Wednesday, July 01, 2015

On the Separation of Church and State

The problem with the "separationists" beliefs about the "separation of church and state" issue, is that they don't understand what the Constitution says or means, or the historical influences that helped to form it. The 1st Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".   I don't know that that has happened anywhere in this country. Art. 6 of the US Constitution provides that there shall be no religious test as a requirement to hold public office. These are the only mentions in the Constitution regarding religion, and neither to my knowledge have been violated.

The Declaration of Independence invokes God in its opening paragraph as the authority upon which the colonist draw the right to seceded from Great Britain, "to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them . . .". And in the final paragraph, God again is called upon, this time with a declaration of faith; "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."

The point of this is that God is not excluded from the public forum by the Constitution. To the contrary, if you read the writings of the authors and signers of it, (and of the Declaration of Independence) you will see that they often invoked the name of God in their writing, even in the writings surrounding their official duties. It is clear that the Founders viewed the Natural Law, the laws of Nature and Nature's God, as the basis for the liberties and laws of Man.

The majority of the Founders understood Nature's God to be the Judea/Christian god. And today, a majority of Americans still recognize that same god. We are, and have been, a Judea/Christian nation, one that tolerates the religious liberties of others; thankfully so and documented so. The second paragraph of the Declaration contains one of the most recognized assertions of the Founder's belief in God and the laws of God. It declares that mankind was Created and Created equally (by God) and the rights of Man come from the Creator and are not subject to the whims of the powerful.

What are our rights and where do they come from? 

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

What then, is the purpose of government?

". . . to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed . . ."   

The open acknowledgement of God by our government doth not a theocracy make.

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