Tuesday, April 14, 2009


"It is true, of course, that the phrase 'separation of church and state' does not appear in the Constitution. But it was inevitable that some convenient term should come into existence to verbalize a principle so clearly and widely held by the American people.... [T]he right to a fair trial is generally accepted to be a constitutional principle; yet the term "fair trial" is not found in the Constitution. To bring the point even closer home, who would deny that "religious liberty" is a constitutional principle? Yet that phrase too is not in the Constitution. The universal acceptance which all these terms, including "separation of church and state," have received in America would seem to confirm rather than disparage their reality as basic American democratic principles."..............Leo Pfeffer.

There is an article in Salon today on why the United States is not a Christian nation. John McCain, during last year's campaign stated that America was a Christian nation. According to the Constitution he is dead wrong.

Here is how the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads,

Amendment 1 - Freedom of Religion,Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.

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.

But here's what Sen. McCain had to say last year.

"I would probably have to say yes, that the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation."

Here's a little bit from one of the leaders of Christianity in America on this subject.

"They have kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of church and state. There is no such thing in the Constitution. It's a lie of the left, and we're not going to take it anymore." Pat Robertson, addressing the ACLJ, 1993

Now here's what some of the Founding Fathers had to say on the subject.

"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine." George Washington

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion ..." from the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams, June 10, 1797.

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, 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 and State."
Thomas Jefferson, in his historic Danbury letter, January 1, 1802

And here's what the United States Supreme Court had to say.

"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 U.S. Supreme Court, 1947

So, as you can see, not only does the Constitution say that we are not a Christian nation, the Supreme Court said the same thing.

Now here's a little something about what could be if we really were a nation controlled by one religion.

"The national government ... will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality." Adolf Hitler, 1938


Jacob said...

Great post, Grandpa Eddie...

I'm glad I checked your blog before I wrote my next article as I was going to do exactly what you did!

But, you did a super job and now I don't need to...so thanks, not only for saying what needs to be said (over and over again in case the numbnuts don't get it), but saving me a bunch of work!

Heh. Heh!

Grandpa Eddie said...

Thanks Jacob.

I'm surprised I got this one up before you. You're usually 2 or 3 steps ahead of me.

HermitJim said...

Good post, my friend!

Jacob said...

I'm slowing down in my dotage! And you're getting fast in your old age!

Grandpa Eddie said...

Thanks Jim.

Grandpa Eddie said...

I'm not pickin' up speed, just to wet outside to get anything done.

SheaNC said...

More proof that McCain is senile and thinks he is Ronald Reagan! Andhe also knows damn little about American History and the constitution. I mean, geez! He went to the US Naval academy and he doesn't know shit about the constitution!?

Totally great post, GE, about a subject that I care about a lot.

I need to find a coupls of great links I know you'll like about the Christian Taliban. I hope their still active... so many good progressive sites have gone under since we won the election.

SheaNC said...

Oops, sorry about the spellng errors!

SheaNC said...

Oops, sorry about that spelling error too!

Grandpa Eddie said...

Shea - This is a subject that I care deeply about, too.
It is unbelievable how a guy that was a officer in the Navy doesn't even know what the Constitution actually says.

If you can find those links I would like them. I know there are a lot of sites that haven't added anything to them since the election, and that there are many that aren't even on line anymore.

A World Quite Mad said...

Great post! I can suggest a book to read on this topic: "The Godless Constitution" by Isaac Kramnick and Robert Laurence Moore. If you google it you can get a preview of it on google books.

I had no idea that Jefferson was maligned, in his time by letters written to editors around the country, as an atheist.

Indeed the Constitution itself was argued by preachers of the day to be a "godless document" because the body of the Constitution itself makes no mention of religion, except in article 6 and that was certainly not to their liking!

"...no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

You have to keep in mind that at the time, most states had laws on the books that you had to be of the state sponsored religion to hold public office, for example, Anglican/Episcopal in Virginia and some version of Protestant in most of the other states. Catholics and Quakers were barred from holding office. And well, the atheists were SOL.

I don't think these people supporting the religious right understand the ramifications of what it is they're advocating, which is for all intents and purposes, a theocracy. I don't think they understand that it's incompatible with the freedom they claim to love.

Grandpa Eddie said...

A World Quite Mad - First may I say welcome aboard, glad to have you here friend.

It would have been religious leaders(what we call the batshit crazy)who would have written those letters, because Jefferson, like several of the founding fathers, was a Deist. He did believe there was one supreme being, but I don't think he referred to it as God.

I am surprised that the state laws of which you speak were not struck down once the Constitution was signed and ratified.

I think a small percentage of those people know exactly what the ramifications are of what they're advocating, and it's all the leaders of their "movement." The people who are blindly following do not have a clue of what they are really doing or what will happen if their psychotic leaders prevail.