The Courts once again took a strike at Christianity/Judaism over the past few weeks by ruling that the Ten Commandments monument must be removed from Oklahoma’s capital grounds. The reasoning for the judges to order it removed was because of the unique wording that is in Oklahoma’s State Constitution. The state constitution states
Section 5 – Public money or property – Use for sectarian purposes
No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.
So in the minds of the judges a ten commandments monument is promoting a religion? But is it really? Is the ten commandments monument religion or heritage? Certainly the ten commandments comes from the old testament from the story of Moses, so there is no doubt that it is religiously based, but isn’t Christianity not just a religion, but the belief system that all our laws are based on. I can hear the liberals now “Seperation of Church and State! Seperation of Church and State! Seperation of Church and State!” which by the way, does not actually exist. The United States Constitution states
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.
So the Federal Congress can’t pass an official religion, however, in the past many states in the union did have established religions. The following is an excerpt from Bill Federer’s book “BACKFIRED”.
Early State documents indicate tolerance was initially
for Christian denominations. Though narrow-minded by today’s
standards, this was liberal compared to European monarchs
who only tolerated subjects adhering to their chosen church.
CAMBRIDGE PLATFORM MASSACHUSETTS BAY COLONY 1648
Plymouth Colony Records IX, 1663, William
Vassall: 1. CHAP: XVII: In Matters Ecclesiastical….It
is lawfull, profitable, & necessary for christians to
gather themselves into Church estate, and therein to
exercise all the ordinances of Christ according unto
the word,..because the Apostles & Christians in their
time did frequently thus practise, when the
Magistrates being all of them Jewish or pagan, &
mostly persecuting enemies, would give no
countenance [favor] or consent to such matters.
MASSACHUSETTS CONSTITUTION 1780:
The Governor shall be chosen annually; and
no person shall be eligible to this office, unless, at
the time of his election…he shall declare himself to
be of the Christian religion. 76
Chapter VI, Article I. Any person chosen
governor, or lieutenant-governor, counsellor, senator,
or representative, and accepting the trust, shall before
he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office,
take, make and subscribe the following declaration:
“I,___ do declare, that I believe the Christian
religion, and have firm persuasion of its truth.”77
Part I, Article III. Any person chosen
governor, lieutenant governor, counsellor, senator, or
representative, and accepting the trust, shall subscribe
a solemn profession that he believes in the Christian
religion, and has a firm persuasion of its truth….
And every denomination of Christians,
demeaning themselves peaceably and as good
subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under
the protection of the law; and no subordination of,
any one sect or denomination shall ever be established
by law. (until 1863)
MARYLAND CONSTITUTION 1776:
Article XXXV. That no other test or
qualification ought to be required, on admission to
any office of trust or profit, than such oath of support
and fidelity to this State and such oath of office, as
shall be directed by this Convention, or the Legislature
of this State, and a declaration of a belief in the
Article XIX; XXXIII. That, as it is the duty
of every man to worship God in such a manner as he
thinks most acceptable to him; all persons, professing
the Christian religion, are equally entitled to
protection in their religious liberty; wherefore no
person ought by any law to be molested in his person
or estate on account of his religious persuasion of
profession, or for his religious practice; unless under
colour of religion, any man shall disturb the good
order, peace or safety of the State or shall infringe
the laws of morality…
yet the Legislature may, in their discretion,
lay a general and equal tax, for the support of the
Christian religion; leaving to each individual the
power of appointing the payment over the money,
collected from him, to the support of any particular
place of worship or minister, or for the benefit of the
poor or his own denomination, of the poor in general
if any particular bounty; but the churches, chapels,
glebes, and all other property now belonging to the
Church of England, ought to remain the Church of
England forever. (until 1851).
SOUTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION 1790:
Article XXXVIII. That all denominations of
Christians…in this State, demeaning themselves
peaceably and faithfully, shall enjoy equal religious
and civil privileges.
VIRGINIA CONSTITUTION 1776:
Bill of Rights, Article XVI. It is the mutual
Duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love,
and Charity towards each other.
NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION 1835:
Article XXXII. That no person who shall deny
the being of God, or the truth of the Christian
religion, or the divine authority of the Old or New
Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles
incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State,
shall be capable of holding any office or place of
trust or profit in the civil department within this State.
RHODE ISLAND & PROVIDENCE PLANTATION
CHARTER 1663, IN THE CONSTITUTION OF THE
COMMONWEALTH UNTIL 1842:
The object of the Colonists is to pursue, with
peace and loyal minds, their sober, serious, and
religious intentions of godly edifying themselves and
one another in the holy Christian faith and worship,
together with the gaining over and conversion of the
poor ignorant Indian natives to the sincere profession
and obedience of the same faith and worship.
DELAWARE CONSTITUTION 1776:
Article XXII. Every person who shall be
chosen a member of either house, or appointed to
any office or place of trust…shall…make and subscribe
the following declaration, to wit:
“I, ________, do profess faith in God the
Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the
Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; I do
acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and
New Testaments to be given by divine
inspiration.” (Until 1792)
PENNSYLVANIA CONSTITUTION 1776:
Frame of Government, Chapter 2, Section 10.
And each member [of the legislature], before he takes
his seat, shall make and subscribe the following
“I do believe in one God, the Creator and
Governour of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good
and Punisher of the wicked, and I do acknowledge
the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to
be given by Divine Inspiration.
BACKFIRED – A nation founded on religious tolerance no longer tolerates its founders’ religion. by William J Federer
So as we can see here, during the days that the Constitution as written, there was a clear precedent that state governments could establish religions inside their own boundaries, so the notion of a “Separation of Church and State” is a false one. Christianity is what the nation is founded on, and it can be argued that the ten commandments is as much an acknowledgement of where are laws are from, rather than a religious symbol.
Now for the by the numbers segment, how many Americans are actually offended by the Ten Commandments being displayed, not many atleast according to this Gallup poll. This was from a case back in 2005 regarding a Ten Commandments monument in Texas. You can see by the poll results below, most Americans are not offended and feel that it is appropriate to display.
– Larry Hartman