They call it “Separation of Church and State” and they say it is in our constitution, that the two, religion and affairs of the state, shall never mingle. They say that the founders established a “separation clause” for the purpose of making certain that government could never establish, endorse, acknowledge or even discuss religion or morality.
Of course, none of this is factually true or accurate. But decades of intentional politically motivated disinformation on the subject and a general acceptance of the notion among those who have not bothered to verify, has caused a growing separation between basic moral tenants of free civilized co-existence and individual moral self-governance, from society at large.
The basis for a separation of religion from government affairs exists only in two places in American history. First, in the First Amendment of the Constitution which plainly says exactly what the founding fathers intended it to say, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
This clause was clearly intended to keep the federal government out of the business of dictating specific religious doctrine by way of a legislative effort, since congress alone is the legislative branch of our government responsible for the making of all laws. But where does it imply that government must be void of any reference to religious or other moral principles or ideas? Where does it imply that government officials can make no public claim of their individual moral beliefs or religious teachings?
The second basis for the so-called “separation clause” which is specifically recorded or implied nowhere in our founding documents, is an 1802 letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association, in response to an inquiry which asked if the new federal government would have any power at all to legislate religious doctrine.
The entire text of Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Association reads as follows;
January 1, 1802
“The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist Association, give me the highest satisfaction. My duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, and in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
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. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessing of the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you for yourselves and your religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.” (Thomas Jefferson)
Does Jefferson sound like a Godless man, or a government official unable to express his religious views in this letter? What did Jefferson say and why did he say it?
To some degree, the answer lies with what it is the Danbury Baptists were asking.
“Our Sentiments are uniformly on the side of Religious Liberty – That Religion is at all times and places a Matter between God and Individuals – That no man ought to suffer in Name, person or effects on account of his religious Opinions” (Danbury Baptist Letter)
The inquiry was sent to Jefferson because at the time, seven of the thirteen colonies (states) had already “established” state recognized Christian religions and their moral tenants as the official religions of the individual territories. The Danbury Baptists were concerned that the US Constitution might give the newly formed federal government a special right to legislate over the colonies (states) on the subject of religion, to mandate a federal religion by law.
Having experienced the sanctioning of the Church of England, this was of utmost concern to many who arrived in America for the single purpose of establishing free religious expression, recently outlawed in England.
Therefore, Jefferson’s response must be read in context with the question being asked at the time. His response, was to simply affirm that which was written in the First Amendment of the US Constitution, that “Congress (the federal legislative branch) shall make no law (legislate) respecting (concerning) an establishment (creation or adoption) of (federal) religion, or prohibiting (silence) the free exercise thereof.”
In this regard, congress has in fact made no such laws, either establishing a federal religion or prohibiting the free exercise or expression of individual religious beliefs. However, the judicial branch has, via judicial fiat. Jefferson spoke about this too.
“The dignity and stability of government in all its branches, the morals of the people and every blessing of society depend so much upon an upright and skillful administration of justice, that the judicial power ought to be distinct from both the legislative and executive and independent upon both, that so it may be a check upon both, as both should be checks upon that.” --Thomas Jefferson to George Wythe, 1776. Papers 1:410
In an ideal free world as envisioned by the founders in 1776, this would be the case. However, one flaw in our founding design might have been the right of partisan politicians to seat those supposed to be “independent” of politics and political agenda, and their right to seat the high court for life, short of an impeachable offense.
By 1821, Jefferson was already seeing the fruits of this flaw.
“It is not enough that honest men are appointed judges. All know the influence of interest on the mind of man, and how unconsciously his judgment is warped by that influence. To this bias add that of the esprit de corps, of their peculiar maxim and creed that ‘it is the office of a good judge to enlarge his jurisdiction,’ and the absence of responsibility, and how can we expect impartial decision between the General government, of which they are themselves so eminent a part, and an individual state from which they have nothing to hope or fear?” --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:121
By 1823, the fruit of this error in design was falling from the tree and rotting on the ground.
“At the establishment of our Constitutions, the judiciary bodies were supposed to be the most helpless and harmless members of the government. Experience, however, soon showed in what way they were to become the most dangerous; that the insufficiency of the means provided for their removal gave them a freehold and irresponsibility in office; that their decisions, seeming to concern individual suitors only, pass silent and unheeded by the public at large; that these decisions nevertheless become law by precedent, sapping by little and little the foundations of the Constitution and working its change by construction before any one has perceived that that invisible and helpless worm has been busily employed in consuming its substance. In truth, man is not made to be trusted for life if secured against all liability to account.” --Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. ME 15:486
As a result, some 180 years later, the general American population has come to believe that the presence of basic moral tenants have no place outside of the church. They have come to accept a complete separation of morality and society. They have adopted the notions of Godless politicians seeking ever greater political power over the people, and followed the lead of many self-appointed federal deities to the immoral destruction of self-governance, in the name of tolerance and a greater common good.
Nobody is more excited about an immoral America than today’s leftist liberals, known also as today’s secular socialist movement, which currently control both houses of congress and the judicial system via the Democrat Party.
The “party of the people” that claims to represent the “little guy”, the “victim”, the “minority” and the “underdog”, is directly responsible for replacing a free nation of morally conscious, self-governed American Dream chasers with a burgeoning “proletariat” class of federal dependents willing to vote themselves into tyranny for the sake of avoiding individual moral responsibility for their own actions.
The Democrat Party was not always anti-American, anti-Freedom and anti-Morality. But today, these things define the platform of human degradation that is the centerpiece of the Democrat Party agenda.
They call it an “open society”, where all immoral behaviors are “tolerated” as “equal” moral behaviors. They demand that a nation which is 90% or so Christian, ban the Christian Bible from its own classrooms, libraries, court houses and government properties.
Meanwhile, they demand that a Christian nation founded upon Christian principles tolerate the teachings of evolution, Islam, homosexuality, pedophilia, and socialism, murder of the innocent child and forgiveness of the convicted criminal. They support the rights of international terrorists, foreign rogue regimes and common criminals. But hope to relieve average law abiding citizens of their Second Amendment right to own guns and use force in defense of their family and property.
They demand a woman’s right to choose death for an innocent child who has no choice or unalienable right to life, as guaranteed in our Declaration of Freedom and Independence.
The point should be obvious and it is to anyone in possession of true moral values. America was founded under the tenants of freedom and personal liberty, which can only exist where moral men are able to freely govern themselves through moral conscious.
In any land void of these attributes, man made laws must be written and interpreted to govern those who will not govern themselves. This requires an ever larger, ever more intrusive government system and a man made deity, the governing class, which will take responsibility for the legal governance of those who will no longer self-govern via moral principles.
And today, the separation of church and state has become a separation between morality and society. Half of American voters now beg the federal government to step in and solve by law that which they can not solve by morally sound decisions and self-reliance. Half of America now votes itself into federal dependence, willing to exchange personal liberty and freedom for a pittance of federal assistance.
In a self-governed society, as goes the moral conscience, so go the people and their nation. Politicians are all too happy to step in and fill the void, for there is no greater power on earth than the power to rule over those who will not rule over themselves.
America is fast reaching the point of no return. When morality is gone from American society, gone from the teaching of the next generation and the next, gone from public discourse and gone from our government, freedom and liberty will also be extinct.
Freedom and personal liberty belongs to only those willing to govern themselves. Our prisons are overflowing with immoral people unable to govern themselves. We can not build and maintain enough prisons to hold all those who will refuse moral self-governance once morality is gone from society.
It has nothing to do with evangelical Christian television preachers in the White House or any so-called extreme religious right-wing conspiracy. It has to do with mans ability to self-govern, which requires a moral code of conduct to be established and imposed upon himself, by choice. When not enough men make this choice, other men will fill that void and rule over them by man made law.
America was designed to forever be a moral people willing and able to govern themselves through the moral tenants taught in every Judeo-Christian church, once taught in every public school house.
Morality and self-governance are inseparable. If ever fully separated, both will cease to exist… and America will become just another third world nation ruled by anarchy and governed by survival of the fittest and most evil.