BMEWS
 
When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Thursday - July 15, 2004

Freedom Of Religion

OK, everyone. Buckle on your crash helmets and strap on the body armor. I am about to boldly go where I probably shouldn't go but I can't just let certain comments ride anymore. Today we are going to examine the First Amendment to the Constitution and how it applies to religion.
Amendment I

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.
There you have it. This amendment actually covers three topics: religion, speech and assembly. I propose to examine only the first of these .... through the eyes of the men who wrote it.

But first, let me ask you to do a little research. I want you to examine the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, our currency, our laws and our public buildings. Tell me, how many times do you see a reference to "Jesus" or "Christ"? To the best of my knowledge there are none. I have checked everywhere, including The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers and every document associated with the Founding Fathers of our country. Yet they were all Christians, weren't they? Men who, without exception, believed in their personal salvation through Jesus Christ. So why this omission on their part?

It wasn't an oversight. It was intentional. Yet on the other hand, if you look at the above documents, laws, buildings and papers you find numerous references to "God". Most often referred to simply as "The Creator". Why did they do that? They did it out of a sense of humility and the understanding that there has to be a greater power than man or else this whole silly business of "life" is just a joke. However, with that said, nowhere did they say that everyone must worship God. They were merely acknowledging the presence of some kind of supreme being and other people could either acknowledge that fact or not and could call that supreme being whatever name they wished.

You have to keep in mind also the times the Founding Fathers lived in. This was a period known in the history of western civilization as the "Reformation". Sixteen hundred years after the birth of Christ, countless wars had been fought as first the Catholic Church and later the Anglican Church struggled with the political leaders for dominance.

The first revolt against the Catholic Church and its constant interference in political matters was by Martin Luther in 1517. The Catholic Church was rife with corruption and bribes, and meddling in the affairs of kingdoms was commonplace. The Pope could and did order Crusades and depose Kings and Queens at will.

Then along came Henry VIII who, in 1529, declared himself head of the English Church and thumbed his nose at the Pope. He later went on to marry, divorce and behead several wives but (and this is important) in 1534 he made a law called the "Act of Succession" in which everyone had to swear allegiance to Henry VIII as head of the English church. Thomas More, his Prime Minister and author of "Utopia", and John Fisher, saintly bishop of Rochester, refused to swear. They were both beheaded for their trouble. All in all, before Henry VIII died in 1547, he had around 60 people executed for religious reasons.

The next two hundred years would see the regency of England shift between Anglicans and Catholics, as well as numerous bloody wars over what the state religion should be and who should control it. In 1569 however, a new religious sect appeared in England. They were called "Puritans" because they wanted to purify the church. In 1593 the Puritans were outlawed and several hanged. The persecution of the Puritans continued into the 17th century when they finally packed up and left the country, going to the New World to found the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. The Plymouth Colony was founded in 1620 by a group called "Separatists" who wanted to break away entirely from the Anglican Church. Meanwhile, in Virginia, the royal colony there was founded as an Anglican community and required to conform to the Church of England (though without a bishop, confirmations, ordinations, etc.).

Are you starting to get the picture yet? You have to understand all of this in order to understand the men who lived in these times and why they made the decisions they did. When they signed the Declaration Of Independence in 1776, two-thirds of the signers were nominal members of the Church of England, but they did not want the colonies to be governed by bishops. Many Anglicans fled to Canada or remained as Tories.

One final point, the framers of the Constitution used several models for their new government, the most noteable of which is the Magna Carta which the Barons of England had forced King John to sign in 1215 to establish some measure of control over the English monarchy. Do you know what the very first article of that document says? Here, read it yourself ....
(1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church's elections - a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it - and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity.
So here we have the Founding Fathers meeting in Philadelphia in 1787, with the history of church abuses and royal interference in the church fresh in their minds. We're talking about a state-sponsored church with a King or Queen as head of that church. A monarch who absolutely ruled their political and spiritual lives and who could have them beheaded if they practiced any religion other than the state ordained religion.

They decided, and rightly so, that this would be contrary to the new government they were designing so they made sure the First Amendment (first of the so-called "Bill Of Rights") stated quite clearly that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof". Quite plainly they said that Congress was outright denied the ability to establish a state-sponsored religion or to impinge on the rights of any religion the people chose to practice.

In my opinion, our modern secularists such as the ACLU have pushed things way too far and are interpreting the Constitution improperly. Banning Christmas displays from public ground and other such legal opinions are in effect "prohibiting the free exercise" of religion. This was not what the Founding Fathers intended. They simply wanted to keep the government out of the religion business. They did not envision a country where displays of religion would be outlawed. That is the kind of country they had escaped from.

With all that said, I might add that on one side of the equation we have the ACLU and the Socialists who are attempting to force people to practice their religion in seclusion and on the other side we have people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson who keep trying to force religion back into government. Both are dead wrong in my opinion and "We, The People" are being caught in the middle of a modern day war over religion that really should not be fought.

I say to all of them, "Leave us alone! If we want to pray, let us pray. If we don't want to pray, leave us in peace. If we want to put up a Christmas tree or celebrate Hannukah or Ramadan, then let us do so without interference. We want freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. That is what Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Adams, Washington, et al. intended. If Congress tries to pass a law outlawing Islam or declaring the President head of the Baptist Church In America, then we'll call their hand and say "NO-NO!"

Otherwise, just .... let it be.
avatar

Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 07/15/2004 at 02:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Religion •  
Comments (8) Trackbacks(1)  Permalink •  
Page 1 of 1 pages

Five Most Recent Trackbacks:

The Brownshirts: Partie Deux; These aare the Muscle We've Been Waiting For
(2 total trackbacks)
Tracked at 香港特首曾荫权和部分高管分别用步行或搭乘公共交通工具的方式上班
西安电加热油温机 香港盛吹“环保风” 专家指市民已从被动变主动 中新网9月29日 淮安导热油电加热炉 电 据香港中通社报道,9月29日晚由香港某环保团体举行的“无冷气夜”,吸引了5万名市民及超过60间企业承诺参加。这是香港最近环保活动不断升温过程中的大型活动之一。 进入九月,香港各界环保活动渐入高潮,层出不穷。特首高官与各界市民齐齐参与,是其中一个最大特色。…
On: 03/21/18 12:12

meaningless marching orders for a thousand travellers ... strife ahead ..
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Casual Blog
[...] RTS. IF ANYTHING ON THIS WEBSITE IS CONSTRUED AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE LAWS APPL [...]
On: 07/17/17 04:28

a small explanation
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at yerba mate gourd
Find here top quality how to prepare yerba mate without a gourd that's available in addition at the best price. Get it now!
On: 07/09/17 03:07

The Real Stuff
(2 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Candy Blog
[...] LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ALL PARTIES IRREVOCABLY SUBMIT TO THE J [...]
On: 06/11/17 06:40

when rape isn't rape but only sexual assault
(1 total trackbacks)
Tracked at Trouser Blog
[...] took another century of Inquisition and repression to completely eradicate the [...]
On: 06/06/17 11:37



DISCLAIMER
Allanspacer

THE SERVICES AND MATERIALS ON THIS WEBSITE ARE PROVIDED "AS IS" AND THE HOSTS OF THIS SITE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF SATISFACTORY QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, WITH RESPECT TO THE SERVICE OR ANY MATERIALS.

Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

THE INFORMATION AND OTHER CONTENTS OF THIS WEBSITE ARE DESIGNED TO COMPLY WITH THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS WEBSITE SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND ALL PARTIES IRREVOCABLY SUBMIT TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE AMERICAN COURTS. IF ANYTHING ON THIS WEBSITE IS CONSTRUED AS BEING CONTRARY TO THE LAWS APPLICABLE IN ANY OTHER COUNTRY, THEN THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE ACCESSED BY PERSONS FROM THAT COUNTRY AND ANY PERSONS WHO ARE SUBJECT TO SUCH LAWS SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO USE OUR SERVICES UNLESS THEY CAN SATISFY US THAT SUCH USE WOULD BE LAWFUL.


Copyright © 2004-2015 Domain Owner



GNU Terry Pratchett


Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
free counters