- Old Talkshoe Programs
The Christian Institution of These United States of America, Part 2
William Finck in a discussion of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et al. and some of their documents proving that the American Constitution and other founding documents were Christian documents founded upon Christian principles and ideals.
We have spoken at length about a few men from the Revolutionary era, and we will continue this second part of this presentation with that same theme. I have not avoided the earlier colonial period, however it was simply not my intent to cover it at length, but we will do that a bit later today. Yet here before we commence with a discussion of Thomas Jefferson, I would like to back up a bit. We all know about the founding of the New England colonies for religious reasons. I would like to go back to 1682, and the founding of Pennsylvania. Here I will quote from pages 82 through 84 of the “Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States”, written by 1863 by B. F. Morris:
William Penn was singularly qualified to be the founder of a Christian commonwealth. He had been educated under the influence of the gospel. He had studied the origin of government, the nature of civil liberty, and the rights of man, in the light of the pure word of God, and formed the purpose of founding a Christian empire on the free and peaceful precepts of Christianity. He had a firm faith in the great American idea that man, educated by Christianity, was capable of self-government. Finding no place in Europe to try the experiment of a Christian government, he resolved to seek it in America.
The settlement of the province of Pennsylvania by William Penn formed a new era in the liberties of mankind. It afforded a resting-place where the conscientious and oppressed people of Europe might repose, and enjoy the rights of civil and religious freedom which mankind had derived as an inheritance from the Creator.
He obtained from Charles II. a grant of territory that now embraces the States of Pennsylvania., New Jersey, and Delaware. He was legally inducted to the governorship of this immense domain, in England, by the officers of the crown, and in 1682 arrived in the New World and assumed the civil government of the colony. He avowed his purpose to be to institute a civil government on the basis of the Bible and to administer it in the fear of the Lord. The acquisition and government of the colony, he said, was “so to serve the truth and the people of the Lord, that an example may be set to the nations."
The frame of government which Penn completed in 1682 for the government of Pennsylvania was derived from the Bible. He deduced from various passages “the origination and descent of all human power from God; the divine right of government, and that for two ends, - first, to terrify evil doers; secondly, to cherish those who do well;" [note Romans Chapter 13 and 1 Peter2:13] so that government, he said, “seems to me to be a part of religion itself,” - “a thing sacred in its institutions and ends." “Let men be good, and the government cannot be bad.” “That, therefore, which makes a good constitution must keep it, - namely, men of wisdom and virtue, - qualities that, because they descend not with worldly inheritance, must be carefully propagated by a virtuous education of youth." [Which we have not had for 100 years.]
The first legislative act, passed at Chester, the seventh of the twelfth month, December, 1682, announced the ends of a true civil government. [There you have it, December 7th, 1682: to the jews that should be a day of infamy!] The preamble recites, that, “Whereas the glory of Almighty God and the good of mankind is the reason and end of government, and, therefore, government in itself is a venerable ordinance of God, and forasmuch as it is principally desired and intended by the proprietary and governor, and the freemen of Pennsylvania and territories thereunto belonging, to make and establish such laws as shall best preserve true Christian and civil liberty, in opposition to all unchristian, licentious, and unjust practices, whereby God may have his due, Caesar his due, and the people their due, from tyranny and oppression.”
The frame of government contained the following article on religious rights:-
“That all persons living in this province who confess and acknowledge the one almighty and eternal God to be the creator, upholder, and ruler of the world, and who hold themselves obliged in conscience to live peaceably and justly in civil society, shall in no wise be molested or prejudiced for their religious persuasion or practice in matters of faith and worship; nor shall they be compelled at any time to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.”
Let me make a note, that once we are educated in the true Christian religion, we are able to see the aliens in the light of who they truly are: practitioners of animism. Their original religion before we failed to convert them to Christianity was animism, or one of the voodoo-related superstitions: and the evidence that we failed is that they still practice those vile things, even if it is often in the name of Christianity or Catholicism! For their many and constant crimes reflect the laws written in their hearts: the laws of the jungle. Here William Penn fully infers that if one does not only profess, but also act like a Christian, that he should indeed be molested and harassed and has no right to be in our society. However one of Penn's shortcomings, like nearly all of the men of his era, was that he wanted to convert the aboriginal Indians to Christianity. It has been 400 years now since they have first come into contact with the White man, and the Indians still have no fruit in Christendom!
But Penn was nevertheless a good man. William Penn, when about planting his colony and establishing his government in Pennsylvania, in 1682, caused the following law to be made :-
“To the end that looseness, irreligion, and atheism may not creep in under the pretence of conscience in this province, be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That, according to the good example of the primitive Christians, and for the ease of the creation, every first day of the week, called the Lord's day, people shall abstain from their common toil and labor, that, whether masters, parents, children, or servants, they may better dispose themselves to read the Scriptures of truth at home or to frequent such meetings of religious worship abroad, as may best suit their respective persuasions."
Any form of religion was acceptable to William Penn, so long as it was a form of the Christian religion. We saw that same expectation in the later attitudes of John Hancock and George Mason, and there were many others who felt much the same way.
We discussed in the first half of this presentation the religious convictions of John Hancock, Samuel Huntington, George Mason, John Adams, and Benjamin Franklin among others, and the persuasive evidence which exists in some of the documents that these men produced. We saw the words of some our first presidents and their recognition of our Christian God in official state documents and addresses. We saw that these men were indeed Christian men, although they did not wear their profession on their shirtsleeves with open displays of pious church-going and sudden outbursts of joyous psalm-singing. Rather, they propounded and sought to live by the actual teachings of Christ. They were anti-priesthood, anti-ritual and anti-sectarian. They were also racially aware of who they were and cared about the destiny of their race, as we saw explicitly from the writings of Adams and Franklin. While they did not too often pepper their words with Gospel quotes, they certainly sought righteousness with what they wrote. They were true Bible-reading and practicing Christians, and not hypocrites following after the Pharisees by making outward displays of piety while rejecting the Truth of the Word in deed. I am persuaded, that today we Israelite Identity Christians are the only legitimate heirs to the posterity of these great men, in both our genetics and in our religious practices and beliefs.
Now for some notes on Thomas Jefferson. For the same reasons that I omitted a biography of Washington, I am not going to get into a biography of Jefferson. And while I believe that he was a bright and courageous man, there were many lights just as bright in that era, if not brighter, and it is evident that Jefferson was smart enough to emulate them. Here is a summary on Jefferson's religion from theamericanrevolution.org:
Personal Attacks on Jefferson
During his first term Jefferson was subjected to attacks on his personal character that have rarely, if ever, been matched in presidential history. In 1802 sensational charges against him were publicized by James Thomson Callender, a dissolute and unscrupulous journalist whom he had unwisely befriended and who had turned on him when not given a lucrative federal appointment. These charges were gleefully taken up by Jefferson's political enemies, but he maintained his policy of making no public reply to personal attacks. The abuse he suffered from newspapers weakened his confidence in a free press. He believed that his triumphant reelection in 1804 justified his toleration of his critics and reflected approval of his public conduct.
But the Federalists in their desperation continued to publicize the stories Callender had told, and in 1805 in a private letter Jefferson admitted that, while unmarried, he had made improper advances to the wife of a friend. For this he had made honorable amends, and he denied all the other charges. There appears to be no evidence that he ever again referred to them, and he undoubtedly believed that the best answer to them was the whole tenor of his life.
From an early stage in his public career, Jefferson had been subjected to attacks on religious grounds. While he kept his opinions regarding religion very much to himself, believing that they were a private concern, his insistence on the complete separation of church and state was well known. This gained him the support of "dissenting" groups, notably the Baptists, but it aroused bitter opposition among Congregationalists in those parts of New England where the clergy and magistrates still constituted a virtual establishment. From the presidential campaign of 1796 at least, New England clergymen denounced him from their pulpits as an atheist and as an anti-Christ.
Unlike Thomas Paine, who attacked all sects [which certainly does not mean that he was not a Christian, as we have already seen here with John Adams], Jefferson attacked none, and he contributed to many churches, but he was distinctly anticlerical and was as opposed to absolutism in priests and presbyters as in kings. In a private letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush in 1800, he said: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." That assertion is properly recognized as one of his most characteristic. [So we see a pattern here, since Adams was also against the established priesthood. That does NOT mean that they were anti-Christian! In fact, it demonstrates that they were of a Christian persuasion more firmly founded in Scripture that any of today's judaized Chrtistians.]
In another strictly private communication to Dr. Rush, made in his first term as president, Jefferson revealed his own religious opinions. He believed in God and immortality and was a Unitarian in theology, though he rarely used the term. Comparing the ethical teachings of Jesus with those of the ancient philosophers and the Jews, he expressed the highest appreciation of the former [meaning Christ]. He began at this time, and finished in old age, a compilation of extracts from the Gospels in English, Greek, Latin, and French. He carefully excluded miracles from the compilation. Entitled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, it remained unpublished until the 20th century. While opposed to what he regarded as the corruptions of Christianity, he described himself as a Christian, and he undoubtedly sought to follow the ethical precepts of Jesus.
Now I will note that there are many different forms of what is called “unitarianism”. The Unitarianism of Jefferson was with all probability that 18th and 19th-century "rationalist unitarianism", which included the questioning, or even rejection, of the inspiration of the Bible, miracles, the virgin birth, and even the resurrection. During this period, the unitarian movement attained its numerical peak of adherents The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth is often published as the “Jefferson Bible” and is still available. While certainly an imperfect Christian, Jefferson was obviously the type of Christian which mattered most among all sects: one who honored the words and practices of Christ, rather than those who merely worship His image and then depend upon rituals for salvation. So in that important sense, Jefferson was indeed a Christian.
Here we have a balanced defense of Jefferson's religion, abridged from World Net Daily:
While Jefferson has been lionized by those who seek to drive religion from public life, the true Thomas Jefferson is anything but their friend. He was anything but irreligious, anything but an enemy to Christian faith. Our nation's third president was, in fact, a student of Scripture who attended church regularly, and was an active member of the Anglican Church, where he served on his local vestry. He was married in church, sent his children and a nephew to a Christian school, and gave his money to support many different congregations and Christian causes. Moreover, his "Notes on Religion," nine documents Jefferson wrote in 1776, are "very orthodox statements about the inspiration of Scripture and Jesus as the Christ...."
So what about the Jefferson Bible, that miracles-free version of the Scriptures? That, too, is a myth. It is not a Bible, but an abridgement of the Gospels created by Jefferson in 1804 for the benefit of the Indians. Jefferson's "Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted From the New Testament for the Use of the Indians" was a tool to evangelize and educate American Indians. There is no evidence that it was an expression of his skepticism. [Here I must note that we see two different versions of the title and purposes of that book now marketed as the Jefferson Bible]
Jefferson, who gave his money to assist missionary work among the Indians, believed his "abridgement of the New Testament for the use of the Indians" would help civilize and educate America's aboriginal inhabitants. Nor did Jefferson cut all miracles from his work. While the original manuscript no longer exists, the Table of Texts that survives includes several accounts of Christ's healings.
Jefferson's 1802 letter to the Baptists in Danbury, Conn., in which he cited the First Amendment's creation of a "wall of separation" between church and state, is an ACLU proof-text for its claim that the First Amendment makes the public square a religion-free zone. But if the ACLU is right, why, just two days after he sent his letter to the Danbury Baptists did President Jefferson attend public worship services in the U.S. Capitol building, something he did throughout his two terms in office? And why did he authorize the use of the War Office and the Treasury building for church services in Washington, D.C.?
Jefferson's outlook on religion and government is more fully revealed in another 1802 letter in which he wrote that he did not want his administration to be a "government without religion," but one that would "strengthen … religious freedom."
Jefferson was a true friend of the Christian faith. But was he a true Christian? A nominal Christian – as demonstrated by his lifelong practice of attending worship services, reading the Bible, and following the moral principles of Christ – Jefferson was not, [in the opinion of the World Net Daily writer], a genuine Christian. In 1813, after his public career was over, Jefferson rejected the deity of Christ. Like so many millions of church members today, he was outwardly religious, but never experienced the new birth that Jesus told Nicodemus was necessary to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Nonetheless, Jefferson's presidential acts would, if done today, send the ACLU marching into court. He signed legislation that gave land to Indian missionaries, put chaplains on the government payroll, and provided for the punishment of irreverent soldiers. He also sent Congress an Indian treaty that set aside money for a priest's salary and for the construction of a church.
Most intriguing is the manner in which Jefferson dated an official document. Instead of “in the year of our Lord,” Jefferson used the phrase "in the year of our Lord Christ." Christian historian David Barton has the proof – the original document signed by Jefferson on the “eighteenth day of October in the year of our Lord Christ, 1804.”
The Supreme Court ruled in 1947 that Jefferson's wall of separation between church and state "must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach." [There is no doubt in my mind, however, that ever since the late 1800's, the Supreme Court has done the work of the jewish robber barons and plutocrats, and not of the people.] Judging from the record, it looks like the wall some say Tom built is, in fact, the wall Tom breached. The real Thomas Jefferson, it turns out, is the ACLU's worst nightmare.
Now I would assert, that if Thomas Jefferson went out of his way to sign his documents “in the year of our Lord Christ”, and if he published a book – for whatever reason – which included all of the sayings of Christ, then he was indeed a Christian. An imperfect Christianity does not disqualify a moral man from being a Christian, since all sects have an imperfect Christianity, or we would have no sects! I would prefer to consort with a man who was critical of miracles but adored the moral precepts of Christ – His commandments, rather than a man who believed in miracles, and prayed that Jesus would cure his herpes! The man who wrote those phrases in the Declaration of Independence which recognize “Nature and Nature's God” and that Creator who endows us with unalienable rights, and who also risked life, limb and fortune for his country, who recognized Jesus Christ as Lord, what better Christian could he be?
Now in recent times the jews have really sought to destroy Jefferson with another evil slander: the propaganda concerning the negress, Sally Hemmings. Yet even if it is true that the DNA in the descendants of that negress does match that of the Jefferson family, it only proves that a Jefferson male – one of 38 in Virginia at the time – had relations with her which resulted in offspring. It does not prove that the male in question was Thomas. A much better candidate was a brother, Randolph Jefferson, who was known to have caroused with his slaves.
Here is an excerpt from an 1815 letter by Thomas Jefferson to one Dr. Waterhouse:
“The priests have so disfigured the simple religion of Jesus that no one who reads the sophistications they have engrafted on it, from the jargon of Plato, of Aristotle and other mystics, would conceive these could have been fathered on the sublime preacher of the Sermon on the Mount. Yet, knowing the importance of names, they have assumed that of Christians, while they are mere Platonists, or anything rather than disciples of Jesus.” Later, Jefferson professed in an 1822 letter to the same Dr. Waterhouse that: “... there is one only God, and he all perfect.... That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.... to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.”
Thomas Jefferson risked his life, and was threatened with trial for treason against the British first in 1774 as a member of the Virginia legislature. He was a wealthy man and a lawyer, who could have lived comfortably having done nothing. Yet he stood up for the rights of the English freemen in the colonies, withstanding the tyranny which the British sought to impose upon them. With Benjamin Franklin and John Adams, he was one of the three principal authors of the Declaration of Independence, and to understand what those men meant by their famous words, one must understand the rest of their writings and actions, and what they opposed in order to find necessity to write the document in the first place. Jefferson also strongly opposed a central bank, and he also wrote outlining the true purpose of the general welfare clause of the Constitution, and warned about its potential abuse, among other things which we today have for the most part forgotten in our history books and our educational institutions. The jews seek to destroy Jefferson, one of the pillars of the founding of this great Christian nation, so that they can continue to justify their crimes against us, and so that we can continue to be oblivious to the true nature of those crimes. Hardly would we study the papers of noble men in our schools today. Surely we wouldn't study the papers of a man soiled by hypocrisy! Yet Jefferson was no hypocrite: only those who would make him out to be, they are the hypocrites.
Here are some quotes from Thomas Jefferson, of which the source is Merrill. D. Peterson, ed., Jefferson Writings, New York, Literary Classics of the United States, 1984, Vol. IV, p. 289. From Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XVIII, 1781: “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” (Excerpts from this are inscribed on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in the nations capital.) Jefferson has also been quoted as having said “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man”, “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus”, and “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus”.
Another Virginian, James Madison, was another brilliant man. Shamefully, the jews who control our media only want us to dote on his wife, Dolly. Madison was born at Port Conway, Virginia, on the 16th of March 1751. His first ancestor in America may have been Captain Isaac Maddyson, a colonist of 1623 mentioned by John Smith as an excellent Indian fighter. His father, also named James Madison, was the owner of large estates in Orange county, Virginia. In 1769 Madison entered the college of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University), where, in the same year, he founded the well-known literary club, “The American Whig Society.” He graduated in 1771, but remained for another year at Princeton studying, apparently for the ministry, under the direction of John Witherspoon (1722-94). In 1772 he returned to Virginia, where he pursued his reading and studies, especially theology and Hebrew, and acted as a tutor to the younger children of the family. In 1775 he became chairman of the committee of public safety for Orange county, and wrote its response to Patrick Henry's call for the arming of a colonial militia, and in the spring of 1776 he was chosen a delegate to the new Virginia convention, where he was on the committee which drafted the constitution for the state, and proposed an amendment (which was not adopted) which declared that "all men are equally entitled to the full and free exercise" of religion, and was more radical than the similar one offered by George Mason. In 1777, largely, it seems, because he refused to treat the electors with rum and punch, after the custom of the time, he was not re-elected, but in November of the same year he was chosen a member of the privy council or council of state, in which he acted as interpreter for a few months, as secretary prepared papers for the governor, and in general took a prominent part from the 14th of January 1778 until the end of 1779, when he was elected a delegate to the Continental Congress.
So here we see another wealthy man who risked all on behalf of the freedom of his nation, and it is obvious from his studies and his fruits that he was a devout Christian. He was also considered to be the “Father of the Constitution”, and he was our 4th President. So it is apparent, that the principal author of the United States Constitution, was trained to be a Christian pastor “especially” in theology and Hebrew, and therefore he must have had a first-hand knowledge of the Laws of our Yahweh God which far surpassed anything that comes out of the judaized so-called “New Testament” pastors of today! The author of our Constitution was not a jew nor was he a mason as we know masons today. He was rather a studied, Christian man of God!
The last paragraph of James Madison's first inaugural address, given in Washington, DC, March 4th, 1809:
But the source to which I look or the aids which alone can supply my deficiencies is in the well-tried intelligence and virtue of my fellow-citizens, and in the counsels of those representing them in the other departments associated in the care of the national interests. In these my confidence will under every difficulty be best placed, next to that which we have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being whose power regulates the destiny of nations, whose blessings have been so conspicuously dispensed to this rising Republic, and to whom we are bound to address our devout gratitude for the past, as well as our fervent supplications and best hopes for the future.
I have here a lengthy paper written by Madison. It is an important study, because it reflects the thoughts concerning religion, of the very man who was the major contributor to the writing of our Constitution.
Much earlier in Madison's political career, certain members of the Virginia legislature wanted to hire Christian teachers at the expense of the State – or rather, of the taxpayer. James Madison wrote this treatise against the idea. It is a very worthwhile read, since one may immediately think that Madison was writing from an anti-Christian viewpoint. Rather, Madison correctly argued against taxpayer-supported religion precisely because he was a Christian. It also fully exhibits the definite Christian nature of the people, and that they expected a Christian government, and Christianity in government. This was written only a few years before the Constitution itself was written.
Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments
James Madison, Virginia, Saturday, June 20 1785
To the Honorable the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments
We the subscribers, citizens of the said Commonwealth, having taken into serious consideration, a Bill printed by order of the last Session of General Assembly, entitled “A Bill establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion,” and conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and to declare the reasons by which we are determined. We remonstrate against the said Bill,
Because we hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, “that religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.” [Notice that Madison cannot conscience a denial of our Creator in all of this.] The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men: It is unalienable also, because what is here a right towards men, is a duty towards the Creator. It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent, both in order of time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign. [These are the words of the Father of our Constitution: God comes first!] We maintain therefore that in matters of Religion, no man's right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance [the State cannot have an official religion, and force it on men]. True it is, that no other rule exists, by which any question which may divide a Society, can be ultimately determined, but the will of the majority; but it is also true that the majority may trespass on the rights of the minority. [Remember, this is the Father of the Constitution!]
1. Because Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the creatures and vicegerents of the former. Their jurisdiction is both derivative and limited: it is limited with regard to the co-ordinate departments, more necessarily is it limited with regard to the constituents. The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to over-leap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves. [Welcome to modern America, described by James Madison 225 years ago. This is why I consistently call America a tyranny. It gets better.]
2. Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? [And this is what the founders were concerned with, which is why they refused to make any religion official.] That the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever? [The exact situation which we are in today!]
3. Because the Bill violates the equality which ought to be the basis of every law, and which is more indispensible, in proportion as the validity or expediency of any law is more liable to be impeached. If “all men are by nature equally free and independent,” all men are to be considered as entering into Society on equal conditions; as relinquishing no more, and therefore retaining no less, one than another, of their natural rights. Above all are they to be considered as retaining an “equal title to the free exercise of Religion according to the dictates of Conscience.” Whilst we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess and to observe the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us. If this freedom be abused, it is an offence against God, not against man: To God, therefore, not to man, must an account of it be rendered. As the Bill violates equality by subjecting some to peculiar burdens [which is the burden of taxation to support those who may be of a different sect of Christianity], so it violates the same principle, by granting to others peculiar exemptions. Are the Quakers and Menonists the only sects who think a compulsive support of their Religions unnecessary and unwarrantable? Can their piety alone be entrusted with the care of public worship? Ought their Religions to be endowed above all others with extraordinary privileges by which proselytes may be enticed from all others? We think too favorably of the justice and good sense of these denominations to believe that they either covet pre-eminences over their fellow citizens or that they will be seduced by them from the common opposition to the measure.
4. Because the Bill implies either that the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth; or that he may employ Religion as an engine of Civil policy. [Which is exactly what we have today through the IRS tax-exemption program!] The first is an arrogant pretension falsified by the contradictory opinions of Rulers in all ages, and throughout the world: the second an unhallowed perversion of the means of salvation [meaning the civil policy – which today most people rely upon for salvation].
5. Because the establishment proposed by the Bill is not requisite for the support of the Christian Religion. To say that it is, is a contradiction to the Christian Religion itself, for every page of it disavows a dependence on the powers of this world: it is a contradiction to fact; for it is known that this Religion both existed and flourished, not only without the support of human laws, but in spite of every opposition from them, and not only during the period of miraculous aid, but long after it had been left to its own evidence and the ordinary care of Providence. Nay, it is a contradiction in terms; for a Religion not invented by human policy, must have pre-existed and been supported, before it was established by human policy. It is moreover to weaken in those who profess this Religion a pious confidence in its innate excellence and the patronage of its Author; and to foster in those who still reject it, a suspicion that its friends are too conscious of its fallacies to trust it to its own merits. [This is really brilliant. Madison clearly proves that Christianity has stood, will stand, and must stand on its own without the support of law so long as it is Truth!]
6. Because experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. [Counting from Constantine the Great. The founders of this nation had a much better sense of history than we do – they actually read books and didn't wait for the watered-down television versions of history offered by the jews.] What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution. Enquire of the Teachers of Christianity for the ages in which it appeared in its greatest lustre; those of every sect, point to the ages prior to its incorporation with Civil policy. [The beast!] Propose a restoration of this primitive State in which its Teachers depended on the voluntary rewards of their flocks, many of them predict its downfall. On which Side ought their testimony to have greatest weight, when for or when against their interest? [In other words, an oppressive priesthood is all for compulsory religion and tithing.]
7. Because the establishment in question is not necessary for the support of Civil Government. If it be urged as necessary for the support of Civil Government only as it is a means of supporting Religion, and it be not necessary for the latter purpose, it cannot be necessary for the former. If Religion be not within the cognizance of Civil Government how can its legal establishment be necessary to Civil Government? What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority [Romish Churchianity]; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny [as judaized Churchianity does today]: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. [this describes America today – where the clergy is controlled through tax exemptions!] A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not. Such a Government will be best supported by protecting every Citizen in the enjoyment of his Religion with the same equal hand which protects his person and his property; by neither invading the equal rights of any Sect, nor suffering any Sect to invade those of another.
8. Because the proposed establishment is a departure from the generous policy, which, offering an Asylum to the persecuted and oppressed of every Nation and Religion [meaning those who had already come from Europe in search of religious freedoms], promised a lustre to our country, and an accession to the number of its citizens. What a melancholy mark is the Bill of sudden degeneracy? Instead of holding forth an Asylum to the persecuted, it is itself a signal of persecution. It degrades from the equal rank of Citizens all those whose opinions in Religion do not bend to those of the Legislative authority. Distant as it may be in its present form from the Inquisition, it differs from it only in degree. The one is the first step, the other the last in the career of intolerance. The magnanimous sufferer under this cruel scourge in foreign Regions, must view the Bill as a Beacon on our Coast, warning him to seek some other haven, where liberty and philanthropy in their due extent, may offer a more certain repose from his Troubles.
9. Because it will have a like tendency to banish our Citizens. The allurements presented by other situations are every day thinning their number. To superadd a fresh motive to emigration by revoking the liberty which they now enjoy, would be the same species of folly which has dishonoured and depopulated flourishing kingdoms.
10. Because it will destroy that moderation and harmony which the forbearance of our laws to intermeddle with Religion has produced among its several sects. Torrents of blood have been spilt in the old world, by vain attempts of the secular arm, to extinguish Religious discord, by proscribing all difference in Religious opinion. Time has at length revealed the true remedy. Every relaxation of narrow and rigorous policy, wherever it has been tried, has been found to assuage the disease. The American Theatre has exhibited proofs that equal and compleat liberty, if it does not wholly eradicate it, sufficiently destroys its malignant influence on the health and prosperity of the State. If with the salutary effects of this system under our own eyes, we begin to contract the bounds of Religious freedom, we know no name that will too severely reproach our folly. At least let warning be taken at the first fruits of the threatened innovation. The very appearance of the Bill has transformed "that Christian forbearance, love and charity," which of late mutually prevailed, into animosities and jealousies, which may not soon be appeased. What mischiefs may not be dreaded, should this enemy to the public quiet be armed with the force of a law?
11. Because the policy of the Bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who enjoy this precious gift ought to be that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind. Compare the number of those who have as yet received it with the number still remaining under the dominion of false Religions; and how small is the former! Does the policy of the Bill tend to lessen the disproportion? No; it at once discourages those who are strangers to the light of revelation from coming into the Region of it; and countenances by example the nations who continue in darkness, in shutting out those who might convey it to them. Instead of levelling as far as possible, every obstacle to the victorious progress of Truth, the Bill with an ignoble and unchristian timidity would circumscribe it with a wall of defence against the encroachments of error.
12. Because attempts to enforce by legal sanctions, acts obnoxious to so great a proportion of Citizens, tend to enervate the laws in general, and to slacken the bands of Society. If it be difficult to execute any law which is not generally deemed necessary or salutary, what must be the case, where it is deemed invalid and dangerous? And what may be the effect of so striking an example of impotency in the Government, on its general authority?
13. Because a measure of such singular magnitude and delicacy ought not to be imposed, without the clearest evidence that it is called for by a majority of citizens, and no satisfactory method is yet proposed by which the voice of the majority in this case may be determined, or its influence secured. The people of the respective counties are indeed requested to signify their opinion respecting the adoption of the Bill to the next Session of Assembly. But the representatives of the Counties will be that of the people. Our hope is that neither of the former will, after due consideration, espouse the dangerous principle of the Bill. Should the event disappoint us, it will still leave us in full confidence, that a fair appeal to the latter will reverse the sentence against our liberties.
14. Because finally, “the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his Religion according to the dictates of conscience” is held by the same tenure with all our other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consult the “Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of Government,” it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis. Either then, we must say, that the Will of the Legislature is the only measure of their authority; and that in the plenitude of this authority, they may sweep away all our fundamental rights; or, that they are bound to leave this particular right untouched and sacred: Either we must say, that they may control the freedom of the press, may abolish the Trial by Jury, may swallow up the Executive and Judiciary Powers of the State; nay that they may despoil us of our very right of suffrage, and erect themselves into an independent and hereditary Assembly or, we must say, that they have no authority to enact into the law the Bill under consideration.
We the Subscribers say, that the General Assembly of this Commonwealth have no such authority: And that no effort may be omitted on our part against so dangerous an usurpation, we oppose to it, this remonstrance; earnestly praying, as we are in duty bound, that the Supreme Lawgiver of the Universe, by illuminating those to whom it is addressed, may on the one hand, turn their Councils from every act which would affront his holy prerogative, or violate the trust committed to them: and on the other, guide them into every measure which may be worthy of his blessing, may redound to their own praise, and may establish more firmly the liberties, the prosperity and the happiness of the Commonwealth.
Thus ends James Madison's argument in a “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments”. It is very important here to grasp the difference between a state not empowered to make laws concerning religion, and an irreligious state. Expressions of piety and an obeisance to God were expected by the men who founded this Republic. They only agreed that such things would not be controlled by any particular sect, and that is the only intent of the First Amendment of our Constitution. Here it is perfectly clear, that Congress shall make no law establishing religion, but that does not outlaw religion, nor does it proscribe religious expression in government: indeed those who originally wrote such things expected a Christian government!!!
James Madison later openly informed us that the separation of powers in the Constitution were founded directly from Scripture. That he received his inspiration for this feature of our government directly from Isaiah 33:22 is oft-repeated, except by our jewish media. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, James Madison proposed the plan to divide the central government into three branches. He discovered this model of government from the Perfect Governor. Here is that passage: “For the LORD is our judge [the judicial branch], the LORD is our lawgiver [the legislative branch], the LORD is our king [the executive branch]; He will save us.”
Now there is no doubt that Madison himself made this analogy, but I have an idea that takes it a step further, whether it was conscious in Madison's mind or not. The ancient republic of Israel was organized by Yahweh into two groups: the Executive and the Judicial, which are Yahweh Himself, and the Levitical priesthood which He established to judge the people and to keep records and to carry out the business of the temple. However the people were also permitted their own leaders in times of war and in order to administer to their immediate needs when the occasion arose. These were the equivalent of our legislative branch of government, and these were described by the words Moses spoken in Deuteronomy Chapter 1:10-15, in reference to Leviticus Chapter 18: “10The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. 11 (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) 12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife? 13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you. 14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do. 15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.”
In this manner, the American Constitution was modeled to a pattern which was surely as close as possible to that which the children of Israel had under Moses. They were a self-governing people under the auspices of the sovereignty of God. The Divine Law was their rule, and the Levites their judges, but they also had their legislative government in the captains of tens, hundreds, and thousands which were appointed by the people, from the bottom up, to oversee the daily affairs of the people at each level. For this reason, the state assemblies consisted of men elected at a town level, and they themselves chose a Senator to represent them at the national level. In addition, there was another representative elected directly by the people from an area of each state. This entire system, in essence from bottom to top, is quite similar to the one found in Leviticus Chapter 18 and Deuteronomy Chapter 1 mentioned above.
And not only was the triunal nature of government which distributed the power of government among the people based upon Christian principles, but also other features of the Constitution are Christian, such as the right to trial by jury, the limitations on government powers, and most of the items found in the Bill of Rights. This system, as we have already seen here, was written into our Constitution by a man who was trained for the clergy, in both theology and the Hebrew language, but chose instead to become a lawyer. He must have had a great familiarity with the government and laws of Yahweh our God, and that must have affected him and his writing of the Constitution! It is only Providential, that such a man could be in that place at that particular time. As we have already seen in this presentation, Adams too originally was meant for the clergy, and Samuel Huntington to be a farmer. Yet they both became lawyers. The hand of Providence is surely manifest to me in these things! These men would have been wasted behind either pulpit or plough.
The following quotes are attributed to James Madison:
"Religion is the basis and Foundation of Government." Said to have been spoken on June 20, 1785
"It is not the talking but the walking and working person that is the true Christian." This is said to have been in a manuscript on the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, that Madison makes this statement. It is an attitude which we have seen reflected already here by Adams, Jefferson, and others. It is also a healthy and Christian attitude.
"We have all been encouraged to feel in the guardianship and guidance of that Almighty Being, whose power regulates the destiny of nations." March 4, 1809 Inaugural Address already cited above.
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” [to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]
"Cursed be all that learning that is contrary to the cross of Christ." - America's Providential History, p. 93.
Yet even if all of these quotes did not exist, the remarks which Madison made in his arguments against the establishment of tax-payer supported Christian teachers in the Virginia legislature, and his remarks about the Constitution and Isaiah, a definite part of our public records, by themselves prove that not only was Madison a Christian, but this Nation was founded on Christian principles through and through.
The following is from The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, beginning from page 247. It is from a compilation of arguments which demonstrate that, while the Constitution was a Christian document, it did not mandate Christianity. It is from a very long chapter, which I shall only read parts of. This book will be available in its entirety on Christogenea.org, along with the archive of this program.
The convention accordingly met in Philadelphia, on May 14, 1787, and, after four months of solemn deliberation, the Federal Constitution was formed, and sent to the States and the people for ratification. After very thorough discussion before the people, it was adopted, and went into practical operation.
“It was a most fortunate thing for America,” says Curtis, in his “History of the Constitution,” that the Revolutionary age, with its hardships, its trials, and its mistakes, had formed a body of statesmen capable of framing for it a durable Constitution. The leading persons in the convention which formed the Constitution had been actors, in civil or military life, in the scenes of the Revolution. In these scenes their characters as American statesmen had been formed. When the condition of the country had fully revealed the incapacity of the government to provide for its wants, these men were naturally looked to, to construct a system to save it from anarchy; and their great capacities, their high disinterested purposes, their freedom from all fanaticism and illiberality, and their earnest, unconquerable faith in the destiny of the country, enabled them to found that government which now upholds and protects the whole fabric of liberties in the States of this Union.”
“Of this convention,” says a writer, “considering the character of the men, the work in which they were engaged, and the results of their labor, I think them the most remarkable body ever assembled.”
This Constitution, formed by such a body of able and wise statesmen, contains no recognition of the Christian religion, nor even an acknowledgment of the providence of God in national affairs. This omission was greatly regretted by the Christian public at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, as it has been by the Christian sentiment of the nation ever since....
After he [Washington] was inaugurated, in 1789, as the first President under the Constitution, the Presbytery Eastward, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, sent a Christian address to Washington, in which they say, “We should not have been alone in rejoicing to have seen some explicit acknowledgment of the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, inserted somewhere in the Magna Charta of our country.”
To this Washington replies, “I am persuaded you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation respecting religion from the Magna Charta of our country. To the guidance of the ministers of the gospel this important object is, perhaps, more properly committed. And in the progress of morality and science, to which our Government will give every furtherance, we may confidently expect the advancement of true religion and the completion of our happiness.”
Notwithstanding this omission, the record of facts now to pass before the reader will demonstrate that the Constitution was formed under Christian influences and is, in its purposes and spirit, a Christian instrument.
The Christian faith and character of the men who formed the Constitution forbid the idea that they designed not to place the Constitution and its government under the providence and protection of God and the principles of the Christian religion. In all their previous state papers they had declared Christianity to be fundamental to the well-being of society and government, and in every form of official authority had stated this fact. [We have seen as much earlier in this presentation, with Franklin, Adams, Madison, Mason, and Hancock.] The Declaration of Independence contained a solemn “appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world,” and expressed “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” An article in the old Confederation had declared that “it had pleased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the legislatures we severally represent in Congress to approve of, and to authorize us to ratify, the said articles of confederation and perpetual union.” The various States who had sent these good and great men to the convention to form a Constitution had, in all their civil charters, expressed, as States and as a people, their faith in God and the Christian religion. Most of the statesmen themselves were Christian men; and the convention had for its president George Washington, who everywhere paid a public homage to the Christian religion. [Let me state that this same book also exhibits practically the entire body of such evidence directly from those State Constitutions.]
These statesmen, met to form a Constitution for a free and growing republic, were at times baffled in reaching desirable and harmonious results.
“I can well recollect,” says Judge Wilson, a member [of the Constitutional Convention], “though I cannot, I believe, convey to others, the impression which on many occasions was made by the difficulties which surrounded and pressed the convention. The great undertaking, at some times, seemed to be at a stand; at other times, its motions seemed to be retrograde. At the conclusion, however, of our work, the members expressed their astonishment at the success with which it terminated.”
It was in the midst of these difficulties that Dr. Franklin, on the morning of the 28th of June, 1787, rose, and delivered the following address:-
Mr. President:- The slow progress we have made, after four or five weeks' close attendance and continual reasoning with each other, - our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many nays as yeas, - is, methinks, a melancholy proof of the imperfection of human understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of government, and examined the different forms of those republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed modern states all round Europe, but find none of their constitutions suitable to our circumstances.
In this situation of this assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding? In the beginning of the contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending Providence in our favor. To that kind Providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need his assistance?
I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, - that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, sir, in the sacred writings, that 'Except the Lord build the house they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. We shall be divided by our little, partial, local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves become a reproach and by-word down to future ages. And, what is worse, mankind may hereafter, from this unfortunate circumstance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service. [End of quote from Ben Franklin.]
Madison says that
“Mr. Sherman seconded the motion.
“Mr. Hamilton and several others expressed their apprehensions that, however proper such a resolution might have been at the beginning of the convention, it might at this late day, in the first place, bring on it some disagreeable animadversions [strong criticisms], and, in the second, lead the public to believe that the embarrassments and dissensions within the convention had suggested this measure.
“It was answered by Dr. Franklin, Mr. Sherman, and others, that the past omission of a duty could not justify a further omission; that the rejection of such a proposition would expose the convention to more unpleasant animadversions than the adoption of it; and that the alarm out of doors, that might be excited for the state of things within, would at least be as likely to do good as ill.
“Mr. Williamson observed that the true cause of the omission could not be mistaken. The convention had no funds.
“Mr. Randolph proposed, in order to give a favorable aspect to the measure, that a sermon be preached, at the request of the convention, on the Fourth of July, the anniversary of Independence, and thenceforward prayers, &c. to be read in the convention every morning.”
[Here there are other accounts of the appeals made to God for inspiration and agreement during the Constitutional Convention, which I will not repeat. They certainly do demonstrate that the founders, while they often found it difficult to agree among each other, could agree to humble themselves and pray for aid and understanding.]
After the convention had closed its labors, and the Constitution had been adopted, Dr. Franklin acknowledged a divine intervention, as follows:-
“I am not to be understood to infer that our General Convention was divinely inspired when it formed the new Federal Constitution; yet I must own that I have so much faith in the general government of the world by Providence, that I can hardly conceive a transaction of so much importance to the welfare of millions now in existence, and to exist in the posterity of a great nation, should be suffered to pass without being in some degree influenced, guided, and governed by that omnipotent and beneficent Ruler in whom all inferior spirits live, and move, and have their being....”
“It appears to me,” writes Washington to Lafayette, February 8, 1788, “little short of a miracle that the delegates from so many States, differing from each other, as you know, in their manners, circumstances, and prejudices, should unite in forming a system of national government so little liable to well-founded objections. It will at least be a recommendation to the proposed Constitution that it is provided with more checks and barriers against the introduction of tyranny, and those of a nature less liable to be surmounted, than any government hitherto instituted among mortals. We are not to expect perfection in this world; but mankind in modern times have apparently made some progress in the science of government.”
“We may with a kind of pious and grateful exultation,” writes Washington to Governor Trumbull, of Connecticut, July 20, 1788, “trace the finger of Providence through those dark and mysterious events which first induced the States to appoint a general convention, and then led them one after another, by such steps as were best calculated to effect the object, into an adoption of the system recommended by the general convention, thereby, in all human probability, laying a lasting foundation for tranquillity and happiness, when we had too much reason to fear that confusion and misery were coming upon us.”
On his way to New York, after its adoption, to assume the administration of the new government, processions and ovations were frequent in honor of the adoption of the Constitution and as a tribute to the good and great man who had presided over the convention that formed it. At Philadelphia twenty thousand people met and welcomed Washington with cries of, “Long live George Washington! Long live the father of his country!” Washington, in addressing the people of that city, spoke as follows :-
“When I contemplate the interposition of Providence, as it has been visibly manifested in guiding us through the Revolution, in preparing us for the General Government, and in conciliating the good will of the people of America towards one another in its adoption, I feel myself oppressed and overwhelmed with a sense of the Divine munificence.”
“It has sometimes been concluded,” says a writer, “that Christianity cannot have any direct connection with the Constitution of the United States, on the ground that the instrument contains no express declaration to that effect. But the error of such a conclusion becomes manifest when we reflect that the same is the case with regard to several other truths, which are, notwithstanding, fundamental in our constitutional system. The Declaration of Independence says that 'governments are instituted among men to secure the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;' and that 'whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government.' These principles lie at the foundation of the Constitution of the United States. No principles in the Constitution are more fundamental than these. But the instrument contains no declaration to this effect; these principles are nowhere mentioned in it, and the references to them are equally slight and indirect with those which are made to the Christian religion. The same may be said of the great republican truth that political sovereignty resides in the people of the United States. If, then, anyone may rightfully conclude that Christianity has no connection with the Constitution of the United States because this is nowhere expressly declared in the instrument, he ought, in reason, to be equally convinced that the same Constitution is not built upon and does not recognize the sovereignty of the people, and the great republican truths above quoted from the Declaration of Independence. This argument receives additional strength when we consider that the Constitution of the United States was formed directly for political and not for religious objects. The truth is, they are all equally fundamental, though neither of them is expressly mentioned in the Constitution.
“Besides, the Constitution of the United States contemplates, and is fitted for, such a state of society as Christianity alone can form. [And indeed this was the attitude of John Adams.] It contemplates a state of society in which strict integrity, simplicity, and purity of manners, wide diffusion of knowledge, well-disciplined passions, and wise moderation, are the general characteristics of the people. These virtues, in our nation, are the offspring of Christianity, and without the continued general belief of its doctrines and practice of its precepts they will gradually decline and eventually perish.”
The Constitution declares that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
On this article Judge Story says, -
“The clause requiring no religious test for office is recommended by its tendency to satisfy the minds of many delicate and scrupulous persons, who entertain great repugnance to religious tests as a qualification for civil power or honor. But it has a higher aim in the Constitution. It is designed to cut off every pretence of an alliance between the Church and the State in the administration of the National Government. The American people were too well read in the history of other countries, and had suffered too much in their colonial state, not to dread the abuses of authority resulting from religious bigotry, intolerance, and persecution.”
The first amendment to the Constitution is, “That Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
“The same policy,” says Judge Story, “which introduced into the Constitution the prohibition of any religious test, led to this more extended prohibition of the interference of Congress in religious concerns. We are not to attribute this prohibition of a national religious establishment to an indifference to religion in general, and especially to Christianity (which none could hold in more reverence than the framers of the Constitution), but to a dread by the people of the influence of ecclesiastical power in matters of government, - a dread which their ancestors brought with them from the parent country, and which, unhappily for human infirmity, their own conduct, after their emigration, had not in any just degree tended to diminish. [Think of the Salem Witch Trials.] It was also obvious, from the numerous and powerful sects in the United States, that there would be perpetual temptations to struggles for ascendency in the national councils, if anyone might thereby hope to found a permanent and exclusive national establishment of its own; and religious persecutions might thus be introduced, to an extent utterly subversive of the true interests and good order of the republic. The most effectual mode of suppressing the evil, in the view of the people, was to strike down the temptations to its introduction. How far any government has a right to interfere in matters touching religion, has been a matter much discussed by writers upon public and political law. The right of a society or government to interfere in matters of religion will hardly be contested by any persons who believe that piety, religion, and morality are intimately connected with the well-being of the state and indispensable to the administration of civil justice.
“The promulgation of the great doctrines of religion, - the being and attributes and providence of one Almighty God, the responsibility to him for all our actions, founded upon moral accountability, a future state of rewards and punishments, the cultivation of all the personal, social, and benevolent virtues, - these never can be a matter of indifference in a well-ordered community. It is, indeed, difficult to conceive how any civilized society can exist without them. And, at all events, it is impossible for those who believe in the truth of Christianity as a divine revelation to doubt that it is the special duty of Government to foster and encourage it among all the citizens and subjects. This is a point wholly distinct from that of the right of private judgment in matters of religion, and of the freedom of public worship according to the dictates of one's conscience. [Which were the real reasons for the first amendment.]
“The real difficulty lies in ascertaining the limits to which Government may rightfully go in fostering and encouraging religion. Three cases may easily be supposed. One, where a government affords aid to a particular religion, leaving all persons free to adopt any other; another, where it creates an ecclesiastical establishment for the propagation of the doctrines of a particular sect of that religion, leaving a like freedom to all others; and a third, where it creates such an establishment, and excludes all persons not belonging to it, either wholly or in part, from any participation in the public honors, trusts, emoluments, privileges, and immunities of the state [like IRS tax-exempt status today]. For instance, a government may simply declare that the Christian religion shall be the religion of the state, and shall be aided and encouraged in all the varieties of sects belonging to it; or it may declare that the Roman Catholic or Protestant religion shall be the religion of the state, leaving every man to the free enjoyment of his own religious opinions; or it may establish the doctrines of a particular sect, as of Episcopalians, as the religion of the state, with a like freedom; or it may establish the doctrines of a particular sect as exclusively the religion of the state, tolerating others to a limited extent, or excluding all not belonging to it from all public honors, trusts, emoluments, privileges, and immunities.
“Probably at the time of the adoption of the Constitution and of the Amendments to it, the general, if not universal, sentiment in America was that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the state, so far as such encouragement was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. An attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation.”
In a work on the Constitution, by James Bayard, of Delaware, and which received the warm commendations of Chief-Justice Marshall, Judge Story, Chancellor Kent, and other distinguished civilians and jurists, the writer speaks on this fundamental law of the Constitution thus:-
“The people of the United States were so fully aware of the evils which arise from the union of Church and State, and so thoroughly convinced of its corrupting influence upon both religion and government, that they introduced this prohibition into the fundamental law.
“It has been made an objection to the Constitution, by some, that it makes no mention of religion, contains no recognition of the existence and providence of God, - as though his authority were slighted or disregarded. But such is not the reason of the omission. The convention which framed the Constitution comprised some of the wisest and best men of the nation, - men who were firmly persuaded not only of the divine origin of the Christian religion, but also of its importance to the temporal and eternal welfare of men. The people, too, of this country were generally impressed with religious feelings, and felt and acknowledged the superintendence of God, who had protected them through the perils of war and blessed their exertions to obtain civil and religious freedom. But there were reasons why the introduction of religion into the Constitution would have been unseasonable, if not improper.
“In the first place, it [the Constitution] was intended exclusively for civil purposes, and religion could not be regularly mentioned, because it made no part of the agreement between the parties. They were about to surrender a portion of their civil rights for the security of the remainder; but each retained his religious freedom, entire and untouched, as a matter between himself and his God, with which government could not interfere. But, even if this reason had not existed, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to use any expression on the subject which would have given general satisfaction. The difference between the various sects of Christians is such, that, while all have much in common, there are many points of variance: so that in an instrument where all are entitled to equal consideration it would be difficult to use terms in which all could cordially join. [This is what many lose point of in discussing the United States Constitution. The document was not meant to create a Sovereign state in itself. Rather, the document was meant as an agreement to confederate a group of already sovereign states.]
[Bayard continues:] “Besides, the whole Constitution was a compromise, and it was foreseen that it would meet with great opposition before it would be finally adopted. It was, therefore, important to restrict its provisions to things absolutely necessary, so as to give as little room as possible to cavil [petty objection]. Moreover, it was impossible to introduce into it even an expression of gratitude to the Almighty for the formation of the present government; for, when the Constitution was framed and submitted to the people, it was entirely uncertain whether it would ever be ratified, and the government might, therefore, never be established.
“The prohibition of any religious test for office was wise, because its admission would lead to hypocrisy and corruption. The purity of religion is best preserved by keeping it separate from government; and the surest means of giving to it its proper influence in society is the dissemination of correct principles through education. The experience of this country has proved that religion may flourish in all its vigor and purity without the aid of a national establishment; and the religious feeling of the community is the best guarantee for the religious administration of the government."
To abridge this long document, I will only say that what follows is this: in the Massachusetts assembly from a Congregational pastor we see an argument against a religious test for government office, on the grounds that non-Christians would only swear false oaths anyway, since they have no moral fears to bind them. Rather, the people should be trusted to elect moral men into office [well, we have seen how that worked out, didn't we – but that does not mean we'd have done better with a formal profession of religion from candidates]. It is the people who have failed, and I believe that failure began when we started to ignore our God and place our hopes of salvation in our government, so that the government replaced our God!
To continue with Morris' book:
The Constitution itself affirms its Christian character and purpose.
The seventh article declares it to be framed and adopted “by the unanimous consent of the States, the seventeenth day of September in the year of our LORD 1787, and of the Independence of the United States of America the twelfth.” The date of the Constitution is twofold: first it is dated from the birth of OUR Lord Jesus Christ, and then from the birth of our independence. Any argument which might be supposed to prove that the authority of Christianity is not recognized by the people of the United States, in the first mode, would equally prove that the independence of the United States is not recognized by them in the second mode. The fact is, that the advent of Christ and the independence of the country are the two events in which, of all others, we are most interested, - the former in common with all mankind, the latter as the birth of our nation. This twofold mode, therefore, of dating so solemn an instrument was singularly appropriate and becoming.
A second fact is the harmony of the purposes for which the Constitution was established with the purposes and results of Christianity as affecting nations and the temporal interests of men. The preamble states this political and moral harmony in these words:-
We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
These fundamental objects of the Constitution are in perfect harmony with the revealed objects of the Christian religion. Union, justice, peace, the general welfare, and the blessings of civil and religious liberty, are the objects of Christianity, and are always secured under its practical and beneficent reign. [If you don't believe that is true today, go to a muslim or a jewish country and try to practice Christianity.] “Our National Constitution is fitted to quicken the growth of a real manhood, to discipline the virtuous citizen for an ampler reward in heaven than he would reach if he were not trained to think for himself, to govern himself, to develop his own powers, to worship his Maker according to his own conscience.”
A third fact indicating the Christian character of the Constitution is, that in no less than four places it requires an oath.
“No person can hold an executive or judicial office under it, or derived from any State, who does not take an oath to support it.”
An oath is defined to be “a solemn appeal to the Supreme Being for the truth of what is said, by a person who believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, and in a future state of rewards and punishments, according to that form which will bind his conscience most.” Can it with propriety be said that a government which forbids the exercise of the slightest of its functions by anyone who cannot make and has not made such an appeal to a supreme Being, in whom he believes, does not recognize the authority of God? It includes other sovereignties, and provides that even there no man shall be intrusted with any power that concerns the whole people, who fails to furnish this testimony of his religious character.
It was objected in several of the State conventions held for the adoption of the Federal Constitution, that it contained no religious test. It was argued that Mohammedans, pagans, or persons of no religion at all, might be chosen into the government. [So it is obvious here, that the common people obviously wished to exclude non-Christians!] In North Carolina Mr. Iredell replied, “It was never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest interests to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own. [This was when men had common sense.] It would be happy for mankind if religion was permitted to take its own course and maintain itself by the excellency of its own doctrines. The Divine Author of our religion never wished for its support by worldly authority. Has he not said, 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against it'? It made much greater progress for itself than when supported by the greatest authority upon earth....”
I could follow Morris here through these proofs for many more pages. In his next proof, Morris demonstrates that the Constitution recognizes the Christian Sabbath, which it certainly does, and therefore it must be a Christian document, which it is. However it is near time that I must conclude this presentation.
The following was stated in Daniel Webster's address before the New York Historical Society. He says, -
“If we and our posterity shall be true to the Christian religion, - if we and they shall live always in the fear of God and shall respect his commandments, - if we and they shall maintain just moral sentiments, and such conscientious convictions of duty as shall control the heart and life, - we may have the highest hopes of the future fortunes of our country; and if we maintain those institutions of government, and that political union exceeding all praise as much as it exceeds all former examples of political association, we may be sure of one thing, that, while our country furnishes materials for a thousand masters of the historic art, it will be no topic for a Gibbon, - it will have no decline and fall. It will go on prospering and to prosper. But if we and our posterity neglect religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity.
“If that catastrophe,” he continues, “shall happen, let it have no history! Let the horrible narrative never be written! Let its fate be like that of the lost books of Livy, which no human eye shall ever read, or the missing Pleiad, of which no man can know more than that it is lost, and lost forever.”
It is readily apparent to me that our nation was founded by learned Christian men who left us a legacy of Christian documents that were not themselves a guarantee of the preservation of our freedoms. Although they were excellent tools by which we may have safeguarded our own freedoms, yet we neglected to do so.
It also seems quite providential to me, that in the period following the 2520-year punishment of the children of Israel (for it is 2520 years from the first of the Assyrian deportations unto 1776 AD and our Declaration of Independence), when we broke free of the kings of the old world, the Constitution of our new nation was founded upon the republican principles of government for which the model was found in ancient Israel before our remote ancestors had in fact demanded the first of those very same kings from Yahweh.