Friday, July 20, 2012

America, Religion, and Depravity

Today we witnessed a brutal and senseless killing of innocent people in a movie theater in Colorado.  Some will declare that guns are the problem and that our right to bear arms must be curtailed.  Many will look to the government for solutions, to save us from ourselves.

What most people do not realize, however, is that our Founder Fathers already solved the problem by allowing for the free practice of religion (Christianity) in both public and private sectors.  Since the 1940's, however, the Supreme Court has steadily curtailed the freedom of religion in the United States, resulting in the massive increase of depraved behavior that we observe today.

Of note, the commonly used phrase, "separation of Church and State," is not to be found in either of our founding documents, The Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.  It is a phrase written by President Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists...a phrase that has been hijacked, perverted, and perpetuated by the ignorant and those who support the eradication of Christianity from the fabric of our nation.

(The discussion that follows uses David Barton's "Separation of Church & State: What the Founders Meant" as a resource for many of the quotes that are used.)

Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
The original intent of our Founding Fathers when they drafted this Amendment was:
(1) to prevent the US Government from establishing one religious (Christian) denomination as the approved State Religion, such as the Church of England or the German Church (which Adolf Hitler successfully commandeered to help achieve his own twisted ends), and
(2) to allow the free exercise of religion in public and private venues unless "its principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order." (1878 Supreme Court ruling in Reynolds v. United States )

Furthermore, our Founding Fathers, and those who followed shortly thereafter, clearly understood that our form of government required the Christian faith to maintain order in the nation by encouraging the good conduct of its citizenry. 

George Washington:
"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 men and citizens.  The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them."  (Address of George Washington, 1796)
"[L]et us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.  Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education...reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."  (Address of George Washington, 1796)
John Adams:
"[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion...Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  (Works, 1798)
Noah Webster:
"All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." (History of the United States, 1832)
In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson alleviated concerns of the Danbury Baptist Association that the Constitution did not expressly identify the freedom of religion as an inalienable right.  Jefferson responded with a letter that reaffirmed the individual's freedom of religion that says in part:
"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. 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."  (Jefferson's Letter to Danbury Baptists, 1802) (You can also read the letter from the Danbury Baptists to Jefferson here.)
However, beginning in 1947, the Supreme Court began misinterpreting the 1st Amendment and Thomas Jefferson's letter, specifically where he spoke of "a wall of separation between Church and State."  In short, the Judicial Branch of the United States Government began deliberately rejecting the Christian foundation of our nation and the morals it teaches, which are essential to the good behavior of its citizens.

In 1947 Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court "interpreted the 'separation' phrase as requiring the federal government to remove religious expressions from the public arena--that is, it interpreted the First Amendment not as a limitation on government interference but rather as a limitation on religious expressions and principles."  ("Separation of Church & State: What the Founders Meant.", p.14)

In its 1962 Engel v. Vitale ruling, the Supreme Court perverted the meaning of the word "church" within Jefferson's letter to mean "public religious activity" instead of "denomination."  They also perverted the use of the word "state" to mean the "public square." ("Separation of Church & State: What the Founders Meant.", p.14)

In 1963 Abington v. Schempp, the Supreme Court ruled that the Bible could no longer be included in public education:
"[I]f portions of the New Testament were read without explanation, they could be and...had been psychologically harmful to the child."
In 1980 Stone v. Graham, the Supreme Court ruled against the public display of the Ten Commandments, stating:
"If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey the Commandments...[T] not a permissible...objective."
Our Founding Fathers clearly articulated that to have good citizens you need to have religion and morality.  Thus you should not have to sit for long and wonder why we have such problems in our current time...we did this to ourselves.

I will leave you with some of the findings of the Colorado Board of Education on the Columbine shootings which clearly identify the lack of moral teachings in schools being partly responsible for the depraved behavior we are seeing in our children:
"As we seek the why behind this infamous event, we must find answers beyond the easy and obvious. How weapons become used for outlaw purposes is assuredly a relevant issue, yet our society's real problem is how human behavior sinks to utter and depraved indifference to the sanctity of life. As our country promotes academic literacy, we must promote moral literacy as well, and it is not children, but adults in authority who are ultimately responsible for that....
As a Board we believe, with Edmund Burke, that all that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. We further believe that society must act now before it is too late for more innocent children. We also recognize that failing to act shall make us all accomplices in such future tragedies as may engulf our schools.
Accordingly, we make the following recommendations for renewing that unity and strength of purpose that has historically bonded our schools, our homes, and our society....
Finally, we must remember, respect, and unashamedly take pride in the fact that our schools,
like our country, found their origin and draw their strength from the faith-based morality that is
at the heart of our national character.
Today our schools have become so fearful of affirming one religion or one value over another that they have banished them all. In doing so they have abdicated their historic role in the moral formation of youth and thereby alienated themselves from our people's deep spiritual sensibilities.
To leave this disconnection between society and its schools unaddressed is an open invitation to
further divisiveness and decline. For the sake of our children, who are so dependent upon a consistent and unified message from the adult world, we must solve these dilemmas."  ("What is to be Done: Searching for Meaning in our Tragedy")

The main resource for this article is David Barton's "Separation of Church & State: What the Founders Meant."  I recommend that you obtain this pamphlet to enhance your knowledge of this topic.

Disclaimer: These opinions are solely my own, and do not reflect the opinions or official positions of any United States Government agency, organization or department.

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