It seems that today our legislator’s are completely ignorant of this fact. All they need to do is read the writings of our founders to know better. They would realize just how important this fact was for our founding principles.
In 1787 the Constitution was written and passed by congress. The same congress passed the Northwest Ordinance. This “Ordinance” stressed the need for our schools to teach religion and morality.
Note to the intellectually lazy in the Supreme Court and congress.
“Article 3: Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”
George Washington himself made this clear in his farewell address.
“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports…….. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail to the exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
They also made sure that the government would not favor one religion over another. Jefferson wrote “ No religious reading, instruction, or exercise shall be prescribed or practiced inconsistent with the tenants of any religious sect or denomination.” Benjamin Franklin wrote 5 points of fundamental religious beliefs that could be excepted by everyone.
1. There exists a creator who made all things, and mankind should recognize and worship him.
2. The creator has revealed a moral code of behavior for happy living which distinguishes right from wrong.
3. The creator holds mankind responsible for the way they treat each other.
4. All mankind live beyond this life.
5. In the next life mankind is judged for their conduct in this one.
John Adams said these are the general principles on which the American civilization had been founded. Jefferson said that these beliefs are the principles in which God has united us all.
Alexis de Tocqueville came to the U.S. in 1831 and was amazed at what he saw. He went on to write what at the time was the best book ever on the American culture and our constitution. His book was called Democracy in America. He writes at one point….
“ Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions.” He went on to write that early American colonists
“ brought with them into the New World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by styling it a democratic and republican religion. This contributed powerfully to the establishment of a republic and a democracy in public affairs; and from the beginning, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved.” He also noted that “The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man.”
Now for the over educated derelicts in the Supreme court who constantly want to get involved in the so called separation of church and state fallacy. Let Jefferson himself explain it for you so that even you can understand. In 1798 Jefferson wrote the Kentucky Resolution. Here he states “ It is true, as a general principle,.. That no power over the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or the freedom of the press being delegated to the United States by the constitution… all lawful powers respecting the same did of right remain, and were reserved to the states, or to the people.” Madison wrote… “ There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it would be a most flagrant usurpation.”
Jefferson’s “wall” separating church and state was a separation of the federal government and the supreme court and religion. It was left to the states to solve any disputes in religious matters. In fact Jefferson along with other Founders wanted the states to promote ALL religions to teach the moral fiber and religious tone of the people. So this so called wall did not and does not exist for the states. It only exists for the Feds and the Supremes. In Jefferson’s second inaugural address he makes this case even more evident. “ In the matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of the state or church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.” Another example is the fact that our Founders approved of the use of public buildings for religious meetings. Just so long as the buildings could be made available EQUALLY to all denominations desiring them. Jefferson told of a place near his home where there was four different sects of religion that didn’t have a church. So once a month all four sects used the towns courthouse, listening to each others preacher. So the question for the Supremes is just what is wrong with you people? How can you possibly not understand this?