America's Founding Fathers believed that true religion would make a free and prosperous society. The Framers of the Constitution did not intend that America be a secular nation. The Constitution did not create a
secular government. According to the most fundamental charters of our nation, "religion, morality and knowledge" are "necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind."
Some people think of "religion" as a church or system of ceremonies and liturgies. Our laws are based not on liturgies, but on ultimate values. Paul Tillich spoke of religion as
There is no such thing as a purely secular or "neutral" government; all governments pass laws which are based on morality, which in turn reflect religious beliefs. There is presently a conflict over which religion will determine our laws: Christianity or the religion of
Secular Humanism. (Certain terrorists would like our laws to be determined by some variety of the Islamic religion, but they are clearly the minority.)
Atheists have more freedom in a Christian nation than Christians have in atheistic nations. As religion and morality become weaker, the State becomes stronger. As religion and morality increase, liberty increases as well.
In the century following the ratification of the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court took it for granted that America was a Christian nation. The Court in the 20th century repudiated that notion. As a result, literacy
has declined in schools, while crime has skyrocketed. Students are rebuked for writing term papers on openly Christian themes, while the violent projects of the Columbine High School killers were accepted.
Teachers are fired or disciplined for endorsing religion and morality.
The modern doctrine of "Separation of Church and State" bears no resemblance to the views of the Founding Fathers.
Any examination of American Constitutional history which is not weighed down with anti-Christian hostility will discover the meaning of the phrase "establishment of religion" or Jefferson's metaphor of a "wall" between "church and state." It had nothing to do with taking prayer and Bible reading out of schools. It had nothing to do
with purging all public references to God and confining Christianity to the private recesses of the individual mind. It had nothing to do with creating a "secular constitution.'
In 1963, before the current myth of "separation" had fully evolved, the Institute for Church-State Law of the Georgetown University Law Center published a study entitled Freedom
from Federal Establishment: Formation and Early History of the First Amendment Religion Clauses (Antieau, Downey, and Roberts, eds.). Their examination of the laws and
controversies of Colonial and Revolutionary America make plain that the First Amendment was designed to prohibit the following:
- A state church officially recognized and protected by the sovereign;
- A state church whose members alone were eligible to vote, to hold public office, and to practice a profession;
- A state church which compelled religious orthodoxy under penalty of fine and imprisonment;
- A state church willing to expel dissenters from the commonwealth;
- A state church financed by taxes upon all members of the community;
- A state church which alone could freely hold public worship and evangelize;
- A state church which alone could perform valid marriages, burials, etc.
Nearly all of these had been eliminated by all of the states before the Constitution was even drafted. Most of the changes came about after 1776: The Church of England had been the established religion in many states, and that was clearly no option after the Revolution. The First Amendment did not make radical changes, it protected what had already
been achieved by the Revolution.
Nobody in America today wants one denomination to have legal privileges over another denomination. Nobody opposes the "Separation of Church and State" as the Framers understood it.
Today this phrase is understood to mean the Separation of God and Government. America's Founders never intended to separate God and Government. The creation of government was seen to be a religious duty -- a duty to God. Government was required to be "under God."
The "separation of church and state" is also said to require a separation of religion and government. This too is inaccurate. Government was to be based on the true religion, Christianity, and separated only from false
religions. Since creating government was seen to be a religious duty, even the adoption of the Constitution was seen to be a religious event.
Our "Organic Law" -- the most fundamental charters of our nation -- says that religion is "necessary for good government and the happiness of mankind." Good government and the happiness of mankind cannot be achieved if our nation is separated from true religion.
Any government that will not acknowledge itself to be under God is a government that believes it is God.