The Myth of Separation of Church and State
By: Joseph Harris
The wonderful thing about being an American is you do not have to be an attorney, judge or member of any elite group to learn how to read and interpret the constitution. Just read it, never saying what it doesn’t say, with common sense as your guide, allowing it to speak as it’s own independent authority. Any other approach will result in “messing” with the grand old document, pulling out “new and exciting truths” making it a living document, with content that would amaze the original writers. Consider the following words NOT from a living document:
“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.”
FACT # 1- The phrase “wall of separation of church and state” appears nowhere in the constitution, and especially not in the first amendment.
FACT # 2- The amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion and freedom of speech.
FACT # 3- The amendment DOES NOT mention government or public property as an exception to the free exercise of religion. NO exceptions are mentioned, period.
FACT # 4- The guarantee of free exercise of religion means religious views CAN be expressed in the political arena.
FACT # 5- Government is to remain absolutely neutral in all matters pertaining to religion, not making laws for the promotion or prohibition of its exercise.
ã€€Did you notice fact # 5? Government should keep its nose out of religion. It can’t be for or against religion. All rulings that forbid prayer, Bible clubs and such from government school property are illegal, or to use the big word of the day, unconstitutional, according to the first amendment. Rulings that forbid the expression of anything religious, whether on public or private property, are unconstitutional.
Notice also, the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is one of the most misunderstood phrases in the constitution. Most believe it is speaking of the establishment of a state church. The first amendment is generally viewed as pre-empting government from establishing a state religion. Look at the amendment again. The word “respecting” means “in regard to” or “pertaining to” an establishment or institution of religion. The first part of the amendment simply means that “congress shall make no law (for or against) pertaining to any religious organization, institution or establishment.” The instituting of a state endorsed church or denomination would be automatically prohibited on these grounds alone.
The first amendment is all about freedom OF religion, not freedom FROM religion. The idea that government, politics and society should be free FROM religion is a hatched up notion of God hating liberals via the ACLU, PAW and numerous other freedom destroying institutions. Not only does the amendment PREVENT government from interfering in expression of religion, it calls for protection of the rights of individuals as they practice the free exercise thereof. The ACLU should be protecting, not prohibiting free exercise. Note also, the word “exercise” means to act upon, not simply give mental ascent to a creed or set of beliefs. We are not only allowed freedom to hold religious beliefs, but the freedom to live out and express those beliefs. This means the Boy Scouts of America have a constitutional right to reject homosexual leaders, thereby exercising or practicing their belief. It means parents have a right to home school or send their children to a Christian school if they so desire.
Religion that cannot be practiced in daily life is useless. Don’t believe the liberal lie of the left. Religion and free expression of it is not illegal. It is not only legal, but guaranteed. Thank God. Let freedom ring.
Joseph Harris is the Vice President of Southeastern Baptist College in Laurel, MS. His writings are based on his beliefs and views and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and views of Southeastern Baptist College. www.miniedition.net
Joseph Harris has been a Bible college professor and pastor since 1987 and his writings have appeared on WorldNetdaily, Sword of the Lord and Land of the Free. firstname.lastname@example.org