Category: Separation of Church & State Issues


Since 1989, when the correspondence between the Danbury Baptist Association and Thomas Jefferson was brought into the spotlight critics of religion have been scurrying in a failed attempt to show that Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists shows that Jefferson held to the belief that religion had nothing to do with government or that our government could not, in any way, give aid to any religion; that is unless that religion happens to be “Secular/Religious Humanism.”  I stated in my article What Does The 1st Amendment Teach? that in order to know what the First Amendment teaches one would need to go back to the time when the 1st Amendment was written and see what the writers of it were thinking.  In a later article written by Andrew J. Mikel it becomes very clear that the writers of the 1st Amendment to the Constitution were NOT trying to do away with religion in government, but rather they were trying to get away from what they had recently been under–a government that allowed only ONE religious belief to be practiced; a government that favored only ONE religious belief.  The writers of the 1st Amendment wanted our government to treat all religions with fairness and equality.  Jefferson did indeed bring up what is called the “Wall of Separation of Church & State,” but Jefferson’s idea was not to squelch religion, but to have all religious beliefs treated equally.

Letter to Thomas Jefferson

Danbury Baptist Association’s letter to Thomas Jefferson, October 7, 1801.

SS
ir, — Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your Election to office; we embrace the first opportunity which we have enjoyd in our collective capacity, since your Inauguration, to express our great satisfaction, in your appointment to the chief Majestracy in the United States; And though our mode of expression may be less courtly and pompious than what many others clothe their addresses with, we beg you, Sir to believe, that none are more sincere.

Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty — That Religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals — That no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious Opinions – That the legitimate Power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor: But Sir our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the Laws made coincident therewith, were adopted on the Basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our Laws & usages, and such still are; that Religion is considered as the first object of Legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements, as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretense of government & Religion should reproach their fellow men — should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order because he will not, dare not assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

Sir, we are sensible that the President of the United States, is not the national legislator, and also sensible that the national government cannot destroy the Laws of each State; but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved President, which have had such genial affect already, like the radiant beams of the Sun, will shine and prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and Tyranny be destroyed from the Earth. Sir, when we reflect on your past services, and see a glow of philanthropy and good will shining forth in a course of more than thirty years we have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the chair of State out of that good will which he bears to the Millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence & the voice of the people have cald you to sustain and support you in your Administration against all the predetermined opposition of those who wish to rise to wealth & importance on the poverty and subjection of the people.

And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.

Signed in behalf of the Association.

Nehh Dodge
Ephram Robbins The Committee
Stephen S. Nelson

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/dba_jefferson.html

This letter does not, in any way, ask that the President play favoritism or favor one religion over others and make that religion the state religion.  In short, they are not asking to make the Baptist Church the state church.  Some have tried to argue that the Danbury Baptists were asking Jefferson to make Christianity the state religion, but such is not the case.  1) they state that religion is between God and man, 2) that the legitimate power of civil govern is to govern the people of the nation.  They tell Jefferson that the present (their present) constitution was not specific about religion in our country as far as government was concerned.  They were concerned that some might find a way to use the government to further their religion to the opposition of the others.  They complained that the current laws concerning religion were adopted on the Basis of our government, at the time of our revolution, and they felt that these could be abused.  The religious privileges which were allowed, they enjoyed “as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights” which they felt the government should give.  As citizens in this country, our religious privileges should not come as favors from the government; this would allow the government to be able to say what religious privileges should be given and what ones shouldn’t.  Religious privileges (according to the 1st Amendment) should come to us as inalienable right.  We should have the right to worship God as we see fit, or not to worship God if we so see fit.  This has nothing to do with what the Bible teaches, but with what the Constitution teaches.  They simply wanted assurance that the constitution would not be so distorted that one religion would be set above all others.  This was a big issue with these people, as they didn’t want to go back to that state that the pilgrims left when they left Britain.  Jefferson’s response to the Danbury Baptists follows:

Mr. President

To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.

Gentlemen

The affectionate sentiments 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, & 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 & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] 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 & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.

(signed) Thomas Jefferson
Jan.1.1802.

http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.htm

Jefferson’s letter was meant to sooth the worries of the Danbury Baptists to let them know that there was, in the Constitution, a wall so erected between Church & State, that the government could not be used to further one religion above all others.  The so-called phrase that was left out of the finished letter does not add any strength to the critic’s position, as all it does is to state that the government is inhibited from acts respecting religion, and that Jefferson refrained from prescribing even things such as prayer (in the government) on a voluntary basis unlike the government who mandated these things.  He undoubtedly did this so that no one would be able to accuse him of respecting one religion over another.  In short Jefferson is reassuring the Danbury Baptists that our constitution was written in such a way so as to keep the government from setting one religious belief above the others.

Now with all that being said, it also needs to be said that at no time did the Danbury Baptists or Thomas Jefferson condemn the use of God’s name in government.  At no time does Jefferson’s letter refute the use of “under God” in the pledge of allegiance, or “in God we trust” on our money.  At no time does Jefferson’s letter teach (either by implication of explication) that prayer in public school is contrary to our constitution.  Yet his letter has been, many times, to show that these things do go contrary to the 1st amendment.

Our children are in danger of losing their heritage because the atheist does not like the idea that the pledge of allegiance contains the phrase “one nation under God.”  They are upset because they desperately want to eradicate God from society so they won’t have to feel guilty because they know that they are not going to obey him.  They don’t want any reminders at all.  Therefore they work to eradicate God from society.

The atheists in Liberal, MO couldn’t even make one city work as an atheistic city, so what makes them think that they can make an entire nation work as an atheistic nation.  Man never learns from the mistakes of his predecessors, he just keeps making the same mistakes over and over.  Atheists are working to turn this nation into an atheistic nation.  They don’t want churches anywhere.  They don’t want God mentioned in either public or private; and if God is taken from society in public, it won’t be long until he is eradicated from the private lives of the nation’s citizens.  Bible believers have sat back too long and have closed their eyes to what is going on in our country.  We have bought into the idea that there is no threat from atheists to take our religious freedom from us; this is a lie that all atheists want us all to believe.

On the most recent program The Good Wife, Mrs. Flores didn’t want her daughter  joining up with “Christians” who were fighting for their cause at school.  Her daughter asked her why, and her response was:  “because Christians are in no danger of becoming a minority.”  This is what the media wants us to believe.  They want us to continue to buy into the lie that Christianity is in no danger so that they can easily eject God from our lives.  We as Bible believers and believers in God need to recognize this lie as a lie and go forward and teach others what is going on.  If the atheist didn’t want to eradicate God from society they wouldn’t work so hard to do away with “one nation under God” in the pledge, “in God we trust” off of our money, the “Ten Commandments” off of our court rooms, etc.,.  They will use whatever means they have to in order to pull this off.  On the show The Good Wife, there was a scene of the daughter looking at a video on her computer about a kid telling people that Jesus was a rebel and he wanted children to question their parents and all other authority.  He did this by taking Mt. 10:35 and Lk. 12:53 out of their contexts.  This makes the Christian look evil and wanting division.  Actually the Bible teaches that children are to obey their parents (Eph. 6:1 and Col. 3:20).  However, this is done for the sole purpose of declaring Christianity as unfit for people.  People believe what they see on TV and when they see something like this they tend to believe it.

We as Christians need to stand up against the lies that are being told, and we need to show that these lies are being told so the atheist can eradicate God from society.  There is no wall of separation between church and state as understood and taught by the atheist.  The only wall of separation between church and state in the constitution is the one that keeps the government from erecting one religion above all the others, and this includes secular/religious humanism which the atheists/religious humanists are working to set above all others so that all will have to be a part of their religion.  We won’t go back to the way it was done in Great Britain.  Our forefathers left that country because of that very issue, and we will not stand still while a select few bring that principle to our United States of America.

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[EDITOR’S NOTE* While looking through some things after our last move I came across this article that was mailed to me while I was preaching for the church of Christ in Waynesville, MO in 1998. There are, of course, some things that I disagree with Mr. Mikel about concerning religious matters. However, the main thrust of the article is not about the Bible, but about our way of life which is quickly being eradicated by the atheist and religious humanists in our country. I felt that it was essential to reproduce Mr. Mikel’s article as he wrote it so that people could see just what the intent of the founding fathers was regarding the first amendment to the Constitution and the so-called letter of “Separation of Church and State” written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists in 1802. I am not endorsing an ecumenical movement, but I do feel that Mr. Mikel’s had some very important things to say in his article. Jerry D. McDonald February 23, 2011].

PLAIN TRUTH:

Addressed To The

INHABITANTS

OF

AMERICA

On The Following Interesting Subject:

I. Of The Origin, Design and Intent of the First Amendment.

Andrew J. Mikel

“It is essential in the life of our dual government that the power and functions of the state government be maintained in all the fullness  that they were intended to have by the framers of the Constitution” (William Howard Taft, 27th President and 10th Supreme Court Justice).

It is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican  principals is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian Religion” (Noah Webster, America’s Schoolmaster).

What does the Constitution actually say about the freedom of religion?  The word religion appears in two places in the Constitution.  The first, in the Bill of Rights, and the second occurs in Article IV of the Constitution concerning religious tests as a requirement for public office.  Before we go on, let us address what the Bill of Rights are in the words of patriot Samuel Adams.

“The Bill of Rights was created because the people wished to see a line drawn as clearly as may be between the Federal powers vested in Congress and distinct sovereignty of the several states upon which the private and personal rights of the citizens depend.  Without such distinction there will be a danger of the Constitution issuing imperceptibly and gradually into a consolidated government over all the states…[T]he population of the United States live in different climates, of different education and manners, and possessed of different habits and feelings [and] under one consolidated government cannot long remain free”

What is Samuel Adams trying to warn of concerning the Bill of Rights?  First it talks about the “sovereignty of the several states.”  Sovereignty is described in Webster’s Dictionary as “supreme and independent authority.”  So, if the states are sovereign, they are the supreme authority in the affairs of its citizens, not the Federal Government.  Many conservative politicians mention the importance of down sizing of the Federal government, and is a direct result of the Bill of Rights as well as the intent of our Founding Fathers.  Theirs was of concern for the liberties they were trying to protect from an abusive central government, as experienced in Great Britain.

The next part of Samuel Adams’ statement is that the citizens private and personal rights depend on these sovereignties.  The Founding Fathers were well aware of the abuse of power that would result if a central government was given too much power.  England had a history of abuses in Scotland, Ireland, and into the colonies.  The basis for the sovereignty of the individual states was the protection of freedoms.  The Bill of Rights specifically laid out the powers and LIMITS of the Federal Government.  “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 (Article X of the Bill of Rights).  The powers granted to the new Federal Government were not exclusive or the same powers EXISTING in the states, which is why the First Amendment keeps the Federal Government from legislating in the matter of religion; each state had its own laws concerning religion.

In the last part of his statement, Samuel Adams says that with the diversity of people (as we have a great diversity of people today) in the different states, each state having its own mannerisms (culture) and unique contributions  to the contrary as a whole (which the Federal Government robs of this kitty of freedom when matters of religion are federally legislated), people cannot retain freedom won in the Revolution under a consolidated Government.  The Federal Government removes prayer from school, legalizes abortion, destroys history for many children by removing true accounts of American Heritage because they don’t want our children to know that this country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and that 52 out of the 55 signers of the Constitution were devout Christians, of different religions as Baptists, Catholics, etc.,. but their faith was there.

The most noteworthy Christian of the time was George Washington, the Father of our country.  Washington spoke more than once on the pillars of this country being “RELIGION,” and “MORALITY.”  He spoke of “all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Man and citizens.”  Does Religion and Morality exist in our political arena today?

As we noted earlier, the states are sovereign, the Federal Government LIMITED by the Bill of Rights and that the key to success in political prosperity are Religion and Morality.

Let us take a look at the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

[Article One]

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 to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Let us examine the context of OUR First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion….”  What does this statement mean?  As Justice James Williams explained, “The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statue is to discover the meaning of those who made it.”  In the words of George Mason, member of the Constitution and the “Father of the Bill of Rights:”  “[A]ll en have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others.”  So when the First Amendment was drafted, its true intent was not to prohibit the free exercise of religion, but to ensure that the Federal Government did not favor one certain CHRISTIAN as England with the Anglican Church or Spain with the Catholic Church.  All Christians and the various religions of Christianity were to be treated equal in the Federal Government’s eyes.

The Federal Government cannot favor one religion, but I give you that our Federal Government is favoring one right now, that being called Secular Humanism as defined in the Humanist Manifesto I and II.  Instead of a belief in God, humanists believe in man’s ability to be good without Divine Providence.  As I said, it is a religion, a set of ideals, and protected under the Federal Government.  but the Constitution PROHIBITS this favoritism to the beliefs of humanism.  This is a state or individual issue to address, definitely not the Federal Government.

The Federal Government is prohibited the “free exercise thereof’ in the name of humanism by prohibiting prayer in the public schools (a school board issue…let the parents decide), removal of the Ten Commandments from public buildings (a community decision), denial of an open display of nativity scenes in public ares unless sufficient secular displays are also involved to keep it from appearing religious (County of Allegheny v ACLU 1989).  Is Christianity being erased?  The whole foundation of this country was based on Christianity, as can be found in many writing of the members of the Constitutional Convention and in the signers of the Declaration of Independence, our Country’s charter for existence.    Where has our heritage gone?  James Madison stated that “The civil rights of NONE shall be abridged on the account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established” (such as humanism).  Humanism is described in Webster’s Dictionary as “an ethical THEORY that often rejects the importance in a belief in God.”  So our Federal Government is endorsing this very notion that our young should reject God, by eliminating any evidence of religion in our Country by editing textbooks, eliminating prayer in school, and the list goes on as many Supreme Court cases are referenced.  Is this right?  I say NO!!!!

The rest of the First Amendment states “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.”  Abridging the freedom of speech…to deprive a citizen in speaking freely.  Notice there is no context in this amendment saying “except in public schools, or in public buildings.”  It just clearly says, in black and white, Freedom of Speech!  Has the government infringed on these God given rights too?  I give you the following:

1) it is unconstitutional for a classroom library to contain books which deal with Christianity, or for a teacher to be seen with a personal copy of the Bible at school (Wallace v Jaffree, 1985).

2) It is unconstitutional for a kindergarten class to ask whose birthday is celebrated by Christmas (Florey v Sioux Falls School District, 1979).

3) It is unconstitutional for a school graduation ceremony to contain an opening or closing prayer (Harris v Joint School District, 1994; Gearon v Loudoun Country School Board, 1993; Lee v Weisman, 1992; and many more cases).

There are two things to note here besides the unconstitutionality of these verdicts.  One, is that one individual, in most cases, took offense to a School Board or District, and won in the Supreme Court.  One person changed the lives of many school children by objecting to Christianity, going against the elected officials of the school board.  No wonder parents and school boards feel helpless in these matters.  The decision making power of the parents and the community have been handed over to the Supreme Court.  What of the parents who wanted our children to know “religion and morality?”  This leads to the second point to note…it is affecting our children, America’s children, America’s future!  All the hogwash in defending the rights of a humanist minority against a vast majority of Christians (80-85% last I read).  As Christians, I am referring to all, such as Lutheran, Catholic, Wesleyan, Assembly of God, Baptists, and all others who profess Christi as the Savior (forgive me if I don’t list them all, as a mighty task it would be try try).  Our children are the ones loosing the benefit.  It was once said in the founding of our country that we can teach children morals, values, religion, heritage, or we can heavily invest in our penal system.  Sad to say, but our country is slowly choosing the latter.

Another topic always comes up when discussing the First Amendment:  “Separation of Church and State.”  Church is never mentioned in the Constitution; religion is.  The true revelation of it all is the fact that…NOWHERE IS THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE MENTIONED IN THE CONSTITUTION!!!  Where did the separation of church and state come from?  This phrase came from Thomas Jefferson.  Let me share this with you in its original context.

Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists on 01 January 1802

GENTLEMEN,–The affectionate sentiments 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 should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between church and State. 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.

What is Jefferson saying in his PERSONAL letter to the Danbury Baptists? Well, if we put ourselves in colonial times, Baptists were the radicals of the day when the colonies were more comfortable with the orthodox, conservative churches. Baptists in New Haven, Conn. Could be seen preaching from the jails, as recalled by young Alexander Hammilton. Jefferson was assuring the Danbury Baptists that there to protect them from federal scrutiny and to protect their freedoms. Nowhere in this letter does it state that it is the eradication of Christianity from public service! If it did, why did it take over 150 years to discover?…because it was definitely NOT THE INTENT of the letter or the First Amendment. For Jefferson stated later on in his life “can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost our only firm basis, a convictions in the minds of the people that these liberties are the GIFT OF GOD? That they are not to be violated but with his ?” Jefferson believed that our freedoms and rights were a gift from God. If he truly believed in the separation of church and state that is forced down our throat by the Supreme Court; why, I ask, would he acknowledge our rights coming from God? I tell you this, the whole of the separation of church and state followers have rallied around one statement taken out of context as their whole support in the removal of Christianity.

There were 55 delegates who signed the constitution, and 52 of them were Godly men. George Washington, our first President, was an open, humble, man devoutly faithful to God. The same holds true for our second President, John Adams (and the list goes on!!!). In the ideals in religion being void in government and public, how did a devout Godly an become the first President? One of the first acts of Congress was the print Bibles for the Indians. Is this a secular, humanist, government who prints Bibles? The Supreme Court opens with “God save the United States.” Congress has a tradition of opening with prayer, initiated by Benjamin Franklin during the Constitutional Convention. Congress also has a Chaplain appointed. Does this sound of a government devoid of religion? If separation of church and state were intended in the context of some, all these traditions would have never originated, the constitution never signed, and our country would have never achieved the greatness we have.

What can we do? Is there still hope? YES…approximately 50% of our citizens cannot find it upon themselves to practice their duties to country by voting. I charge all to vote for the Godly men who can take this country back to where it was intended to be. Churches need to lay down their differences in protecting the rights of all; don’t compromise your faith, just work for the common good of Christianity! Call your Federal, State, and Local elected officials and tell them how you feel. It can make a difference! Godly men take the call to politically bring this Country back to its faith, traditions, morality, and religion, “the pillars.” Teddy Roosevelt once said “If decent people do not like the way politicians behave, they should either get into politics or refrain from complaining about anything politicians do.”

I also respectfully submit that our Congressmen find in their heart, their Patriotic sense of duty to cut the bonds of humanism forced upon us by the Federal Government and Supreme Court under the guise of the Constitution. It is blasphemy!

Let me end by quoting James McHenry, a member of the Continental Congress and Secretary of War (he directed the establishment of West Point).

“In vain, without the Bible, we increase penal laws and draw entrenchments around our institutions. Bibles are strong entrenchments. Where they abound, men cannot pursue wicked courses, and at the same time enjoy a quiet conscience.”



Much debate centers on the meaning of the 1st Amendment which states:  “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.”  Atheists, along with religious humanists argue that the 1st amendment guarantees that nothing religious can be endorsed by the government.  This is argued in order to get prayer taken out of the school, the words “One Nation Under God” taken out of the pledge of allegiance, and “In God We Trust” taken off of our currency.  If they had their way there would be NO, God based religion in this country whatever.

On the podcast of Freedom Radio on November 20, 2010, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, played the song “Imagine” by John Lennon, who in the song wanted his hearers to imagine a world without churches, heaven or hell.  I don’t know if this song is played every week or not, but it was on this one.  Dan Barker, states that their program is there to insure the “Jefferson Wall of Separation of Church & State.”  These people believe that the constitution guarantees that the U.S. Government cannot, in any way, endorse religion, but their belief is wrong.

The 1st amendment states that Congress cannot make a law making one religion the state religion and down grade any other religion as was done in England.  This is what the following words mean:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”  In England the government had “The Church of England” and unless you were a member of that church you had no right to worship God.  England tried to have a theocracy so that the church and state were one and the same.  This is what Jefferson, and others, added the 1st amendment to stop.  There was nothing in their minds that forbade the government from recognizing God as Supreme and Sovereign.  There was nothing, in their minds, that would forbid the government from even using the phrase “In God We Trust.”  All of these men believed in God, and they would all be turning over in their graves if they knew what was being done in their names today.  What these people wanted to stop was what England had done and that was to stop people from believing as they pleased, which is clearly spelled out in the final words of that sentence “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”  Atheists/humanists don’t quote the last part of that sentence because those words explain the first part of the sentence.

It has been said that the Marbury V. Madison case in 1803 gave Supreme Court Justices the right to interpret the constitution and make decisions accordingly.  This is all well and good, but one needs to properly interpret the constitution and not mis-interpret it.  What the ACLU, FFRF, and others are doing today is mis-interpreting the constitution.  They are not using proper rules of interpreting when they arbitrarily claim that the 1st amendment.

In order to properly interpret the 1st amendment one needs to look at it from the eyes of those who wrote it. What were they thinking?  The writers of the 1st amendment didn’t want our government to set up a single religion so as to force everyone to be a member of it.  They wanted everyone to be free to worship God as they saw fit, or not worship if that is what a person saw fit to do.  They didn’t want people to be penalized for not being part of a certain religion.  However, this is not part of modern thinking.  Today those who argue that the 1st amendment forbids any kind of religious adherence in the government completely ignore the mind of those who wrote the 1st amendment.

If humanists/atheists, today, were honest with themselves, they would know that they have no standing.  However, they are not honest with themselves or anyone else.  They know what they want–the eradication of a God based religion, period.  They want to set up their own religion–a godless religion–as the state religion.  They do not want God in government.  They don’t want God in the public school.  If they had their way God would not exist in the hearts of anyone in this country.

They claim to be free thinkers, and they claim to uphold free thinking.  However, that only holds if you think as they think.  Their definition of “free thinking” is thinking “free of religion.”  If a person thinks that God exists and decides to follow God, then they claim he is not being a “free thinker” and he is ridiculed.  Free thinking should be, and this is what the founding fathers had in mind, that one is free to think and believe as he wishes.  This is what the 1st amendment guarantees.  The so-called “Separation of Church & State,” as understood by atheists/humanists today,  simply does not exist in the 1st amendment.

The government does not violate the constitution when the 10 commandments are allowed in our Court Rooms, or when prayer is made at a high school football game, or even when Congress offers prayer before going into session, anymore than it violates the 1st amendment when it has chaplains in the U.S. military.  To have the phrase “One Nation Under God” eradicated from our pledge of allegiance because of a supposed violation of the 1st amendment would be a severe injustice to our nation.  To have the phrase “In God We Trust” eradicated from our currency would be severe injustice.  Neither of these violate the constitution of the United States.  In looking at this through the eyes of Thomas Jefferson and others who wrote the 1st amendment, it is easily seen that what they had in mind and what people today have in mind are two totally different things.  If one is going to interpret the 1st amendment, then interpret it, but properly interpret it.  Look at what the founding fathers were saying and interpret it based on that.  If that is done, all this debate on what violates the 1st amendment will stop.