America was a Christian Nation
By Dorothy Anne Seese
On words such as these, this nation was founded:
By a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Holy Trinity Church v. U.S., 143 U.S. 457 (1892) declared in the Opinion written for the Court by Mr. Justice Brewer, that "These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation."
One of the clearer (and most amazing in light of today's court decisions) is this statement from the pen of Mr.Justice Brewer in the Holy Trinity opinion:
"It is a familiar rule that a thing may be within the letter of the statute and yet not within the statute, because not within its spirit nor within the intention of its makers."Nowhere could this generation apply Mr. Justice Brewer's words more frequently or forcefully than in recent state, federal and bureaucratic decisions, edicts and opinions regarding the First Amendment's intent and meaning when it states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...." Assailants who wish to destroy any and all exhibitions of the Christian faith, or even the Ten Commandments that are as Jewish as they are Christian, asserts their supposed "rights" to be offended at a Christian nation or any public display of Christianity in flagrant violation of the latter part of the "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment. They do so with the aid and consent of liberal judges and justices not by reason of, but in defiance of, the religious establishment clause.
If by "Christian nation" one means a theocracy such as was the case with ancient Israel until the time the people demanded a king (so they could be like the pagan nations around them), then no, America never has been a Christian theocracy. Not all of its founders were practicing Christians. A few were deists, or reported to be deists. Yet the acceptance of the Bible as the written word of God was nowhere publicly disputed but rather, is down to this very day used for administering oaths of office.
At this point I seem to hear atheists and liberals wailing in the background and from outside the garden walls, "But what about the separation of church and state? We demand that this nation honor the provision of separation of church and state!"
First of all, that language came from a private letter of Thomas Jefferson to the elders of Danbury Baptist Association, who were most concerned that another denomination might restrict their freedom of worship by enacting local or state laws against their denomination. If any of you have been looking in our founding documents, the charter of our land, or the amendments, you will not find that language there. It is from a personal letter dealing with an urgent concern for one denomination's religious freedom should another denomination seek to infringe upon their liberties to worship as they please. Thomas Jefferson addressed this issue in the context of the matter at hand, stating in part:
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.
This is the so-called "pronouncement" of separation of church and state, and it refers to exactly the same topic of concern as did the Danbury letter, which had absolutely nothing to do with displays of religious articles or texts, but of the dominance of one denomination over another. "Separation of church and state" as mentioned therein, and its famous "wall" were intended to assure religious people that the state would not interfere with the rights of a church or religious group (absent the commission of a crime, such as human sacrifice or other felonious act in the name of religion), or establish any preference for one group over another. The "wall of separation" was to keep the government out of the free exercise of religion, not to keep religion out of government!
This general mindset toward America's Christian heritage within a nation that respected the religious rights of all, Christian and non-Christian, to worship (or not worship) as they please, existed until a liberal Supreme Court, stuffed with liberal justices from the days of the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, allowed the gavel to strike the cross in 1963!
Between the presidency of Thomas Jefferson and the 1963 Supreme Court decision in Abington School Dist. v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203 (1963) which was decided in conjunction with Murray v. Curlett (the infamous Madelyn Murray O'Hair case), the liberal justices that had been appointed to the Supreme Court decided to violate the common sense established in the 1892 case of Holy Trinity Church v. U.S., supra.
In 1892, the opinion of the Supreme Court regarding the misconstruction of the intent or spirit of the law as well as the letter, was penned by Mr. Justice Brewer as follows:
It is a familiar rule that a thing may be within the letter of the statute and yet not within the statute, because not within its spirit nor within the intention of its makers. This has been often asserted, and the Reports are full of cases illustrating its application. This is not the substitution of the will of the judge for that of the legislator; for frequently words of general meaning are used in a statute, words broad enough to include an act in question, and yet a consideration of the whole legislation, or of the circumstances surrounding its enactment, or of the absurd results which follow from giving such broad meaning to the words, makes it unreasonable to believe that the legislator intended to include the particular act.
It is perhaps safe to say that the nonsense espoused by the liberal agenda against this nation's historic Christian faith, and the incidents of "being offended" would not have elicited any sympathy from the Supreme Court Justices on the bench in 1892, because they seem to have relied on that lost entity, common sense, as well as on their expertise in matters of the law.
Further, the 1892 Supreme Court took into consideration that one could actually follow the letter of the law (which is not the case in the various "separation of church and state" arguments since 1963) and violate the spirit of the law. The violation of the second clause of the "establishment of religion" portion of the First Amendment -- not prohibiting the free exercise of religion -- has made the first portion of it absurd and far afield from the founders' intentions, and the whole of the First Amendment a warped, twisted parody of our basic rights as a free people who must respect the freedom of others in order to retain our own. Those who would prohibit the free exercise of the Christian faith, or utter direct lies about this nation's Christian heritage, may one day have to account for why neither they nor their fellow countrymen have any freedom left!
In fact, Mr. Justice Brewer, in the 1892 opinion, went so far as to state:
[T]he court says: "All laws should receive a sensible construction. General terms should be so limited in their application as not to lead to injustice, oppression, or an absurd consequence...." (Emphasis added.)
What would he think of the decisions being rendered by today's courts? He probably would ask what country this is, and whether it would perhaps be possible for him to return to America? Sir, this is what has become of America!
This same Mr. Justice Brewer is the one who wrote for the Court, in the 1892 Holy Trinity Church vs. U.S. case:
[T]he churches and church organizations which abound in every city, town, and hamlet; the
multitude of charitable organizations existing everywhere under Christian auspices; the gigantic
missionary associations, with general support, and aiming to establish Christian missions in
every quarter of the globe. These and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume
of unofficial declarations to the mass of organic utterances that this is a Christian nation. (Emphasis added.)
So stated the Supreme Court in 1892. Liberalism, Marxism, socialism, and every other "ism" that is hostile to the Christian faith has, with the support of liberal judges and justices, shattered the letter and spirit of the law of the land as set forth in our founding documents, and has insulted the grace of God by which this nation was established.
If anyone still doubts that America was a Christian nation, let them review the charters of the original colonies, the charters of such states as Massachusetts, Pennsylvania or New York.
It is still true that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Look at what has happened in just the past fifty years. We are now a warrior nation, a nation-building nation, an incipient empire.
We have become what we were founded in order to avoid.
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