Letter to the Editor

Look at history regarding religion, Christianity, founding fathers

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Dear Editor:

Allow me to weigh in on the "separation of church and state" issue or "freedom from religion" as perhaps another way of putting it.

Thomas Jefferson, in writing to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802, addressed the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. He commented: "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 and State."

This "wall of separation" language is not in the organic documents of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, yet it drives current humanist attempts to remove Christianity from the Public Square.

Jefferson meant there should be no particular church as a national church such as was in England. He did not mean that Christianity could not be found in the government.

Arguments in support of Christianity being barred in government follow.

In the Preamble of the Declaration, a precursor to forming a new government, Jefferson makes this statement in reference to God: "people...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."

In the Constitution, Article I, Section 7, the Christian Sabbath is honored by this statement: "If any bill shall not be returned by the President within 10 days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him..."

Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 8 gives the oath of office for the President of the United States. It reads: "I do solemnly swear (affirm) that I faithfully...."

Two observations. a) Since most Founding Fathers were Christians, this oath was obviously predicated upon a belief in God's Law knowing false swearing was a sin (Exodus 20:7). This affirmation or swearing was before God. b) Though not required by law, the Bible has been the book upon which the President-elect would place his hand during the swearing-in ceremony and say the words, "so help me God." This is clear evidence of the presence of Christianity in government.

Beginning in 1789 and continuing, the House and Senate of the USA have had a chaplain of the Christian faith.

From 1800 until after the Civil War, Christian church services, non-denominational, were held at the Capitol.

The author of the Danbury letter, Jefferson, was a regular attendee, even in bad weather. He obviously did not believe in "freedom from religion" that is "a wall of separation between Church and State," and neither did Congresses and the Presidents of the 19th century.

The rostrum of the Speaker of the House was always used as the pulpit regardless of where in the Capitol building services were held.

Another witness against "a wall of separation" is Congress bought the hymnals.

Additionally, there could be, on any given Sunday, up to four different churches worshiping at the Capitol.

In 1853, an attempt was made to abolish chaplains from Congress, the Army, and Navy. They were not abolished.

The Senate response said this: "Here is a recognition by law, and by universal usage, not only of a Sabbath, but of the Christian Sabbath, in exclusion of the Jewish or Mohammedan Sabbath...The recognition of the Christian Sabbath is complete and perfect. The officers who receive salaries...are discharged from duty on this day, because it is the Christian Sabbath"....

They intended, by this amendment, to prohibit 'an establishment of religion' such as the English church presented.

But they had no fear or jealousy of religion itself, nor did they wish to see us an irreligious people. They did not intend to prohibit a just expression or religious devotion by the legislators of the nation, even in their public character as legislators.

They did not intend to send our armies and navies forth to do battle for their country without any national recognition of that God on whom success or failure depends.

They did not intend to spread over all the public authorities and the whole public action of the nation, the dead and the revolting spectacle of atheistical apathy" (The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States; Benjamin F. Morris, American Vision Press. pp 395-396).

There are many references to God and the Bible in the federal area of Washington. For example, The Supreme Court building has Moses holding the Ten Commandments on the frieze over the entrance. In the rotunda of the Library of Congress is placed a statue of Moses representing the Old Testament and of St. Paul the New Testament.

The Pledge of Allegiance to the Republic of the USA has this line "one nation under God." "Under God" was added in 1942. The official motto of the United States adopted in 1956 is "In God we trust."

The Missouri State Capitol has three Biblical Citations etched in the rotunda, plus "Lord God of hosts be with us yet --Lest we forget."

The record in support of the Christian faith being part of government is voluminous. Let this brief look be sufficient to support the case for it and against "freedom from religion."

For "freedom from religion" will never happen. As Christianity is removed from the Public Square, humanism -- an opposing, anti-God religion -- will replace it.

There is no neutrality in life, especially when it comes to religion. Many who support the separation doctrine may not realize there is no neutral ground.

Humanism, a religion, so ruled by the Supreme Court, will fill the void left by a retreating Christianity in government and its affairs.

Look what public schools have become under humanism (guards, bars, killings, dumbed-down education, social engineering, etc.) after the removal of prayer and Bible reading in the early 1960s.

So again, there is no such thing as "separation of church and state" or "freedom from religion."

There is only separation from Christianity, which was never a thought by the Founding Fathers and those who followed them by witness of government chaplains and Christian church services at the Capitol.

America greatly needs Christianity in all levels of government.

Gray Clark