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To: jda

Worth re-posting:

For those who don’t know:
- The words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

- The 1st Amendment says: “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.” {emphasis added}

- It wasn’t until the early 1960’s that prayer in public school was “outlawed” by a new interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

- The history of the U.S. includes prayer and Bible readings in all sorts of public places, including schools and Congress.

- In 1782, the United States Congress passed the following resolution: “The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.”

William Holmes McGuffey, the author of the McGuffey Reader (used ofr over 100 years in U.S. public schools), declared: “The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions 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 of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him (Proverbs 2:3).”

{Excerpts from}

According to the majority of comments on this thread, our country was wrong for the first 170 or so years. As you accurately note, prayer was part of our public school system up until 1960. What has been the fate of the country sincd then? Increased drug use, STD’s, divorce, and crime. Perhaps there is a correlation...

Also, historically speaking the freedom of religion spoken of in the first ammendment was whatever form of Christianity one preferred. The separation of church and state originates from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Convention who feared a state run religion would be implemented much like the church of England. They wanted to be assured they would not be forced by the state to practice any certain form of Christianity. Jefferson assured them they would be able to practice their brand of Christianity without state intervention. That letter has been twisted 180 degrees to prevent public displays of Christianity. It was never Jefferson’s intent.

45 posted on 02/14/2011 3:12:34 PM PST by kailbo
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To: kailbo
You are correct that the words separation of church and state do not appear in the Constitution. Also the words right to privacy do not appear either. But both are short hand for the meanings behind the 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th amendments.

When the founders were writing the constitution the majority of them were familiar with the Virginia bill for establishing religious freedom. Thomas Jefferson wrote this about that law;

[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom ... was finally passed, ... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.” The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.
— Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, 1821

The founding fathers could have easily put in the christian religion in the first amendment, but they didn't. In fact they specifically stated that there would be no religious test for public office. The first time ever in the history of man that a government did not have an official religion.

Now was this always strictly applied? No. When 90% or better of a country are a specific sect it is easy for them to dominate.

Here is a quote from John Adams about the founding of this country;

The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.
— John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” (1787-88),

The protestant majority in this country who had control of the courts and legal system used it for almost 150 years to make sure their religious views were supported by the government. It is funny to read these views now and see the blatant anti-catholic bias in them.

The public schools were started in America by the states and in New York and others they were there for poor children who's parents could not send them to a private school. If you got rid of public schools tomorrow you would see the same thing. Many kids would never see the inside of a school.

47 posted on 02/14/2011 3:41:28 PM PST by armordog99
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