Part 2 – 1892 Forward
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Yesterday’s post established the traditional view of Freedom of Religion from our Founding Fathers down through 116 years of our history. Today we will discuss how an activist Supreme Court destroyed the “spirit” of this freedom in favor of the letter of the Amendment.
Fifty-five years later, in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), the Supreme Court began its “slippery slope” of decisions regarding religion in the United States. In the decision MR. JUSTICE BLACK wrote:
The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups, and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect "a wall of separation between church and State."
The statement “neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church” is patently false because the majority of the original thirteen States had established religions when the Constitution and Bill of Rights were adopted and ratified. Many Justices, over the years, have held a dissenting opinion concerning what has become known as the “establishment clause.” They have held what the author considers the traditional “spirit” definition of the First Amendment rather than the “literal” definition being held here. That position is that the Founding Fathers intended on establishing a Christian nation. A position well expressed above in the 1799 ruling of the Maryland Supreme Court, Runkel v. Wiremiller, which stated: “By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty.” [Emphasis Added.] It was the Founding Father’s intent not to have any particular denomination as the “established” national religion of the United States.
In fact until 1962, a period of 186 years, the Supreme Court held the traditionally recognized position that this nation was founded upon Christian principles. In this regard they were upholding both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution as given us by the Founding Fathers that our Constitutional Republic was established as a “Christian” nation. In making that declaration however our Founding Fathers also made provisions that Jews, Muslim, Buddhists, et al, as well as Atheists, were permitted to worship how, when, where, or what they may.
Then on June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court began it outright assault against Christianity and the principles held by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution. Through their judicial activism they began ruling by ruling, against the specific wording of the First Amendment, to prohibit “the free exercise” of Christianity.
In Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421 (1962), MR. JUSTICE BLACK, in the face of 186 years of legal precedents, wrote for the Court against Christianity and without citing a single precedent, made it unconstitutional to pray in the Public Schools of this nation.
A year later in School Dist. of Abington Tp. V. Schempp, 374 U. S. 203 (1963), MR. JUSTICE CLARK writing for the Court, again without a single precedent cited, that reading the Bible and reciting the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of the school day was unconstitutional. This decision also flew in the face of history and tradition as the Bible had been used as a “text book” within all schools, public and private, since the Pilgrims first stepped on Plymouth Rock.
Five years after this in Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U. S. 97 (1968), the Court continued its assault on Christianity. MR. JUSTICE FORTAS writing for the Court, declared that “The sole reason for the Arkansas law is that a particular religious group considers the evolution theory to conflict with the account of the origin of man set forth in the Book of Genesis.” “The First Amendment mandates governmental neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.” “A State’s right to prescribe the public school curriculum does not include the right to prohibit teaching a scientific theory or doctrine for reasons that run counter to the principles of the First Amendment.”
By this decision the Court, itself, did not apply neutrality. They did not mandate teaching both evolution and creation. They instead mandated for the non-religious theory of evolution and excluded the religious view of creation as set forth in Genesis.
Lastly, in 1980 they ruled in Stone v. Gramm , 449 U. S. 39 (1980), even that the presence of the Ten Commandments posted in the schools was unconstitutional. The “Posting of religious texts on the wall serves no such educational function. If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments. However desirable this might be as a matter of private devotion, it is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.” How can any reasonable person conclude that reading, meditating upon, venerating and obeying the Ten Commandments, the foundational basis of all laws within the States and the United States, to be unconstitutional?
This sampling of decisions demonstrates how far the Court has strayed from its mandate contained in the Constitution. In doing this they have assisted rather than hindered our national self-destruction and the purposes and intent of the Founding Fathers.
This assault by the “guardians” of our divinely inspired Constitution is contrary to the First Amendment which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; . . .” The spirit of the Constitution as established by our Founding Fathers was that there would be no “state” religion other than Christianity. Their concern was that no particular denomination would become the national “state” religion. They had just escaped the tyranny of “state religions” when they fled Europe to this New World. For this reason they were opposed to Lutheranism, Methodism, Catholicism, or any other denomination becoming the national “state” religion. They wanted ALL Christian denominations to be on an equal footing one with the other. A position held by the Court for 186 years from 1776 until 1962.
Now because our “guardians,” the Justices of the Supreme Court, have forgotten the spirit of the Constitution and “Constitutional Supremacy,” they, by their “Judicial Supremacy,” have replaced Christianity and established Atheism and Secular Humanism as the national “state” religion of our Constitutional Republic. How the Founding Fathers must weep over this usurpation of power by the Justices of the Supreme Court who were set up as We the People’s, “guardians” of our Constitution.
May God Bless and Save the United States of America —
Our Constitutional Republic !