Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, Aug. 18

Founding fathers revered religion in national life<BR>

When anybody says it is unconstitutional for the state to acknowledge God by displaying the Ten Commandments or some other symbol of our Judeo/Christian heritage, they are really arguing that our founding fathers, the authors of the Constitution, would have agreed with them.

That notion is absurd, as proven by looking at what the framers of the Constitution and other patriots had to say about the role of religion in our national life.

Take Thomas Jefferson. The opponents of religion in the public square quote a letter he wrote where he mentions an alleged "wall of separation" between church and state. But none of them bother to quote Jefferson's remarks explaining the true meaning of the Constitution's First Amendment Establishment Clause:

"I consider the government of the U.S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercise. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise of religion but also from the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the U.S."

That's pretty plain language – and as our Lord said "Let him who has ears to hear, hear. Let him who has eyes to see, see."

Another voice we should listen to is Benjamin Franklin's. On June 28, 1787, during the Constitutional Convention where he played a key role, he thundered his conviction that the nation then being founded must acknowledge God:

"I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that 'except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.' I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

"I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."

So much for separation of church and state that nowadays means separation of state from God.

The anti-religious fanatics of the ACLU and others of their ilk who have largely succeeded in driving God out of our public schools should pay attention to what Governor Morris,a patriot and Pennsylvania delegate to the Constitutional Convention, had to say:

"Religion is the only solid basis of good morals; therefore education should teach the precepts of religion, and the duties of man towards God."History and our founding fathers are on Judge Roy Moore's side.

Unfortunately today's courts are not.

(E-mail Mike Reagan, the eldest son of President Ronald Reagan, at mereagan@hotmail.com. Mike's column comes from Cagle Cartoons, Inc.)

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