UI – Part 144 – Constitution, Bible and America
One real life incident shared involved two students praying with a teacher, the teacher having lost a loved one or was suffering an illness, when an observer, another teacher, called them out for praying on campus, a public place, which lead to a reprimand by the school. Another involved a student who gave a verbal presentation and spoke of the Bible and God and was stopped by the professor, told not to discuss religion and given a failing grade. The other students were surprised and supportive of their peer.
Calls for removal of religious symbols from public places are heard and read about on a daily basis it seems, to include a copy of the Ten Commandments. Atheists constantly look for crosses on public lands and hire attorneys to file suits for removal. Bibles have been removed from libraries. Curriculums have had references to God, the Bible and Jesus redacted. Praying with students in a cafeteria at lunch, coaches saying a prayer before a football game and other public displays of faith have been subjected to legal suits – the basis a call for separation of Church and State, removal of anything religious, and today more so anything Christian, from any public locale.
And we have a Constitution that protects Freedom of Religion?
What has gone wrong?
The fallacy of the ACLU, miss-guided and self-purposed judges, and defenders of atheism in crying ‘separation of Church & State’ is to be found in a study of the rational of the Founders behind the substance, language and intent of the American Constitution.
Separation of Church and State is a myth.
America was designed and structured to be most accommodating. Various religions, religious ideals, cultures, family values and traditions were all welcomed. Even the atheists, humanists and secularists were to be fully considered. The poor, the weary, the deprived and the advantaged and disadvantaged were encouraged to come to the New World to enjoy freedoms denied in other places, Countries, and cultures. It was to be a melting pot, a stew, of human ingredients that seasoned each other with the tastes of the world.
What, however, would avoid chaos and ensure order in this paradise of liberty?
Serious thought was given to the framing of an agreement[i] that would enable the blending of anyone from anywhere to live in peaceful co-existence. The foundation for the agreement was the synthesis of the greatest of the moral good from the composite of those that could be assembled. Inherent in that challenge was the source of what is ‘Good’. Another critical element was having a level playing field. Fairness was to be a shared benefit. Equality was the applicable term. Where there was equality of men and women, races, and faiths there would be rights each human would find appealing and workable. It may not be perfect from a strict fundamentalist perspective, based on the works of different religions or denominations, but ideal for protecting our borders, providing safe neighborhoods, security and privacy in one’s home and safeguards and/or punishment for society’s evils. The civil laws would be made for the common man, all-inclusive, all rights, freedoms considered.
Society’s evils arise when those in authority abuse power or design absolute powers that disenfranchise the proletariat from common privileges that are to be accorded to everyone.
God – Bible
To accomplish this goal and write the Constitution the source document offering the most ‘Good’, the greatest liberty, the freedoms desired and the moral constraints most applicable, was the Bible.
To our Founders God was accepted as the ultimate authority, the embodiment of moral authority. For Americas’ Founders God was a reality. God is a reality. God was the sufficient reason for the existence of the universe. God was the reason we exist, our dependence on each derived from the One that could only be our creator. God was that which set everything in motion – the Unmoved Mover (St Thomas Aquinas). From the logic of Anselm – God is the greatest conceivable being. This is true by definition – for if we could conceive of something greater than God, then that would be God.
Consider the Love God must have for us all to create the cosmos, this earth, this world in which we have the opportunity to live, to co-exist, to share in God’s gift, and to decide freely the direction we wish to take in following (or not) Gods’ commandments. If you considered the conflict that continues throughout the world, in specific areas or on a more universal scale, one can only ask the question ‘why?’, what rational is there for any human to have difficulty with a neighbor. How can there be such bitterness that would cause one culture, sect or tribe to overtly desire and act to exterminate another. We should all be thankful for being in God’s embrace within the borders of his world. We should be greeting our neighbors each day with smiles, affirmative nods, saying verbally or otherwise, “Are we not fortunate to be among God’s children this day and at this time?”
The Christian God, the Biblical God, offered the Founders the most comprehensive basis for civil laws that would achieve the goal of peaceful co-existence in this new free mix of people. The rules, rule-of-law, necessary to assure equal treatment of one another, rich and poor, weak and powerful, sick and healthy, those in authority and those subject to the leaders were delineated with the common person in mind.
The Founders never intended to take the Bible out of the public arena. It had nothing to do with Christianity vis-à-vis another faith. The religious leaders, the evangelists and the proselytizers were left to their own devices. They were, however, to operate within the boundaries of the laws common to all. Within the ‘walls’ of their faith they could lead according to the Word, their Scripture, but with limitations imposed only to ensure those outside the faith would not be harmed or otherwise compromised. They were to be respected for their beliefs. The ‘wall’ was not one of complete separation, but of their approach to justification, sanctification and salvation. Each religion could compete, if you like, by presenting their faith to the populace, in the public square, allowing independent minds to decide themselves. This is the blessing of freedom. Those in opposition could continue to say ‘no’, never as a form of resistance and total exclusion, but as a personal expression as a competitor for the heart and soul of the individual.
The Bible, the moral and ethical principles outlined, had all to do with the reason and the source of America’s civil laws. It was the glue that was to bind our loose knit society together. It remains so today and all who believe in God must be vocal in having it remain so.
The Wall between Church and State
Separating Church and State was gleaned from a private letter written in 1801 between Thomas Jefferson and the Baptists of Danbury, CT assuring them that the intent of the Constitution would protect their religion from the Federal Government imposing a National Religion, as was the case in many of the countries immigrants to America left behind. He referred to it as a ‘wall.’ The excerpted and often referenced sentence, first, was never intended to be used as a decision-making tool of the Supreme Court, as in doing so it was taken out of context. And second, the concept was never intended to remove the Bible as a document to be read or displayed in public places, to include schools, auditoriums, courts or parking areas on public property. The oratory platform of the public square was to always welcome a discussion on any topic, to include the Bible and religion. Diverse philosophies, atheists’ dénouement of God, political rhetoric, and topics of local or general interest were to be encouraged. It was a Country where speech was free. As to reading the Bible, studying and understanding the Bible, it was to make known the moral and ethical principles upon which America was founded. It was not to make Christians or Jews of others. Allowed also was the reading of books and articles that opposed the Bible from a religious perspective, or promoted another religion, ideology, or faith.
The public platform was for all persuasions.
The basis for the Constitution must be understood and appreciated. It is why we are Americans. Constraints on what was said or proclaimed was to only occur when it became subversive, or treasonous, and could lead to or support undermining or changing the structure of Government as finally agreed upon by the Constitution’s Signatories.
Repression of Values
In a recent debate among some Presidential hopefuls it was noted that the degree to which the left – democrats, liberals, and progressives – is prepared to impose intolerance and to drive out of existence traditional religion, those traditions embodied in the Bible, is a mortal threat to our American civilization and deserves to be taken head on. People must know it for what it is – which is the use of Government to repress the American people against their own values. Those values are founded in the Bible which in turn was used to establish the Constitution. Are we being subjected to coercive acts intended to change the landscape and freedoms of this Country to the benefit of an entitlement culture, a progressive, socialistic, immoral nation without boundaries, without limitations and without recourse for aggressive acts that favor the entrenched. The poor will become poorer in such a scenario. The weak will be used. Power will be coalesced into the hands of a few and used for personal gain, not for the People of the Nation as a whole. Human Rights will not be as our Founders intended.
With the removal of the Bible is God also being excluded from American Society?
Multiculturalism has been mentioned in the past. Such sub-sets within a society create ‘walls’ of separation that are divisive. It is a greater Wall problem that separation of Church and State. If we are to be One Nation we must not allow Walls to separate cultures, religions, ideologies or organizations of separatist leanings. We need to be unified in language and acceptance of the founding principles, diligent in insuring they remain unchanged, and encouraging to those who seek major changes to find another Nation that offers what they seek.
What is happening with Obama? The Progressives seek to change our Constitution. Muslims, the Islamists, the fundamentalists seek to change our Constitution to meet only the standard of their ideology – Sharia or Islamic Law to be the civil law of the land. That is happening when those that call for redistribution of wealth encourages the have-nots to become the pawns for voting for false promises. Nothing is free except the opportunity to be what you want to be. If the opportunity is removed and the successes mitigated by sharing arrangements disproportionate to the success, the incentive for a great America will be erased. It will be redacted as the Bible is being redacted for reasons not in concert with the intentions of the Founders of this Great Nation of God.
Our Government and justice system is allowing Freedom of Religion to be limited to private property. Freedom of Religion is not free anymore on public property. Is that the freedom we expect from this great Nation?
Pray this Nation will continue to see God as the ultimate authority. Pray all oaths will remain a pledge to God and not to man, a system or an ideology, as there can be no greater. Pray those who take an oath of office will honor and respect their word which they have given to the ultimate eternal power. There is no religious test for a candidate for public office in the Constitution. That is separation. And the oath to God stands alone, calling for all elected officials to recognize and agree that God is. God is the creator of the Universe. Taking an Oath to uphold the Constitution is recognizing a higher power and respecting that authority above all else. An Oath is to be taken with conviction and belief in the true God. It is to be honored. It is not to be taken by those who believe lying (takiyya) to advance a concept in opposition to the Constitution. I am not attempting a polemic on whether God and Allah are the same, recognizing though the programs for living as written in the guide books of each religion are different. The program for America was Biblical.
Grace and Peace.
[i] The Constitution of the United States.