The Democratic National Convention of 2012 is over. President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have been re-nominated by their party, but that is not news. What is news is what came to a head in writing and then publicly revising the party platform.
Few people pay much attention to party platforms. But what started out as a minor aside soon became a backlash and an embarrassment. The original Democrat party platform had all references to God removed as well as any support for Jerusalem as the rightful capital of Israel. When the news leaked there was a furor that the Democrat party was essentially Godless. Well, elections matter and for the purpose of getting Democrats reelected the party couldn’t let this become a campaign issue, more than it already had become; they had to fix it.
So they drafted the corrected language putting God and Jerusalem back in the platform, but they now had another problem. It had to be approved by the delegates not just by a majority but by a two-thirds majority. Uh-oh. So they held a voice vote and the only thing missing was an applause-o-meter to judge the response of the crowd. They tried three times and then, flummoxed that the vote to keep God out was getting louder, just declared that “in the opinion the chair” (don’t ask which chair) the new language was approved. Resounding boos followed. What’s going on here?
Separation of Church and State
It is something of a divide and conquer strategy of the left that we see going on here. Atheist groups are attacking every possible symbol of religion as offensive to them and basing their court cases on the concept of a separation of church and state.
The concept of a “wall of separation between church and state” was in a letter from President Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Connecticut Baptists. It is not in the Declaration of Independence and it is not in the Constitution. At the time of the ratification of the Constitution there were in existence several state religions and the First Amendment prohibited the establishment of a national religion. The purpose of the letter from the Danbury Baptists was that the state religion of Connecticut was Congregationalism and the Baptists felt their religious rights could be taken away at any time. It wasn’t until the 1850s that the last of the states removed state sponsored religion from their constitutions.
If alive today,would Jefferson applaud the removal of Christmas creches from the town square? Hardly.
It is no exaggeration to say that on Sundays in Washington during the administrations of Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and of James Madison (1809-1817) the state became the church. Within a year of his inauguration, Jefferson began attending church services in the House of Representatives. Madison followed Jefferson’s example, although unlike Jefferson, who rode on horseback to church in the Capitol, Madison came in a coach and four. Worship services in the House–a practice that continued until after the Civil War–were acceptable to Jefferson because they were nondiscriminatory and voluntary. Preachers of every Protestant denomination appeared. (Catholic priests began officiating in 1826.) As early as January 1806 a female evangelist, Dorothy Ripley, delivered a camp meeting-style exhortation in the House to Jefferson, Vice President Aaron Burr, and a “crowded audience.” Throughout his administration Jefferson permitted church services in executive branch buildings. The Gospel was also preached in the Supreme Court chambers. — Religion and the Founding of the American Republic
It was a strongly held belief of the Founders that our form of government could not exist without a strong religious faith backing it up.
The Founders held to this simple syllogism: morality is necessary for republican government; religion is necessary for morality; therefore, religion is necessary for republican government. “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,” Washington wrote in his Farewell Address, “Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that men claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness –these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens.” – We Still Hold These Truths, Matthew Spalding
So from where are these attacks coming?
The Progressive Movement that began in the late nineteenth century and had its intellectual peak in the early twentieth century challenged the principles in the Declaration of Independence. The principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence were that we each had individual rights that could not be taken away nor given away, they were inalienable. The progressives believed that we did not have individual rights but we were first members of society and therefore our rights come from society, that is, from government. As we all know that which the government giveth, it can also taketh away. Therein lies the stark difference between conservatives who believe in individual liberty and the progressives who believe in the government deciding who has and has not liberty. The battle lines are drawn.
The First Amendment states with regard to religion, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” That’s pretty clear language. It speaks of Congress, not the states not being able to establish a religion and Congress cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion. So how did we get where we are with a ban on religion in the public square? Judicial activism.
In 1947 there was a Supreme Court case Emerson v Board of Education. The essence of the case was a suit brought by an individual who was opposed to public school transportation funds being used to transport children to both public and private schools. The plaintiff contended that reimbursement given for children attending private religious schools violated the constitutional prohibition against state support of religion, and the taking of taxpayers’ money to do so violated the constitution’s Due Process Clause. The only problem is that there is no constitutional prohibition against state support of religion. The prohibition is against the establishment of a national church or temple or whatever.
By 1947 the Supreme Court consisted of seven appointees of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a progressive, and two appointees of Harry Truman, another progressive. It is safe to say there was not a conservative voice on the court and yet the decision was 5-4. Emerson, the plaintiff, lost his argument because the transportation reimbursement was offered to all, regardless of religion or other private school affiliation or no affiliation. That should have ended it without any judicial activism. But here is where the Court created new law from the bench.
“The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. 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.’” 330 U.S. 1, 15-16.
This violates the clear language of the First, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments. It is absurd to say, The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church,” when at the time of writing and continuing until the mid-nineteenth century state constitution did permit the establishment of state religions. This is the progressives concept of a “living, breathing” Constitution in action. Ignore what is in the original, and have nine unelected, life appointed judges usurp the function of Congress and write new laws that suit their point of view.
Attack on the First Amendment
The latest attack on the First Amendment comes from the Obama administration demand that Catholic organizations provide contraceptives to their employees in violation of the First Amendment. This is not state law. This is Congress passing a law that prohibits the free exercise of Catholicism by the Catholic Church and its affiliate organizations. But the Democrats won’t back down, and they themed their entire DNC convention around abortion and contraception and their bogus War on Women.
Finishing Off God
Since Woodrow Wilson the progressives have been arguing against individual rights but they keep running into the Declaration of Independence which spells it out that our individual rights come from God and they can’t be taken away or given away. Hmmm…what if there were no such thing as God? How can you be given rights from something or someone who doesn’t exist? Eureka! Finally a solution.
So start a full-scale guerrilla war against religion. Have your Hollywood and Main Stream Media mock all things religious. How uncool! How unhip! Then have the public schools indoctrinate millions of children for a century starting with the education “reforms” of John Dewey with the progressive way. Have the law schools teach judicial activism so that the Constitution can be re-written from the bench rather than debated in Congress. Have the atheist troops attack any public display of religion as highly offensive to them and drive religion underground. (I don’t believe in the Magic Kingdom, but I do not get highly offended by the site of a Disney commercial; I am not Jewish but the Star of David commands my respect not horror). Once religion can only be practiced behind closed doors in whispered tones, like in the good old days of Nazi Germany, then the final assault on the Declaration of Independence can begin. No God; therefore no individual rights; bow now before the altar of government. The Democrats let slip a preview in Charlotte this past week before they caught themselves realizing it was too soon for the final assault. But be patient, the day will come. Unless they are stopped in their tracks. Remember Charlotte.
That’s my opinion; I’d like to know yours. Please comment below.