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PINE BLUFFS — During the years I labored in law school, my craggy old Constitutional Law professor taught that the Constitution was "a living, breathing document, capable of stretching to cover new situations in a modern era."
As a neophyte law student, I liked the sound of that — until I discovered that the politics of that professor and other university lecturers was, in some cases, the ruddy pink of Socialism, and in others the bright red of Communism. With that insight, as if someone had flipped a switch turning on a light in a darkened room, came the understanding that these instructors were deliberately planting this thought in the minds of impressionable students and sending them forth, like tiny ships under full sail on the broad ocean of society, to convince the public that it was permissible — even desirable — for activist judges, leftward leaning human Towers of Pizza, to rewrite the Constitution as they saw fit.
And if done often enough, their revisions would give the Constitution a meaning contrary to the will of the Founding Fathers: connotations that would shape and change America into something never intended. They didn’t just favor different approaches to problems. They sought a different America.
The First Amendment is an excellent example of what I mean. It was passed along with nine others when Virginia, the final State to do so, ratified the Bill of Rights on December 15, 1791.
“Congress shall make no law respecting the
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 to peaceably assemble; and to petition
the government for a redress of grievances.”
The first sixteen words of this Amendment were inserted by the founding fathers to insure that the newly-formed federal government, acting through Congress, would not declare a national religion, and also to keep it from interfering with the right of the people to freely practice whatever religion they preferred. Eventually becoming known as The Establishment Clause, it has recently been interpreted in ways far beyond the original intent of the founders of this country. Result? The federal government, some in the education establishment, and certain private organizations, regularly assert positions hostile to people of religious beliefs.
I) NUTS AND BOLTS:
When initially proposed, the Establishment Clause addressed two basic concerns: federalism and protection of religious liberty.
Federalism is the system under which each governmental unit, federal, state and local, retains authority to govern its own affairs. The founders developed this zany concept to limit the power and scope of the federal government. Considering its awesome size today, it’s difficult to believe that many of the tasks it now performs were not considered legitimate functions for it back then. For instance, taxing power was not initially given to the national government. And under our first Constitution, religious affairs were left to the States.
The second basic concern was how to protect religious liberty. Here, the goal was to prevent the federal government from establishing a national denominational church of the type that existed in England. Many felt that to be forced to worship in a particular church was an undesirable interference with the free exercise of their religious beliefs. However, others saw nothing wrong with an “official” church at the local level. In fact, by 1791, five of the thirteen colonies already had established churches within their boundaries, mostly Christian denominations, some of which were even supported by tax dollars. Later, many states went so far as to prescribe religious tests for public office, the requirements varying from one to another. For instance, some states punished blasphemy; others imposed fines for such things as irregular church attendance. By today’s standards, America was surprisingly illiberal. But since religious affairs were a matter of state concern, no one objected. And no one equated that America with the theocracies of the world, especially those in the Middle East, which use religion to dominate and suppress their people.
The overall intent of the Establishment Clause was not to mute Christianity, but to provide an atmosphere in which the widely held religious belief of the people, expressed in a thriving Christian religion, could continue to flourish, while protecting the right of those of different faiths and traditions to worship as they saw fit. This concept of religious liberty was uniquely American.
According to Paul Craig Roberts, (Can We Reclaim our Heritage? Washington Times, 2/8/02), over the past thirty years, our country’s basic principles and values have been under attack in public schools and universities “by postmodernists . . . firmly entrenched in our educational system.” This has not been a process of imperceptible mutation. Rather, it happened while Americans, good sports that we are, looked on, but failing to understand, refused to impute undesirable or harmful motives to our liberal brethren.
That was a mistake. Because of it, a generation of American students knows little about their Constitution and other basic documents, and even less about those who wrote the documents by which we’ve governed ourselves for over two centuries. In fact, few Americans under forty know there’s no Constitutional mandate dealing with separation of church and state, or that neither the phrases “wall of separation” nor “separation of church and state” are found in the Constitution. Lacking any in-depth knowledge of American History, many now believe that our basic documents were simply written by a few “stuffy, old white men,” and are totally irrelevant in today’s world.
So, where did the expression “wall of separation between church and state,” have its beginning? Thomas Jefferson first coined the phrase in a letter written in 1802. He used it again in 1805 in his inaugural address. But he made certain that it was understood to mean non-interference with the practice of any religion by the federal government. Whatever he intended, the Constitution does not make Jefferson’s understanding of the relationship between church and government obligatory.
II) RELIGIOUS BELIEF EXPRESSED IN OUR BASIC NATIONAL DOCUMENTS:
A) DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE:
In this secular age, so perniciously influenced by postmodernist thought, many are uncomfortable talking about God publicly. But expression of religious belief was widespread in America’s early years. The founding fathers referenced God easily and often in their public utterances and through the actions of the Continental Congress, revealing a remarkable understanding of the connection between belief in God and good government. They did so in The Declaration of Independence, and later, in The Northwest Ordinance. Let’s look at The Declaration first.
Entitled The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America, it was enacted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. It clearly shows a belief in God, a Supreme Being to whom Man is accountable and from whom all our rights are derived.
Jefferson, who later became Secretary of State in Washington’s Administration, was in Paris serving as Minister to France while the Constitution was being drafted. He took no part in writing it. However, earlier, he had chaired a committee made up of Ben Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman, Robert Livingston, and himself, to draft The Declaration of Independence. The text these men produced speaks of the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God:
“. . . that all men are created equal; that they are endowed
by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, and
among these are the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit
Regarding these three enumerated rights, Jefferson was later quoted as saying:“We do not claim these (life, liberty and happiness) under the charters of kings or legislators, but under the King of Kings. . . .”
The concept that human rights come from a Creator rather than from the state was derived from John Locke’s “Natural Law” philosophy. It’s extremely important to free peoples everywhere, and to those who aspire to be free. Why? Because if our rights do not come from a higher source such as God, but instead from the state, then the state can eliminate those rights at the whim of any tinhorn despot. In the former Soviet Union, the converse of this concept, i.e., that all rights are derived from the state, was applied with disastrous results. And in Afghanistan, a country where this idea is now becoming understood, an earnest but misguided Northern Alliance leader announced, during the American incursion against terrorism, that when the Taliban was ousted, the new government “would grant rights to woman.” If, instead, he had said that when his group triumphed, it would protect rights granted by Allah to all citizens, Afghans might have breathed easier, knowing that their rights were secure.
Paul Johnson, in A History of the American People, HarperCollins Publishers, New York City, N.Y., 1997:
“There is no question that the Declaration of Independence
was, to those who signed it, a religious as well as a secular
act.. . . “
Immediately after passing The Declaration, as if adding an exclamation point to its action, the Continental Congress voted to purchase 20,000 copies of the Bible for distribution to the people of our fledgling nation.
B) NORTHWEST ORDINANCE OF 1787:
The Founding Fathers also believed that religion and education went hand in hand. The Northwest Ordinance, passed to preserve property in the Territories for schools, and also to prohibit slavery in the new Northwestern states, says this:
“Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good
government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the
means of learning shall forever be encouraged.”
Here we see the peoples’ representatives expressing a widely held view; that religion and the formation of moral values were inseparable from government and the actions of government leaders. No voice was raised arguing that holders of this view sought to create a theocracy.
III) GOD IN THE FOUNDING ERA: PUBLIC LIFE:
Numerous instances in the founding era reflect the enlightened understanding held by Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and much of the public, that religion, morality, knowledge, virtue and excellent government are inextricably linked. In other words, God and good government go hand in hand.
As Thanksgiving 1789 approached, responding to requests from both Houses of Congress, Washington — who had become President the previous April — issued a Proclamation of General Thanksgiving. Because he understood that a nation which believes in and honors a Creator is not apt be a problem either on the world scene or within its own borders, he declared:
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the
providence of God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits,
and humbly to implore his protection and favor . . .”
And in his Farewell Address in September 1796, he remarked:
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political
prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports
. . . Promote.. . ..institutions for the general diffusion of
knowledge. .. .it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.“
After Washington’s voluntarily retirement from the national scene, his Vice-President, John Adams took the helm as the Nation’s second president. The day The Declaration was signed, Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail:
“The second day of July, 1776 will be . . . celebrated by
succeeding generations as a great anniversary festival.
It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance,
by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”
“Our constitution was made for a moral and religious
people, it is wholly inadequate for any other. Statesmen
may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion
and morality alone which can establish the principles
under which Freedom can securely stand.”
James Madison became the third leader of our nation:
“We have staked the whole future of American
civilization, not upon the power of government,
far from it. We have staked the future of all our
political institutions upon the capacity of each and
all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves
and to sustain ourselves according to the Ten
Commandments of God.”
And Samuel Adams, a signer of The Declaration,from Massachusetts, is credited with these comments during debate in the Second Continental Congress:
The rights of the colonists as Christians … may
be best understood by reading and carefully studying
the institutes of the Great Lawgiver and head of the
Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written
and promulgated in the New Testament."
“Go on then in your generous enterprise with gratitude
to Heaven for past success, and confidence of it in the
Daniel Webster, in what now appears a prophetic pronouncement, stated:
If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the
length and breadth of this land, anarchy and misrule degradation and misery,
corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end.”
And Abraham Lincoln, in speaking about the Bible, is credited with this comment:
“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given man. All
the good Savior gave to the world was communicated through
this Book. But for this Book we could not know right from wrong.”
Later, Theodore Roosevelt also spoke about the Bible:
“… the teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and
intertwined with our whole civic and social life that
it would be literally impossible for us to figure
ourselves what that life would be if these standards
And we have these sparkling words of Edmund Burke:
“True religion is the foundation of society, the basis
on which all true civil government rests, and from
which power derives its authority, laws their efficacy,
and both their sanction. If it is once shaken by contempt,
the whole fabric cannot be stable or lasting.”
It‘s this widespread although visionary understanding that was described by French historian Alexis de Tocqueville in his Democracy in America, Part One, acommentary on American life, published in 1835:
“Religion . . . must be regarded as the foremost of
the political institutions of the country, for if it does
not impart a taste of freedom, it facilitates the use of
free institutions. .. .
“Most Americans hold religion to be indispensable to
the maintenance of republican principles.”
Quite frankly then, the secularized version of American society that leftist groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an activist Judiciary, some school boards, and others have sought to impose upon us in recent times would have shocked Americans 170 years ago.
But despite sound religious underpinnings, the specifically American concept of religious liberty envisioned by the founding fathers has been twisted into something else. By a gradual process, Jefferson’s “wall of separation” has been misinterpreted and misapplied to mean a separation of God and morality from government and from the public forum, something that flies in the face of our history. Yet these clowns of the present era, with the postmodernist’s almost total disregard for reason and logic — persist.
IV) GOD AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH: LATER YEARS:
It’s neither surprising nor a concern to anyone but certain postmodernist thinkers, that throughout our nation’s history, leaders expressed religious beliefs publicly. The notion that people should be excluded from doing so everywhere except in church or at home was a foreign concept. But was this practice pf public expression of religious beliefs common in the Executive Branch? The answer is “yes.” Here are examples from three modern presidents.
In December 1952, Democrat President Harry Truman gave his final Christmas message before leaving office; a profession of our nation’s faith in God:
“As we go about our business of trying to achieve peace
in the world, let us remember always to try to act and live in
the spirit of the Prince of Peace. He bore in His heart no hate and
no malice - nothing but love for all mankind. We should try as
nearly as we can to follow His example
“We seek only a universal peace, where all nations shall
be free and all peoples shall enjoy their inalienable human rights,
We believe that all men are truly the children of God.
“Through Jesus Christ the world will yet be a better and a
fairer place. This faith sustains us today as it has sustained
mankind for centuries past . . .”
Weeks later at Republican Dwight David Eisenhower’s inauguration, the world witnessed the orderly transfer of power from one American administration to another, and heard both incoming and outgoing presidents, speaking in their official capacities, humbly professing belief in God.
As his inauguration began, Eisenhower spoke the words of a prayer he’d written hours before:
“Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment, my
future associates in the Executive branch of government join
me in beseeching that Thou wilt make full and complete our
dedication to the people in this throng, and their fellow
“Give us we pray, the power to discern clearly right
from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be
governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially
we pray that our concern shall be for all the people, regardless
of station, race, or calling.
“May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual
aim of those who, under the concept of our Constitution, hold
to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of
our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”
By opening the ceremony that way, Eisenhower emphasized the belief in and dependence upon God that’s been so basic to America. Then, placing his left hand upon two open Bibles, he raised his right hand and repeated the oath administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson. One Bibles, open to the 127th Psalm, had been used by Washington at his inauguration:
“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in
vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the
watchman waketh but in vain.”
The second Bible, open to II Chronicles, Chapter Seven, was Eisenhower’s own:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall
humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn
from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, and
will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.”
Commenting on this event in his book, All God’s Children, James Keller said:
“President Eisenhower’s use of our First President’s
Bible is eloquent testimony to the continuous importance of
religion in the official acts of the United States Government —
from the days of Washington down to the present time.”
The concept that the rights of the people come from God, not from the state, expressed so clearly in The Declaration of Independence, has been re-affirmed by President George W. Bush in recent several speeches:
“Freedom is not America’s gift to the world, it is Almighty
God’s gift to all humanity.”
One of Mr. Bush’s reasons for repeating this line is peculiar to present times: the stated belief of some that God does not align Himself with any individual or country, and to attempt to align the United States with God’s purposes is radical and, to some, scary. As we’ve seen, it’s not radical. Many Americans believed exactly that. Voiced as a concern mostly by atheists and liberal historians, and used by Muslims in several mid-eastern Islamic nations to vilify America, this idea is known as “American exceptionalism.” It’s Mr. Bush’s purpose to revive the concept of freedom as a gift from God while allaying or neutralizing this paranoid fear of “American exceptionalism” in the minds of these people. America has never been nor will it ever become a theocracy like the Taliban’s Afghanistan, or the Iran of the mullahs.
V) God and the Judicial Branch:
Just as presidents recognized America’s faith in God, so have members of the third branch of government. Our first Supreme Court Justice John Jay, who resigned in 1795 to run for governor of New York, acknowledging both his belief that a good Christian is a moral and spiritual person who generally tends to exercise power responsibly, and the fact that perhaps ninety-nine percent of the Americans of his time were Christians, reflected:
“Americans should select and prefer Christians
as their rulers.”
Later, in Marbury v. Madison and the line of cases following from it, the Supreme Court asserted its authority to declare unconstitutional Congressional legislation “repugnant to the Constitution.” When Chief Justice John Marshall articulated this role for the Court, he elevated the judicial branch to an activist status not envisioned by the Constitution’s authors. It‘s doubtful, however, that even he would be comfortable with the extent to which “judicial review“— a power not mentioned there, but one he found both implicit and necessary — has gone.
For the next hundred years, so widespread was the view that God and religion are important in American public life, that in 1892, Supreme Court Justice David J. Brewer, while summarizing a survey of our historical national documents, said:
“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. These are not individual sayings or declarations of
private persons. They are organic utterances. They speak
the voice of the entire people.”
Sixty years later, this belief was still paramount among members of the judicial branch. In a Supreme Court decision during its 1952 term, Justice William O. Douglas unhesitatingly wrote:
“We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose
a Supreme Being.”
On October 11, 2003, Michael Novak, author of On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding, delivering a lecture during a Hillsdale College cruise, noted:
“Starting about 60 years ago, the Supreme Court took
a half-truth about the meaning of (the word) ‘establishment’
and carried it by tortuous logic to conclusions that go against
the whole of its own prior tradition and against the tradition
of American public life. In shifting its focus from the
constitutional term ‘religious liberty’ to the much more
recent and polemic slogan ‘separation of church and state,’
the Court has come to seem radically anti-religious and in
particular, anti-Jewish and anti-Christian."
Federal Court interpretation of the First Amendment during the past thirty years bears him out. Beginning in 1962 with the Warren Court’s ruling precluding people from praying in public schools, and progressing to bans against prayer at school functions, these decisions are eons away from the original intent of the founding fathers. During 2001 alone, courts banned student-led prayers at football games and okayed the introduction of “prayer police” in Alabama schools, while five Supreme Court Justices ruled that a prayer by a student at a football game presented the nation with a constitutional crisis. In 2004, we saw a court rule that The Declaration of Independence was unconstitutional because it mentioned God. True, this decision was greeted with a firestorm of criticism. But will we soon be treated to the spectacle of a liberal court deciding that the Constitution itself is unconstitutional? This is the practice of judicial activism — making laws from the bench — at its worst.
Paul Johnson again, regarding the First Amendment guarantee:
“This guarantee has been widely, almost willfully
misunderstood in recent years, and interpreted as meaning
that the federal government is forbidden by the Constitution
to countenance or subsidize even indirectly the practice of
religion. That would have astonished and even angered the
Just how ironic are the Supreme Court‘s recent pronouncements? Approaching the Supreme Court Building, one can see near its top, a row of the world’s lawgivers. Each is facing one in the middle who is facing directly forward. That fella is Moses, and if you guessed that what he’s holding in his hands are two tablets on which are etched the Ten Commandments, you’d be correct.
The huge doors at the entrance to the courtroom have the Ten Commandments engraved on the lower portions of each. And as one sits in the courtroom, visible on the wall right above where the Justices sit is — yet another display of the Ten Commandments. However, a federal court has recently ruled it unconstitutional to exhibit these same Ten Commandments on public property.
Finally, Bible verses are carved in stone on many federal buildings and monuments throughout our nation’s Capitol.
VI) GOD, THE CONGRESSIONAL BRANCH, AND STATE LEGISLATURES:
Even Congress and state legislatures have checked in. We’ve seen that an early Congress asked President Washington to issue a proclamation at Thanksgiving 1789, a holiday that gives thanks to the Creator, but which is now under attack for doing so. In 1956, Florida Congressman Charles Bennett sponsored legislation to replace the national motto “E Pluribus Unum,“ which means, “From Many, One” with “In God We Trust.” Bennett, now in his 90s, recalls little controversy during debate, and the bill quickly passed.
State legislatures have also spoken. The Virginia Legislature, in its Declaration of Rights, cogently enunciated the American concept of religious liberty:
“. .. . religion, or the duty which we owe to our
Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be
directed only by reason and conviction, not by
force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally
entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to
the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual
dutyof all to practice Christian forbearance, love,
and charity towards each other.”
Further, in the wake of September 11, a nationwide movement quickly developed to place the words “In God We Trust” in every classroom in the country.
According to Debbie Howlett, writing in USA Today (2/20/2002):
“Mississippi had been the only state to pass such a law
(prior to that time). But three months after the terrorist attacks,
Michigan adopted the requirement as part of homeland security
legislation. At least eight more states are poised to pass similar
measures — over the objections of those who say such displays
would violate the separation of church and state.”
Predictably, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed this move, a spokesperson for its Florida chapter saying:
“This is no more than a means to getreligion in the
schools through the back door.”
However, Chip Campsen, a Republican member of South Carolina’s State Legislature saw it this way:
“We get sobered by events like 9/11, and that sobering
brings about reflection on what virtues provide a foundation
for a thriving republic.”
Logically, the secularized version of society that the American Civil Liberties Union and others seek to impose upon us would have shocked Americans living a mere fifty years ago.
VII) TYRANNY OF THE MINORITY?
America is not only a Christian nation, but it is a nation of Christians. Almost ninety percent of Americans, a huge majority, call themselves Christians. This was so from the beginning. Patrick Henry, a founder and patriot, said in 1776:
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often
that this great nation was founded not by religionists
but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other
faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.“
Ignoring the final sentence of Henry’s observation, this and the comment by Chief Justice Jay are cited today by minorities fearful that Americans might force the views of the majority upon them.
However, Jefferson, Madison and others were concerned that, with the arrival of Democracy, the “tyranny of the majority” was a possibility. They understood that something had to be done to protect minorities from the federal Leviathan. Their answer was twofold: the Bill of Rights and the concept of Separation of Powers would insure that each branch of government would act as a system of checks and balances upon the other.
So those who fear a “tyranny of the majority” need not worry. This country has, from its inception, enacted safeguards for minorities, whereby neither Jewish nor Christian beliefs are forced upon Buddhists, Muslims, agnostics, or atheists.
But it seems this is not enough for some. Gradually, in a misguided attempt by postmodernists to accommodate a small minority of different faiths and no faith at all, it has become the norm to try to eliminate any mention of God or of a Creator from all laws, governmental activities, schools and public life. This despite the wishes of the vast majority who believe in God and see nothing wrong with praying to Him, mentioning His name now and then, mounting an occasional display of a religious nature in the public arena ─ such as the Ten Commandments or a Nativity scene — or even letting their religious beliefs influence their political views. In championing these ideas, conservatives are not denying the importance of religious liberty. They do not advocate that the government should set itself up as a kind of church, or that the Church should set itself up as a kind of government. While it’s true that the occasional “tyranny of the majority” can sometimes be uncomfortable for the minority, misguided attempts to restructure society to accommodate the few now threaten the opposite; a ‘tyranny of the minority,” which will always be uncomfortable for the many.
Two hundred years ago, Washington, in his Response to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, said in a slightly different context:
“If the laws are to be trampled upon with impunity, and
a minority . . .is to dictate to the majority there is an end
put, at one stroke, to republican government.”
Indeed, Jefferson, picking up on Washington’s thought, worried that courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting law would begin making law, turning the nation into an oligarchy; the rule of the few over the many.
VIII) WHAT GIVES IN AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
Hostility toward religion has become the prevailing rule in American public Schools. This view is clearly in opposition to the Constitution, the founding era, and the views of most Americans down to present days. But so powerful are liberal policy-makers become in our educational system, and so fearful of costly law suits have school districts become, that we now see school boards banning signs and music containing references to Santa Claus, Jesus, and other religious Christmas symbols. Even the words of Patrick Henry quoted earlier, as well as his famous lines spoken in 1775 have been erased from many textbooks:
“An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is
left to us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There
is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations.
The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone, is life so
dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price
of chains and slavery? I know not what course others
may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
This development is reminiscent of the revisionism practiced under Communism in the former Soviet Union, and today in Red China and Cuba. That should make thinking people everywhere wonder what’s going on here. Is it the desire of Marxists and atheists among us to do exactly what Washington warned against? Put an end to republican government, replacing it with the repressive leftist controlling agenda of Socialism and/or Communism? Washington again, in a letter to James Madison on March 2, 1788:
“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the
destiny of the republican model of government, are justly
considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the
experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”
From this Republic’s earliest days, voices have called for preservation and continuance of America’s religious spirit. Only recently have people hostile to religion begun to invoke a false interpretation of the doctrine of separation of church and state in their effort to eliminate all references to God from the public forum. They’re trying to represent “separation of church and state“ as meaning something it has never meant in American history — that the state has no interest in religion and should look with disfavor on its presence in society.
But America was founded upon a widespread belief in God, and it has been led by men and women who presuppose the existence of a Supreme Being. A separation of God from government was never intended.
And despite all recent attempts to eliminate God from society, Americans still recognize Him publicly. He’s a part of our way of life and the tradition that makes America a truly great nation. Notice our reaction to the terrorist incidents of September 11 — a spontaneous return to public prayer and to the abiding faith that sustains us. The phrase “God Bless America” and the song from which it comes has never been more popular.
In November 2001, a nationwide poll by the Pew Research Center showed that seventy-eight percent of Americans believe religion has gained influence in America since that horrific day. That poll foreshadowed something important; that for voters in the 2004 election, moral values would be the most important issue. These were the people who voted for President Bush, believing that he’s the kind of leader who could best navigate the current cultural fog.
The view of America recently etched for it by postmodernists flies in the face of historical analysis. A bogus interpretation of the Establishment Clause has brought about changes undesirable and even dangerous to the health of a morally sound republic. It’s time for Americans to reject these voices and restore God and religion to the public forum. This can be done by wresting our judicial system from the grasp of socialist and communist professors, liberal judges, and others, and returning it to those who understand that our Constitution is not a “living, breathing,” document, but a blueprint intended to limit the intrusion of the federal government in our lives.
Fortunately, with a president in the Oval Office who does more than give lip service to sound Christian views, and with the confirmation of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the highest court in the land, a start has been made. Hopefully, in November 2006, voters nationwide will continue this work, by electing to Congress, men and women of integrity, possessed of sound moral values, and willing to act upon them.
Anthony J. Sacco writes from Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. He’s the author of two books; The China Connection and Little Sister Lost, suspenseful mystery thrillers set in political and historical modes respectively, and classified as Christian inspirational novels. He is at work on his third book. Visit him on the web at http://www.SaccoServices.com or e-mail him at AnthonyJSacco@hotmail.com.