10 April 2009

It Wasn't Supposed To Be This Way

Our founding fathers understood something...power corrupts everyone. To protect both the government and the church, they intentionally made sure to eliminate religious entanglements from our country's founding documents. So much of that wisdom seems lost now.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, 12/6/1813

Compared with:

"I believe it's a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards."

- Mike Huckabee, January 2008

What Mr. Huckabee and others like him do not seem to understand, is that our government was INTENTIONALLY created devoid of religion. Not just devoid of Christianity - but ALL religion. Aside from the date line, there is no mention of "God" in the document.

I have a feeling that Mr. Madison and Mr. Jefferson have been spinning in their respective graves, since at the very least the 1950s. Our money, our oaths of offices, our Pledge of Allegiance, offices of "faith based initiatives" - it wasn't supposed to be this way.

"Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and tese are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation."

- James Madison, "Detached Memoranda"

Madison was concerned about Chaplains - and look where we are now.

During the Presidential elections of my lifetime, I cannot recall one where the candidate didn't feel the need to affirm his/her Christianity. Ask someone if they would vote for an Atheist for President - 53% of the time you'll get a "NO". So while we do not have a law that violates Article VI of the Constitution, we have a national attitude that does.

Article VI clearly states (emphasis added):

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

So what are we doing?

How is it that the same people who believe that the Constitution should be interpreted in the strictest manner are the same ones who focus only on the "freedom of religion" but ignore the "no law respecting the establishment of religion"? The people that believe in "intelligent design" can't see the intelligent design in our Constitution. The wall of separation between church and state is for the protection of ALL of us.

Our founding fathers understood this and they took measures to prevent religious arguments from damaging our Republic. We should be infinitely thankful for that.

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Awesome Art Courtesy of TheKarmicHammer