9/15 God and the Constitution
by Hugh Akston
A collective faith in the God of the Bible has been evident in American society since the first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607. The secularists among us attempt to obscure this fact by erroneously using the First Amendment and the absence of any mention of God in the Constitution as proof that the Founders objected to every connection between politics and religion. However, the Declaration of Independence, sometimes referred to as America’s Charter, contains references to God as “Nature’s God”, “Creator”, “divine Providence” and “the Supreme Judge of this world”.
The Declaration of Independence is America’s founding document, declaring the American people to be a free and independent nation and setting forth the principles and conditions justifying that Independence. Both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution are governing documents intended to govern a people with divergent faiths, cultures and religious practices. Neither of the two makes any references to God or Religion because the founders believed that it is not the proper business of government.
The objective was to protect religion from the tyranny of government, not to protect government from the influence of religion. Expressions of faith were commonplace among the Founders, not only in their private correspondence, but in their public papers, utterances and governing acts as well.
John Adams stated, “our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” George Washington declared in his farewell address, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens“. In another place, he stated, “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
The phrase "[A] hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world" was first used by Baptist theologian Roger Williams in his book “The Bloody Tenent of Persecution”. The phrase was later used by Thomas Jefferson as a description of the First Amendment and its restriction on the legislative branch of the federal government, in an 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists.
“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 legitimate 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.”
It was clearly understood that the “Wall” was one way only, to keep the government out of the churches and it was undisputed until Senator Lyndon Johnson plotted to revise the IRS code to place restrictions on churches and non-profit organizations. The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress in 1954 as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code. The Johnson Amendment states that entities who are exempt from federal income tax cannot:
Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.
The Johnson Amendment was added to the tax code as a result of the political machinations of Lyndon B. Johnson who was running for reelection to the United States Senate. Prior to 1954, churches had no such restrictions on their freedom of speech or their right to speak out in favor or against political issues or candidates.
As an interesting side note, if we passed the ”Fair Tax” the current tax code and the IRS would cease to exist along with the Johnson Amendment and the So called “Wall of Separation” from any legal arguments.
God was not put into the Constitution, because God is not inferior to the Constitution, God is the Supreme Creator who even made the parchment to write the constitution on. Even the Deist of the day acknowledged God the Creator, this is common to all religions Jews, Christians, Moslems, Hindus and Buddhists all recognize a Creator God. All religions recognize the God of all Nature, Atheist believe they are god. The terms used in the Declaration were chosen for great clarity, no one God was favored above the others, each man was left to chose as he saw fit; and no God was mentioned in the Constitution. “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.” Is how the Declaration closes; and that leads to the opening of the Constitution “We the People of the United States”
May God Bless America.
Just my thoughts for today