form of tax to a Denomination outside the scope of Baptist theology. President Jefferson sent out a letter in 1802 responding to the Danbury letter expressing their concerns. The Danbury Baptists were aware that as President Jefferson did not have the authority to arbitrarily change State Law but enlisted his help to the Office of POTUS to encourage various States that had an Established Church to steer away from such a law to concur with Federal Law. This is the time that Jefferson wrote the wall of separation between Church/State letter.

 

President Jefferson was not involved in the committee that drafted the Constitution and neither was he in the position of issuing a Judicial Decision. AND YET Justice Hugo Black in 1947 incorporated the Jefferson letter as an authority to change a 158 years of Constitutional jurisprudence.

 

Below is a long list of quotes that should have borne more weight judicially than the Jefferson opinion that Leftists have warped today to keep Christianity out of America’s public legal and electoral sphere.

 

JRH 3/20/14 (Some these quotes I will endeavor to provide source links not utilized by the web page author)

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Untitled Restore-Christian-America.org on USA as a Christian Nation

 

Justice Thomas McKean 
Served as governor in Delaware and Pennsylvania. During his tenure as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, he offered these words of advice to John Roberts — a man sentenced to death.

 

Respublica vs. John Roberts

“You will probably have but a short time to live. Before you launch into eternity it behooves you most seriously to reflect upon your past conduct; to repent of your evil deeds; to be incessant in prayers to the great and merciful God to forgive your manifold transgressions and sins; to rely upon the merit and passion of a dear Redeemer, and thereby to avoid those regions of sorrow….May you, reflecting upon these things, and pursuing the will of the great Father of light and life, be received into [the] company and society of angels and archangels and the spirits of just men made perfect; and may you be qualified to enter into the joys of Heavens — joys unspeakable and full of glory.”


John Jay, 1777 
The first Chief Justice of the United States

 

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and the interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”


James Wilson, 
a signer of the Constitution and an original Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court

 

“Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine….Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”


Justice Samuel Chase 
Runkel v. Winemiller, 1799

 

“Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.”


Justice Joseph Story

 

“The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance [approve of], much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity [secularism], by prostrating [overcoming] Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects [denominations]…”


Justice Joseph Story 
A Familiar Exposition of the Constitution of the United States 1840

 

“We are not to attribute this prohibition of the national religious establishment [in the First Amendment] to any indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution)… at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, 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.

 

… Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate [immoral] are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them.”


Justice Joseph Story 
Vidal v. Girard’s Executors 1844

 

“Christianity… is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers or the injury of the public…”


Justice Joseph Story

 

“There is not a truth to be gathered from history more certain, or more momentous, than this: that civil liberty cannot long be separated from religious liberty without danger, and ultimately without destruction to both.

 

“Wherever religious liberty exists, it will, first or last, bring in and establish political liberty.”


Chief Justice John Marshall 
In a letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833

 

“The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it.”


Thomas Cooley 
In his General Principles of Constitutional Law 1890

 

“It was never intended by the Constitution that the government should be prohibited from recognizing religion, or that religious worship should never be provided for in cases where a proper recognition of Divine Providence in the working of government might seem to require it, and where it might be done without drawing an invidious distinction between religious beliefs, organizations, or sects. The Christian religion was always recognized in the administration of the common law of the land, the fundamental principles of that religion must continue to be recognized in the same cases and to the same extent as formerly.”


Judge Gallagher 
Baer v. Kolmorgen 
The Supreme Court of New York
1958

 

“Much has been written in recent years…to “a wall of separation between church and State.” …It has received so much attention that one would almost think at times that it is to be found somewhere in our Constitution.”


Justice Potter Stewart

[Dissenting Opinion: Engel v. Vitale (1962)]

 

“I think that the Court’s task, in this as in all areas of constitutional adjudication, is not responsibly aided by the uncritical invocation of metaphors like the “wall of separation,” a phrase nowhere to be found in the Constitution.”


Justice William Rehnquist 
Wallace v. Jafree 1985 [Dissenting Opinion]

 

“It is impossible to build sound consitutional doctrine upon a mistaken understanding of Constitutional history… The establishment clause had been expressly freighted with Jefferson’s misleading metaphor for nearly forty years… There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation [between church and state]… The recent court decisions are in no way based on either the language or intent of the framers.”


Justice William Rehnquist

[Ibid.]

 

“But the greatest injury of the “wall” notion is its mischievous diversion of judges from the actual intentions of the drafters of the Bill of Rights… 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.”


—U.S. Supreme Court, 1811— 
The People v. Ruggles 
Justice James Kent delivered the Court’s opinion:

 

“The defendant was indicted… in December, 1810, for that he did, on the 2nd day of September, 1810… wickedly, maliciously, and blasphemously, utter, and with a loud voice publish, in the presence of hearing of divers good and Christian people, of and concerning the Christian religion, and of and concerning Jesus Christ, the false, scandalous, malicious, wicked and blasphemous words following: “Jesus Christ is a bastard, and his mother must be a whore”, in contempt of the Christian religion… the defendant was tried and found guilty, and was sentenced by the court to be imprisoned for three months, and to pay a fine of $500.

 

Such words uttered with such a disposition were an offense at common law. In Taylor’s case the defendant was convicted upon information of speaking similar words, and the Court… said that Christianity was parcel of the law, and to cast contumelious reproaches upon it, tended to weaken the foundation of moral obligation, and the efficacy of oaths.

 

And in the case of Rex vs. Woolston’s, on a like conviction, the Court said… that whatever strikes at the root of Christianity tends manifestly to the dissolution of civil government… the authorities show that blasphemy against God and… profane ridicule of Christ or the Holy Scriptures (which are equally treated as blasphemy), are offenses punishable at common law, rather uttered by words or writings… because it tends to corrupt the morals of the people, and to destroy good order.

 

Such offenses have always been considered independent of any religious establishment or the rights of the Church. They are treated as affecting the essential interest of civil society…

 

We stand equally in need, now as formerly, of all the moral discipline, and of those principles of virtue, which help to bind society together.

 

The people of this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice; and to scandalize the author of these doctrines is not only… impious, but… is a gross violation of decency and good order.

 

Nothing could be more injurious to the tender morals of the young, then to declare such profanity lawful…

 

The free, equal, and undisturbed enjoyment of religious opinion, whatever it may be, and free and descent discussions on any religious subject, is granted and secured; but to revile… the religion professed by almost the whole community, is an abuse of that right…

 

We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines of worship of those impostors [other religions]…

 

[We are] people whose manners are refined and whose morals has been elevated and inspired with a more enlarged benevolence, by means of the Christian religion. Though the Constitution has discarded religious establishments, it does not forbid judicial cognizance of those offenses against religion and morality which have no reference to any such establishment…

 

This [constitutional] declaration (noble and magnanimous as it is, when duly understood) never meant to withdraw religion in general, and with it the best sanctions of moral and social obligation from all consideration and notice of Law…

 

To construe it as breaking down the common law barriers against licentious, wanton, and impious attacks upon Christianity itself, would be an enormous perversion of its meaning…

 

Christianity in its enlarged sense, as a religion revealed and taught in the Bible, is part and parcel of the law of the land…

 

Nor are we bound by any expression of the Constitution, as some has strangely supposed, either not to punish at all, or to punish indiscriminately like attacks upon the religion of Mahomet and the Grand Lama; and for this plain reason, that we are a Christian people, and the morality of this country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of these impostors…

 

The Court is accordingly of the opinion that the judgment… must be affirmed.”


—U. S. Supreme Court, 1892— 
Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States

 

“No purpose of action against religion can be imputed to any legislation, state or national, because this is a religious people. This is historically true. From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation.

 

The commission to Christopher Columbus…. “that it is hoped that by God’s assistance some of the continents and islands in the ocean will be discovered…”

 

The first colonial grant made to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584…. and the grant authorizing him to enact statutes for the government of the proposed colony provided that they “be not against the true Christian faith…”

 

The first charter of Virginia, granted by King James I in 1606…. commenced the grant in these words: “…in propagating of Christian Religion to such People as yet live in Darkness…”

 

Language of similar import may be found in the subsequent charters of that colony…. in 1609 and 1611; and the same is true of the various charters granted to the other colonies. In language more or less emphatic is the establishment of the Christian religion declared to be one of the purposes of the grant. The celebrated compact made by the Pilgrims in the Mayflower, 1620, recites; “Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith… a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia…”

 

The fundamental orders of Connecticut, under which a provisional government was instituted in 1638-1639, commence with this declaration: “…And well knowing where a people are gathered together the word of God requires that to maintain the peace and union… there should be an orderly and decent government established according to God…to maintain and preserve the liberty and purity of the gospel of our Lord Jesus which we now profess…of the said gospel [which] is now practiced amongst us.”

 

In the charter of privileges granted by William Penn to the province of Pennsylvania, in 1701 it is recited: “…no people can be truly happy, though under the greatest enjoyment of civil liberties, if abridged of… their religious profession and worship…”

 

Coming nearer to the present time, the Declaration of Independence recognizes the presence of Divine in human affairs in these words:

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights… appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions… And for the support of this Declaration, with firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

 

…We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth… because of a general recognition of this truth [that we are a Christian nation], the question has seldom been presented to the courts…

 

There is no dissonance in these declarations. There is a universal language pervading them all, having one meaning; they affirm and reaffirm that this is a religious nation. Those are not individual sayings, declarations of private persons; they are organic utterances; they speak the voice of the entire people.

 

While because of a general recognition of this truth the question has seldom been presented to the courts, yet we find that in Updegraph v. The Commonwealth, it was decided that, Christianity, general Christianity, is, and always has been, a part of the common law… not Christianity with an established church…. but Christianity with liberty of conscience to all men.

 

And in The People v. Ruggles, Chancellor Kent, the great commentator on American law, speaking as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New York, said:

 

“The people of this State, in common with the people of this country, profess the general doctrines of Christianity, as the rule of their faith and practice… We are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply engrafted upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those impostors [other religions].”

 

And in the famous Case of Vidal v. Girard’s Executors, this Court… observed:

 

“It is also said, and truly, that the Christian religion is a part of the common law…”

 

If we pass beyond these matters to a view of American life as expressed by its laws, its business, its customs and its society, we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth. Among other matters note the following: The form of oath universally prevailing, concluding with an appeal to the Almighty; the custom of opening sessions of all deliberative bodies and most conventions with prayer; the prefatory words of all wills, ” In the name of God, amen”; the laws respecting the observance of the Sabbath, with the general cessation of all secular business, and the closing of courts, legislatures, and other similar public assemblies on that day; the churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town and hamlet; the multitude of charitable organizations existing everywhere under Christian auspices; the gigantic missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in every quarter of the globe.

 

These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation…We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth.

 

The happiness of a people and the good order and preservation of civil government essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality.

 

Religion, morality, and knowledge [are] necessary to government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind.”


—U.S. Supreme Court, 1931— 
U.S. vs. Macintosh

 

“We are a Christian people… and acknowledge with reverence the duty of obedience to the will of God.”


—U. S. Supreme Court, 1952— 
Zorach v. Clauson

[William O. Douglas SCOTUS Opinion]

 

“The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every respect there shall be a separation of Church and State. Rather, it studiously defines the manner, the specific ways, in which there shall be no concert or union or dependency one on the other.

 

That is the common sense of the matter. Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other—hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly…

 

Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups. Policemen who helped parishioners into places of worship would violate the Constitution. Prayers in our legislative halls; the appeals to the Almighty in the messages of the Chief Executive; the proclamation making Thanksgiving Day a holiday; “so help me God” in our courtroom oaths—these and all other references to the Almighty that run through our laws, or public rituals, our ceremonies, would be flouting the First Amendment. A fastidious atheist or agnostic could even object to the supplication with which the Court opens each session: God save the United States and this Honorable Court.

 

We are a religious people and our institutions presuppose a Supreme Being… When the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions.

 

For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs. To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe…

 

We find no constitutional requirement making it necessary for government to be hostile to religion and to throw its weighed against the efforts to widen the scope of religious influence. The government must remain neutral when it comes to competition between sects…

 

We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion.”

_____________________________

Disputing Separation Church/State Part 3

John R. Houk

© March 20, 2014

_____________________________

Untitled Restore-Christian-America.org on USA as a Christian Nation

 

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