America’s Deal With The Devil

As that great twentieth century American philosopher, Pogo Possum, observed over forty years ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” As we consider the post-Constitution, totalitarian oligarchy modern America is fast becoming, millions of Americans are awakening from their slumber and asking, “What happened?”

What happened is that we ignored the warnings sounded loud and clear by our Founding Fathers who designed our system of government and allowed a fifth column to grow in our midst like a giant malignant cancer. Consider the warnings issued by some of our first Presidents and compare them with the President now sitting in the White House with his advisers planning for the “fundamental transformation of America”.

Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress, 1782-1783: “Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerates, their political character must soon follow.”

George Washington, first U.S. President, 1789-1797: “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.”

John Adams, second U.S. President, 1797-1801: “should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation while it is practicing iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candor, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world; because we have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

Although Benjamin Franklin was not a President, no essay on our present day condition of political and cultural corruption would be complete without quoting from his last speech to the Convention: “Sir, I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” (Emphasis added)

The truth clearly recognized by the Founders quoted above is that a nation’s government is always an expression of the moral character of its people. Fredrich Hayek pointed out this truth in his popular 1944 treatise, “The Road to Serfdom”, an examination of the rise of National Socialism in Germany during the 1930s. Hayek argues that the implementation of socialism with its centrally planned economy demands a concurrently planned social order enforced by a totalitarian government. Socialism and individual liberty cannot coexist and for socialism to thrive in America requires a shift in moral values so its people are willing to sacrifice liberty for vague promises of security. Although Hayek’s book was published almost fifty years ago in England, one cannot read it without experiencing the eerie feeling that he is writing about America in 2012.

In tracing the historical roots of socialism in America, we have to start with the Second Great Awakening at the turn of the nineteenth century. It was during this time that the “social gospel” with its emphasis on changing human nature through revival meetings came into vogue. In terms of the “number of converts” the Second Great Awakening was a huge success, but its utopian ambition of bringing in the millennium kingdom through social reform created a fertile ground in which socialism could thrive. By the time the effects of the Great Awakening began to fade at the end of the nineteenth century, socialism was already well entrenched in America. Among the groups responsible for our cultural decline and the corresponding growth of socialism we have to include the Christian Churches and the Christian clergy.

During the last century the “church” made a Faustian bargain with the government, –“You leave us alone and we will leave you alone”–, expressed in the often heard slogan, “separation of church and state”, which is based on a misunderstanding of the First Amendment that says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” An objective reading of the First Amendment without the preconceived assumptions fostered by the constant drumming into our consciousness, the cliché “separation of church and state” shows, not a separation between government and religion but rather, a declaration of the independence of religion from the coercive powers of government. What the Founders were attempting to accomplish with the First Amendment was to free religion from the symbiotic relationship between church and state and establish its rightful independence from the despotic powers of government that had plagued the Christian Church throughout its seventeen hundred year history.

Certainly the Founders quoted above did not consider the First Amendment in the same sense in which it is understood today. Even James Madison who is generally considered to be the Father of the Bill of Rights, but was not as fervent in his religious beliefs as some of the others, frequently called for special days of national prayer and fasting during his eight years as our fourth President. In 1813 Madison even supported and signed into law a bill to rebate the import duties on printing plates used by the Bible Society of Philadelphia to print Bibles.

“An Act for the relief of the Bible Society of Philadelphia. Be it enacted, &c., That the duties arising and due to the United States upon certain stereotype plates, imported during the last year into the port of Philadelphia, on board the ship Brilliant, by the Bible Society of Philadelphia, for the purpose of printing editions of the Holy Bible, be and the same are hereby remitted, on behalf of the United States, to the said society: and any bond or security given for the securing of the payment of the said duties shall be cancelled. Approved February 2, 1813.”

Our current application of the doctrines of church and state relationships is not supported by the Constitution or the Bible. The ministry of Christ, the Apostles and the early churches were conducted in large part in a public venue and often before hostile crowds; a far cry from today’s Sunday morning services in the comfortable sanctuaries of elaborate church buildings before congregations of adoring believers. When Jesus did teach in the Temple and Synagogues, His messages were often directed against the religious leaders and teachers of the day, the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. Today they would probably be directed against the Pastors and teachers of our modern evangelical Christian churches.  Unless we are willing to work to restore the Biblically moral foundations of our culture there is little chance that we can survive as a nation with our liberties intact. America is sorely in need of a spiritual revival, and that revival must start with the Christian Church and its ministers.

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33 responses to “America’s Deal With The Devil

  1. Excellent article! Every church should take a look at ‘Building On The American Heritage Series’ DVD set by David Barton. There is a DVD in this set titled Politics in the Pulpit. It squarely address our nations decline and challenges our Pastors to heed the call. Check it out. http://www.amazon.com/Building-American-Heritage-Series-Sequel/dp/0740324802/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343267239&sr=8-1&keywords=building+on+the+american+heritage+series ALSO: Check out this site especially for Pastors! http://brr.wallbuilders.com/

  2. Publius/Huldah

    Well, now, PH doesn’t have “opinions”; but if she did, she wouldn’t trouble the world with them. For what does her opinion matter? Nothing.

    PH deals only with objective Facts and Truth. And she says re the above, “BRAVO, YOU NAILED IT JERRY! You speak the TRUTH!”

    I’m sharing.

  3. Excellent, thank you.

  4. Separation of church and state is a bedrock principle of our Constitution much like the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances. In the Constitution, the founders did not simply say in so many words that there should be separation of powers and checks and balances; rather, they actually separated the powers of government among three branches and established checks and balances. Similarly, they did not merely say there should be separation of church and state; rather, they actually separated them by (1) establishing a secular government on the power of “We the people” (not a deity), (2) saying nothing to connect that government to god(s) or religion, (3) saying nothing to give that government power over matters of god(s) or religion, and (4), indeed, saying nothing substantive about god(s) or religion at all except in a provision precluding any religious test for public office. Given the norms of the day, the founders’ avoidance of any expression in the Constitution suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and plainly intentional choice. They later buttressed this separation of government and religion with the First Amendment, which constrains the government from undertaking to establish religion or prohibit individuals from freely exercising their religions. The basic principle, thus, rests on much more than just the First Amendment.

    Madison, who had a central role in drafting the Constitution and the First Amendment, confirmed that he understood them to “[s]trongly guard[] . . . the separation between Religion and Government.” Madison, Detached Memoranda (~1820). He made plain, too, that they guarded against more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion. Mindful that even as new principles are proclaimed, old habits die hard and citizens and politicians could tend to entangle government and religion (e.g., “the appointment of chaplains to the two houses of Congress” and “for the army and navy” and “[r]eligious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings and fasts”), he considered the question whether these actions were “consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom” and responded: “In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the United States forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.”

    During his presidency, Madison vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or compel observance of any religion, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. While some in Congress expressed surprise that the Constitution prohibited Congress from incorporating a church in the town of Alexandria in the District of Columbia or granting land to a church in the Mississippi Territory, Congress upheld both vetoes. He pocket vetoed a third bill that would have exempted from import duties plates to print Bibles. Separation of church and state is not a recent invention of the courts.

    The suggestion that, by signing the 1813 Act regarding the Bible Society of Philadelphia, Madison meant somehow to lend the government’s aid the society’s religious work is specious. The purpose of the Act was not to aid the society in distributing the Bible, but rather to waive an import duty on one shipment of printing plates that Congress deemed unfair since the society had placed its order three years before the duty was imposed, but its shipment did not arrive until 1812, by which time Congress had generally doubled import duties to fund the war.

    While the religious views of various founders are subjects of some uncertainty and controversy, it is safe to say that many founders were Christian of one sort or another and held views such as you note regarding religion. In assessing the nature of our government, though, care should be taken to distinguish between society and government and not to make too much of various founders’ individual religious beliefs. Their individual beliefs, while informative, are largely beside the point. Whatever their religions, they drafted a Constitution that establishes a secular government and separates it from religion as noted earlier. This is entirely consistent with the fact that some founders professed their religiosity and even their desire that Christianity remain the dominant religious influence in American society. Why? Because religious people who would like to see their religion flourish in society may well believe that separating religion and government will serve that end and, thus, in founding a government they may well intend to keep it separate from religion. It is entirely possible for thoroughly religious folk to found a secular government and keep it separate from religion. That, indeed, is just what the founders did.

    Lest there be any doubt on this score, note that shortly after the founding, President John Adams (a founder) signed, with the unanimous consent of the Senate (comprised in large measure of founders), the Treaty of Tripoli declaring, in pertinent part, “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” No need to resort to reading tea leaves to understand that. This is not an informal comment by an individual founder, but rather an official declaration of the most solemn sort by the United States government itself. Note that the Constitution provides that treaties, apart from the Constitution itself, are the highest law of the land.

  5. The 1787 Constitution clearly separates church and State as clearly as it separates government and the citizenry. The citizenry is separated from government by an Oath (Article VI, clause 3) and church is separated from government by no religious power being delegated to the federal government.
    Treaties cannot amend the Constitution (Article V), therefore, are not the supreme law of the land. States gave up treaty making power so State law cannot over rule Treaties, Treaties are supreme over State law.

  6. I’m always a little troubled when, as our denominational churches are railing against Israel, agitating for global warming laws, putting practicing homosexuals in the pulpit, there are people that think the trouble with the church these days is “those evangelicals”.

    wake up, man.

  7. Publius/Huldah

    ougindeep,
    You speak lies. Or perhaps you merely copy & paste lies.

    Here are express references to God in our Declaration of Independence (2nd para):

    …The Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God…
    …endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…
    …appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…
    …with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence…

    Our Constitution at Art. VII, last clause:

    …in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven…

    “our Lord” refers to Jesus Christ.

    I have proved elsewhere that our Constitution is based on God’s Model of Civil Government as set forth in the Bible.

    You are also not speaking the truth about the 1st Amendment. At the time the Constitution was ratified, about half of the States had “established religions”. I expect you have no idea what an “established religion” is, but I have proved elsewhere that an “established religion” at the time of our Framing was a tax supported church.

    All the 1st Amendment does is to prohibit the federal government from establishing a national denominational tax supported church, and from interfering with the Member States’ reserved rights to “establish” the denomination of their choice.

    So, your post is distinguished throughout by Ignorance and untruths. PH

  8. dougindeap, you are either a government educated person or you are a complete idiot. (but then I repeat myself) If you knew history and/or could read coherently, you would know that you are completely wrong starting with your very first sentence. I would try to explain your fallacies much like PH, but I sincerely believe that you are so convinced that your genius tenured professors, who taught you this claptrap, are correct that you never read anything for yourself. All I can suggest is that you stop watching MSNBC and CNN for your history lessons because the U.S.A. already has enough really stupid people.

  9. Publius/Huldah

    Furthermore, dugindeep, your comment about treaties is also demonstrably false.

    The “supremacy clause” (Art. VI, cl. 2) makes treaties part of the supreme Law of the Land only when they are made “under the Authority of the United States.”

    The President and the Senate get their Authority to act from The Constitution. That means that if the Constitution does not permit the President and the Senate to act on an object – if it is not one of their enumerated powers – then they have no authority to act at all.

    The Constitution does not permit the federal government to make laws [with respect to the Country at Large] on religion, handicapped persons, children, to restrict firearms, etc. Since Congress and the President have no Authority to make laws – or rules – on these objects for the Country at Large, then the President and the Senate may not circumvent the limitations imposed by the enumerated powers, by making treaties!

    I.e., they may not do by treaty that which the Constitution does not permit them to do by law or rule-making.

    I have proved this elsewhere using the words of our Framers.

    But you repeat the lying dogma which you have been programmed to accept. I can not imagine what it must be like to be merely a parrot who regurgitates lies.

    Is there any kind of brain in your head? Or merely a tape recorder?

  10. Dougindeep

    My problem is not with the cliché, it is with how the cliché is applied. As I said above, the purpose of the First Amendment is to protect religion from the despotism of government. It was never intended to protect government or society in general from the influence of religion — that is mentally, physically, psychologically, as well as legally, impossible. One’s religion is a part of who they are and that part cannot be separated from their actions whether they are a bus driver, teacher, Senator or President. Since government is made up of human beings government cannot be separated (isolated) from the religious beliefs, or the religious influence of the people making up that government.

    Many so called “political issues” are first and foremost, moral and therefore, religious issues. Gay marriage, abortion, gambling, etc., etc. It is the duty of churches and pastors to speak out privately, personally and publicly on these issues. And YES, to attempt to influence legislation involving moral issues. The cliché “separation of church and state” is often used to prevent them from doing so.

  11. 501C(3) government license forbid churches (personnel) bad mouthing government. Church Officials gave up their free speech for 30(?) pieces of silver.

  12. Excellent article, thanks.
    Jesus Christ is Lord, not just on Sunday but every day of the week in this Christian nation. Our rights come from the God of the Bible, and this civil government was created to secure those rights. The woefully errant and wicked misinterpretation of the relationship between church & state equates the Creator with the creature.
    We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
    Hat tip to PH.

    • Americans have two Rights that didn’t come from God, 1) the exclusive Right to elect Lawmakers (Article I, Section 2, clause 1, of the Constitution), and 2) the exclusive Right to serve on a citizen jury.

      The Right to elect Lawmakers (Congressmen) came from the America’s Founders.

      The Right to serve on a citizen jury came from the 1215 Magna Carta.

      • Allan, you are confusing civil rights with natural rights. Civil rights are really privileges granted by society. They become civil “rights” when they are sanctioned by law. Civil rights can be regulated, altered or canceled by law. Natural rights are those granted by God, and are ours by virtue of being a human being. Natural rights are inalienable, meaning they cannot be abridged, denied or their title transferred to another by law. The right to life and liberty are the two foremost examples. For a more detailed explanation of the two, click on the navigation link “principles” at the top of this blog and go to number 3.

        • Jerry, I am not confusing civil rights, constitutional Rights, and God given rights. Civil rights are, as you said granted by government via a Supreme Court decision of the 14th Amendment. The 14th and that Supreme Court decision are both repugnant to the 1787 Constitution, therefore, unconstitutional.

          God given rights apply to all living things and to my knowledge the only right all living things have in common are, propagation & defense.

          U.S. citizens exclusive Right to choose federal Lawmakers (Congressmen) every two years, all people do not have.

          Likewise all people do not have the Right, as U.S. citizens do, to serve on a citizen jury.

          Possible (out of this world) it may be argued that choosing Congressmen is not a Right but it cannot be argued serving on a citizen jury is not a Right because it is mentioned in the Bill of Rights.

  13. OPa_Infinity

    I believe Walt Kelly, the liberal humanistic cartoonist-philosopher responsible for the “Pogo” quote, would be offended at your misuse of his art work and words. The quote comes from two Earth Day posters he created in 1970 and 1971. Did you ask approval of his estate before using only a portion of the illustration?

    I wonder why it is that our “Founding Fathers” (one of whom is my ancestor) created a Constitution that left room for interpretation and amendment. Could it be they saw they need for a flexible document that could change as needed with the growth of the nation? How easily we seem to forget in today’s dogmatic world that our Constitution was born out of compromise, exemplified by the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution, promised to insure adoption.

    • I believe the 1787 Constitution is written in stone and cannot be amended away. My understanding of the purpose of an amendment is to add not subtract from the Constitution – to delegate an unforeseen in 1787 future power to the federal government. Society is free and flexible, the body of the 1787 Constitution is not so free or flexible.

      There is no need to “change” the 1787 Constitution, for its purpose it is the greatest document ever written. Under the 1787 Constitution society (Americans/U.S. citizenry) are totally free of federal government control. Except citizens living on federal property have Congress as their Legislature, but even there Legislatures cannot infringe on citizen’s Rights.

    • OPa, Congratulations on being one of several million descendents of the Founders. I believe that Mr. Tucker aboard the Mayflower was one of my ancestors, however, I have never considered it important enough, and I am not vain enough to spend the time and money necessary to verify it.

      As to Walt Kelly, if his estate will contact me, I will gladly pay all the money I have made from this blog during the past five years for the privilege of publicizing his profound but “non-original” quote on my blog.

      As to the flexibility of the Constitution; that is an oxymoron. If it is flexible it is not a Constitution. The compromises were made before the Constitution was engrossed and ratified, not after. For more on this click on the “Common Myths 1” link at top of page.

  14. PH,

    1. While some, like you, draw meaning from the references to “Nature’s God” and “Creator” in the Declaration of Independence (references that could mean any number of things, some at odds with the various Christian ideas of God) and try to connect that meaning to the Constitution, the effort is largely baseless. Important as the Declaration is in our history, it did not operate to bring about independence (that required winning a war), nor did it found a government, nor did it even create any law, and it certainly did not say or do anything that somehow dictated the meaning of a Constitution adopted twelve years later. The colonists issued the Declaration not to do any of that, but rather to politically explain and justify the move to independence that was already well underway. Nothing in the Constitution depends on anything said in the Declaration. Nor does anything said in the Declaration purport to limit or define the government later formed by the free people of the former colonies. Nor could it even if it purported to do so. Once independent, the people of the former colonies were free to choose whether to form a collective government at all and, if so, whatever form of government they deemed appropriate. They were not somehow limited by anything said in the Declaration. Sure, they could take its words as inspiration and guidance if, and to the extent, they chose (as can we today)–or they could not. They could have formed a theocracy if they wished–or, as they ultimately chose, a government founded on the power of the people (not a deity) and separated from religion.

    2. You point to the Constitution’s date, which, in keeping with the convention of the time, is keyed to the Christian calendar. You make much of this trivial observation–without actually offering any reason it should be regarded as significant. Given the norms of the day (which suffices to explain this common dating convention), the founders’ avoidance of any substantive statement in the Constitution stating or even suggesting that the government is somehow based on any religious belief was quite a remarkable and controversial and plainly intentional choice.

    3. While the First Amendment undoubtedly was intended to preclude the government from establishing a national religion as you note, that was hardly the limit of its intended scope. The first Congress debated and rejected just such a narrow provision (“no religion shall be established by law, nor shall the equal rights of conscience be infringed”) and ultimately chose the more broadly phrased prohibition now found in the Amendment. As I pointed out earlier, Madison certainly understood the establishment clause to encompass more than just laws creating state sponsored churches or imposing a state religion and, during his presidency, vetoed two bills, neither of which would form a national religion or compel observance of any religion, on the ground that they were contrary to the establishment clause. In keeping with the Amendment’s terms and legislative history and other evidence, the courts have wisely interpreted it to restrict the government from taking steps that could establish religion de facto as well as de jure. Were the Amendment interpreted merely to preclude government from enacting a statute formally establishing a state church, the intent of the Amendment could easily be circumvented by government doing all sorts of things to promote this or that religion–stopping just short of cutting a ribbon to open its new church.

    4. You are correct to note, as I did earlier, that treaties are the highest law of the land apart from the Constitution. You state that the Constitution “does not permit the federal government to make laws [with respect to the Country at Large] on religion” and argue, it seems, that the Treaty of Tripoli somehow circumvents that limitation. First, your restatement of the Constitution’s meaning is rather vague and overbroad, and your understanding of your own statement plainly differs from the courts’ understanding of the Constitution–as well, I might add, as the understanding of the many founders who signed the treaty. Second, in any event, how is it that you suppose the Treaty of Tripoli contravenes the principle you assert? It does not make laws on religion. Rather, it observes and confirms that the U.S. government is not founded on the Christian religion.

    In any event, your focus on the legality of the Treaty of Tripoli ignores the fact that it states the understanding and intent of the many founders, including President John Adams, who signed it. Quite apart from whatever legal effect the treaty may or may not have, it certainly stands as a historical evidence of their understanding and intent.

    • Dougindeep: Time to stop digging. I will address only one of your arguments because I think it is important and others could learn from it. The Declaration contains the principles of government. Those principles were adhered to in both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution. Among those principles are

      1. Sovereignty of the People.
      2. Equality.
      3. Inalienable rights.
      4. Sole purpose of government is to protect those rights.
      5. Necessity of laws to maintain a civil society.
      There are more but these are the main ones. All of the issues you bring up are covered in my book “Philosophy of Evil”. It is no longer available in print, but you can read it on line at illinoisconservative.com
      96,000 words, 338 pages. I highly recommend you read it.

      • Jerry,
        Thank you for the link to your Introduction to the Declaration of Independence, which I read. Apart from noting that it is an important statement of political and philosophical ideas, which I readily acknowledge, and asserting without explanation that it provides “the
        principles on which the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are based,” which true in one sense and overly simplistic and wrong in another sense, you say nothing in that Introduction that addresses any of the points in my comment.

        As an historical matter, the Declaration announced principles that have long resonated in our society. As an historical matter, one may say that the later Constitution and Bill of Rights were “based” on the Declaration to the extent they came later and took inspiration from its words and principles.

        As a legal matter, the Declaration’s role and effect is quite different, as explained in my comment above. In keeping with that plain truth, throughout our history the courts have noted the Declaration’s important place in our history, but have never considered nor applied it as a law.

        • dougindeep, I did not say that page was the only one you could read. The principles found in the Declaration are discussed in the following page or pages. You may want to check them out when you get time.

          I am not talking about legal, I am talking about common sense and written words. Donning a black robe does not make anyone wiser than if they wore a T-shirt. The errors that have been made in the opinions of the courts are too numerous to mention, i’ll leave the legal stuff to PH., she is a Constitutional Lawyer and an expert on our founding documents. In a debate between her and Mark Levin, I think I would probably side with her.

  15. Publius/Huldah

    No, no, allandouglas, not so!

    1. Read the Declaration of Independence, 2nd para. What does it say about the source of rights and the purpose of civil government? What does it say about where civil government gets its power? Who needs the consent of the other: Do The People need the consent of the civil government? Or does civil government need the consent of the People? What comes first: The People or civil government?
    You have missed the Fundamental Principles of Our Founding.

    2. The Bible has a great deal to say about choosing Leaders!

    3. The Bible has a great deal to say about trials – the right to a fair trial is a God given right:
    – Judges are required to be fair, impartial, and without favoritism (Deut 1:16-17).
    – Witnesses must tell the truth: bearing false witness is condemned (The 10 Commandments)
    – The evidence of 2 or more witnesses is required to prove a case (Deut 19:15 & Mat 18:16).
    – Public trials are required (Ex 18:13).
    – In the Apocrypha, the story of Daniel and Susanna illustrates the sequestration of witnesses, and the reason for it.

    If you actually knew what was in the Bible, you would see that God gave us a host of Rights!

    The notion that rights come from civil government is totally false – and an evil teaching.

    Re amendments to the Constitution: Of course our Constitution may be amended. Without Amendments, slavery would still be the supreme law of the Land. And look at Art. IV, Sec. 2, cl. 3: That was in direct violation of the Law of God which granted to persons in service the “right” to leave their masters. We properly amended that out of the Constitution. Art. V. is in the Constitution so that we could amend it.
    You must learn before you speak. It is a moral issue.

    • I am confident the authors of the Constitution knew what they writing and meant what they wrote. I maintain the Declaration of Independence had no bearing on the wording or purpose of the Constitution. The purpose of the D of I is far removed from the purpose of the Constitution.

      For instance the D of I says governments are for the purpose of securing Rights and I find not such power delegated to the federal government to secure Rights or protect Rights, nor even to protect the People.

      Whatever the Bible say has no bearing on what is written in the Constitution. The Constitution tells government what it can and cannot do and tells the people their Right of force in the method to alter government and that method is not the method of the D of I. Article I, Section 2, clause1, is the only constitutional Right of force the people have to alter government. The Constitution, not the Bible, places certain restrictions on who may be elected to office, like residence, age, and citizenship.

      Under the 1787 Constitution the People are free and are morally (not by any law) obligated to protect themselves, family, property, neighbor (each other/fellow citizen). Also, the people are obligated to protect their Rights and given the means to do so or not restricted in any way from doing so.

      Should I mention Americans have the Right to serve on a citizen jury and the purpose of the jury is to protect the criminally accused from the courts unjustly punishing the accused.

      The Rights to choose Lawmakers and serve on citizen juries did not come from God. The Right to choose Congressmen came from America’s Founders and the Right to serve on a citizen jury came from the 1215 Magna Carta.

  16. Jerry,

    The primary purpose of the First Amendment religion clauses is neither to protect religion nor government from one another, but rather to protect individuals’ religious freedom. The free-exercise clause does this directly by constraining the government from prohibiting individuals from freely exercising their religions. The establishment clause does this indirectly by constraining government from promoting or otherwise taking steps to establish any religion, thus assuring that individuals are free to exercise their religions without fearing the government will favor the religions of others and thus disfavor theirs.

    Some who nonetheless would like to use government to promote their religion have argued that the First Amendment works only in one direction–to protect religion from government, but not the other way around. This, they suppose, would leave them free to insinuate their religion into government and thereby effectively establish it as the nation’s religion. To the extent that the First Amendment prevents that, it can be said to at least have the effect of protecting government from religion. Indeed, the notion of a one directional wall is self-contradictory: If any church is free to so influence and control government and thereby achieve a favored or established status, all individuals are at risk of their religions falling into disfavor with government and facing discriminatory treatment. One of the primary aims of the First Amendment is to prevent just that.

    It is important to distinguish between the “public square” and “government” and between “individual” and “government” speech about religion. The constitutional principle of separation of church and state does not purge religion from the public square–far from it. Indeed, the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause assures that each individual is free to exercise and express his or her religious views–publicly as well as privately. The Amendment constrains only the government not to promote or otherwise take steps toward establishment of religion. As government can only act through the individuals comprising its ranks, when those individuals are performing their official duties (e.g., public school teachers instructing students in class), they effectively are the government and thus should conduct themselves in accordance with the First Amendment’s constraints on government. When acting in their individual capacities, they are free to exercise their religions as they please. If their right to free exercise of religion extended even to their discharge of their official responsibilities, however, the First Amendment constraints on government establishment of religion would be eviscerated. While figuring out whether someone is speaking for the government in any particular circumstance may sometimes be difficult, making the distinction is critical.

    Nor does the constitutional separation of church and state prevent citizens from making decisions based on principles derived from their religions. Moreover, the religious beliefs of government officials naturally may inform their decisions on policies. The principle, in this context, merely constrains government officials not to make decisions with the predominant purpose or primary effect of advancing religion; in other words, the predominant purpose and primary effect must be nonreligious or secular in nature. A decision coinciding with religious views is not invalid for that reason as long as it has a secular purpose and effect.

    Confusion understandably arises because the constitutional principle is sometimes equated with a widely supported political doctrine that generally calls for political dialogue to be conducted on grounds other than religion. The underlying reasons for that approach are many, but two primary ones are that it facilitates discussion amongst people of all beliefs by predicating discussion on grounds accessible to all and, further, it avoids, in some measure at least, putting our respective religious beliefs directly “in play” in the political arena, so we’re not put in the position of directly disputing or criticizing each other’s religious beliefs in order to address a political issue. This political doctrine, of course, is not “law” (unlike the constitutional separation of church and state, which is), but rather is a societal norm concerning how we can best conduct political dialogue in a religiously diverse society. Reasonable people can disagree about whether the doctrine is a good idea or not and whether or how it should influence us in particular circumstances.

  17. Publius/Huldah

    Dug in deep! I don’t think you responded to a thing I wrote. [Treaty of Tripoli????] Nor could you respond honestly, without confessing that what I wrote is true.

    I have some questions of you:
    1. Are you an atheist?
    2. Is your goal to suppress Christianity?
    3. Is your goal to eradicate Christianity?
    4. Are you a secular humanist?
    5. Do you support a civil government which controls all aspects of our lives?
    6. Do you believe that The Constitution means whatever 5 justices on the supreme Court say it means?
    7. Do you believe that barack obama is one of the greatest presidents we ever had?

    You know quite well that if you were a witness called by the other side to testify as to the subject of Mr. McDaniel’s paper, I would be allowed to ask you these questions to show your bias and prejudice.
    So! Answer the questions!

    • Hmm. I responded directly to each of the four points I understood you to make. If you intended something different than I understood, perhaps you wouldn’t mind clarifying your meaning.

      I did not respond to or even acknowledge your earlier ad hominem attacks–an act of graciousness I thought might be reciprocated, so we could focus on substantive points. Now you entirely omit any discussion of substantive points and, instead, ask questions about me, presumably with the aim of sharpening further ad hominem attacks. I think not. Focus on the arguments, not the arguer. Simple civility.

  18. Publius/Huldah

    Also, dug in deep: The things you say about the First Amendment are not true. I have already proved the original intent of the First Amendment elsewhere. I know you have seen it. You can not respond to the substance of what I said there.
    All you can do is what progressives do – ignore the truth and repeat over & over & over what you have been told by other progressives.

  19. dougindeep, Ditto what PH said.