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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Connecticut Town Defies Atheists' Demands

Another misuse of the First Amendment, as atheists seek to stop the Town of Griswold from ringing church bells on a property owned by the town. One of the people protesting the bells said:

"If you read your Constitution, government is not supposed to promote any religion... [w]hat are the bells in the Baptist Church doing? Promoting religion."

This is what 70 years of revisionist education have produced. If one were to actually read the First Amendment to the Constitution, one would find that it prohibits Congress from making any law respecting an "establishment of religion."

If one were to actually read American history and not the "official" versions of it, one who find that the Congress, in 1787, encouraged religion in the Northwest Ordinance, saying:

Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

Before you jump on me, the history buffs and atheists out there need to know that I am aware that this legislation was passed under the old Articles of Confederation and not our current Constitution. But it's a good expression of the mindset of the generation who drew up the Bill of Rights.

So would you like to read something that was written by President Washington during the first Administration under the current Constitution? It's his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1789:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; —for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; —for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; —for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; —for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; —and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; —to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; —to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; —to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; —to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; —and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best. (Emphasis added.)

Notice that Washington: (1) clearly is talking about the God of the Bible and not Allah or Amaterasu; (2) asks us to pray for the promotion of true religion - obviously in context he means Protestant Christianity (sorry to our Catholic friends of whom there were so few here in the US in 1789); (3) says it is the duty of all to worship this God; and, (4) asks us to pray for the forgiveness of our national sins by this same God.

We could also talk at length about the evolution of church-state jurisprudence in contravention of the plain language of the Constitutional text. Those interested in reading more on this can see David Barton's article on the separation of church and state here at the Wallbuilders website. A great resource at this time of year.

Cheers to Griswold, and a Merry Christmas while I'm at it!

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Anonymous said...

I have a political question for you.
Obama is not a muslim. If he was would you or others as Christians vote for him based on his religious beliefs? Don't we have freedom of religion and choice? What is the difference from Christianity to the Muslim religion? Is there religious prosecution here in america or is it just on Christianity and why? Can you base any of your points from verses in the bible>

Thank you.


Connecticut Man 1 said...

You can't cherry pick his quotes.

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.
-- George Washington, responding to a group of clergymen who complained that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ, in 1789, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:274, the "Magna-Charta" here refers to the proposed United States Constitution

I suppose that you could enter Washington's words as evidence to support Deism the only Constitutionally protected and supported religion of the USA? But that would be counter to the reasonings of behind the meaning of the Constitutional as well.

Nick said...

For Anonymous,

I cannot speak for all Christians, but I would vote and I think most Christians would vote for a non-Christian. Obviously it happens all the time. The biblical qualification for rulers is that they are just and rule in the fear of God. (2 Sam. 23:3)

Freedom of religion has nothing to do with this issue, as everyone is guaranteed freedom of religion within the American system within certain limits - limits which traditionally were based on the norm of Protestant morality and ethics. Thus it was that the Territory of Utah was required to give up polygamy as a condition of being admitted to the Union as a full-fledged State.

"Freedom of choice" is a phrase which I can't comment on it unless you tell me what you mean by it...

When we come to the question of Muslim people holding office, which seems to be what is really driving your comment, we have an important issue to consider.

But first off, I would suggest that you seem to be attempting to bait me in order to nail down what we believe, when it is patently obvious to anyone who can even use Wikipedia what the differences are between Christianity and Islam. So I cannot believe that this is a serious question. If you are in fact ignorant of these differences, the real difference is Christ Jesus, who said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

But more to the point, it is not possible to support any Muslim candidate for office if he supports the concept of Sharia law being applied in the United States. Sharia law is contrary to the ideals and traditions of American life. It is also anti-Constitutional, as the Constitution guarantees to each State a "republican form of government." That form of government clearly does not take in Sharia law.

Nick said...

For Connecticut Man 1,

It isn't cherry-picking when the quotes are all good cherries.

True, the quote you give me can be construed as a clever outsmarting of the complaining ministers, but taken on its face the quote actually supports Christian belief and not Deism. Unless he is totally hoodwinking them, he is saying that it is unnecessary to have an established church because of the political situation favoring Protestantism.

I note you haven't grappled with what was actually in the proclamation I cited. Even if there is no outright mention of Christ, this is no Deism. You will see the references to God's mercies and God's favoring the American cause in the Revolution, etc. Simply pasting in quotes from atheist websites isn't any better than what you are accusing us of doing!

Thanks for popping in...