January 17, 2010

Christianity, Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence, and the Danbury Baptist Letter: We Are a Judeo-Christian Republic

Here's a timely post from our brother-in-blogging... BUNGALOW BILL

There is a movement in this country by atheist and left-wing groups that pushes to rewrite history and redefined philosophies of the United States. Some base their opinion because they claim they are offended by Judeo-Christian symbols such as the Ten Commandments on a courthouse wall, even though our own laws are based on these ten laws. Others' claim the separation of church and state demands these symbols be removed. If you remove these symbols, what's next? The Declaration of Independence?

Like our Constitution, the founding fathers had the wisdom to document the meanings behind their two great documents which led to our Republic's self-government. Thomas Jefferson, not only left behind documents that defined the meaning of the First Amendment, he clearly spelled out who the Creator is he wrote of in the Declaration of Independence.

Of course, that hasn't stopped those with special interest from distorting Jefferson's words as separation of church and state is a typical argument used ignorantly by the left-wing, which we saw just a few days ago as Senate candidate Martha Coakley pushing the idea abortion is protected by separation of church and state. Does Martha Coakley really feel she is capable of taking an oath to follow, protect, and defend the Constitution? She like Claire McCaskill have no clues what the Constitution means.

Let's take a look at what separation of church and state really means. First off, you will never find the term in the Constitution, but people talk as if it's there. The term is a Jeffersonian term, but it is in no official document of the United States government. It also has a different meaning according to Jefferson than how it's being used today.

This all goes back to the Declaration of Independence, which clearly shows we are a nation founded in the belief of God. Before Jefferson described the injustices to the colonies by King George of Great Britain, he describes the rights given to all men by God. Here's the text:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

OK, I hear the left scream, but that doesn't really point out one God. That could take on many different meanings. Like the ignorance so many Americans show with their knowledge of the Constitution, too lazy too dig deeper into the meanings of these great documents. The Federalist Papers and many letters written to constituents define the meanings of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. In the day's of our founding fathers, states' rights were critical for the passage of the Constitution. To form a union, no state wanted to be considered a lesser or agree to a union that would economically hurt the state. The Federalist Papers and various letters were written to the people of the states before ratification, and they explain what was decided on at Independence Hall by the framers of the Constitution. These papers are available on the Internet, but because they expose truths, politicians like Claire McCaskill choose to ignore them.

To back the United States is a Christian nation, we look at the Danbury Letter. Jefferson wrote the letter to address the concerns of the Danbury Baptists about Congress forming a national religion. That's the key to the First Amendment.

To messers. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, & Stephen S. Nelson, a committee of the Danbury Baptist association in the state of Connecticut.


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, & 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 & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & 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 & 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 & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association, assurances of my high respect & esteem.

Th Jefferson
Jan. 1. 1802.

Jefferson writes of the common father between him, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, and the Baptist. In his letter he clearly points out the common father between him the Baptist is also listed as the creator of man. Now being raised a Baptist, I don't need any reinforcement as to the God that I have in common with Jefferson. It is the Christian God, which is the foundation of our country, which many of our original laws are based from.

As for Coakley and her belief that emergency room workers should give up their jobs based on separation of church and state, justifying abortion without considering any sense of right or wrong based on core principles is scary enough, but the fact that Coakley believes separation of church or state is a principle to force hospitals and hospital workers into performing abortions is another clear distortion of the separation. The term has nothing to do with abortions, rather the First Amendment which it has been connected protects the people from the Congress choosing the Catholic religion over the Protestant religion, which shifted back and forth in the Church of England causing oppression. That's all it is intended for. You have the freedom to worship in this country without Congress demanding you choose a certain denomination or church to represent the country. It has nothing to do with abortion as Coakley claims, nor does it have anything to do with putting religious symbols on courthouse walls, a manger in the town square, or the words Merry Christmas on a firehouse.

America is a Judeo-Christian republic founded on the principles of the Creator, the common father of myself, Jefferson, and the Danbury Baptist. Jefferson never intended the term separation of church and state to limit religion in American, rather it was termed to increase religious freedom.


Abi said...

Good blog! :) One of my many frustrations- people pushing to take God out of our culture. It's a bunch of bull- we were founded on judeo-christianity. That's what our country is supposed to be about. This country is supposed to be free for people to have their own thoughts, beliefs, and religions. Yet, Christianity cant be free to have the ten commandments on the courthouse wall. Ridiculous.

Eric said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RMC said...

Hola Nickie, compartes un tema interesante a nivel cultural y religioso, a pesar de los grupos de ateos y de izquierdas que empujan, la historia tiene una filosofia bien definida, siempre habra opiniones diversas pero las ideologias son claras.
tu texto interesante a nivel social y cultural, pasar por tu casa es un placer.

Que tengas una feliz semana
un abrazo

Opus #6 said...

As I said on Bill's site, in America we have freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. And nobody has the right to force their atheism onto me.

George J said...

I remember an old line back from the 70s (maybe earlier) that went something like this...

"God is dead!"

"Nichtzie is dead!"


sig94 said...

George, I remember that also. As far as I know, Nichtze ist immer noch tot.

Doug Indeap said...

The United States was founded as a secular government, as is clear from the Constitution which expressly founds the government on the power of the people rather than a deity and says nothing substantive of god(s) or religion except in the First Amendment where the point is to confirm that each person enjoys religious liberty and the government is not to take steps to establish religion and another provision precluding any religious test for public office.

The phrase “separation of church and state” is but a metaphor to describe the underlying principle of the First Amendment and the no-religious-test clause of the Constitution. That the phrase does not appear in the text of the Constitution assumes much importance, it seems, only to those who may have once labored under the misimpression it was there and later learned otherwise. To those familiar with the Constitution, the absence of the metaphor commonly used to describe one of its principles is no more consequential than the absence of other phrases (e.g., Bill of Rights, separation of powers, checks and balances, fair trial, religious liberty) used to describe other undoubted Constitutional principles.

Some try to pass off the Supreme Court's decision in Everson v. Board of Education as simply a misreading of Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. Instructive as that letter is, it played but a small part in the Court's decision. Indeed, it was only after reaching its conclusion based on a detailed discussion of the historical events leading to the First Amendment that the Court mentioned the letter. The metaphor "separation of church and state" was but a handy catch phrase to describe the upshot of its conclusion. The Court's reading of the First Amendment in this regard was unanimous; all nine Justices agreed on that much, but split 5-4 on whether the Amendment precludes states from paying for transportation of students to religious schools.

Perhaps even more than Thomas Jefferson, James Madison influenced the Court's view. Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to "[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government." Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that old habits die hard and that tendencies of citizens and politicians could and sometimes did lead them to entangle government and religion (e.g., "the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress" and "for the army and navy" and "[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts"), he considered the question whether these were "consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom" and responded: "In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion."

The First Amendment embodies the simple, just idea that each of us should be free to exercise his or her religious views without expecting that the government will endorse or promote those views and without fearing that the government will endorse or promote the religious views of others. By keeping government and religion separate, the establishment clause serves to protect the freedom of all to exercise their religion. Reasonable people may differ, of course, on how these principles should be applied in particular situations, but the principles are hardly to be doubted. Moreover, they are good, sound principles that should be nurtured and defended, not attacked. Efforts to undercut our secular government by somehow merging or infusing it with religion should be resisted by every patriot.

They Say/We Say said...

Especially the EPA, Planed Parent Hood, and the Education Department.
Why the Planed Parent Hood? Because the taxes collected, and payed to the IRS, a percentage is allocated to the Planed Parent Hood-before the rest is sent to Congress. The reason no one can audit the IRS or Federal Reserve?
What does this have to do with anything about this article? Do research on religions that have been notable in the investigation of most all Large Governments in the History of Mankind; eg-PBS Lost Civilizations.
The common thread.
The enemies of this country know that this country is founded on Judeo-Christian Principals, and to over throw a nation is to change the religion to that which turns Yahuah's face from their nation; and allow the nations enemies to take over with out the sword (firing a shot).
Jeremiah 3
13:And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed ADULTERY I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
14:Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you:...
Clearly Adultery is worshiping other gods.(ie. evolution, environmentalism, ecology, and others I won't go into here).

Just a conservative girl said...

The judge that used the Danbury letter was a member of the KKK, and the case was about Catholics. I think that is an important note to make when discussing this case. The case should be revisted due to this.

George J said...

"The phrase “separation of church and state” is but a metaphor to describe the underlying principle of the First Amendment and the no-religious-test clause of the Constitution."

Actually, what was intended by our founders was a "separation of State and Church" - and then only for the Federal Government. The individual states were free to mingle government and religion to the extent deemed appropriate by The People of said state.

Doug Indeap said...

Just a conservative girl,

The KKK smear against Justice Black is sometimes offered as an explanation for his opinion in Everson v. Board of Education--even though all nine justices agreed on the principle that the First Amendment called for separation of church and state (so it was hardly just Black's doing) and Black led the majority of five in holding that the principle did NOT preclude state funding of transportation of students to parochial schools.

George J,

You rightly observe that the First Amendment constrains only the federal government. The Constitution initially left states free to establish a religion and to enact laws limiting individuals' exercise of religion. Some states, indeed, maintained official religions for a time after the adoption of the Constitution; a political "disestablishment" movement succeeded in removing them--the last in 1833. The Fourteenth Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, protects individuals' rights against infringement by states. The Supreme Court interpreted it to protect the rights afforded in the First Amendment, i.e., the right to freely exercise one's religion and to be free of government acts respecting establishment of religion, so states now are constrained like the federal government.