Time and again, we keep hearing from the Left – or Liberals, or Democrats, or some other group with atheistic views – regarding the Separation of a Church and State. However, what becomes apparent when they are pressed to explain themselves more completely is just how bitterly they cling to a misrepresentation of facts to justify their baseless position. In the end, the frustration shows when they make the claim that “it’s in the Constitution.”
Most recently, a letter to the editor appeared in The Home News of East Brunswick, New Jersey in which the writer reiterates the fraudulent, tired claim that there is a separation of state mandate written into our Constitution. In a desperate effort to gain attention, the writer uses an old writing technique that was popularized in the 1940’s and resurrected during the emotional 1960’s. He claims he is “ashamed and embarrassed that many members of Congress have little knowledge or regard for our Constitution.” Yet, when we delve into the statements he makes, it becomes apparent that he should ashamed of himself for his own lack of knowledge or regard for our Constitution.
Frankly, two sayings come to mind after reading the screed. First, “If you tell a lie often enough it will be believed.” Second, “A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.”
In fact, many have been dulled to the actual words being discussed and what document they are actually found in. To begin, the United States Constitution does not contain any statement regarding a “Separation of Church and State.” Rather, it is the Bill of Rights with the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, that contains the language the Left points to in a feeble attempt to support their erroneous position. That language, for those who are incognizant of the wording, is found in the First Amendment which is also known as The Establishment Clause. Clearly stated:
“Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Where in this sentence is there any reference to Church and State? Perhaps the Left can enlighten us with another sentence or paragraph in the Constitution that will more clearly articulate this concept of the separation of Church and State. To date, however, I have yet to hear of such phrasing that is found in either the United States Constitution or the Bill of Rights.
What I have heard often cited are the words found in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson. Therein, Mr. Jefferson wrote:
“[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
Mr. Jefferson reiterated these thoughts lightly in a letter written in 1802 to the Baptists in Danbury, CT. While you may read the full text via the link provided, the part critical to this discussion is as follows:
I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. [emphasis mine]
Thus, we come to the realization that the framing elements of the argument are from an opinion statement and not a recognized legal document. However, a majority of Americans have been erroneously led to believe this is somehow to be “read into” the Constitution. Worse, activist judges have erroneously used this language to justify legislating from the bench restrictions on many expressions of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs during holiday seasons that heretofore were respectfully presented as the fabric and basis of our culture and our Nation.
When will the American Public apply the same demand of the Hippie Generation and “Question Authority” on this issue?