“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. With these powerful words the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was set in place. They were a primary, organic, bold declaration that reflected our Founding Father’s rejection of what had happened in England centuries before. Parliament had passed laws that said the Church of England was the official religion of the country, and that mandate applied to all the people of that nation. They had taken the power upon themselves to sanction and approve a specific church regardless of what the people wanted. Thus, the First Amendment was established to assure the people of the United States that the federal government would NEVER have the right, power or authority to do the same. It could not force a specific religion upon the people, or prohibit them from freely exercising the tenants of their faith in every aspect of the culture.
Until 1947, this truth was clearly understood and embraced by all. We were a free nation, and that freedom was predicated upon the fact that religion, specifically Christianity, was at the foundational core of every law, liberty and freedom we enjoyed. In fact, American history is filled with examples of decisions handed down by the US Supreme Court which cited religious belief as the hinge upon which our doors of justice were able to freely swing. When the radical decision of “emerson v. the board of education” was handed down in 1947, a deadly departure from American history happened. This unconstitutional decision, and all it implied, changed our national concept of freedom and liberty forever.
In this decision, an unheard-of interpretation was taken from a single line, and a single hand-written letter by Thomas Jefferson to a local church. This obscure document was presented by lawyers with a totally new interpretation. They used it as evidence that America was never intended to have freedom of religion. No, according to these lawyers, it was put forth that this letter proved America was to have freedom from religion. Contrary to every historical precedent set , it supported the false idea that this “wall of separation” meant religion had no place in government. With one distortion of the facts, a lie was embraced by our judicial system and it changed the course of our nation. When that unconstitutional and historically inaccurate decision went virtually unchallenged, the door was opened for what followed.
Jefferson’s actual words in this letter were; “The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable”. When writing this, his intent was very clear if you take it in context with what he said to that pastor in the rest of the letter. He was simply reassuring concerned church leaders that a limiting power existed when it came to the federal government having control over the church. Jefferson clearly states that the “wall of separation” was a wall set in place by our Founding Fathers to protected the church and the people from government overreach. The country’s religious beliefs and practices would always be freely exercise, and the influence of religion would be encouraged and able to infiltrate every aspect of government and family life.
With the “emerson” decision, a flood of godless, anti-American laws were rapidly put in place, and this false “wall of separation” became more deeply entrenched in our culture. Want and example? The IRS tax codes were quickly revised, and they placed a gag order on churches from endorsing any political candidate. Yet, in American history, churches and their pastors, have always supported specific candidates. They helped register voters, provided financial support and encouraged congregation members to reach out and influence others. In fact churches actually donate their bells to be melted down to make canons during the Revolutionary War. Thus, in America, godless laws succeeded in allowing everyone but churches and their leaders, to have freedom of speech that is guaranteed to all. For the Christian, there is a limited ability to speak out or live out our faith, unless we are prepared to be attacked by our own government.
Prayer in school is another example. It was redefined as unconstitutional, even though the entire educational foundation of America is rooted deeply in the McGuffey Reader. In his “Third Reader” W. H. McGuffey opened with these words; “From no source has the author drawn more copiously then from the Sacred Scriptures… In a Christian country, that man is to be pitied, who, at this day, can honestly object to imbuing the minds of youth with the language and spirit of the Word of God”. Yet now prayer was restrained and the use of the Bible as a class resource was strictly forbidden. A teacher could be fired and subject to a law suite if the “Sacred Scripture” was ever brought forth.
Then there was the “row v. wade” decision that came and removed all rights, including the right to be alive, for children in the womb. This godless decision left unborn children unprotected by any law, and now over 60 million little ones have been murdered in America as a result. Where did that end up gong? We have now discovered that the main provider of abortion in America realized how to turn a healthy profit by selling the body parts of those aborted children to the highest bidder. The shocking part is that other laws were passed that prevented Christians from standing near these facilities in order to draw attention to, and protest the brutal butchering that was going on.
Now we have been experiencing blatant, unrestrained, open attacks on the free expression of religion in Kentucky and elsewhere in America. The unconstitutional redefinition of marriage by five radical judges has had a massive impact on the dark, downward spiral our nation is on. Unelected officials have taken excessive power upon themselves to forcibly demanded their will on all Americans. We are now demanded to accept and embrace something that for the vast majority, is rejected by religious beliefs, condemned by the Bible and called sin by God. The question is, where will we allow things to go from here?
We are living in a time where the practice of Christianity in America has become something none of our Founding Fathers could have possibly imagined. The free exercise and expression of our Christian faith, as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, is not just considered offensive, it is now illegal ! Living by the Christian principles that built our great nation is punishable in America by massive fines, open ridicule and public incarceration. Unless something is done, it is clear to any reasoning person that this is only the beginning of what is coming to our nation.
If we fail to vote for godly leaders in the coming elections, if we fail to stand up for our faith, if we fail to speak the truth, we have signed our nation over to those who hate it, and hate what it was designed to be. Is that really what we want? I believe we have one more chance to get this right, and my prayer is that Americans will vote for those who love this country, who embrace our biblical history and want God’s glory to be part of normal American life. May this next election bring us back on our knees and back to the roots of what we once were; “One nation under God with liberty and justice for all”.