God Bless America

Happy Independence Day!

Today is the 242nd anniversary of this great country of ours. It’s sad to think of how many of our fellow Americans have forgotten some of the principles this country was founded on. I am going to share some of them today.

Photo by Jacob Morrison on Unsplash

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. – Declaration of Independence

This is the first paragraph from the first document that started it all. Written by our Founding Fathers who believed in God and who believed that we were created by God, and we were made to be free. Some will argue this doesn’t say anything about God, but then who is their “Creator”?

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. – Declaration of Independence

This shows they believed that “Divine Providence” (aka God) was guiding them and protecting them and therefore our country.

Next, we have the most abused and misunderstood Constitutional Amendment of them all the Frist Amendment:

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.  – First Amendment, United States Constitution

Constitutional Debates on Freedom of Religion

Note the word “Separation” does not appear in this amendment. What it does say is our government can not force any of its citizens to practice one common religion or any religion at all. We are all allowed to practice the religion of our choosing, or none at all. It does not say freedom from religion but freedom of religion. The Founding Fathers came from a country where they were forced to join the official “State Church” whether they wanted to or not.

“But”, you say, “even Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Constitution said there must be a separation of church and state.” Well, not exactly. People refer to Jefferson’s “Letter to the Danbury Baptists Association“. First, we will read the paragraph where the term “Separation of Church and State” comes from, as well as establishing a wall between the two:

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ʺmake no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,ʺ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

It certainly does say there should be a wall between the church and the state. But herein lies the problem, one needs to read the letter sent to Jefferson which has the question asked.

It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those who seek after power and gain under the pretense of government and religion should reproach their fellow men‐‐should reproach their order magistrate, as a enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dare not, assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make laws to govern the kingdom of Christ.

At the time of the letter, the state of Connecticut was trying to establish a state church, compelling its citizens to be members of it. The Baptist Association wanted Jefferson to clear up the matter. He confirms the state cannot force a religion on its citizens. He also says we are free to exercise the religion of our choice in public. In fact, he reiterates the government cannot establish laws saying we can’t put up manger scenes on the common, say prayers in school or at public meetings, force people to buy health insurance that pays for procedures against their religious beliefs or force anyone to perform any action against his religious beliefs.

The Declaration and the Constitution are pretty clear as they are written. It is clear what the writers intended and to try to change the meaning is wrong. God has blessed this country since its founding, but we, the people, have allowed the Evil One to change the rules. He wants to put God away where He can’t be seen. Today’s gospel reading is Mt 8:28-34. Jesus has just caused the demons to come out of two men and enter into a herd of hogs who then jump off a cliff into the sea. The people want Jesus to leave. Why? Because they don’t want someone to tell them what to do, they want to do what they want to. Doesn’t this sound familiar?

A word of warning to those who want to change the rules, be careful what you wish for, the alternative to freedom is captivity.

God bless America.

Order from Amazon here:
The Constitution of the United States and The Declaration of Independence

5 thoughts on “God Bless America

  1. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” Seems clear. I find your argument interesting. You say “it does not say that,” the you add your words (which it also does not say) so that you can clarify what they intended to say, but did not. Separation of church/religion and state is a good thing. Unless you want only ONE religion.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Establishing a religion would be the state saying that everyone has to belong to the state-sponsored religion, such as the “Church of England” which was the case in England at the time. Separation is a good thing, but banning religion from the “public square” is not. This is done using the separation argument which is not what separation is about.
      All people are allowed to profess their views in public, even groups as wrong as the KKK. If someone in Alabama wants to raise a Confederate flag, they have a right to. If I want to put a creche on the town common I have every right to. I may not agree with these views but they have every right to express them.

      1. And if one disagrees with your views? Does he have the same right? If I think you have a right to place religious views in your personal property, but not in public areas, do I have the right to disagree? Establishment does not mean “everyone” has to believe or follow it except as laws require (i.e. Sharia Law). Yes, on their property they may (and they do) fly the confederate flag. Not on mine! And not on “ours” in an official way.

      2. If one disagrees with my view he moI will use an example from my own little town. We have a town common and there are free public concerts held there on Sunday evenings. I like blues music, so when it is the week for the blues band I will go. I don’t like Hip-Hop, so when the Hip-Hop week comes, I won’t go. The Hip-Hop band has just as much right to play as the blues band, I don’t like it so I choose not to go. Just as the person who doesn’t like blues can choose not to go on that night.

        Earlier this week there was a religious event held on the same common, not sure what denomination it was, and I didn’t have the time to stop. If I had and didn’t agree with it I could just leave. If I knew it was going on and I didn’t I agree with it I could go another way.

        Because someone is using the public square or in my case, the Common to present their views, whether it is through some unknown (to me) religious denomination or through their music does not mean it is the view of the town government.

        Respectfully submitted, Paul

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