There has been much talk for the last several years about the separation of Church and State, but certainly there is a wide range of opinions about what that really means. Many people mistake this as a constitutional principle, but there is no historical evidence to reinforce this view. The establishment clause in Amendment I of the constitution is often cited as the authority behind this concept, but the debate surrounding the drafting of the amendment does not support the current belief that there should be no invocation of God or spirituality in the public discourse. Facts reveal that the entire founding was based upon adherence to divine law and the most cited author by the American founding fathers was St. Paul, followed by John Locke and William Blackstone, all believers in the superiority of divine law over statutory law. The founding of the nation was so closely related to religious beliefs that to separate the two would not only be an abomination of historical fact but also to relegate the founding documents to be works of fiction.
The origin of the phrase “separation of church and state” was a letter Thomas Jefferson sent to the Danbury Baptist Association when he was President in 1802, a good eleven years after the Amendment was debated and ratified and in which he did not participate. Jefferson, in his letter was responding to a letter from the association complaining of state, not federal, intrusions upon the realm of their religious beliefs, as they believed that the state of Connecticut tried to grant them the privileges of worship rather than the inalienable rights granted to them by birth, as recognized by the Declaration of Independence. In their letter they acknowledged the jurisdictional sovereignty of the state over the concept of national supreme law, but they were soliciting his opinion as to why the state should have any legislative power to grant privileges or statutes regarding the practice of religion. They also acknowledged that he was not the arbiter of the law in this matter only the author of one of the most important founding documents. Jefferson’s reply was carefully crafted and was more political in nature as exposed recently when crossed out sentences and paragraphs were revealed with new FBI technology on the original draft and not a legal opinion of the first amendment as some scholars and those in the popular culture attempt to project.
It is clear from the actions of the founders, their letters to each other and their letters to others and the actions of Jefferson himself that the Constitution did not prohibit any participation of government officials or others using government facilities for religious activities. What the First Amendment prohibited was Congress making any legislation respecting religion or giving aid or preference to any particular sectarian establishment. Over the years, many religious services have been held in the different branches of the government and a sculpture of Moses holding the Ten Commandments adorns the east portico of the United States Supreme Court.
One might ask how the nation has arrived at the current state of affairs, where even a mention of the word Christmas is prohibited in America’s schools, and the once rich celebrations of religious holidays are banned by local, state and federal governments. It is apparent that over the years, and especially the last half century, that those attempting to change the culture, the politics, and the future of the nation, have immersed themselves into the establishment, and by ignoring and often changing authentic history, and through perpetuating convoluted case law under the guise of constitutional law, have corrupted the dreams and implementations of the founders that ensured individual liberties and religious liberties.
The Constitution of the United States is eloquent, yet concise and simple, and expresses the limited role of government. The authors of the document were religious and believed that they could only preserve divine natural rights, not bestow them. Any attempt to alter, reinterpret, or corrupt their penned intentions can be countered by the truth from their own documentation, thankfully preserved by the National Archives, and The Library of Congress, and should be exposed by a responsible media, and taught by an accountable education establishment.
John Adams, a great patriot and the second president, was quoted as saying, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
It is now the duty of all citizens to learn their history and the history of the founding in particular, so that honest discourse can be pursued and the people of the United States can once again be free to take real choices armed with the truth.