Separation of Church and State


oh yeah, I’m going there!

The First Amendment: “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.”

I’ll start by saying I am know historian by trade. I have not done any exhaustive researches. I have not read a many of books on the subject. I write this “blog” merely through an inquisitive nature. I have included links at the end for your reading pleasure. I have found them to be quite informative and yet rather entertaining. Remember, this is a BLOG not a BOOK!

I started this journey of searching the meaning of “separation of church and state” because this is election year 2008. I am in favor of Mike Huckabee who happens to be a Baptist minister. But also for those who choose not to vote for him because of him being a minister and “having no economic knowledge” he was once the Governor of Arkansas from July 1996 to January 2007. But this is not a political campaign for Mr. Huckabee.

Debate starts here!

  • Agreeing with “the reality” link at the bottom of this post, it says America was not intended to be a Christian nation. Our fore-fathers were not Christian. They were masons. If you are unaware of the masons, they believe in tolerance of religions. As long as you believed in a god, you could be a member of the free masons.
  • It has been stated by Thomas Jefferson himself that he himself was a deist. Deism is a system of thought advocating natural religion based on human reason rather than revelation. He believed you had to be good to receive the rewards in Heaven. This goes directly against scripture.

a. Romans 3:10- As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one;

b. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

  • Jefferson also in a manner stripped the bible of Jesus’ miracles to backup his moralist idealism. You can a find a copy here.
  • In 1797, in an attempt to establish peaceful relations with Muslims off the Northern Coast of Africa (an attempt that failed and led to the Barbary Wars), the Treaty of Tripoli was ratified by the Senate. Article 11 of the treaty states:

“As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…”

 

There are many other points to show that our forefathers were not Christians per se but they were religious in some ways leaning on the bible in many aspects of thought. But as the bible says the demons believe in Jesus yet they tremble at the mention of His name. So my argument there is just how devoted to Christ were they really?

The main reason for posting this is two part: What exactly does the First amendment mean? And can we really separate church and state.

The real meaning of the First Amendment will never truly be known I believe. We can only search the early writings of our forefathers and sort of “put two and two together”. But I think, taking from the link of “The Right” at the bottom of the page, is what he says when he writes

When the First Amendment was passed it only had two purposes.

  1. There would be no established, national church for the united thirteen states. To say it another way: there would be no “Church of the United States.” The government is prohibited from setting up a state religion, such as Britain has, but no barriers will be erected against the practice of any religion. Thomas Jefferson’s famous “wall of separation” between church and state comment was made in a letter to a group of Baptist clergymen January 1, 1802 in Danbury, Connecticut, who feared the Congregationalists Church would become the state-sponsored religion. Jefferson assured the Danbury Baptist Association that the First Amendment guaranteed that there would be no establishment of any one denomination over another. It was never intended for our governing bodies to be “separated” from Christianity and its principles. The “wall” was understood as one directional; its purpose was to protect the church from the state. The world was not to corrupt the church, yet the church was free to teach the people Biblical values. It keeps the government from running the church but makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government.
  2. The second purpose of the First Amendment was the very opposite from what is being made of it today. It states expressly that government should not impede or interfere with the free practice of religion. The purpose of the separation of church and state in American society is not to exclude the voice of religion from public debate, but to provide a context of religious freedom where the insights of each religious tradition can be set forth and tested. As Justice Douglas wrote for the majority of the Supreme Court in the United States vs. Ballard case in 1944: The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only “forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship” but also “safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion.” The First Amendment was a safe-guard so that the State can have no jurisdiction over the Church. Its purpose was to protect the Church, not to disestablish it.

The above entry answers the first question but the second question can either be a tougher question or in actuality be an easier question. Can we truly separate the church from the state?

Answer: Yes and No!

  • Yes- If you are a non-Christian, there is no church or Jesus or the Holy Spirit in you. The bible says you are either for me or against me. Matthew 12:30 So it is quite easy to separate the two because one doesn’t exist.
  • No- Nothing can separate from the love of God if He is in you. If you truly love Jesus, and your purpose in life is to glorify him with every work that you do, then separation is impossible. So for a politician who truly seeks the face of Jesus cannot and will not separate the job of presidency or senate or any Governmental position for that matter from being influenced by Jesus. It is impossible.

So no matter what the man or woman might say, he or she cannot separate Jesus from his work. If he/she is a Christian and truly seeks the heart of Jesus, then separation is impossible. You cannot change who you are when making decisions. You can lie, you can falsify, but you cannot change.

 

So to wrap things up, if Mike Huckabee who’s running for president and he is who he says he is, then Jesus will be the influence of every decision coming from Washington D. C. if he is elected president. It cannot be separated.

The first amendment does not say separation of church and state. This was a phrase used by Jefferson in a letter to the baptist church cause they feared another creed would be recognized as the national church. The First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” meaning Government can show no favoritism towards any sect, creed or religion and it can in NO WAY prohibit any exercise of worship. So if the president wants to worship, he may.

The deal was to make it where no one could force their religion on anyone else. You were free to worship in any way you like. And it reads to me that Congress can not intrude into religion but there is no word that exemplifies that church cannot intrude into government.

So…

 

 

We may be able to separate church from state but it is impossible to separate God from man.
THE LEFT-http://www.rationalrevolution.net/articles/history_of_the_separation_of_chu.htm

THE RIGHT- http://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture/ch_state.html

THE REALITY- http://www.theology.edu/journal/volume2/ushistor.htm

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About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

One Response to Separation of Church and State

  1. Margot Marrakesh says:

    I believe that God does not care at all about what religion people are.
    fundamentalists in EVERY religion believe anyone outside their own religion is either “not saved,” or is “going to hell.”

    A near-death experience victim I have a book by says that she was permitted to ask some questions. One question she asked was, “Which religion is the correct one? Why are there so many?” The answer was, “Because there are people who need what that religion teaches.”

    I believe each religion has both truth and falsehood. The essentials of all religions are the same (tell the truth, be a good person, respect your parents, pray to God, etc.), and the differences are unimportant (who the primary prophet was, what day you pray on, what building you pray in, etc.) It’s the MESSAGE that’s important–NOT which prophet, or which religion.

    Margot, the Marrakesh Mystic
    Margotmystic.wordpress.com

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