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Refuting Separation of Church and State as a Constitutional Principle.
March 10, 2009
Separation of Church and State; refuting the "Constitutional Principle" argument.
Vic Biorseth, Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I submit that the so-called “Constitutional Principle” of Separation of Church and State is, indeed, not a Constitutional Principle, and is, instead, antithetical to the original constitution (i.e., government organization) of the United States of America. Many American Founders, including Adams, Madison, Jefferson, Washington and others wrote extensively about the need for a moral people, in the Judao-Christian sense of the word moral, for our Constitution to properly function and even survive. Once a people descend into immorality, a Constitution such as ours can no longer fulfill its intended function. Religion is the foundation for morality. Our religious foundation is the one handed on to us from the long history of Western Civilization, whose “morality” is described in the Judao-Christian Ethos page.
Separation of Church and State Vs.
Constitution of the United States of America; Amendment I:
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.There’s nothing tough about this; you don’t have to be a legal scholar to understand the simple English of it. The clause in question is:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;You can see at once that this clause places two legal restrictions upon the Congress, and no legal restrictions upon anyone other than Congress. The Congress is legally prohibited from:
The intention of the Founders was similarly crystal clear. Most of the Colonies-becoming-States already had legally established official State Religions in their pre-existing formational Constitutions or Charters, and they (at first) fully intended to keep them. The Delegates from the individual Colonies were seeking to prohibit the larger Federal Government form legally establishing some official National religion right over the top of their own existing, legally established, official State religions.
That was the whole purpose for the Establishment Clause being put into the First Amendment of the National Constitution. The Framers sought two things: First, to prohibit any Federal legal requirement for citizens to join any religion other than the Colonial one to which they already belonged. Second, to have religious toleration established in Federal law for open practice or “Exercise” of their existing official and legal Colonial religions. Here are our founding era official State religions:
The issue drew attention and much thought to the voluntary and free-will nature of Christian faith required of salvation, and fed the notion of freedom of religion. Over time the individual Sates each had their own “Disestablishment” movements in favor of the proven wisdom of the National Establishment Clause; today, every State has similar clauses in their own State Constitutions. The notion that the Framers intended any sort of restriction at all on any Church or Synagogue, or on any minister or theologian, is just plain ludicrous. Nor did they intend to put any restrictions on themselves regarding their public endorsements, who they supported, who contributed to their campaigns or anything else.
Legislators and Presidents and Justices were perfectly free to quote Scripture, teach Sunday School, pray in public, lead public prayer, give government dollars to Churches and Church groups and organizations, or anything else they wanted to do. And they did these things. The Clause wasn’t intended to restrict religion, but to free it. It placed two and only two very specific restrictions on Congress, and absolutely no restrictions on anyone else.
Thomas Jefferson has been taking a bum rap for a long time now, as somehow having created this “Constitutional” principle called Separation of Church and State. He did no such thing. He wrote a private letter to some Connecticut Baptists using the phrase in full support of what you just read above. Here’s Jefferson’s letter:
To messers Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.
Again, this was a private letter, not any kind of law, and President Jefferson did not intend for any part of it to ever be construed as any new law or in any way become legally binding on anyone. Even if it literally did become binding, if you read it, you see that it says exactly and precisely what the Establishment Clause says. Few documents in history have been more misrepresented than this one. Obviously, President Jefferson wasn’t too crazy about the Church of England, but his letter shows that he respected the rights of those who claimed it as their own.
Later that year President Jefferson signed into law a tax exemption for Churches in Alexandria County. The following year he made a treaty with the Kaskaskia Indians in which he pledged federal money to erect a Catholic Church for them and to provide some support their priest. Now, Jefferson wasn’t particularly fond of the Catholic Church. In fact, he wasn’t too fond of Protestantism either. (He was a Deist.)
But it’s worth noting here that President Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Father most central to this whole issue, as President, spent American tax dollars to support a Church, granted tax-free status to some other Churches, and clearly showed in his correspondence his belief in God, and his sense of duty to protect American religious freedom and independence from government.
Justice Black’s Dumb Assed Interpretation
The first Amendment, as written, bans laws that would establish a state religion; it has now been interpreted to place a wall of separation between the Church and the state. This is an invention. Jefferson, the first to use the term, intended this “wall” to protect religions from government; today’s officials interpret its intention to be to protect government from religion. They’ve turned it upside down. In the 1947 Everson case the Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment “incorporated” the establishment clause of the First Amendment, and extended the meaning of “establishment” to include “aid” to religion or religions. See?
Justice Black, for the majority:
“The “establishment of religion” clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, or church attendance or nonattendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religions organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by laws was intended to erect a “wall of separation between Church and State.”” (Emphasis added.)He just made all that up out of thin air.
The Black Court Majority was either very, very dumb, or evil. As we have already seen, Jefferson himself, and others, actually did the very things Black’s opinion said and pretended that they could not legally do. Jefferson’s wall of separation certainly did not mean that the government or members of the Government were thereafter prohibited from supporting or practicing or publicly espousing religion, or teaching Sunday School in their spare time.
This decision brought about the exact opposite of what was intended by Jefferson and the other framers: Direct government control of and interference with religion. This was a direct violation of the intention of the religion clause. The clause intention was to restrict government and free religion; this opinion restricted religion and made government supreme over it to some degree, and invented, out of nothing, a “Constitutional” legal wall of separation that had not previously existed, nor been intended by the Founders.
The Founders used to begin all proceedings, public or private, with prayer, and they did so on the day following the ratification of the Bill of Rights; they certainly did not intend to place themselves or their successors in the position of not being able to pray publicly, invoke the name of God in public speeches, quote Scripture to any audience including school children, or teach religion in their spare time, perhaps at a public school. What they did intend was to not legislate religion, and to not allow the government to hinder or restrict or control religion or religious expression. Period.
We don’t really have a crime problem, as such. We have a morality problem. Separation of Church and state provides an excuse for a pure form of part-time atheism called secularism, which supports its parent religion of atheism, which simultaneously promotes evil and directly attacks all tradition, orthodoxy and mainstream religions that oppose evil. This is a direct attack on our national Divine Ground Of Being.
Secularism is evil, pure and simple. State secularism must begin to be widely recognized for what it is, which is a religious persuasion officially established, promoted and enforced by the state; not by Congress, mind you, but by the Court. Its main agenda is religious cleansing, concentrating on Christianity, and, for the secularists, the ends justify the means.
Secularism - separation of religion and anything at all - is immoral. And, if you are any variety of mainstream monotheist, then secularism is also against your religion. Currently, it is also the law of the land.
Consider how the Secularists / Wall-Of-Separationists quite regularly ask you to put your faith aside when you step up to the blackboard, or podium, or jury box, or microphone, or voting booth, or whatever. I submit for your consideration the notion that putting your faith aside for any reason, in any environment, for even an instant, is very strictly against your religion, if you have a real religion. It cannot be claimed that it should be done for any higher purpose, for there is and can be no higher purpose.
I ask you to take a moment to quietly think about the idea of separation of Church and, not only state, but, anything at all. What moral purpose could there possibly be for you to put aside and disregard your deep religious beliefs, for a moment, or for an issue, or in an environment? Pick a time frame, pick a topic, pick a place, and think about it; perform a thought experiment. After having put aside your religious beliefs and your faith-based moral standards, and having considered the secular topic or made the secular decision or done the secular business, in the end, have your religious teachings and moral standards regarding the apparently vitally important secular topic changed? If not, then, why did you disregard them?
Question: Why would you ever be asked to put your religion aside?
Answer: To get you to choose or decide or vote for something against your religion and/or against your religious moral basis. In America, the national religious moral basis is the Western Culture Ethos, which forms the very foundation for our civil law.
There is and can be no other reason. Think about it.
Pre-American Church and State Relationships.
Ancient Rome allowed religious freedom, up to a point, in the Holy Land. There was a vaguely defined separation between temporal and ecclesial power, illustrated by the fact that the High Priest had to bring our Lord Jesus Christ before the Roman Procurator Pilate, because only the temporal law could impose the death penalty; the ecclesial authority could not legally do that. Of course, there followed many years of brutal religious persecution; it seemed that religious freedom depended largely upon the Roman ruler of the moment.
During and after the Peace of Constantine, there was a closer relationship between Church and State. Popes crowned emperors; there were even incidents of emperors nominating popes (a severe conflict of interest, since popes crowned emperors) and emperors even calling ecumenical councils. However, there always remained a separation between ecclesial authority on matters of faith and morals, and temporal authority on matters of law. The two were somewhat intertwined, of course, since civil law itself was based upon the morality that came out of the religion.
Even more interesting is the historical fact that many bishops were also princes, dukes or lords of domains in the secular order before they were raised to the purple and made bishops, or princes of the Church. There was a dual role for many of them, holding both secular power and ecclesial power. Although many bishops were common men, nobility was certainly represented in the ranks of the bishops.
Popes were once monarchs over vast European territories, which were once included in the papal estates. Over the centuries these dwindled, down to its present state, under Mussolini; the present Vatican City is now all that remains. Nevertheless, the pope is both secular and ecclesial ruler in the Vatican. It is important that the pope remain a secular ruler in an established sovereign state in order that the popes not fall under the command and influence of any secular ruler, who may impose a civil law conflicting with the moral law, and who might try to dictate, order, instruct or control the pope.
Luther’s Combination of Church and State.
Until the Reformation, separation of Church and state was not really an issue or a hot topic at all. There was, of course, some crossing of the lines; however, among Christians, there was only one faith, and that one faith – Roman Catholicism – fairly permeated all of Christian society, at all levels. As I earlier explained in For God and Country, Martin Luther invented a radical combination of Church and state, meaning, exactly, Christian theocracy.
Luther’s dictum, Cujus region, ejus rligio (Whoever’s reign, his religion) became the law of the land. A citizen’s religion became a matter of civil law. Luther’s words: “He who owns the country owns the Church, and he that makes your laws for you has the right to make your religion for you.” In the instance of Pfalz, the religion of the people was changed four times in eighty years because of this new Lutheran principle. Of course, the history of state abuse of various religions became a major reason for the colonization of America. And, as we have already seen, each new American colony established its own official state religion, so that disciples would be free to worship openly, completely unhindered by the state.
What to do about it.
I submit that, since the 1947 Everson case, our government has systematically violated our religious freedom by imposing a state religion of atheism, through a program of legal secularization. This secularization is, precisely, a program of religious cleansing, of the public square and of the American people, being done by the American government. American citizens are increasingly forced by civil law to be, appear to be or pretend to be either atheists, or such pervasive moral relativists as to be guilty of the mortal sin of indifferentism. I further submit that Justice Black and the 1947 Court was out of order in the Everson decision; that it had no foundation in precedent or existing law, that it was an arbitrary and personal opinion, that is has had tragic consequences adversely affecting the morality of the American people and the integrity of the American government. It should therefore be overturned. The Supreme Court overstepped its bounds in establishing what amounted to new law, which is unrepresentative law. It is not within the duties of the Supreme Court to dictate new law by the method of establishing bogus legal precedent of use in suppressing open Christian religious exercise and Christian religious expression anywhere in America. Such religious suppression represents an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment free exercise clause.
The 1947 Everson case should be overruled by the Legislative branch or by the Executive branch, either acting together or acting singly. The Court, the Legislature and the Executive are all co-equal branches of the American government. The Court has no dictatorial authority to establish new “Constitutional principles” that may not be found anywhere in the Constitution.
Congress and/or the President should have acted to put this aside in 1947. Since it didn’t happen then, it remains for a future government to do it.
His will be done.
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