"Congress Shall Make No Law..."

by Colonel Dan


The Cowboy Chronicle

October 2005


“I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”  ~ Thomas Jefferson ~

The legislative and judicial branches of our government are systematically destroying America’s religious foundation and whether you personally believe in God or not is irrelevant to the danger inherent in that.  The fact is the vast majority of Americans do believe in God and religion is and has been a strong foundation upon which they depend to fill many needs in their lives—regardless of which religion they follow. 

Religion was so critically important to the Founders, that effective December 15, 1791, America ratified its position on the relationship between religion and government and summed it up very clearly and simply in the very first section of the First Amendment of our Constitution.  Religion was the ‘first of the first’ so to speak in the eyes of our Founding Fathers:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."  ~ First Amendment ~

To contrast the position of our modern day courts and say that the founders intended to prohibit people from mentioning God, the church or religion in and around the American state is a perversion of the facts.  On the contrary, the First Amendment very clearly says that it is the state, in the form of Congress, who cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion by the people; it doesn’t restrict or prohibit the people from freely expressing their religion in any way!   Free exercise thereof means exactly that to my simple way of interpreting this and I have to believe the founders knew exactly what they were writing when they put pen to parchment—it’s the people that are the free element here and congress the restricted element.  Congress shall make no law prohibiting that freedom of the people, no mention or restriction of where, when or how as I read it.  In fact, everything the founders did in the first 10 Amendments was designed to specifically protect individual rights. 

Keep in mind also that the founders witnessed the real danger to individual freedom of a state established church as exemplified in England and it was an official state church, overseen and directed by government, they desperately wanted to prohibit.   

If we look deeper into the founder’s views of religion via their own words, separate from the Constitution, it’s unmistakably clear what they thought…

“Religion [is] the basis and Foundation of Government.”  ~ James Madison ~

“No power over the freedom of religion…[is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.”   ~ Thomas Jefferson ~

“While just government protects all in their religious rights, true religion afforded to government is its surest support.”  ~ George Washington ~

Does this sound like men who intended to go where the judiciary has taken us over the past 40 years?   Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison would have been hauled away for publicly making such statements today given our modern courts.  Over the past 40 years however, there’s been a concentrated effort to contort this concept of religious freedom and generally exterminate religion from the public sector by placing the prohibition referred to in the First Amendment on the people instead of the government! 

Starting in the early 60’s when Madelyn Murray O’Haire convinced the Supreme Court that school prayer was some kind of national threat, we’ve been running God out of town on a rail of pandering atheism ever since.  We went to moments of silence in order to compromise with an uncompromising left and from displaying the Ten Commandments to a taxpayer funded display of the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung—all in the name of separation of church and state and constitutional freedom?   People can’t even pray at public events now according to some courts…even if the majority of the people at that event want to pray.  Now how in the world does prohibiting prayer at football games for example square with the concept “…free exercise thereof.”  Our courts have simply declared war on public religious expression and have used the First Amendment as the justification to do so!

But my next question is this, ‘why attack and destroy religion?’

Whether you are an atheist or follow a religion of some nature doesn’t matter in this case.  The point is religion has always been a foundation upon which people heavily depend—a foundation independent of the state.  The current trend in this and other areas of our society, as we’ve all seen in our lifetime, has clearly been to create greater dependency on government.  Therefore any foundation, religion or otherwise that isn’t government centric must be removed and the state put in its place to fill the vacuum.  It clearly comes down to this:  Governments have always wanted to dictate and control ever increasing aspects of people’s lives, forcing them to rely on and look solely to government for everything.  Anything, like religion, that provides a foundation independent of government must be replaced…and therein lies the common danger—atheist or believer—government control is a threat to all.

Like it or not, agree with religion or not, this country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and they are inconsistent with the move toward the Godless state we have seen coming over the last 4 decades.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could bring back George Washington and ask him what he thought about all this?  Well, in a way we can, so let’s ask him. 

“President Washington, what do you think about this trend of interpreting the Constitution to actually restrict free and public expression of religion?” 

“If I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed by 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.”  ~ George Washington ~

Thank you Mr. President.  That’s what I thought you’d say.

As I’ve contended in past columns, I know some legally trained folk will object to my views of the Constitution but I’m just reading the words as written under a light of what I think is simply common sense.

Post Script for Thomas Jefferson.  Sir, I too tremble for my country at the thought of a just God but in my own way, I welcome Him to stop by and sit a spell, but again, that’s just the view from my saddle…

Contact Colonel Dan:  coloneldan@bellsouth.net







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