Frequently over the past several decades there has been regular and sometimes sensational attention in the public square directed toward all levels of government claiming violations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
That amendment declares in part, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...”
The debate usually revolves around what constitutes “an establishment of religion.” Neal A. Maxwell has observed that acting on religious beliefs does not constitute establishing a religion in the sense prohibited by our Constitution.
However, some misguided people never seem to want to allow anyone in government or government as a whole to carry into the public square any religious beliefs.
How sad and how harmful to construct such a thick-headed wall of separation between men and women in government and their particular belief in God.
I will preface my additional comments in this article by making reference to some of the other language contained in the constitutions of the United States and North Carolina and some comments made by some of our Founding Fathers and other wise men.
The Preamble to our North Carolina Constitution starts with these words, “We, the people of the State of North Carolina, grateful to Almighty God, the Sovereign Ruler of Nations ...”
Section 1 of Article 1 states, “We hold it to be self-evident that all persons are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights ...”
Section 35 of Article 1 states, “A frequent recurrence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty.”
Therein, ladies and gentlemen, is where we have really messed up! We have forgotten to teach our children what great men and women have said about God and the Bible; we are losing our Christian heritage as we apathetically allow radical activists to drive all religious thought from the public square and from our schools.
So let’s engage in some “recurrence to fundamental principles” espoused by our Founding Fathers that I recently read in the introduction of a book co-authored by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner titled “Verse by Verse the New Testament.”
“George Washington, a founding father of the United States of America, declared, ‘it is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.’ ”
“Emmanuel Kant, an 18th century German philosopher, claimed that ‘the existence of the Bible, as a book for the people, is the greatest benefit which the human race has ever experienced. Every attempt to belittle it is a crime against humanity.’ ”
“Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet laureate, remarked that ‘Bible reading is an education in itself.’ ”
“Patrick Henry, American patriot, observed in the late 1700s: The Bible is worth all other books which have ever been printed.”
“Daniel Webster, American statesman, predicted that, if we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering ... but if we and our posterity neglect its instruction and authority ... a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory.”
“Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed, a thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”
We, the people, need to repent of our slothfulness in not sufficiently teaching our children the values taught in the Bible and defending and promoting its teachings in all sectors of our society if we are to preserve liberty for future generations.