The View From 1776

Establishment vs Separation

So-called separation of church and state is not what liberals would have you believe.  Warner Todd Huston gives us the historical facts.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 07/25 at 12:56 AM
  1. The vast American middle class has no time to learn the facts and see through the anti-religionists campaign of "freedom from religion". The middle class is just trying to make a living and pay the oppressive taxes at the same time. It is the conservative movement that ardently supports "religious freedom" not just in public places but also in educational and governmental organizations. I have no problem, as a Hindu, to listen to a Christian prayer at the begining of a meeting. I bow my head and stand silently and respectfully. I may pray to Almighty God, father of Jesus. Or I may pray to Vishnu, the Hindu God. At any rate, the government has no business telling me what I can and can't do within the bounds of law. This country, above all others, practices freedom of religious expression and allows many religions to flourish. If left to liberals, religious expression would be severely and progressively limited. That means the liberal is more powerful than God, regardless of who He is.
    I have my own 'common sense' interpretation of separation of church and state. The state has absolutely no right to interfere in any type of religious expression and the church has absolutely no right to form a political party and run the government. That said, I don't have a problem with having a 'state religion'. If Christianity is the state religion of America, which it currently is not, or Islam is the state religion in Saudi Arabia, where it indeed is, I have no problem.
    Posted by vchalla  on  07/25  at  05:25 AM
  2. Even though it is not written in stone, the idea of separation of church and state is a great idea. It is an abstract notion that works well for all. It is an idea that evolved and took its rightful place in the pantheon of just and legitimate governance for all. The upholding of it is part of Democracy and its process.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/25  at  09:49 AM
  3. Now I understand better Mr. Brewton's distain for materialism. It is a secular belief. How slow of me. Belief in it encourages the separation of church and state. With it as an obstacle America will never be able to have a state religion as many conservatives wish.

    Many centuries ago, way before The Declaration or The Constitution were written, there were those who wanted a state religion. However, there was a wise man, I forget his name but I think he was a Dutchman in New York, who knew that religion was a divisive factor. He knew this from his experience in Europe. He said, instead the American economy will be the state religion. That is a religion everybody understands and has in common. That event probably was the birth of American pragmatism, something religious conservatives detest.

    Conservatives believe that government intrusion into the lives of its citizens should be kept to a minimum. The separation of church and state is abiding in that belief.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/25  at  10:57 AM
  4. The fact we had state religions until 1833 is probably not as important as the fact that as the states diversified, they did a way with a state relgion and adopted instead, the entire Christian faith as the guide for citizens and government. Yet, there was nothing in writing, no law or piece of legislature. The driving force was peer pressure and the hundreds of laws based on religion (all religions of the state) such as profanity, adultery, obscenity, lewd and lascivious behavior, co-habitation for fornication, etc. Most the laws weren't enforced but were on the minds of the people.

    The laws reflected the mind of the people in that though diverse, they all thought these particular behaviors were wrong and needed to be banned. You also have to remember that the Bible was still a common text book in schools and that "morality" was taught even if "Congregational" or "Methodist" or some other denomination's doctrine wasn't. There was much that was in common with all the religions and thus, in a majority rule nation, under a State Constitution, religous laws were no problem.

    We have to remember that all societies have a right to determine the rules for that society. We have several societies, not one, that came together to form a nations of states. Each state could run its society as a sovereign state in all but a few areas such as monetary policy, defense of nation, interstate commerce and international issues. The rest was open to the states to regulate.

    As a sovereign society (with the limits on those national issues), the state could do whatever its State Constitution and majority wanted to regulate for "moral behavior." Even today we find that true. We have a state, Nevada, that legalizes prostitution while others don't. It is a religious issue as well as a secular issue and within the right of the state to regulate.

    Many forget that the U.S. Supreme Court itself ruled that the Bill of Rights didn't apply to state powers. However, again, we have to look to the majority and find what they wanted as the nation grew and changed. We find that in the 14th amendment which the majority ratified. They determined that there were times when the federal government would have to step in to prevent discrimination in the application of laws. That "arm" of the federal government that was given that power of oversight was Congress, not the Courts. Why?

    I believe Thomas Jefferson, though long dead at this time, summed it up quite well.
    the Federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scarecrow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the government of all be consolidated into one. When all government... in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

    Thus, with the Dred Scott decision in mind, and a terrible war just fought that many felt the Dred Scott decision led to, didn't trust the Court with this assignment of oversight and gave it to Congress. A relatively quick event, I believe, points to the wisdom of that choice. Congress banned segregation and the Court overruled them and we had segration for another 80 years until the 1950's. The Court is not to be trusted with oversight because it is 9 appointed people vs. now, 535 people that represent through election, "we the people."
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/25  at  12:00 PM
  5. Conservatives do not want a "state religion." That would be silly to even think they do. There are over 2,000 denominations and there would be slight chance of getting a consensus of which religion should be "the state religion." Liberals claim "Christianity" is "A" religion. That is rediculous. It is a vast and diverse group of religions with a common thread, Jesus, that even in that we find differences of opinion. For example, going back to Jefferson, he believed in Jesus and rewrote the Bible to include his teachings but not his miracles which Jefferson doubted. By the way, about 1900, Congress purchased 2,500 of these Bibles for distribution.
    ...distributing the Jefferson Bible to new members of Congress every other year was a tradition from 1904 until 1957, when the practice quietly stopped.
    The only State Religion possible is the common beliefs of the majority as to what is or isn't moral. Morality is a perception and varies from society to society, but every society has a set of morals legislated including the more tyranical societies. However, in those totalitarian societies the government decides what is "moral" whereas here, the "we the people" decide what is moral and only when the majority agree, such as with theft, an act is immoral do we legislate that behavior as illegal.

    I have yet to find a Conservative that wants a State Religion. Rather, they want to return to the principles this nation was founded on which was majority rule under a State Constitution and representative form of government with additional oversight by the power of the 14th Amendment from the U.S. Constitution and Congress. However, liberals want to claim it is "a state religion" to allow the majority to set the standards for this nation if they don't like that standard.

    That is fine. The minority has the right to protest and try to convince the majority to change its mind. We guaranteed that right but we never guaranteed the minority would have the right to prevail as long as the majority was within the limits set by the majority in their Constitution for the State.

    As Jefferson further explained:

    Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/25  at  12:32 PM
  6. I just read something interesting. "Liberalism depends on a 'we' mentality". The Constitution start off "We, the People of the United States..."

    Thus, America is fundamentally a liberal minded nation and will remain so, because the Constitution says it. That includes the de facto separation of church and state. The church alining itself with the state would ruin that "we" mentality because it would alienate and isolate a segment of the "we". There is no church that encompasses all so it is best left out.

    If the Founding Fathers wanted to be more specific about things, as is argued here, why did they start off with the vague and ambiguous "we". They left themselves open to interpretation - depends on what you mean by "we" , I think deliberately.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/26  at  12:07 PM
  7. No, they were referring to who governed the nation. "We the people" defined it. They didn't leave it at just "we" but defined it as all the people in the nation in their separate states under their separate State Constitutions. If you say there was separation from church, why did they constantly refer to religion as a necessary ingredient in our new nation?

    Remember they didn't refer to a particular denomination nor did they need to. All the states were under God. Some with one state religion some with another but all with several other religions in them as well. Why religion? Because the founding principle of "self-discipline" is fostered in virtually every religion. Also, since we were a Christian nation if not in "government" but rather, in majority, there were other majority mandated principles to be followed as well, such as being a responsible citizen and shouldering the responibility of government, even if it was only in the vote they cast.

    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 of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind of self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.
    James Madison, 4th president of US (1751 - 1836)
    III. Religion and the American Revolution

    Religion played a major role in the American Revolution by offering a moral sanction for opposition to the British--an assurance to the average American that revolution was justified in the sight of God. As a recent scholar has observed, "by turning colonial resistance into a righteous cause, and by crying the message to all ranks in all parts of the colonies, ministers did the work of secular radicalism and did it better."

    Ministers served the American cause in many capacities during the Revolution: as military chaplains, as penmen for committees of correspondence, and as members of state legislatures, constitutional conventions and the national Congress. Some even took up arms, leading Continental troops in battle.

    The Revolution split some denominations, notably the Church of England, whose ministers were bound by oath to support the King, and the Quakers, who were traditionally pacifists. Religious practice suffered in certain places because of the absence of ministers and the destruction of churches, but in other areas, religion flourished.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/26  at  12:43 PM
  8. More quotes
    The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.

    John Quincy Adams
    6th President of the United States

    We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/26  at  12:50 PM
  9. The Ten Commandments make sense in any religion. It is a good foundation for any state. However, their omnipotence does not qualify for a connection between church and state. Because of their unquestionability they stand on their own, in their own realm, separate from either church or state.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/26  at  10:50 PM
  10. David you said, "Because of their unquestionability they stand on their own" and I agree but liberals don't. They don't want the Ten Commandments even displayed yet they are in our Federal buildings. They deny that the principles of self-discipline taught in the Bible are germane to day and that secular humanism should be the only religion allowed in public, in schools, and in the public press in many cases. There is no state religion as long as all are free and the legislation that evolves from the majority bears only on the will of the majority as limited by their State Constitution and the oversight of Congress given in the 14th Amendment.

    The Courts have no constitutional right to do much of what they have done. However, to correct that would require impeachment of the Justices and Congress is too split to have a chance of even bringing it up in the House to send to the Senate for trial. However, that doesn't make what they have done any less damaging to our society.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/26  at  10:59 PM
  11. Liberals do agree with The Commandments.

    What the court ruled against is the deliberate spectacle of The Ten Commandments. In the background they are acceptable. What the court objected to is the "in your face" display of them. They were being used to drive a narrow right-wing agenda, like advertising.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/27  at  12:07 AM
  12. What agenda? The Ten Commandments don't represent any one religion?

    It would be more "in your face" to start Congress with prayer, or to have a religious holiday proclaimed, yet those were and still are allowed. Why is the Ten Commandments more "in your face," than having to sit through a prayer? What the Court rules on during the last several decades is based on precedent that only came about after 175 years of the Court saying the opposite. There is nothing in the founding nor next 10 decades that supports your argument and nothing was done using the Constitutional process for change to stop what was done during the first 175 years of this nation.

    There can be no "narrow" right wing agenda when the majority for 175 years condoned and supported what was done. Over 70% of the nation is Christian so it is natural the "majority" will have on occassion the desire for legislation that reflects their views on things like pornography, obscenity, profanity, licentious behavior, etc.

    Why was it ok for the majority to legislate for 175 years what you now say isn't their right? Why were they able for 175 years to have religious displays that don't represent any one religion, like a manger scene, which while Christian certainly isn't any one religion? How did the majority, which was to prevail, suddenly after 175 years lose that right to a minority?

    Why do you support minority rule? Do you believe that only a few are smart enough to rule? Or do you believe that the religion of secular humanism should be a "state religion," that controls the majority?

    Remember, I am not aguing that what I believe is how it should be nor how you view things as not being the right way. I am arguing that we aren't following the Constitution in how we make changes to our nation's view of "separation." Using the Courts for change, is unconstitutional. Congress was given the power for oversight after which the Court would decide whether or not what Congress legislated was Constitutional or not. Where Congress didn't have the power, "We the people" then could change the Constitution through the Constitutional amendment process so Congress could act Constitutionally.

    That worked for 175 years. Why shouldn't it still be the way for change instead of minority rule?
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/27  at  11:48 AM
  13. Mr Brewton has not convinced me that if his spiritualism was the main governing doctrine it wouldn't subjugate and force me to live a life I did not want to live. My materialism does not forced him to live a life he does not want to lead. Within materialism there is a choice of what one can believe. His spiritualism is more ideological and narrow minded. It would deny me thinking and wanting certain things. My materialism allows for his spiritualism to exist. It is democratic and flexible whereas his spiritualism isn't, forcing one to behave in a rigid manner, like in bygone days.

    To me, his spiritualism, over the top conservatism and anti-liberalism would retard the democratic process, if not kill it.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/28  at  04:50 PM
  14. Yet, you are putting the "his" lable on it. You miss entire point of the founders which was no individual would decide, only the majority. You choose to live in a society with majority rule and while you certainly have the right to change the mind of the majority you don't have the right to use the Court to force change that wasn't intended by those founders.

    You also have the right to convince the majority to change the Constitution, any law, any custom, or tradition but you don't have the right if you are a minority to make them stop those customs and traditions or laws if they conform to their State Constitution and the oversight of Congress. You also have the right to go to whichever state meets your beliefs the closest, just as people in those state would have the right to leave them and seek other states that are closer to their views.

    Remember we were created as a nation of semi-sovereign societies and even though the majority did away with State Religions and I see no chance of a return to State Religions of a Judeo/Christian/Muslim nature, I do see some states adopting "Secular Humanism" as their State Religion, which is their right if it doesn't conflict with the State Constitution.

    To many, they would say that is just as bad as what you feel about spiritualism. Your religion or their religion is not going to please everyone. But, it should please at least the majority or otherwise you can't have a society. Once everyone is going their own way, you no longer have a society.

    # a. The totality of social relationships among humans. b. A group of humans broadly distinguished from other groups by mutual interests, participation in characteristic relationships, shared institutions, and a common culture. c. The institutions and culture of a distinct self-perpetuating group.

    # An organization or association of persons engaged in a common profession, activity, or interest

    Without the commonality of the majority we are no longer a society. The U.S. however, is a nation of societies and sub-societies that functioned quite well for 175 years in which people could live where they fit in the best and always had the right to protest and try to change the mind of the majority.

    To try and lable this as "Mr. Brewton's spiritualism" is illogical and deniew the reality of the majority in most states.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/28  at  05:59 PM
  15. David Airth says:

    "I just read something interesting. "Liberalism depends on a 'we' mentality". The Constitution start[s] off "We, the People of the United States..."

    Thus, America is fundamentally a liberal minded nation ... That includes the de facto separation of church and state. The church ali[g]ning itself with the state would ruin that "we" mentality because it would alienate and isolate a segment of the "we". There is no church that encompasses all so it is best left out.

    ... why did they [Founding Fathers] start off with the vague and ambiguous "we"."

    I will not, here, go into the Establishment clause, as others have covered it in depth and you are being clumsily obtuse trying to twist its meaning. Suffice it to say I add my voice to the others who say the clause was to keep the federal government from imposing "its" version of religion. It makes no stipulation as to what the state governments can do and creates no wall precluding anyone (even to government officials) from openly practicing their religion, whether in private or on federal property; and your interpretation is emphatically the opposite of the one intended.

    When David says 'liberalism', he invariably means 'socialism'. Socialism and liberalism are both about the governance of people, but that's where the similarity ends and he knows it. Socialism has no such "we" mentality as is found in the Constitution
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/28  at  09:16 PM
  16. (cont.)

    This last is the opposite of the relation spelled out by John Locke in his Second Treaty on Government and, therefore, the opposite of what was meant by
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/28  at  09:20 PM
  17. "The cleverest defenders of a faith are its greatest enemies; for their subtleties engender doubt and stimulate the mind."

    I came across that piece of wisdom while I was reading about Spinoza. Spinoza has a connection with what has been said here.

    It is said that Spinoza gave us modernity. How he did this is by questioning the "absolutes" of religion. He was excommunicated for his effort. He started off the promotion of tolerance through reason among the religions of Europe. Modernity could not have occurred without that development. He influenced John Locke with his ideas of tolerance, freedom and democracy . Those ideas can not be promoted with a lot of religious interference, as we know from the Middle East.

    Thomas Jefferson had Spinoza's collective works in his library. It is believe that Jefferson may have been more influenced by Spinoza than Locke. This may explain why Jefferson seemed ambivalent or reluctant to closely tie the new United States to any one religious belief, because he sensed that would stifle its developing into a modern state. It was best to keep religion in the background.

    Perhaps Spinoza influenced Jefferson in picking the phrase "We the people" to open the Declaration. That phrase is all encompassing, without any specific religious affiliation. It didn't deny the existence of God. Spinoza didn't deny the existence of God. But that ambiguous phrase was on the cutting edge. It has the liberal mentality Spinoza was trying to encourage. It recognized the liberal and modernity trajectory the world was on.
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/29  at  01:49 PM
  18. David, you are still denying that before, during, and after the U.S. Constitution, States, all of them, were placing God in the Constitutions used to govern the moral and social legislation of the people. The U.S. Government had no role in those areas so why do you dwell on the Federal level when it didn't apply to religon, for or against, but every State did and that is where legislation was intitiated, passed, and enforced that dealt with moraility. Are you so blind to the history of the role the States played that you can't see past the Federal Level which had so little power, the States funded it?

    Remember that Jefferson regarded the teachings of Jesus so much that he created the Jefferson Bible and that includes moral and social teachings that Jefferson thought should be followed. Remember that even as late as 1900, 2500 copies of that Bible were bought with tax dollars to be distributed to all new Congressmen for the next several decades as a guide.

    What about the purchase of Bible by Congress to "promote religion" and the Bible as a text books in almost all schools for many decades and the countless religious displays found in Courthouses and government buildings throughout the nation. If religion wasn't important, why make the extra effort and use tax payer dollars to include them in government buildings. Also, why if it was OK for 175 years is it no longer even though the Constitution hasn't been amended.

    I am not a huge fan of Thomas Jefferson since I feel some of his life was influenced by the French enlightenment which I believe proved to be much of the problem France has experience for many, many decades. However, he does provide insight as to the thinking of the time, both for and against "separation."

    The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of mankind.

    (Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. XV, p. 383.)

    I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers.

    (Source: Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, editor (Washington, D. C.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Assoc., 1904), Vol. X, pp. 376-377. In a letter to Edward Dowse on April 19, 1803.)

    As stated, he felt strong enough about religous influence that he wrote the Jefferson Bible and our own Congress, almost 100 years later still thought enough of those teaching to purchase and handout those Bibles.

    Yet, we are back to the point that none, not any of that is the concern of conservatives today. The concern is that change was made without following the Constitution's direction for change. Throwing up this point or that about what happened doesn't change the Constitution that for 175 years remained constant on this issue and even after that 175 years wasn't amended to change anything. Only a Court saw fit to make change. A minority of 5 people in most cases have ruled what 300 million people, now, can or can't do.

    How do you justify minority rule?
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/29  at  03:05 PM
  19. One other throught. Do you understand the difference in State and Federal powers regarding religious issues?

    "In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State or Church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805. ME 3:378
    Are you trying to move to the Federal level what was to be left at the State level?
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/29  at  03:31 PM
  20. "A minority of 5 people in most cases have ruled what 300 million people, now, can or can
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  07/29  at  06:02 PM
  21. Pardon me if I did, I thought I said you were denying the placement of God in all the state Constitution, not God, before, during and after, the Constitution of the U.S.

    However, we do need to be clear. I do believe in Separation at the Federal Level and personally at the State Level or at least from the aspect that Jefferson and Madison presented it in Virginia and which was the basis for the U.S. Constitution's intent.

    Let's look at what that document said about Religious Freedom and God. If anything scares me, it is turning the government over to any but the body of the people. For example right now, in the middle east, I don't believe it is Iran's leader pulling the strings of Hezbollah but rather the "religious leaders" over President Ahmadinejad and who are also over other leaders and terrorist groups. They "allow" him to declare "holy war" and the people respond because their religious leaders tell them it is ok to respond. We don't want that here. So, separation is important but keeping it in the perspective of our founders is also important.


    Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

    Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/29  at  06:42 PM
  22. And though we well know that this assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act to be irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present, or to narrow its operation, such act shall be an infringement of natural right.
    You will note, they make sure that the purpose of religious freedom is to let each person worship God.
    Here is that key sentence
    That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do;
    The make sure that they are doing what God wants. Let all people come to or reject God, but make no law to force. They don't however, say the majority can't have displays, prayers, or religious holidays as all States and the Nation does, but that they couldn't force someone to agree with or support those things.

    What the secular humanist religion is doing, now is try to get all rights of the majority stripped and the minority rule as to what shall be allowed.

    How do I know what 300 million people want? Simple, I look at the laws in each of the States and their Constitution and I find God, religious holidays, religious displays and across the nation something like
    81% of American adults identify themselves with a specific religion:
    bullet76.5% (159 million) of Americans identify themselves as Christian. This is a major slide from 86.2% in 1990. Identification with Christianity has suffered a loss of 9.7 percentage points in 11 years -- about 0.9 percentage points per year. This decline is identical to that observed in Canada between 1981 and 2001. If this trend continues, then by about the year 2042, non-Christians will outnumber the Christians in the U.S.
    bullet52% of Americans identified themselves as Protestant.
    bullet24.5% are Roman Catholic.
    bullet1.3% are Jewish.
    bullet0.5% are Muslim, followers of Islam.

    Now, the survey shows why we need religious freedom and the right of the majority to change their state and national Constitution although religion would apply only to the State Constitution as intended by our founders since they believed as Jefferson it was "Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General [i.e., federal] Government. It must then rest with the States,"

    So, as Christianiy slips from the role of majority to either one of many minority religions, or a minority with some other religion held by the majority, the states should have the right to change the religious displays, eliminate them or create "Holy day," that the new majority wish in place of the Holidays we now have.

    At any rate, until we change the Constitution of the State, and deny the majority the right to rule, we should at least stand by the plan laid down by our founders of not only the nation, but the founders of each state which were to have all powers in this area, left to them. (with Congress empowered, not the Court, by the 14th Amendment providing oversight). Remember it was the majority that created the state, the nation, all constitutions, all laws, all government powers, all punishments, etc. It was not any Court, but rather the majority through their representatives under their State Constitution for all but the few limited areas given the Federal Governmnt.

    It is that proces that has been violated by turning government over to the Court and allowing 5 people to tell 300 million what to do whether the 300 million agree with it or not. The process that if the people want to change something, they must do it. They can't pass it off to a Court as some matter of convenience to avoid the longer process set down by the Constitution.

    Again, I have no problem with anybody wanting something different that what was occurring at the beginning of the nation. Change is not what I am against. I am only against change when it is done outside the process the allows the will of the people to be carried out in each State if a State issue and the will of the people for the nation in the case of national issues. That means the Court isn't the method for change in either case.
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  07/29  at  06:44 PM
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