Listen to God\’s Voice

Words of wisdom for today

Separation of Church and State

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.” The United States Constitution”

It is really funny how we have twisted this amendment from the simple statement it originally was into something entirely different. These first ten amendments are called the bill of rights for a reason; these are rights to protect us from the unlawful usurpation on the part of government. However, the supreme court of the United States has wrongly concluded that this amendment means that any and all trappings of religion should be removed from public places. Primarily this at first meant public schools, but has been broadened by judicial interpretation to mean any public place under the control of government.

This however, was not the original intent of the framers of the constitution. They were fleeing from the idea of a state sponsored religion. In England, with whom the framers of the Constitution and our republic, were very closely acquainted the state supported church was the Church of England or Anglican Church. They were determined to keep the two areas separate. However, they were also concerned that a kind of state church by government would also not happen. They were also aware of the events that happened in France in 1789 and wanted no part in it. That brings us to modern times.

We are concerned to bend over back wards to keep anything that sounds Christian out of any kind of relationship to government bodies. This includes schools and courts, but is not limited to those areas. The effect this has had is to create an atmosphere of hatred and distrust of anyone who says they are Christians. It is also very strange that politicians bend over backwards to claim to be Christians, but at the same time support issues that Christians disapprove, such as abortion.

On the issue of Churches supporting our government or on occasion using facilities such as libraries the government bends over backwards to stop it. However, if this was a Buddhist event or anything but Christian, then it becomes perfectly all right.

So, now to settle down into another issue we have Obama who wants to expand Bush’s support for churches involved in social work. No mater who first suggested this idea, this point is blatantly un-constitutional. This is an area specifically prohibited in the constitution, but since this means the government is paying for social programs is OK. Specifically, congress is prohibited from making any “law respecting an establishment of religion”. The framers of the constitution apparently had no problem with prayer in schools or the Ten Commandments in our court houses. This nation in its beginning had no public schools of any consequence, but they did have a large number of church ran schools. Religion and specifically the Christian religion have been at the center of American life since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Our founding fathers did not have problems with churches and religion, but they did have problems with tax dollars supporting churches, which is what you have if the government is paying churches for social programs.


Written by tfheringer

July 1, 2008 at 10:36 pm

One Response

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    Tyranny of the minority
    The Baltimore Examiner Newspaper

    L et’s get this straight.

    A former Annapolis midshipman, someone we paid to attend the Naval Academy to learn to lead others into battle, is so cowed by peer pressure he couldn’t handle a lunchtime prayer? And his convictions are so strong he will only speak anonymously, through the American Civil Liberties Union, on the matter?

    How did our Naval Academy admit him given the competition for the honor of an appointment?

    Such cowardice has no place in a service academy. And it should strike fear into those who might and those who eventually must serve under this “leader.”

    Second, since when did the Constitution protect an individual’s right not to be uncomfortable?

    Who cares if “not participating makes you stand out, and peer pressure made me feel like I’m different or do not respect others as much.” Part of becoming an adult is learning how to handle yourself in those situations. Forcing others to live by your rules is not how the world works, nor how the military operates. Certainly dread enemies don’t give a hoot. If following orders is not something the recently graduated midshipman can abide, he should leave the military and repay taxpayers for his education before he puts those in his command in harm’s way.

    Third, the prayer in no way violates the Constitution’s guarantee that the government will make “no law respecting the establishment of religion.” The prayer is non-sectarian and participation voluntary.

    What the midshipman and the eight others the ACLU recently represented in writing say they want is to wipe expressed religion from the public square — for which there is no right. In fact, doing so makes private, personal faith or atheism the rule of the land. How fair is that?

    The Anti-Defamation League challenged the prayer in 2005 and lost. The ACLU should drop its protest and all plans for a lawsuit and start focusing on real crimes instead of inventing injustice where none exists.

    Where were the ACLU and its anonymous nine, for example, when midshipmen were put in real danger by abuse of religious and government authority at the academy by sexual predator and Catholic chaplain Lt. Cmdr. John Thomas Matthew Lee? The chaplain, HIV-positive, pleaded guilty last year to 11 charges, including forcing himself on a midshipman.

    The Naval Academy should disregard the protest and maintain the voluntary prayer. Nine people must not be allowed to force others to make them comfortable at the expense of a long-standing, respected and voluntary tradition.

    Al Ortiz

    July 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm

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