by Stan Crader
When writing non-fiction, always reference primary sources.
Years ago, Dr. Peter Lillbac wrote an article criticizing the 9th circuit court’s ruling that the pledge of allegiance was unconstitutional. Following the publication of the article Peter received a letter questioning his assertions.
His reply included numerous primary sources and was eventually published as a book. The following is largely taken from that book.
US Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquest said it best, “The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.”
All of this wall talk stems from the first amendment which states that Congress will make no law establishing a religion. And most agree the amendment simply means that religion will not be imposed upon the people. It does not mean that government will be free of religion. 94% of Founding Fathers quotes were quoted, either directly or indirectly, from the Bible.
Benjamin Franklin formally appealed to George Washington, President of the Constitutional Convention, that the daily proceedings begin with a morning prayer asking God for both assistance and blessing. The motion carried; the constitution of the United States was cloaked in daily prayer by its authors. Does this sound like a group who would appreciate the Ten Commandments being forbidden from a courthouse?
Franklin went on to espouse, “A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district, all studied and appreciated as they merit, are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty.” Franklin’s statement doesn’t make a constitutional case for state supported churches or prayer, but he certainly saw the value and need for both.
George Washington, in his farewell address states that religion and morality are the indispensible pillars to human happiness. He went on to say that national morality can’t prevail with the exclusion of religious principal.
Harry S Truman, “If we don’t have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the State!”
John F. Kennedy proclaimed, “The rights of man come not from the generosity of the State but from the hand of God.”
As last as 1983 the US Congress affirmed the biblical heritage of our nation with a resolution declaring 1983 as “The Year of the Bible.”
General Omar Bradley, a Missourian, like Harry Truman, said it succinctly, “We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount. The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”
Our nation was born by explicit appeals to God by our Founding Fathers. The following clauses are embedded in the text of the Declaration of Independence:
• the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God
• they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights
• appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World
• protection of divine Providence
The questions are: Was America founded on Biblical principles? Is it still governed by those with Judeo/Christian principals? Do government deliberations still open in prayer? What has changed? Has the change been for better or worse? Do you agree with the direction the country is going? If no, then what needs to change? What have you done to affect that change?
Jefferson’ metaphoric statement was meant to support the notion that we must avoid the establishment of a state religion. But by his own actions he supported the importance of religion, and specifically Christianity, in the governing body.
Stan Crader was born and raised in Bollinger County Missouri. Coming of age in rural Missouri provided him the material for many of the rich characters in his books. He credits the variety of jobs and the people with which he has worked for providing him his creative foundation.