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Myth of "Separation of Church and State"

 
 
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 08:02 am
Thought you may all be interested in the truth about "Separation of Church and State".

The First Amendment was never intended to separate Christian principles from government. Yet, today, Americans constantly hear the First Amendment coupled with the phrase "separation of church and state."

The First Amendment simply states:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

Obviously, the words "separation", "church", or "state" are not found in this Amendment, nor in any other founding document. Before the Founders approved the final wording, the First Amendment went through nearly a dozen different iterations and extensive discussions.

Those discussions - recorded in the Congressional Record from June 7 - Sept. 25 of 1789 - make clear their intent for the First Amendment. By it, the Founders were saying, essentially: "We do not want in American what we had in Great Britain: We don't want one denomination running the nation. We will not all be Catholics, or Anglicans, or any other single denomination. We do want God's principles, but we don't want one denomination running the nation."

This intent was well understood, as evidenced by court rulings after the First Amendment. For example, a 1799 court declared:

"By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing."

Thomas Jefferson, to whom the now-popular phrase "separation of church and state" is attributed, also believed, as did the other Founders, that the First Amendment simply prevented the federal establishment of a single denomination - a fact he had made clear in a letter to Benjamin Rush. In that letter, Jefferson committed himself as president to not allowing the Episcopalians, the Congregationalists or any other denomination to achieve what Jefferson called the "establishment of a particular form of Christianity." So what is the source of Jefferson's now infamous phrase?

On Nov. 7, 1801, the Baptists of Danbury, Conn., wrote Jefferson, concerned that the guarantee of the "free exercise of religion" appeared in the First Amendment. To them, this suggested that the right to religious exercise was a government-granted rather than a God-granted right, thus implying that someday the government might try to regulate religious expression. They believed that freedom of religion was a God-granted, unalienable right; and that the government should be powerless to restrict religious activities unless, as the Baptists explained, those activities caused someone to "work ill to his neighbor."

Jefferson understood their concern. In his response he assured them that the free exercise of religion was indeed an unalienable right and would not be meddled with by the government. Jefferson pointed out to them that there was a "wall of separation between church and state" to ensure that the government would never interfere with religious activities.

Today, all that is heard of Jefferson's letter is the phrase, "a wall of separation between church and state", without either the context, or the explanation given in the letter, or its application by earlier courts.

The clear understanding of the First Amendment for a century-and-a-half was that it prohibited the establishment of a single national denomination. National policies and ruling in that century-and-a-half always reflected that interpretation.

For example, in 1853, a group petitioned Congress to separate Christian principles from government. They desired a so-called "separation of church and state" with chaplains being turned out of the Congress, the military, and other parts of government. Their petition was referred to the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees, which investigated for almost a year to see if it would be possible to separate Christian principles from government.

Both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees returned with their reports. The following are excerpts from the House report delivered on March 27, 1854…

"Had the people (the Founding Fathers), during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, the Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments, the universal sentiment was that
Christianity should be encouraged, but not any one sect (denomination)…In this age, there is no substitute for Christianity…That was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendents."

Two months later, the Judiciary Committee made this strong declaration:

"The great, vital, and conservative element in our system (the thing that holds the American system together) is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ".

The committees explained that they would not separate these principles, for it was these principles and activities which had made America so successful - they had been the nation's foundation, its basis.

During the 1870's, 1880's and 1890's, yet another group that challenged specific Christian principles in government arrived before the Supreme Court. Jefferson's letter had remained unused for years, for as time had progressed after its use in 1802 - and after no national denomination had been established - his letter had fallen into obscurity. But now - 75 years later - in the case Reynolds v. United States, the plaintiffs resurrected Jefferson's letter, hoping to use it to their advantage.

In that case, the Court printed a lengthy segment of Jefferson's letter and then used his letter on "separation of church and state" to again prove that it was permissible to maintain Christian values, principles and practices in official policy. For the next 15 years during that legal controversy, the Supreme Court utilized Jefferson's letter to ensure that Christian principles remained a part of government.

Following this controversy, Jefferson's letter again fell into disuse. It then remained silent for the next 70 years until 1947, when, in Everson v. Board of Education, the court, for the first time, did not cite Jefferson's entire letter, but selected only eight words from it. The court now announced…

"The First Amendment has erected "a wall of separation between church and state". That was must be kept high and impregnable."

This was a new philosophy for the court. Why would the court take Jefferson's letter completely out of context and cite only eight of its words? Dr. William James, the "father of modern psychology" - and a strong opponent of religious principles in government and education - perhaps explained the court's new strategy when he stated:

"There is nothing so absurd but if you repeat it often enough people will believe it".

This statement precisely describes the tact utilized by the court in the years following its 1947 announcement. The court began regularly to speak of a "separation of church and state," as if to say: "This is what the Founders wanted - separation of church and state. This is their great intent." The court failed to quote the Founders; it just generically asserted that this is what the Founders wanted.

The courts continued on this track so steadily that, in 1958, in a case called Baer v. Kolmorgen, one of the judges was tired of hearing the phrase and wrote a dissent warning that if the court did not stop talking about the "separation of church and state," people were going to start thinking that it was part of the Constitution!

Nevertheless, the court continued to talk about separation until June 25, 1962, when in the case Engel v. Vitale, the court delivered its first ever ruling that completely separated Christian principles from education; the case struck down school prayer. Even the World Book Encyclopedia's 1963 Yearbook noted that this case was the first time there had been a separation of church and state in education.

In that 1962 case, the court redefined the meaning and application of a single word; "church." For 170 years prior to that case, the word "church" - as used in the phrase "separation of church and state" - was defined to mean "a federally established denomination." However, in 1962 the court explained that the word "church" would now mean "a religious activity in public." This was the turning point in the interpretation of the First Amendment.

Understand what the court has just announced; No longer would the First Amendment simply prohibit the establishment of a federal denomination, it now would prohibit religious activities in public settings. This current doctrine of separation is a brand new doctrine; it is not something from the Founding Fathers, and it is not in any founding document. Even outside observers recognize this policy is a recent one. Yet notice how much has been relinquished in recent years under this new doctrine.

School prayer was the first casualty of the redefinition of the First Amendment in the 1962 Engel case. School prayer had never before been challenged; for, clearly, school prayer had never established a national denomination and therefore had always been acceptable. But under the new definition, school prayer definitely was a religious activity in public and was therefore now deemed to be unconstitutional.

That 1962 case that first redefined the First Amendment and then removed school prayer was notable in a number of aspects. Recall that the 1892 Supreme Court case offered 87 precedents to maintain the inclusion of Christian principles in our laws and institutions. This 1962 case which removed school prayer was just the opposite; it was the first case in court history to use zero precedents - the court quoted zero previous legal cases. Without any historical or legal base, the court simply made an announcement; We'll not have prayers in schools anymore; that violates the Constitution. A brand new direction was taken in America.

Within a 12-month period of time, in two more cases in 1963, the court had removed not only prayer, but also Bible reading, religious classes and religious instruction. This was a radical reversal. With no basis of fact.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 08:26 am
Hello, Southerngr1. Do you truly believe that we should all become non-denominational Christians? Because IF YOU DO, you won't find support here from me.

What happens when Good Christians go bad, for example? Are they out? Do they have to make their own denomination... like say... secular humanism? Or maybe they become, God Forbid, Jews? Or Buddhists? Or worse....

This agenda from which you are so lavishly quoting is neither kind, nor Christian. It is a threat to the freedoms of this country and a very divisive point. THe remaking of history by fundamentalists is something we're supposedly fighting hard around the world so why, tell me, would you be trying to get this country back into fundamentalism. <shaking head>
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 09:40 am
Re: Myth of "Separation of Church and State"
southerngrl wrote:
Thought you may all be interested in the truth about "Separation of Church and State".

Next time you think some of us might be "interested in the truth" about something, southerngrl, you could save us a lot of bother by simply linking to the relevant site rather than copying-and-pasting the entire text.

southerngrl wrote:
This intent was well understood, as evidenced by court rulings after the First Amendment. For example, a 1799 court declared: "By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing."

What court said this?

southerngrl wrote:
The clear understanding of the First Amendment for a century-and-a-half was that it prohibited the establishment of a single national denomination. National policies and ruling in that century-and-a-half always reflected that interpretation.

The "establishment clause" of the First Amendment clearly prohibits the establishment of a state religion. But that's not all that the First Amendment says about religion. There's also the "free exercise" clause. You mistake the part for the whole.

southerngrl wrote:
Both the House and the Senate Judiciary Committees returned with their reports. The following are excerpts from the House report delivered on March 27, 1854…

Why should we care what they said?

southerngrl wrote:
Two months later, the Judiciary Committee made this strong declaration:

Why should we care what they said?

southerngrl wrote:
In that case, the Court printed a lengthy segment of Jefferson's letter and then used his letter on "separation of church and state" to again prove that it was permissible to maintain Christian values, principles and practices in official policy. For the next 15 years during that legal controversy, the Supreme Court utilized Jefferson's letter to ensure that Christian principles remained a part of government.

It did no such thing. See Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878) (holding it constitutionally permissible for Congress to outlaw polygamy).

southerngrl wrote:
The courts continued on this track so steadily that, in 1958, in a case called Baer v. Kolmorgen....

What court? This isn't a U.S. Supreme Court case.

southerngrl wrote:
Nevertheless, the court continued to talk about separation until June 25, 1962, when in the case Engel v. Vitale, the court delivered its first ever ruling that completely separated Christian principles from education; the case struck down school prayer.

No, it struck down state-sponsored prayer in public schools. See: Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962)

southerngrl wrote:
In that 1962 case, the court redefined the meaning and application of a single word; "church."

No it didn't.

southerngrl wrote:
For 170 years prior to that case, the word "church" - as used in the phrase "separation of church and state" - was defined to mean "a federally established denomination." However, in 1962 the court explained that the word "church" would now mean "a religious activity in public." This was the turning point in the interpretation of the First Amendment.

Nonsense. Engel v. Vitale did nothing of the sort.

southerngrl wrote:
This 1962 case which removed school prayer was just the opposite; it was the first case in court history to use zero precedents - the court quoted zero previous legal cases.

Demonstrably false. Marbury v. Madison, for instance, contained no citations to any judicial precedent.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 09:46 am
We have the right to religious freedom, that (in my opinion) includes the right to be free of religion. Sometimes it about what's fair. I have no problem with the moment of silence. I have no problem with the young woman who wanted to wear a head scarf to school. I do have a problem with uttering the words "one nation under god". When in high school, I refused to say them and got myself into some trouble. Not fair t'all.

(go Joe!)
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 09:59 am
littlek- Agree. When I was in high school, I would simply stand silent when the words "under God" were spoken.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 10:01 am
The home room teacher lost it - spittle flying and veins popping. I was sent to the principal's office. They said I didn't have to say it. Then I was watched closely for the rest of my high school years.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2003 11:06 am
I'm an agnostic -- but just in case there is a god -=- allow me this prayer (stolen from a bumper sticker):

GOD -- protect me from your followers!


(Especially the kind like southerngrl!)
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2003 09:51 am
Southerngirl, excuse my apathy... but "so what?".

What are you trying to prove. The fact is that we now have a vibrant pluralistic society that is made up of many cultures and many relgions. This is a good thing, and the first Amendment as it is currently interpreted by the courts has had a very positive affect.

But what are you really saying we should do. Do you really want to force my atheist kid to say "under God" every day. What's the point?

"Don't pray in my school and I won't think in your church."
(Also stolen from a bumper sticker).

---
P.S. Welcome to A2K
0 Replies
 
southerngrl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 09:07 am
Piffka wrote:
Hello, Southerngr1. Do you truly believe that we should all become non-denominational Christians? Because IF YOU DO, you won't find support here from me.


No, not become...go back to. The Pilgrims put a cross up when they arrived here...and started school for the sole purpose of teaching children to read the Bible.

Quote:
What happens when Good Christians go bad, for example? Are they out? Do they have to make their own denomination... like say... secular humanism? Or maybe they become, God Forbid, Jews? Or Buddhists? Or worse....


Don't think I understand the question really. There is good and bad in everyone. I just believe in preserving what the FF's fought for. Just as Patrick Henry once said, ""It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." I choose to follow his lead.

Quote:
This agenda from which you are so lavishly quoting is neither kind, nor Christian. It is a threat to the freedoms of this country and a very divisive point. THe remaking of history by fundamentalists is something we're supposedly fighting hard around the world so why, tell me, would you be trying to get this country back into fundamentalism. <shaking head>


There is nothing un-Christian about quoting facts from history. Freedom has nothing to do with the religious values our country was founded on. Only in the last 50 years has Christianity been challenged. We've done very well under it until now.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 09:35 am
Do you think that narrow-minded ignorance is a virtue?

You say Pilgrims set up schools "with the sole purpose" to teach the Bible. This may be true, but it is not something to be proud of.

Schools now teach science and writing and literature and math and history and tolerance. This a good thing.

You say "Freedom has nothing to do with the religious values our country was founded on."

Please explain, Are you saying that our country was not founded on Freedom, or are you saying that Freedom is not a religious value?
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 09:45 am
Incidentlally this country was founded in direct disobedience of the Bible. Romans 13 clearly says that it is against God to rebel against the king.

The gospel of Jesus Christ (as described in Matthew 5-7) describes a pretty Utopian socialist society. The poor would be taken care of, immigrants would be accepted and treated well and wrongs would not be avenged (this kind of argues against capital punishment and the NRA doesn't it).

By the way the Southern image you are portraying in your avatar is far from the life of Jesus Christ.

Jesus who died on a cross was a symbol of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.

The Pilgrims "set up crosses" as a symbol of scrict adherence to a set beliefs.

Southern "Christians" burned crosses. This was a symbol of fear hatred and murder.

Which of these represents the "religious values" you are advocating?
0 Replies
 
southerngrl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 09:51 am
Just because I believe something different than yourself doesn't mean I am narrow-minded. As a matter of fact, if I were narrow-minded I wouldn't have had the inclination to research the subjects I am passionate about. I consider myself open-minded very much, however, won't compromise my beliefs. You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything. I could call you narrow-minded, as well, for believing the way you do, but I won't.

And I was referring to Freedom and Religion as two separate issues. The Constitution's last line is "in the year of our Lord"... That just proves to me that they were Christians. I don't hear "Lord" in any religion other than Christianity. I don't want to force anyone to become something else or believe as I do. I only want what we had that worked well for years. And it isn't making the country a theocrasy...it's never been a theocrasy and God has always been a part of our society. No one is trying to make it that, either. Those conservatives on the right only want to preserve what always was...not force our beliefs on others. We are all allowed to practice whatever religion we want, or not at all. Having prayer in schools, or Bible study optional is not going to hurt anyone. It's just a way to try to remove it altogether. I am also very excited to see that things are starting to look promising. The latest poll shows that 92% of Americans believe in God. Why change our country for 8% of the people? Christians aren't sitting back anymore...we have the right to fight for what we believe in just as you do. And the bottom line will be when this is all over and the Supreme Court rules. It doesn't make me worse person than anyone else to fight for my beliefs.
0 Replies
 
southerngrl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 10:04 am
Quote:
The gospel of Jesus Christ (as described in Matthew 5-7) describes a pretty Utopian socialist society. The poor would be taken care of, immigrants would be accepted and treated well and wrongs would not be avenged (this kind of argues against capital punishment and the NRA doesn't it).


I don't see anything wrong with taking care of the poor, however, it is the Christians responsibility to do so...it's in our genes. I accept immigrants and have no problem with others wanting to experience the freedoms we have. Just don't try to change the values we based those freedoms on.

Quote:
By the way the Southern image you are portraying in your avatar is far from the life of Jesus Christ.


Sorry, but you are very wrong. Our generals (North and South) were religious and believed in what they were fighting for. You can definitely be Southern and honor your heritage and be a Christian at the same time. I'm living proof.

Quote:
Jesus who died on a cross was a symbol of love, forgiveness and sacrifice.


Amen.

Quote:
The Pilgrims "set up crosses" as a symbol of scrict adherence to a set beliefs.


Because they were Christians...and believed in Jesus Christ. What's wrong with that?

Quote:
Southern "Christians" burned crosses. This was a symbol of fear hatred and murder.


If you are referring to the KKK...don't believe for one minute that the Southern heritage condones their behavior. They are considered the largest hate group along with the Black Panthers there ever was. This is also a subject I have done "extensive" research on. Please don't throw out generic statements on subjects. Especially if you have no experience on the subject. The South did NOT fight the war over slavery...only 6% of the Southern population owned slaves, 3% of those owners worked in the fields along with them. Only a very small minority of idiots in the South inflicted pain and murder on blacks. The victor always writes the history and this is a perfect example. We fought over high tariffs imposed by the North. The North owned slaves, too...and after the war sent them South! They didn't want them around.

Quote:
Which of these represents the "religious values" you are advocating?


Since I have briefly, very briefly, explained the Southern heritage movement above, you can see that I advocate none of them.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 10:15 am
southerngrl wrote:
The Constitution's last line is "in the year of our Lord"... That just proves to me that they were Christians. I don't hear "Lord" in any religion other than Christianity.



I'm not sure if you are just kidding here -- or if you are even more narrow-minded than some of us are supposing you are.

It is an absurd statement.



Quote:
I just believe in preserving what the FF's fought for. Just as Patrick Henry once said, ""It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ." I choose to follow his lead.


Well, Thomas Jefferson had a lot more to do with creating this country than did Patrick Henry -- and here are some quotes from Jefferson that you might want to consider:

Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.


Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787


Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.
-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom


I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote "Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?")


Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and 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 and State.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802


Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814


And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823
0 Replies
 
Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 10:21 am
Southern Girl, you need to get out more. Have you never heard of Lord Buddha?

It is astounding to me that you'd look at the first amendment and assume there should be a state religion. If those men who designed the Constitution wanted a state religion, then there'd be a straightforward call for it. Tucked right at the start would be something like this:

Quote:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America...[please visualize the following add-on: "under the Lord" for Southern Girl.]


Why did they forget that? What were they thinking? Why didn't they mention that everybody who was going to be a representative or other elected official be Christian? Why didn't they do that?
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 11:12 am
Southern girl. Nearly every point you make contradicts the facts.

I believe that Southern Heritage is a pathetic attempt by people who lost a real war and than a cultural one, to rationalize past racism and hold on to present racist attitudes. As such it has no basis in truth.

Everything you are saying is supporting my viewpoint.

The South perpetuated a racist system for many decades that was supported by the people.

Slavery was supported as an institutuion by the whole southern society, not just slaveholders. A minority does not pass laws allowing the murder of slaves without support from the vast majority of the society.

After the South lost the Civil War, it instituted Jim Crow laws. This was also supported by the vast majority of sothern society.

Segregation was accepted without question by the vast amount of sorthern society. It was only ended with the intervention of Federal troops. Do you remember who George Wallace is?

And don't forget the large number of lynchings that were done by the KKK and other. In most cases it was impossible to convict because they were protected by southern society. Many juries refused to convict in the face of overwhelming evidence of guilt.

Southern Heritage, as it is represented by your avatar and your religiosity, is opposed to anything resembling the teachings of Jesus Christ. It supports hatred, racisism, priveledge, greed and oppression. The Confederate battle standard in your avatar has a long history of extremist violence that has lasted well beyond the southern insurrection.

If you want to be proud of "Southern Heritage" why don't you put Martin Luther King Jr. in your avatar. He represented a much more Christlike vision of the South. He endured violence without being violent. He preached a message of love and reconciliation, and he gave his life doing the will of God.

That is a form of Christianity that I can live with.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 11:29 am
Good job Frank!

Thank you for the Historical quotes. Very appropriate.

It nice that we are on the same side occasionally Wink
0 Replies
 
southerngrl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 12:28 pm
Piffka wrote:
Southern Girl, you need to get out more. Have you never heard of Lord Buddha?


You've got to be kidding me? You honestly think that's what Lord they were referring to?

Quote:
Why did they forget that? What were they thinking? Why didn't they mention that everybody who was going to be a representative or other elected official be Christian? Why didn't they do that?


Good question. Take yourself back to their time when Christianity was the ONLY religion practiced here! There were no Muslims or Buddhist or Scientologist then.

Here...I'll add proof to the pudding...sorry its so long...but I don't know how to make it a link. These are quotes some of our leaders and FF's. I don't know how anyone can dispute they founded this country on Christianity.

Abigail Adams -
"A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society?....The Scriptures tell us "righteousness exalteth a Nation."
John Adams -

June 21, 1776
"Statesmen, my dear Sir, may plan and speculate for liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

"I have thought proper to recommend, and I hereby recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of April next, be observed throughout the United States of America as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain, as far as may be, from their secular occupation, and devote the time to the sacred duties of religion, in public and in private; that they call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to his righteous requisitions in time to come.

"Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society."

"Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System."

John Quincy Adams -

"Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day. Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the Progress of the Gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Saviour and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets 600 years before."

Samuel Adams -

As the Declaration of Independence was being signed, 1776, Samuel Adams declared:
"We have this day restored the Sovereign to Whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come."

"Principally, and first of all, I resign my soul to the Almighty Being who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying on the merits of Jesus Christ for the pardon of my sins."

Fisher Ames

(Author of the First Amendment)
"Should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a schoolbook? Its morals are pure, its examples are captivating and noble....In no Book is there so good English, so pure and so elegant, and by teaching all the same they will speak alike, and the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as of faith."

Sir William Blackstone

"The preservation of Christianity as a national religion is abstracted from its own intrinsic truth, of the utmost consequence to the civil state, which a single instance will sufficiently demonstrate.

Samuel Chase
"By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty."


Ben Franklin
"It is the duty of mankind on all suitable occasions to acknowledge their dependence on the Divine Being... [that] Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations...[and that] He would take this province under his protection, confound the designs and defeat the attempts of its enemies, and unite our hearts and strengthen our hands in every undertaking that may be for the public good, and for our defense and security in this time of danger."

"Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.

Benjamin Franklin, in July of 1776, was appointed part of a committee to draft a seal for the newly united states which would characterize the spirit of this new nation. He proposed:
"Moses lifting up his wand, and dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the waters. This motto: 'Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."

"A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district--all studied and appreciated as they merit--are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty."

Ben Franklin wrote a pamphlet called, "Information to Those who would Remove to America." It was intended to be a guide for Europeans who were thinking of relocating in America. In it he said:
"Hence bad examples to youth are more rare in America, which must be comfortable consideration to parents. To this may be truly added, that serious religion, under its various denominations, is not only tolerated, but respected and practiced.

"Atheism is unknown there; Infidelity rare and secret; so that persons may live to a great age in that country without having their piety shocked by meeting with either an Atheist or an Infidel.

Alexander Hamilton
(Co-Author of the Federalist Papers)

"I now offer you the outline of the plan they have suggested. Let an association be formed to be denominated 'The Christian Constitutional Society,' its object to be first: The support of the Christian religion. second: The support of the United States.


John Hancock
April 15, 1775
"In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent Measure should be taken to ward off the impending Judgements....All confidence must be withheld from the Means we use; and reposed only on that GOD who rules in the Armies of Heaven, and without whose Blessing the best human Counsels are but Foolishness--and all created Power Vanity;

"RESOLVED, That it be, and hereby is recommended to the good People of this Colony of all Denominations, that THURSDAY the Eleventh Day of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer...to confess the sins...to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression...and a blessing on the Husbandry, Manufactures, and other lawful Employments of this People; and especially that the union of the American Colonies in Defense of their Rights (for hitherto we desire to thank Almighty GOD) may be preserved and confirmed....And that AMERICA may soon behold a gracious Interposition of Heaven."
By Order of the [Massachusetts] Provincial
Congress, John Hancock, President.

Patrick Henry
March 23, 1775
"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased a the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "

"The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed."

"This is all the inheritance I give to my dear family. The religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed."


John Jay
(America's first Supreme Court Chief Justice and Co-Author of the Federalist Papers)
October 12, 1816
"Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.

In his Last Will and Testament, John Jay wrote:
"Unto Him who is the author and giver of all good, I render sincere and humble thanks for His merciful and unmerited blessings, and especially for our redemption and salvation by his beloved Son."

Thomas Jefferson

"The only foundation for useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion."

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

"To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others..."

"I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest system of morality that has ever been taught but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invented..."

"A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian; that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

Jefferson declared that religion is: "Deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support."

Francis Scott Key
February 22, 1812
"The patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His Word in his greatest darkness, a lantern to his feet and a lamp unto his paths.' He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of a Christian nation...."

James Madison
"Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ."

"Religion [is] the basis and Foundation of Government."

"We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Gouverneur Morris

"Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man toward God."

Dr. Jedidah Morse

"To the kindly influence of Christianity, we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy. In proportion, as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of the nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom and approximate the miseries of complete despotism." (1799)


Thomas Paine

"The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all mankind. Where, some say, is the king of America? I'll tell you, friend, He reigns above.

"Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honors, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the charter; let it be placed on the divine law, the Word of God; let a crown be placed thereon.

"The Almighty implanted in us these inextinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes. They are the guardians of His image in our heart. They distinguish us from the herd of common animals."

William Penn
(Founder of Pennsylvania)
"If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him....Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants."

Benjamin Rush
"By removing the Bible from schools we would be wasting so much time and money in punishing criminals and so little pains to prevent crime. Take the Bible out of our schools and there would be an explosion in crime."

"I have alternately been called an Aristocrat and a Democrat. I am neither. I am a Christocrat."

Jonathan Trumbull

(He was the British Governor of Connecticut who had been appointed by King George III. He was also the father of the famous Revolutionary artist of the same name. Jonathan Trumbull became sympathetic to the American cause in 1773.)

"If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ."

George Washington

"The thing that separates the American Christian from every other person on earth is the fact that he would rather die on his feet, than live on his knees!"

"While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion.

To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to laud the more distinguished Character of Christian."

In his Inaugural Speech, April 30, 1789,
"...it would be peculiarly improper to omit, in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes...."

"SUNDAY MORNING....Almighty God, and most merciful Father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to Thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise Thee for Thy protection both night and day, receive O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee;

I beseech Thee, my sins, remove them from Thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of Thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into Thy temple and compass Thine altar, my prayer may come before Thee as incense, and as I desire Thou wouldst hear me calling upon Thee in my prayers, so give me peace to hear the calling on me in Thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of my soul in the day of the Lord Jesus.

"And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions...to promote the knowledge and practice of the true religion and virtue....

"Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God and guide this day and forever for His sake, who lay down in the grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

"It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."

Daniel Webster

"Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary.

"Let us cherish these sentiments, and extend this influence still more widely; in full conviction that that is the happiest society which partakes in the highest degree of the mild and peaceful spirit of Christianity."

"If religious books are not widely circulated among the masses in this country, I do not know what is going to become of us as a nation. If truth be not diffused, error will be; If God and His Word are not known and received, the devil and his works will gain the ascendancy, If the evangelical volume does not reach every hamlet, the pages of a corrupt and licentious literature will; If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end."

"This is the Book. I have read the Bible through many times, and now make it a practice to read it through once every year. It is a book of all others for lawyers, as well as divines; and I pity the man who cannot find in it a rich supply of thought and of rules for conduct. It fits man for life--it prepares him for death."

When asked the question, "What is the greatest thought that ever passed through your mind?" Daniel Webster responded:

"My accountability to God."


Noah Webster
(The father of public education in America)

He declared government was responsible to:

"Discipline our youth in early life in sound maxims of moral, political, and religious duties."

"Education is useless without the Bible."

"The Bible was America's basic text book in all fields."

"God's Word, contained in the Bible, has fumished all necessary rules to direct our conduct."

"In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed....No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."

"The brief exposition of the constitution of the United States, will unfold to young persons the principles of republican government; and it is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.

"The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free Constitutions of Government.

"The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all of our civil constitutions and laws....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.

"When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty;

"If a republican government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer the laws."

Whether we (you) want this ideology to continue is another subject, however, this plainly proves that America was founded on Christianity and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
0 Replies
 
southerngrl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 12:38 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Southern girl. Nearly every point you make contradicts the facts.


I wish you would point those out...because I am a "fact-based" person. I don't accept anything unless it is researched thoroughly.

Quote:
I believe that Southern Heritage is a pathetic attempt by people who lost a real war and than a cultural one, to rationalize past racism and hold on to present racist attitudes. As such it has no basis in truth.


Well, that is incorrect. Do a little research on the Southern heritage movement and I'll guarantee you'll agree with the majority of their beliefs. States rights, limited government, freedom, etc...

Quote:
The South perpetuated a racist system for many decades that was supported by the people.


The Confederate flag never flew on one slave ship. Don't blame the South for slavery. We didn't start it, however, Virginia was the first state to try and abolish it.

Quote:
Slavery was supported as an institutuion by the whole southern society,


And Northern society, don't forget.

Quote:
Segregation was accepted without question by the vast amount of sorthern society.


The Southern and Northern citizens all knew that slavery would end eventually. It was a fact of the times, accepted by all...however, the war was not over the ability to keep slaves.

Quote:
And don't forget the large number of lynchings that were done by the KKK and other.


I've already addressed that...the Southern heritage movement does NOT support those types of groups.

Quote:
The Confederate battle standard in your avatar has a long history of extremist violence that has lasted well beyond the southern insurrection.


Not to me or this movement. It stands for those who fought to keep our gov't from becoming what it has today.

Quote:
If you want to be proud of "Southern Heritage" why don't you put Martin Luther King Jr. in your avatar.


I have no problem with him. But, search the internet for H. K. Edgerton...you'll see a black man who realizes the truth.

Quote:
That is a form of Christianity that I can live with.


It's the same as mine.
0 Replies
 
southerngrl
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2003 12:43 pm
Here are the facts...

http://www.thesouthernamerican.org/fcts1.html
0 Replies
 
 

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