Today's news showed a group of atheists filing suit to prevent the public display of the I-Beam Cross found in the rubble of ground zero. At the heart of their shrill screeches is the cry "separation of church and state." All across America groups demand that memorials with crosses be torn down, that God leave our money, and the symbols of religion be removed from the American landscape.
The sad truth is that most Americans
do not understand the origin
or intent of America's founding
and guiding documents.
The Declaration of Independence begins with the assertion "that they [we] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" and concludes "with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence." The men who gathered to found our nation forgot to erase the notion of God from our national birth certificate.
After the birth of our nation a concern arose that we had not limited government enough. And so the document we know as the Bill of Rights came into being. The Preamble makes it crystal clear that the Bill of Rights exists to "prevent misconstruction or abuse of its [the governments] powers" and to add "further declaratory and restrictive clauses." The purpose was "extending the ground of public confidence in the government." Our bill or rights exists to protect us from our government!
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
The bottom line is that early Americans were deeply afraid of the Russian Czars, the British Monarchs, the German Kaisers, the Anglican Bishops, and the Catholic Popes. Americans wanted to be free to live and worship according to the dictates of their own conscience. It was against this backdrop of protecting people from government that the First Amendment to the Constitution was written.
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.
Baptist pastors, and other religious leaders, did not want the government to adopt an official religion. They did not want governors telling them how and when to baptize their children. They demanded the freedom to worship according to their conscience. So they deeply supported the concept that "no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" should be made or established by the government.
Our founding fathers were protecting the church from the incursion of the government!
They were not protecting government from the presence of the church!
This clear and fundamental understanding of our founding documents has guided the interpretation and application of the law for the past two hundred years! Sadly, in our generation, there is a profound effort to remove Christianity from the public domain. For two hundred years crosses have appeared on memorials, prayers have been prayed in public events, and the right of Americans to practice their faith without the interference of government has been enjoyed!
It is imperative that Christians understand their American heritage and responsibility as citizens to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic! We must use every peaceful means possible to reclaim our glorious American heritage of an unparalled religious freedom!
Blessings and peace to all,
Pastor Poppie Paul