By Douglas J. Hagmann

One of the most insidiously perverse yet effective weapons being used in the war against Christians and Christianity in the United States is supposedly derived from our nation’s founding document—the U.S. Constitution itself. It’s likely that you’ve heard people speak or write about the “separation of church and state” or the “wall of separation” with authority. Perhaps in discussion with friends, family members or even ministers, priests and pastors, you’ve heard claims that the U.S. Constitution calls for the separation of church and state. Those citing such a mandated separation usually cite the First Amendment to reinforce their claims. The fact of the matter, however, is that it’s simply not true.

In many cases, you might be conversing with people who perhaps mean well but are completely clueless about our national history. In other cases, you will find that the misconception is no misconception at all, but a deliberate deception.

It is important to understand that you are hearing or reading a lie, at times deliberate, for there is nothing in the Constitution or Bill of Rights that mandates any doctrine of separation of Church and State. The First Amendment to the Constitution was written as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion , or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging freedom of speech or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The founders of our nation considered religious freedom, or the freedom to practice one’s faith without fear or interference by the government to be of utmost importance to the citizens and welfare of our country. Accordingly, they carefully structured the First Amendment to include two distinct parts, or clauses, of equal importance. The first part of the First Amendment is known as “The Establishment Clause,” while the second part is known as “The Free Exercise Clause.”

It is of critical importance that we understand the meaning and intent of this amendment and both clauses, for it is this amendment that grants us, as Americans, to freely and openly practice our faith. The basic fact of the matter is that the First Amendment was adopted by the framers of our Constitution to promote, not prohibit religious freedom.

The Establishment Clause was carefully crafted to prevent the federal government from establishing a national religion, or a dominate religion that would cause Christians or followers of any other faith to be subjugated to a national religion. As it was made clear through the writings of the framers following the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the Establishment Clause was never intended to be a tool to prevent Christians from openly practicing their faith in any public venue. It was never intended to prevent the display of nativity scenes, the ten commandments or other religious signs on public property. Rather, it was written for the purpose of stating what the federal government is prohibited from doing.

This is made even clearer when the words of George Washington are considered:

“If I could entertain the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical Society, certainly I would have never placed my signature to it.(1)

George Washington was not alone in his thinking. James Madison, the primary architect of the U.S. Constitution, stated in a speech on July 12, 1788 to the Virginia Convention:

There is not a shadow of a right in the federal government to intermeddle with religion.(2)

 

Despite the careful wording and the obvious intent of the framers of the Constitution, anti-Christian activists have perverted and are using convoluted interpretations of our Constitution against us.

The perversion of the Establishment Clause appeared to begin in earnest under the presidential administration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was after World War II when “the Supreme Court began to depart from the Christian heritage of America as established by our Founding fathers, with socialist interpretations of ‘freedom of religion,’ instituting pagan ideas, usurping legislative powers to which it was not entitled, in order to bring about the socialist changes desired by the Socialist, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”(3)

It was during and after the time of Roosevelt that judicial activism began in earnest to subvert the meaning and intent of the U.S. Constitution as it relates to “freedom of religion.” In addition to judicial activism, one of the most significant legislative moves to “gag” churches and church leaders from speaking out on issues of morality, faith, and beliefs occurred in 1954.

In 1954, U.S. Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, was running for reelection. It was a hotly contested race and Johnson was facing aggressive opposition from politically conservative, anti-Communist and non-profit Christian groups. This was during the approximate period when Senator Joseph McCarthy was actively involved in ferreting out Communist infiltration within our government.

McCarthy was close to American industrialist H. L. Hunt, (1889-1974) who was the founder of a multibillion dollar oil business. Hunt also had his own radio program where he promoted his conservative political views, for which he was best known during the early 1950’s. Between 1951 to 1956, Hunt founded and personally funded his own foundation known as Facts Forum, the umbrella company that produced conservative radio and television programs. Using these media venues, Hunt broadcast news and commentary of a conservative, anti-Communist nature. Concurrent with his broadcast initiative, his foundation distributed books, pamphlets and other material written by many conservative political figures, including then-Senator Joseph R. McCarthy.(4)

It was partially due to the long reach of Hunt and his promotion of a conservative ideology, particularly among Christian churches that Johnson was politically on the ropes. To muzzle dissent, Johnson introduced an amendment that broadened the reach of the Internal Revenue Service into our nation’s churches, preventing them from speaking out on political candidates and related matters. The Johnson Amendment, codified as 26 USC §501(c )3, was passed unanimously without debate.

Think about that against the backdrop of what we are seeing take place today. Have we not seen the Internal Revenue Service being used as a weapon to stifle and silence political opposition against the administration of Barack Hussein Obama? Have we not seen allegations of Obama using the IRS to delay the issuance of tax-exempt applications, especially for those groups who stand firmly in the Christian conservative pro-life, pro-Second Amendment camps? This is just one reason why having a firm knowledge and understanding of history is so important. It provides us with insight into the tactics of tyranny.

Since that time, judicial activism at the federal level has not only reinforced the so-called unconstitutional wall of separation, it has served to build it higher. It is through this judicial activism by federal courts, and this tyranny at the federal level that is being used with razor-like precision to excise Christianity from the freedoms granted us by our Creator and enumerated by our Founding Fathers.

We, the people, do have the ability to fight back. As Dr. Coleman points out in his book, What You Should Know About the United States Constitution and the Bill Of Rights, the United States Congress can overturn any ruling by the Supreme Court by a simple majority. Accordingly, it would serve us well to take the battle to reclaim our religious freedoms to Congress. Meanwhile, do not be fooled by the perverted talking points of the modern day intellectuals who want you to believe that the so-called “wall of separation,” or the much used phrase “separation of church and state” is rooted in the United States Constitution, because it’s not.

(1) George Washington, 10 May 1789, quoted in William J. Federer, America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations (Coppell, TX: Fame Publishing, 1994) 653.

(2) John Eidsmoe, Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1987), 108.

(3) Dr. John Coleman, What You Should Know About the United States Constitution and the Bill Of Rights (Las Vegas, NV, 1999), 77

(4) http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/276937/H-L-Hunt#ref6763

 

 

As heard on The Hagmann Report