Hi to my Forum Friends,
On the Religion Forum, a Liberal Christian Friend, who leans heavily toward legalism, posted an article written by a secular writer, on a very Liberal leaning web site:
The article begins:
Outside of the NRA’s sweeping surveillance program, the biggest encroachment of freedom would have to be in the arena of religion. Not to make Michele Bachmann’s eyes go into overdrive, but our nation was founded not by Christians but Deists. These were great men and products of The Enlightenment, thus men who did not believe the bible was true and relied on reason over faith.
And, my legalistic liberal Forum Friend posted the article verbatim starting with: "Here are the top ten quotes from Thomas Jefferson on religious freedom: . . ."
I responded with:
So, my Friend, are you suggesting that we outlaw the Christian faith and all religions? Or, are you suggesting that we only be allowed to practice our Christian faith in the privacy of our homes, or in dark caves, or hidden away so that no one can see us? Is that the kind of Christian faith you practice and want all folks to practice?
How do you balance that with Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8, and Mark 16:15 where Jesus Christ told all believers in the Great Commission, "Go, Make disciples, Baptize them, TEACH them. . . Be My witnesses in ALL the world"? Should that be outlawed in the perfect America of your vision?
And, another Forum Friend tells me, "Bill, I'm not smart enough to see your point of view. I thought Jefferson meant for government to stay away from and out of religion."
No, that is only the fallacy which has grown up, inspired by secularist, atheists, and liberals -- in an attempt to keep Christian influence out of American politics.
It all comes from a letter Jefferson wrote in response to letter from a group of Baptist pastors in Danbury, Connecticut. They were concerned that their state was going to impose a state sponsored church, much like England did with their Anglican church -- and wrote to the president sharing their concern.
He responded that this cannot happen in America -- and he used a quote borrowed from another friend about "the separation of church and state" and linking that to the First Amendment wording. In his letter to the Danbury Baptists, he wrote:
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature would "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.
We read in the article "Jefferson’s Letter to the Danbury Baptists" posted on the Heritage Foundation web site: http://www.heritage.org/initia...the-danbury-baptists
In his brief response, President Jefferson sympathized with the Connecticut Baptists in their opposition to the state’s established religion, while expressing his reverence for the First Amendment’s “wall of separation between Church & State” at the federal level. Jefferson was not advancing the modern view that religion must be excluded from the public square. After all, he concludes his letter, written in his official capacity as President, with a brief prayer.
The now well-known expression lay dormant for nearly a century and a half untilSupreme Court Justice Hugo Black, in the 1947 case Everson v. Board of Education, put forth the novel interpretation that the First Amendment’s establishment clauseapplied to the states and that any government support or preference for religion amounts to an unconstitutional establishment of religion. In support of his argument for a radical separation of religion and politics, he cited Jefferson’s metaphor: “[t]he First Amendment has erected a wall of separation between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable.”
Jefferson’s actual aim was quite to the contrary. While he, along with James Madison, stoutly opposed established churches as existed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and other states (while recognizing that, as President, he had to respect them), he was deeply committed to religious liberty.
So, my Friend, neither Jefferson nor any of the founding fathers, with the possible exception of Thomas Paine who was enamored with the French idea of enlightenment bolstered by their revolution -- wanted to keep Christian influence out of America's political or public life.
As a matter of fact, in the early Washington DC, most of the federal buildings were used during the week for government work -- and on Sundays as houses of worship. That is hardly the act of leadership which wants to ban Christian thinking from the halls of congress and leadership.
The so called "separation of church and state" appears in none of our founding documents, i.e., the Mayflower Compact *(1620), the Declaration of Independence (1776), Articles of Confederation (1778), U.S. Constitution (1787), The Bill of Rights (1791), Amendments to The Constitution, nor The Federalist Papers (All 85 of Them).
It was only found in a personal letter of support written from a sitting president to his constituents.
I pray this helps you better understand the fallacy of "separation of church and state." And, I pray that you have the insight to realize that a government run by one idea only -- is a dangerous government.
The reason that our founding fathers established a three sided government: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial -- was to give balance in the leadership of our nation. A government run by only one of these would be a total disaster.
By the same token, a government run only by either secularist, or only by Christians -- would be a disaster. We need the balance of secular thinking balanced by Christian influence in our government -- to give our nation the stability it needs to continue to me a mighty nation.
God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,