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"HISTORY FORGOTTEN"

Posted on 08/31/2003 9:31:42 PM PDT by USA1PATRIOT

"HISTORY FORGOTTEN"

This is worth remembering, because it is true. It's familiar territory, but..... Those of you that graduated from school after the early 60's were probably never taught this. Our left wing, radical, socialist, liberal courts have seen to that !

Did you know that 52 of the 55 signers of "The Declaration of Independence" were orthodox, deeply committed, Christians? The other three all believed in the Bible as the divine truth, the God of scripture, and His personal intervention. It is the same Congress that formed the American Bible Society, immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of Scripture for the people of this nation. Patrick Henry, who is called the firebrand of the American Revolution, is still remembered for his words, "Give me liberty or give me death"; but in current textbooks, the context of these words is omitted. Here is what he actually said: "An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone. Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death." These sentences have been erased from our textbooks !!

Was Patrick Henry a Christian? The following year, 1776, he wrote this: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here."

Consider these words that Thomas Jefferson wrote in the front of his well-worn Bible: "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our creator."

He was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role. On July 4, 1821, President Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: "It connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President of the United States reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country."

In 1782, the United States Congress voted this resolution: "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools."

William Holmes McGuffey is the author of the McGuffey Reader, which was used for over 100 years in our public schools with over 125 million copies sold until it was stopped in 1963. President Lincoln called him the "Schoolmaster of the Nation." Listen to these word of Mr. McGuffey: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our nation, on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free Institutions. From no source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From all these extracts from the Bible, I make no apology."

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule number 1 was that students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so that they could study the Scriptures: "Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies, is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."

James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution of the United States, said this: "We have staked the whole future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."

Today, we are asking God to bless America. But, how can He bless a Nation that has departed so far from Him? Prior to September 11, He was not welcome in America. Most of what you read in this article has been erased from our textbooks. Revisionists have rewritten history to remove the truth about our country's Christian roots. You are encouraged to share with others, so that the truth of our nation's history will be told.

John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life!

This information shared is only a drop of cement to help secure a foundation that is crumbling daily in a losing war that most of the country doesn't even know is raging on, in, and around them...

Please do your bit and share this with as many as possible and make the ill-informed aware of what they once had.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: americanhistory; religion; religiousfreedom; truth

1 posted on 08/31/2003 9:31:43 PM PDT by USA1PATRIOT
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To: risk
ping
2 posted on 08/31/2003 9:36:19 PM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
SPOTREP
3 posted on 08/31/2003 9:40:24 PM PDT by LiteKeeper
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To: Tacis; OWK
try to dissemble this!
4 posted on 08/31/2003 9:48:37 PM PDT by Don W (Lead, follow, or get outta the way!)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Bump a great post!
5 posted on 08/31/2003 9:49:01 PM PDT by lakey (It's the Constitution, stupid!)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Was Patrick Henry a christian?

Patrick Henry if I recall correctly was not only a Christian, but a practicing minister...

the infowarrior

6 posted on 08/31/2003 9:51:52 PM PDT by infowarrior
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Great post! I'm copying and pasting this for my home-schooled son to read and research on his own.
7 posted on 08/31/2003 9:55:22 PM PDT by eldoradude (Boom Boom, out go the lights!)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Excellent summary.
8 posted on 08/31/2003 9:58:45 PM PDT by skr (The liberals are only interested in seeking Weapons for Bush Destruction)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Thanks for the great post. Let's spread this far and wide.

Red

9 posted on 08/31/2003 10:00:46 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever (life is but a dream...Sha Boom)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Brilliant! But where was this post last week, when FR's Christians had their backs to the monument, and were surrounded by a snarling pack of atheists? Oh well, better late than never. Cheers, By
10 posted on 08/31/2003 10:02:52 PM PDT by Byron_the_Aussie (http://www.theinterviewwithgod.com/popup2.html)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
A different view.
11 posted on 08/31/2003 10:12:19 PM PDT by KDD
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To: Conservative4Ever
Dittoes to your thank you!......I wonder if the Judge in the Ten Commandments case in Al. has ever read what Madison said about them.
12 posted on 08/31/2003 10:29:17 PM PDT by BnBlFlag (Deo Vindice/Semper Fidelis)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind of self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.

- James Madison
13 posted on 08/31/2003 10:41:33 PM PDT by TheDon (Tock, tick, tock, tick...the sound of the clock ticking down the time until Tom drops out.)
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To: KDD
If you combine the quotes above with some from your reference, I get the impression that these were deeply religious people who had qualms with the Church and allowing it power. Consider the following from Madison:
"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

"We have staked the whole future of all our political constitutions upon the capacity of each of ourselves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."


14 posted on 08/31/2003 10:50:55 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee (const tag& thisTagWontChange)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
You're right. I was never taught that, but I did learn it later. Somehow most of us knew from our readings and in our hearts that the founders were deeply religious and that religion, christianity,is what gave footing to the American Revolution.
15 posted on 08/31/2003 10:54:28 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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To: USA1PATRIOT
bttt
16 posted on 08/31/2003 11:01:38 PM PDT by rightofrush (right of Rush, and Buchanan too.)
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Enough of this incessant skewing of OUR history for narrow purposes.

In the first place, the majority of the Founders weren't "Christians", they were "Deists", several were Freemasons.

Thomas Jefferson??

His famous letter to the Baptists of Danbury with the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" is the tip of the iceberg. Any semi-serious study of his writings and his life will quickly clear up where he stood on the question.

His "Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in Virginia", one of his fondest achievements (his self-written epitaph reads "Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, And Father of the University of Virginia.") provided not only for Freedom of Religion but also freedom FROM religion.

"I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another."
letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a Virgin Mary, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.... But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away [with] all this artificial scaffolding."
letter to John Adams, 11 April 1823

Speaking of John Adams, it is convenient, but intellectually dishonest, to forget that as President he signed the Treaty of Tripoli on 10 June 1797. Article 11 states ""As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

James Madison??

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

"[T]he number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church and state."
letter, 1819

"Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together."

"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine."
George Washington

The Founders displayed the wisdom to not only protect the State from religion, but also protect religion from the State. Those who pretend to superior wisdom frequently resort to distortion of the Founders' words and beliefs. This screed is merely one more example.

17 posted on 08/31/2003 11:47:12 PM PDT by UncleJeff
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To: KDD
KDD

Your reply and link is fought with the same attempt to rewrite history and the historical content, as is this nation is made to witness, every day by every suffering liberal. By citing ONLY the line that suits the argument, one does not have to contemplate or attempt to witness the truth of the whole and complete statement in context. I was very interested in the dates of publish, to which your link relied upon. I believe it makes my point, rather than dispel it.

The fact of the matter, is that the historical record is replete with the Founding Fathers witness to "God", to which today, liberals beg never happened. One also must understand that the name "God", IS NOT A RELIGION, rather, it is the acceptance of one that is greater than ourselves. Let's be honest. The argument is less about "God", than the leftist's attempts to rid this country of every moral principle. As long as people believe in a "God", and the moral responsibility therein, as is found in every religion, the leftists will never be able to legally smoke, drop, shoot or otherwise ingest whatever drug they want, nor will they be able to legally abuse children, women, animals or themselves. They will not be able to steal, abuse, hurt, rape or kill at their pleasure as long as those "morals" are intact and the basis for ALL criminal and civil law in this country. One must ask themselves, why are the leftist in America, really so afraid of something as common sense as the "Ten Commandments"?

Perhaps the most stunning difference between those that believe in a "God" and those that believe in nothing, is that those that believe in nothing, demand (and file suit) (so) that everyone else, believe exactly in what they believe.

So in the end, the truth remains the truth, while the liberal rewrite of history, fails even the most cursory review with any degree honesty, truth or historical context.
18 posted on 08/31/2003 11:53:49 PM PDT by USA1PATRIOT
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To: KayEyeDoubleDee; KDD; liberallarry
If you combine the quotes above with some from your reference, I get the impression that these were deeply religious people who had qualms with the Church and allowing it power.

Very much so; they were resolute about it. The Reformation had brought the Enlightenment (the best thinking of which American principles of liberty were based), it had triggered the Gunpowder Plot (Guy Fawkes), and had swept the Pilgrims to America. There was deep fear of the influences both of the Anglican and the Roman Catholic churches, or of any future religious entity on the fate of the American government. Christians themselves can be among the most vociferous critics of proponents of theocracy. Many believe it will actually be a corruption of Christian beliefs imposed by the American government itself that coincides with the last days.

19 posted on 09/01/2003 12:53:20 AM PDT by risk
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To: USA1PATRIOT; KDD
[W]hy are the leftist in America, really so afraid of something as common sense as the "Ten Commandments"?

Conservative Americans should be worried about it, too.

  1. The first four commandments are based on a specific religion. To state that all American laws are based on them is to exclude members of other faiths, or dismiss nonbelievers. This is one of the main reasons we have an exclusion clause in the first place.
  2. The 10 commandments form the basis of religious dogma. Our nation's freedoms are based on ideas that can all be explained rationally without recourse to religion. Religion can and has inspired us, but each of our laws must also be explained by logic and arguments based on fact.
It's easy to see Moore's troubles in terms of an American rejection of religion. However, this is not the case. His specific argument that the 10 commandments in total were the basis of our laws is what got him in trouble. When one considers that nonbelievers, members of other religions, and members of Christian sects that interpret the 10 commandments in widely different ways from Judge Moore are constituents of his judicial office, this is a dangerous and wholly undemocratic position to take.

The real question should be why do fundamentalist Christians want to impose the 10 commandments on their fellow citizens? Could it be due to the fact that some Christians have failed to persuade their fellow citizens to enact or uphold laws that are in agreement with their strict and narrow beliefs? I think so. Turning to religion, lawmakers and judges can forego arguments, disregard rationality, and impose their own will. All without recourse, because after all, the Bible said it.

This is why some of us patriots refuse to follow the crowd calling for a return to complete Judeo-Christian law in this country. We are not your enemies, we are not anti-Christian; far from it. We simply don't believe what you believe, and we feel law should be formed in the open, based on argument.

20 posted on 09/01/2003 1:05:19 AM PDT by risk
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To: USA1PATRIOT
Though I will be honest, and state that I am not a Christian, I am a deist or theist, if you will. I find the distortions and lies promulgated by the left in an effort to subvert the true intentions of the Founding Fathers and our Cosntitution reprehensible. With their fraudulent interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment and bastardization of the Second Amendment, they make a mockery of the Constitution.

The left are the ones who are guilty of what they so often accuse consevatives of, intolerance - intolerance of any thought or idea that does not agree with them or fall in line with their beliefs. They have become a misanthropic group of socialist elitists.

The best article I have seen on the establishment clause is this annotated and documented one by David Barton.

The Separation of Church and State
by David Barton

In 1947, in the case Everson v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court declared, “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.” The “separation of church and state” phrase which they invoked, and which has today become so familiar, was taken from an exchange of letters between President Thomas Jefferson and the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, shortly after Jefferson became President.

The election of Jefferson-America’s first Anti-Federalist President-elated many Baptists since that denomination, by-and-large, was also strongly Anti-Federalist. This political disposition of the Baptists was understandable, for from the early settlement of Rhode Island in the 1630s to the time of the federal Constitution in the 1780s, the Baptists had often found themselves suffering from the centralization of power.

Consequently, now having a President who not only had championed the rights of Baptists in Virginia but who also had advocated clear limits on the centralization of government powers, the Danbury Baptists wrote Jefferson a letter of praise on October 7, 1801, telling him:

----"Among the many millions in America and Europe who rejoice in your election to office, we embrace the first opportunity . . . to express our great satisfaction in your appointment to the Chief Magistracy in the United States. . . . [W]e have reason to believe that America’s God has raised you up to fill the Chair of State out of that goodwill which He bears to the millions which you preside over. May God strengthen you for the arduous task which providence and the voice of the people have called you. . . . And may the Lord preserve you safe from every evil and bring you at last to his Heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ our Glorious Mediator.1"----

However, in that same letter of congratulations, the Baptists also expressed to Jefferson their grave concern over the entire concept of the First Amendment, including of its guarantee for “the free exercise of religion”:

----"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, [and] that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor. But sir, our constitution of government is not specific. . . . [T]herefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights. 2"----

In short, the inclusion of protection for the “free exercise of religion” in the constitution suggested to the Danbury Baptists that the right of religious expression was government-given (thus alienable) rather than God-given (hence inalienable), and that therefore the government might someday attempt to regulate religious expression. This was a possibility to which they strenuously objected-unless, as they had explained, someone’s religious practice caused him to “work ill to his neighbor.”

Jefferson understood their concern; it was also his own. In fact, he made numerous declarations about the constitutional inability of the federal government to regulate, restrict, or interfere with religious expression. For example:

----[N]o power over the freedom of religion . . . [is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.--Kentucky Resolution, 1798 3----

----In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. --Second Inaugural Address, 1805 4----

----[O]ur excellent Constitution . . . has not placed our religious rights under the power of any public functionary. --Letter to the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1808 5----

----I consider the government of the United States as interdicted [prohibited] by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions . . . or exercises. --Letter to Samuel Millar, 1808 6----

Jefferson believed that the government was to be powerless to interfere with religious expressions for a very simple reason: he had long witnessed the unhealthy tendency of government to encroach upon the free exercise of religion. As he explained to Noah Webster:

----"It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors . . . and which experience has nevertheless proved they [the government] will be constantly encroaching on if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious [effective] against wrong and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion. 7"----

Thomas Jefferson had no intention of allowing the government to limit, restrict, regulate, or interfere with public religious practices. He believed, along with the other Founders, that the First Amendment had been enacted only to prevent the federal establishment of a national denomination-a fact he made clear in a letter to fellow-signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Rush:

----"[T]he clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly. 8"----

Jefferson had committed himself as President to pursuing the purpose of the First Amendment: preventing the “establishment of a particular form of Christianity” by the Episcopalians, Congregationalists, or any other denomination.

Since this was Jefferson’s view concerning religious expression, in his short and polite reply to the Danbury Baptists on January 1, 1802, he assured them that they need not fear; that the free exercise of religion would never be interfered with by the federal government. As he explained:

----"Gentlemen,-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. . . . 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. 9"----

Jefferson’s reference to “natural rights” invoked an important legal phrase which was part of the rhetoric of that day and which reaffirmed his belief that religious liberties were inalienable rights. While the phrase “natural rights” communicated much to people then, to most citizens today those words mean little.

By definition, “natural rights” included “that which the Books of the Law and the Gospel do contain.” 10 That is, “natural rights” incorporated what God Himself had guaranteed to man in the Scriptures. Thus, when Jefferson assured the Baptists that by following their “natural rights” they would violate no social duty, he was affirming to them that the free exercise of religion was their inalienable God-given right and therefore was protected from federal regulation or interference.

So clearly did Jefferson understand the Source of America’s inalienable rights that he even doubted whether America could survive if we ever lost that knowledge. He queried:

----"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? 11"----

Jefferson believed that God, not government, was the Author and Source of our rights and that the government, therefore, was to be prevented from interference with those rights. Very simply, the “fence” of the Webster letter and the “wall” of the Danbury letter were not to limit religious activities in public; rather they were to limit the power of the government to prohibit or interfere with those expressions.

Earlier courts long understood Jefferson’s intent. In fact, when Jefferson’s letter was invoked by the Supreme Court (only once prior to the 1947 Everson case-the Reynolds v. United States case in 1878), unlike today’s Courts which publish only his eight-word separation phrase, that earlier Court published Jefferson’s entire letter and then concluded:

----"Coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it [Jefferson’s letter] may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the Amendment thus secured. Congress was deprived of all legislative power over mere [religious] opinion, but was left free to reach actions which were in violation of social duties or subversive of good order. (emphasis added) 12"----

That Court then succinctly summarized Jefferson’s intent for “separation of church and state”:

----"[T]he rightful purposes of civil government are for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order. In th[is] . . . is found the true distinction between what properly belongs to the church and what to the State. 13"----

With this even the Baptists had agreed; for while wanting to see the government prohibited from interfering with or limiting religious activities, they also had declared it a legitimate function of government “to punish the man who works ill to his neighbor.”

That Court, therefore, and others (for example, Commonwealth v. Nesbit and Lindenmuller v. The People ), identified actions into which-if perpetrated in the name of religion-the government did have legitimate reason to intrude. Those activities included human sacrifice, polygamy, bigamy, concubinage, incest, infanticide, parricide, advocation and promotion of immorality, etc.

Such acts, even if perpetrated in the name of religion, would be stopped by the government since, as the Court had explained, they were “subversive of good order” and were “overt acts against peace.” However, the government was never to interfere with traditional religious practices outlined in “the Books of the Law and the Gospel”-whether public prayer, the use of the Scriptures, public acknowledgements of God, etc.

Therefore, if Jefferson’s letter is to be used today, let its context be clearly given-as in previous years. Furthermore, earlier Courts had always viewed Jefferson’s Danbury letter for just what it was: a personal, private letter to a specific group. There is probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by a single individual in a private letter-words clearly divorced from their context-have become the sole authorization for a national policy. Finally, Jefferson’s Danbury letter should never be invoked as a stand-alone document. A proper analysis of Jefferson’s views must include his numerous other statements on the First Amendment.

For example, in addition to his other statements previously noted, Jefferson also declared that the “power to prescribe any religious exercise. . . . must rest with the States” (emphasis added). Nevertheless, the federal courts ignore this succinct declaration and choose rather to misuse his separation phrase to strike down scores of State laws which encourage or facilitate public religious expressions. Such rulings against State laws are a direct violation of the words and intent of the very one from whom the courts claim to derive their policy.

One further note should be made about the now infamous “separation” dogma. The Congressional Records from June 7 to September 25, 1789, record the months of discussions and debates of the ninety Founding Fathers who framed the First Amendment. Significantly, not only was Thomas Jefferson not one of those ninety who framed the First Amendment, but also, during those debates not one of those ninety Framers ever mentioned the phrase “separation of church and state.” It seems logical that if this had been the intent for the First Amendment-as is so frequently asserted-then at least one of those ninety who framed the Amendment would have mentioned that phrase; none did.

In summary, the “separation” phrase so frequently invoked today was rarely mentioned by any of the Founders; and even Jefferson’s explanation of his phrase is diametrically opposed to the manner in which courts apply it today. “Separation of church and state” currently means almost exactly the opposite of what it originally meant.

Endnotes:

1. Letter of October 7, 1801, from Danbury (CT) Baptist Association to Thomas Jefferson, from the Thomas Jefferson Papers Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

2. Id.

3. The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia, John P. Foley, editor (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1900), p. 977; see also Documents of American History, Henry S. Cummager, editor (NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1948), p. 179.

4. Annals of the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales and Seaton, 1852, Eighth Congress, Second Session, p. 78, March 4, 1805; see also James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, 1789-1897 (Published by Authority of Congress, 1899), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.

5. Thomas Jefferson, Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Ellery Bergh, editor (Washington D. C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), Vol. I, p. 379, March 4, 1805.

6. Thomas Jefferson, Memoir, Correspondence, and Miscellanies, From the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Jefferson Randolph, editor (Boston: Gray and Bowen, 1830), Vol. IV, pp. 103-104, to the Rev. Samuel Millar on January 23, 1808.

7. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. VIII, p. 112-113, to Noah Webster on December 4, 1790.

8. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. III, p. 441, to Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800.

9. Jefferson, Writings, Vol. XVI, pp. 281-282, to the Danbury Baptist Association on January 1, 1802.

10. Richard Hooker, The Works of Richard Hooker (Oxford: University Press, 1845), Vol. I, p. 207.

11. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Philadelphia: Matthew Carey, 1794), Query XVIII, p. 237.

12. Reynolds v. U. S., 98 U. S. 145, 164 (1878).

13. Reynolds at 163.
21 posted on 09/01/2003 1:29:26 AM PDT by KMAJ2 (Freedom not defended is freedom relinquished, liberty not fought for is liberty lost.)
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To: risk
I am not aware that you or any other person in this country, are or have been required or imposed upon, in believing in one or another religion, either by a religious organization or the government. Perhaps you could document such statement. In terms of your belief that somehow there is a Constitutional exclusion to the "Ten Commandments", again, I must suggest that you document your statement.

The "Ten Commandments" are not only that which Christians (and most other religions and beliefs) understand to be "God's" laws, but each of them are mirrored, founded and anchored in both criminal and civil law. Your assumption (however mistaken) that our laws, if defined by the principles of the "Ten Commandments", must therein (somehow) "exclude members of other faiths, or dismiss nonbelievers", is nothing less than an uneducated comment and or guess at the historical basis of our judiciary and the laws to which they must work within. As such, they represent neither religious dogma or trivial rational. These are principles of moral responsibilities, which over thousands of decades, have been adopted by civilized societies throughout the world, regardless of religious affiliation.

The laws of this nation, each of our states and in our local communities are based and founded on a combination of English, Roman and religious laws, as applicable to this country and the moral will of the people. While some people such as yourself, or let's say the criminal element, may feel "excluded", exclusion usually is self imposed as the result of selfishness and or self gratification. One can play thesaurus word tag all day, but in the end, laws are designed to protect the general public from "immoral" criminal acts.

Judge Moore's assessment of the basis of our laws is straight forward, correct and based upon fact. Whether you agree with him or not, is not important. What is important, is that he was required to take an oath, which he took, lived, honored and obeyed. What is important, is a Federal Judge, without proper foundation or Constitutional power, overthrew a State's Constitutional law, based solely on his personal biased liberal beliefs. But you, like the Judge in question, are only concerned with issues against Christians, people of religious conviction and the Ten Commandments. There is absolutely nothing in the Ten Commandments, that adopts any religion. Perhaps if you read the Ten Commandments, you might understand the importance of it. But fear not, the issue is not resolved, nor will it die away.

If a person is so lacking in the educated ability to see the absolute moral equivalency between the Ten Commandments and the laws of this country, which have and continue to be equally adjudicated toward all people in this nation, to protect all people in this nation, nothing that can be written or said can help you.

I would close by reminding you just where laws are written, debated, adopted and or rejected and by what means. We have two houses of Congress at the Federal level, and two houses in each Legislatures for each state. In all cases, these people are elected by the people. Most criminal law statutes are written by criminal attorneys, which seek sponsorship by their Representative, in bringing the new legislation to the floor as a "Bill". Once debated, the Bill is passed or rejected on it's merits. If there were no "moral" concerns, there would be no reason to object to any Bill or law. Perhaps you know of some religious group that hides deep within a tunnel that makes laws? Or are you just against people of moral and religious conviction, having an equal right to express their desires and requests?
22 posted on 09/01/2003 2:59:27 AM PDT by USA1PATRIOT
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To: USA1PATRIOT
I am not aware that you or any other person in this country, are or have been required or imposed upon, in believing in one or another religion, either by a religious organization or the government.

That is because our first amendment is rock solid on this matter. It's against the law in all 50 states.

Your assumption (however mistaken) that our laws, if defined by the principles of the "Ten Commandments", must therein (somehow) "exclude members of other faiths, or dismiss nonbelievers", is nothing less than an uneducated comment and or guess at the historical basis of our judiciary and the laws to which they must work within.

I beg your pardon, because it is Jehova who is referenced in the first commandment. It's not Vishnu or the Indian Great Spirit, although as a Christian, you may believe that all supposed gods are to be subsumed under evil spirits or God or his angels. In any case, the one God, the monotheist God, the God who represents the godhead of your trinity, is a specific diety.

Or are you just against people of moral and religious conviction, having an equal right to express their desires and requests?

Neither, and the argument that Moore's legal setbacks are an American rejection of Judeo-Christian values in and of themselves is an exaggeration and a dangerous cry by patriots who are mistaken about their true implications. Moore has made several tactical errors in his self-styled bid to defend Christian rights. As a very pro-Christian citizen, I'm telling you that I am uncomfortable with his statements. You may not understand why yet, but you should at least consider my defense of the status quo. I'm trying to explain why things are OK, and why you can look forward to another, better "rights case for Christian civil servants." The sky is not falling. Christians aren't being rounded up and put in the lion's den.

Think about it from someone's perspective who isn't a Christian, does not believe in your God, and who believes that our laws should be rational above all else. Shouldn't you be able to explain all of our legislation based on facts and specifics rather than metaphysics alone? I have no objection to using both, but not religion above all other. If you don't think you can explain each law rationally, then we have something other than a democracy.

23 posted on 09/01/2003 3:23:36 AM PDT by risk
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To: infowarrior
I'm not sure that Patrick Henry was a Public Minister as I believe it was unlawful for a minister to be an elected representative of the government. I am not sure when that law was added but I know I read it and likely in the Congressional records at the Library of Congress.
24 posted on 09/01/2003 4:48:30 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: UncleJeff
This is from an earlier post of FR.



“I have sworn upon the altar of GOD, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of

man.” – Thomas Jefferson

On whether of not Jefferson was a Christian he answered, “I am a Christian, in the only sense that he (Jesus) wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to
himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other.”

“1. That there is one only GOD and he is perfect.

2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.

3. That to love GOD with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.”

On believing in nature rather than GOD, Jefferson wrote: “I hold, (without appeal to revelation), that when we take a view of the universe, in its parts, general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of its composition. The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal force and centripetal forces; the structure of our earth itself, with its distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere; animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all the minutest particles; insects, mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organized as man or mammoth; the mineral substances, their generation and uses; it is impossible I say, for the human mind not to believe, that there is in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their Preserver and Regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms; and their regeneration into new and other forms. We see, too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power, to maintain the universe in its course and order. So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent, that, of the infinite numbers of men who have existed through all time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to unit, in the hypothesis of an external preexistence of a Creator, rather than in that of a self-existent universe. Surely this unanimous sentiment renders this more probable, than that of the few in the other hypothesis.

On God’s nature Jefferson was not alone in his position, he said, “Jesus told us only that GOD is good and perfect, but has not defined HIM. I am therefore of His theology, believing that we have neither words nor ideas adequate to this definition, and it is a weight which human strength cannot lift, I think ignorance in these cases, is truly the softest pillow on which I can lay my head.”

Jefferson stated in a letter to John Adams, “I feel, therefore I exist. On the basis of sensation, of matter and motion, we may erect the fabric of all the certainties we can have or need. I can conceive thought to be an action of a particular organization of matter, formed for the purpose by its Creator, as well as that attraction is an atom of matter, or magnetism of lodestone. To talk of immaterial existence’s, is to talk of nothings. To say the human soul, angels, GOD are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no GOD, no angels, no soul.”

Thomas Jefferson said that the life of individuals is the test of religion, “If that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion that has regulated it cannot be a bad one.” Thus Jefferson concluded that, “The interests of society require observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree; for all forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, or bear false witness. Moreover, he who steadily observes those moral principles in which all religions concur, will never be questioned at the gates of heaven, as to the dogmas in which they all differ.”


25 posted on 09/01/2003 8:25:40 AM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: KMAJ2
Thank you for an excellent post. Too often we hear from those on the left (and right), that either haven't understood the facts, or haven't taken the time to research the historical record.
It reflects badly on this nation, that we allow our history and therefore our future, to be redrawn and redefined by those that are purely agenda driven, then pushed and published to our children as some type of present day fact. As a nation, we are paying a terrible price for this ignorance. Our children and our grandchildren are paying and will continue to pay an unbearable price for this folly.

Given this great liberal experiment of removing religion, personal responsibility, morals and truth from the classrooms, courts and even our homes, it is no wonder our children are more violent, filled with rage and hate, labored with despair and suicidal tendencies. No wonder they have little or no respect for others, themselves or their own bodies. When did we see the youth of America begin to fail to meet the educational standards of bygone years, when did the strength and protection of the family evaporate and when were our children left abandoned by America. One need not look back further in history, than when the elite left wing liberal socialists gained control of our educational systems and government in the mid to late 60's. The leftist's have no problem with the teachings of revisionism, blame it on America, blame it on big business, blame it on religion, ignoring law in favor of political correctness, the personal gratification of the self... over all others, hopelessness, hate, multiculturalism, racism, anti-family, and anti-American agendas. Never mind the fact, that these agenda's are now and have always been, failed policies and agendas. Never mind the damage it does to our children, parents or this nation. For these policies have one goal.... To destroy from within, that which no nation on earth can do spiritually, militarily or economically.
26 posted on 09/01/2003 10:14:56 AM PDT by USA1PATRIOT
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
I did not claim Jefferson expressed or intended any hostility to religion or religious expression, but his desire for an absolute separation of Government and church is clear, as is his wish to protect each from the other. Neither government nor religion will be improved overall by their being mixed. To find a congregation or group of congregations that would love to see their Doctrine become Law would not be hard, and I don't doubt that they would sincerely believe that such a move would result in the betterment of all, but it would not only NOT be what the Framers intended, it would be what they sought to prevent.
27 posted on 09/01/2003 5:18:03 PM PDT by UncleJeff
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To: UncleJeff
Jefferson attended church at... the county courthouse.

He though it was terrific that the courthouse was used by all the denominations in Charlottesville as their temple!
This doesn't fit in with the "wall of separation" view of him put forth these days.
But using a government owned and tax-payer paid for building as his church was fine since there was no coercion.

Jefferson was opposed only to the government using coercion or force for or against anyone's religious beliefs.

28 posted on 09/01/2003 5:32:20 PM PDT by mrsmith
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To: USA1PATRIOT
To put this all in simpler terms, the objective of the left (I do not use liberal because the left in this country is not liberal, but socialist) is to subvert the will and rights of the majority to those who have a minority opinion. They preach of tolerance for the views and rights of those in the minority, but what they are actually doing is lifting up and supporting "intolerance" by these minorities of the views and rights of the majority.

My spiritual affinity is a minority view, but I do not feel threatened or coerced by the religious views of the majority. I feel no need to infringe on that majorities rights to freedom of expression of that point of view, as long as they are not creating a national religion/denomination, which was the express and sole intention of the "Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment.

My rights are not infringed upon by the placement of the Ten Commandments in a public place. That placement does not force or coerce me into adopting the beliefs of the majority. To me, it appears that the left in this country is using this debate to try to establish a "godless" government, which is a basic tenet of socialism straight from Marx and Engels "Communist Manifesto."

If you really wish to trace the first inroads of socialist policy into our government, you go back to 1913 and Woodrow Wilson's implementation of the unconstitutional income tax and establishment of the federal reserve bank. But by far the biggest intrusion was created during the tidal wave of socialist programs enacted by FDR and his New Deal. The impact of these programs was masked by the severe economic conditions created by the Depression, that is only now being exposed as having been worsened exponentially by the inept fiscal policies of the federal reserve.

It would be a long and whole other topic to address the socio-economic and political atmosphere of those times, including John Maynard Keynes socialist leaning economic theories that were prevalent back then (and still prevalent in many of our left leaning economists of today). Personally, I am convinced the only way to reverse the inroads of socialism in our governemnt, and return our country to the principles of free market capitalism, is to privatize these social programs.
29 posted on 09/01/2003 5:49:28 PM PDT by KMAJ2 (Freedom not defended is freedom relinquished, liberty not fought for is liberty lost.)
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To: risk
This is one of the main reasons we have an exclusion clause in the first place.

I'm sorry, but there is no such thing as "an exclusion clause" in the "rock-solid" 1st amendment. There is an establishment clause, which states plainly that congress (the United States legislature) may make no law establishing a state religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise of any religion. (Note: I am fully aware of the current argument regarding the phrase "an establishment", but am choosing willfully to select the more common understanding of the phrase).

Further, your statement that "Our nation's freedoms are based on ideas that can all be explained rationally without recourse to religion." is completely unfounded, and is not supported by any evidence proffered by you. Our nations freedoms are founded on the viewpoint that ...all men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights....

Turning to religion, lawmakers and judges can forego arguments, disregard rationality, and impose their own will. All without recourse, because after all, the Bible said it.

This is an interesting line of argument. Unfortunately, it is a mirror image of what many people see happening in today's courts, when SCOTUS rationalizes the voiding of a state law based on foreign (European) law and opinion.

Further, this argument is fatally flawed as it presupposes that acknowledgement of the ten commandments as an historical basis for United States law mandates that all law conform strictly to all of the ten commandments. This may be the end goal for some fringe elements. As for myself, as well as those few I have held detailed conversations with on this subject, the goal is to stem the complete subversion of morality within the law. I do not wish to ban homosexuality (as an example), but merely reestablish my ability to shield my own life and my children from being required to tacitly approve of homosexual behavior. For another example, consider that a landlord can and probably will be sued if he or she refuses to rent to an unmarried couple - even if the landlord has strong religious convictions that "shacking up" is immoral and sinful, and cannot countenance such behavior.

In regard to your last point, I don't know anyone who advocates the imposition of a puritanical code. I do know many people who recognize the need to allow people to live their lives in accordance with their own beliefs. I don't see anyone calling for the subversive creation of law, excepting those who most vociferously oppose any vestige of religious expression in any governmentally connected environment. If that's not the prohibition of free religious expression, I don't know what is.

30 posted on 09/01/2003 6:16:31 PM PDT by MortMan (Tag - Does this mean "I'm it"?)
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To: KMAJ2
(((PING)))
31 posted on 02/11/2004 7:08:03 PM PST by southland
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Thomas Jefferson, religious freak
32 posted on 02/11/2004 7:18:37 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: USA1PATRIOT
When Jefferson said he was a "real Christian" he meant that he subscribed to the moral teachings of Jesus. He wasn't so keen on orthodox theological concepts, which he regarded as a latter addition to Christ's teachings. Appearances can be deceptive: Jefferson, Adams and some other founders were more unitarian than orthodox trinitarian Christians. Also, the evangelical idea of Christianity wasn't as widespread in the 18th century as it was later, and many prominent people were Christians in a social sense, rather than out of a deep personal faith and committment.
33 posted on 02/11/2004 7:51:41 PM PST by x
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