Michael “Mikey” Weinstein

Hi Mike

I recently seen the article about the Youngstown, OH veterans memorial and the fact that you want to remove the Bible from there. Well I’m not going to preach but just wanted to let you know you can send me all your money that has “In God we trust” on it to me since you don’t feel that anything that has the government and religion on it together is right. Also, here is a quick history lesson, when the constitution was put in place there was God in the courts, in the classrooms and pretty much in all decisions made by founding fathers. It’s never been forced down anybody’s throat but the fact is it is what this country has been about since it began. Get over it, you can practice any religion you want as long as you don’t infringe on anyone’s right; if you don’t believe in the Christian Bible then move on in your lost little world and let the smart people alone. Next you will be telling churches they cannot just teach just one religion or way. Once again study history, no one who ever went against God has won. Quit being stupid!!! I cannot believe your attitude, we have a president who gives freely to immigrant’s and people that never earned a living yet denies veterans the same benefits and you are worried about a Bible. You are a disgrace to the veteran community and ought to be highly ashamed of your intentions. Get with the program, quit being an idiot!!!!!!!

(name withheld)


 

Dear (name withheld),

Where do I start?

 

No, we’re not sending you our money because we only deal with the military and religious neutrality.

 

Not everyone who believes in the bible is smart because I’ve dealt with a lot of them. For example, as a Pastor I had someone asks me a very simple biblical question. I asked him if he ever read the bible and he said “No, that’s what you are for.”

 

I won’t call you an “idiot” but misinformed because you believe the lies written about the Military Religious Freedom Foundation without doing the least bit of research on our website.

 

America has grown up since the Constitution was written. We have Congress that passes laws and the Supreme Court that rules whether they are Constitutional or not–when asked. It’s foolish to believe that if it isn’t in the original Constitution, it is to be ignored.

 

The Christian writers of all the articles out there know the truth and facts but are being deceptive in order to rile up mainline Christians to help the Dominionists ones to make our soldiers “warriors for Christ” and every war a crusade.

 

We are neither an atheist organization nor are we anti-Christian. Mikey is Jewish (and prays to the same Father we do 3 times a day) and 80% of the Board, Advisory Board, volunteers and supporters (244 in total) of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) are Christians. In fact, 96% of our 45,200+ soldier clients are Christians – Catholics, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodist, Lutherans, Baptists, Evangelicals, etc. We fight for the rights of these Christians more than any other religion but it never makes the news.

 

We Christians involved with the MRFF in any way are not too happy with your judgmental remarks.

It is not our view that the Bible has no place on a POW/MIA table but the Constitution and subsequent Supreme Court rulings that we must obey.

As defenders of the Constitution we fight for the separation of church and state.

 

Here’s a history lesson for you:

 

“…but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” (Article I, III)

This means that from the President to Congress to the military – no one’s job is based on their religion.

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (Establishment Clause), or prohibiting the free exercise thereof (Free Exercise Clause).”(First Amendment)

 

The Establishment Clause means that you cannot favor one religion over another even though it is in the majority. This clause respects the RIGHTS of all religions. Our military is SECULAR and there are people of other faiths that don the uniform that love this country.

 

The Free Exercise Clause (which is subservient to the Establishment Clause) means that our soldiers are free to exercise any religion they want or no religion at all but cannot elevate one God above others.

 

“Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.” Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808) ME 16:320.

 

This is his second known use of the term “wall of separation,” here quoting his own use in the Danbury Baptist letter.

 

This wording of the original was several times upheld by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause.

 

Jefferson’s concept of “separation of church and state” first became a part of Establishment Clause jurisprudence in Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878). In that case, the court examined the history of religious liberty in the US, determining that while the constitution guarantees religious freedom, “The word ‘religion’ is not defined in the Constitution. We must go elsewhere, therefore, to ascertain its meaning and nowhere more appropriately, we think, than to the history of the times in the midst of which the provision was adopted.” The court found that the leaders in advocating and formulating the constitutional guarantee of religious liberty were James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Quoting the “separation” paragraph from Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, the court concluded that, “coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured.

 

In 1878 “separation of church and state” became part of the Establishment Clause BY LAW.

 

The Supreme Court heard the Lemon v. Kurtzman case in 1971 and ruled in favor of the Establishment Clause. Subsequent to this decision, the Supreme Court has applied a three-pronged test to determine whether government action comports with the Establishment Clause, known as the Lemon Test:

 

Government action violates the Establishment Clause unless it:
1. Has a significant secular (i.e., non-religious) purpose,
2. Does not have the primary effect of advancing or inhibiting religion
3. Does not foster excessive entanglement between government and religion

 

Parker v. Levy:

“This Court has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society… While the members of the military are not excluded from the protection granted by the First Amendment, the different character of the military community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections. … The fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it… Speech [in any form] that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command.  If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.” (Emphasis added) Parker v. Levy, 417 U.S. 733, 1974

 

The Bible on the table does not represent all of the 83,000+ POW/MIA’s. Within the missing are soldiers of other beliefs or of no belief system and to deny this is ludicrous, especially since my uncle was an atheist and is MIA.

 

In other words, if you want a Bible on the POW/MIA table you have to include the Torah, Koran, representations of other religions and atheism in order to be in compliance with the Constitution, Lemon Test and Parker v. Levy. It’s either all religions or none but because some Christians don’t want to share the table, the Bible had to be removed.

 

The blame is placed squarely at their feet…not ours.

 

I really hope that the military – with the backing of lying Christian writers – stop and repent of their false accusations before they die

 

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” Proverbs 6:16-19

 

The military is sowing discord toward the mainline Christians (see above) because they refuse to be Dominionists.

 

US Army chaplain MAJ James Linzey, who, in a 1999 video, described mainstream Protestant churches as “demonic, dastardly creatures from the pit of hell “that should be “stomped out.”

 

This is the thinking of the military of today throughout the chain of command all the way to the Pentagon. They believe that the only “true” Christian is one that is “born-again” and has a “spiritual birthday.” All mainline Christians (see above) and those Christians born before 1952–when Bill Bright made up the 4 Spiritual Laws–are destined to hell.

 

This thinking is destroying our military from the inside and it is being perpetrated from the Pentagon down to the lowest soldier in a leadership position. It has taken “morale, good order, discipline and unit cohesion” and shredded it beyond recognition, all in the name of Jesus.

 

If you belong to one of the mainline Christian churches mentioned above, then we are fighting for you, too.

 

“I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect above another.”

Thomas Jefferson’s letter to Elbridge Gerry January 26, 1799

 

The Founding Fathers regarding religion:

 

The Treaty of Tripoli was signed at Tripoli on November 4, 1796.It was submitted to the Senate by President John Adams, receiving ratification unanimously from the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797, and signed by Adams, taking effect as the law of the land on June 10, 1797; a mere 8 years since our Constitution went into effect. If what was written was wrong in anyway, there would have been uproar. But, it passed unanimously and confirmed that America was not founded on Christianity.

Treaty of Tripoli:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries…

The Constitution reflects our founder’s views of a secular government protecting the freedom of any belief or unbelief.

 

The historian, Robert Middlekauff, observed, “The idea that the Constitution expressed a moral view seems absurd. There were no genuine evangelicals in the Convention, and there were no heated declarations of Christian piety.”

 

“The Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered”. George Lincoln Burr (1857 – 1938), Professor of History and Librarian at Cornell University

 

“Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, then that of blindfolded fear.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

 

“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.”

Thomas Jefferson: in letter to Alexander von Humboldt, December 6, 1813

“The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses.”
John Adams, “A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America” 1787-1788

“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”
George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.”
James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.” 

James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, Ecclesiastical Endowments

 

“God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.”
Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773

 

“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.”

James Madison 1785 Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments

 

“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;’ the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

 

According to our Founding Fathers the Constitution is not based on Christianity or biblical law.

 

Get with the program, stop being misinformed and stop judging people based on falsehoods.

 

Pastor Joan

MRFF Advisory Board Member


 

Gee,  (name withheld), where to begin?

We get lots of letters, calls and emails, many of them from people in the military thanking us for protecting their freedom of choice in terms of belief, religion and thought. Of course, we also get some  from people like you who disagree because they feel their personal religious choice, being the ONLY right one, is being improperly treated.

I personally much prefer the thanks from people who understand the difference between a country with a state religion and one with freedom of belief. They’re clear, simple, straightforward and fundamentally American.

On the other hand, we have you. And we have people like you who don’t understand the history of this country, who don’t realize how lucky they are to be living in a place that protects their right of belief in exactly the same way it protects the right of belief of people who happen to believe differently.

People like you don’t bother to find out what year it was that someone decided to put “In God we trust” on our coins and why they did that.

People like you don’t understand the value of the separation of church and state and assume those who do are somehow anti-religion.

People like you think the founders of this country were all Christians and they intended this to be a Christian country rather than a free country in which people could believe as they chose.

People like you believe that in our history religion has never been “forced down anybody’s throat.” They think “it (religion) is what this country has been about since it began.”

People like you say things like “if you don’t believe in the Christian Bible then move on in your lost little world and let the smart people alone.” And I suspect at the same time they don’t think they’re bigots.

People like you claim to know history without, apparently, having studied it. They need to believe that people who see things differently are stupid because the alternative frightens them beyond their ability to deal with it.

And it’s amazing how many of the people like you, who spout about their intelligence and sophistication and lay claim to Christian superiority, then just have to dip into a little political harangue and vent about what’s so wrong with the way the country is being run.

It’s just so typical, you know? So sad. And, if you don’t mind my saying so, it’s rather boring.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


 

Dear (name withheld),
You may already have heard from others, but I hope that you’ll entertain one more perspective. In addition to being a staunch supporter of the MRFF, I am also a lifelong Christian and a USAF veteran.
I will leave it to others to address the historical aspects of your commentary, and only point out that the US is not a Christian nation. We are a nation comprised of many beliefs about God, of which Christianity enjoys a majority position…. but those two things are not at all the same thing.

What I’d like to discuss with you is the ‘personal’ aspect of the Ohio VA issue, because it is my own personal beliefs, as a Christian and a veteran, that led me to support the efforts of the MRFF.

With respect, I think you make the same error about the MRFF’s position as others have made. We are not opposed to the Bible. We are not opposed to Christianity. We are not opposed to religious belief.
Our position is one of support, not opposition.
We support the Constitutional rights of all current and former military members. We support mutual respect for all religious beliefs, including non-belief. Specific to the Ohio VA situation, we support and respect the sacrifice of all POW/MIA of manner of religious belief.
It is the last point upon which is ask you to reflect. The POW/MIA display is intended to honor all POW/MIA. I hope you understand that not all POW/MIA are Christians. To suggest that including a Christian Bible in the display honors the non-Christians is the same as suggesting that the presence of a Koran honors non-Muslims, or that the Book of Mormon would honor non-LDS.
I’d ask you to reflect upon the obligation we have as Christians, to ensure that we do not inflict upon other citizens that which Hamilton and others cautioned, the tyranny of the majority.  We simply have no right to subject others to our religious beliefs and symbols…. not if we are sincere when we say that all citizens have equal rights to conflicting religious beliefs.
And just as importantly, if we wish to honor the sacrifice of some of the bravest Anericans, the POW/MIA community, why would we not wish to do so in a manner that honors all of them?
Peace,
Mike Challman
Christian, USAF veteran, MRFF supporter

Hi Joan.

 

Hi (name withheld),

 

“I am going to respond within your email.”

 

First I would like to thank you for your response and second apologize for some of my harsh words. I was very angry when I first read the article.

 

“Apology Accepted.”

 

However, I cannot still totally agree with you. The first amendment was written to keep the government from controlling or interfering with religion, but that is exactly what you and many others are allowing the government to do. You are giving them that right by letting them get involved in something they are supposed to be “separated ” from as you put it.

 

“We are “allowing them?” It’s the law and we must “follow’ them whether we agree with them or not”.

 

When the government enforces a “no religion policy” this is indeed forcing their own belief, religion or way upon the people.

 

“No, it’s in the Constitution and they’ve been enforcing it since the beginning: It looks like you are reading into it something that isn’t there.

 

Amendment I. 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.

 

Article 6, Clause 3. The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”

 

Once again the government has never been separated from God. Like I said previously, in the early days there was prayer in schools,

 

“Not in the “early days” in my state because they left it up to each individual school district. We never said a prayer or read the bible in school.”

 

the courts still swear on the Bible,

 

“No. I had to testify in court many years ago and I didn’t have to swear on the Bible.”

 

it is on our currency

 

“It didn’t appear on our paper currency until 1957.”

 

and we are “one nation under God”.

 

“No. It wasn’t added until 1954. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy (1855-1931). It was originally published in The Youth’s Companion on September 8, 1892. Bellamy had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country.

In its original form it read:

“I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1923, the words, “the Flag of the United States of America” were added. At this time it read:

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

 

Also, there is no Separation of church and state even mentioned in original documents. You spoke of Jefferson: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”  Jefferson simply quotes the First Amendment then uses a metaphor, the “wall”, to separate the government from interfering with religious practice.

 

“He was clarifying the First Amendment to the Constitution.”

 

When Thomas Jefferson wrote his letter to the Danbury Baptist Association he never intended the words “Separation of Church and State” to be taken out of context and used as a substitute for the First Amendment,

 

“And you know this? How?”

 

but for all practical purposes it’s what the courts have done.

 

“The courts relied on what Jefferson said concerning the “Separation of Church and State” beginning in 1878”.

 

If actions speak stronger than words, it is interesting to note that 3 days

 

“Nope – 2 days.”

 

after Jefferson wrote those words, he attended church in the largest congregation in North America at the time.

 

“And, what is the name of the church, do tell?”

 

This church held its weekly worship services on government property, in the House Chambers of the U.S. Capital Building.

 

 

“At this time the only place for public worship in our new-city was a small, a very small frame building at the bottom of Capitol-hill. It had been a tobacco-house belonging to Daniel Carrol1 and was purchased by a few Episcopalians for a mere trifle and fitted up as a church in the plainest and rudest manner. During the first winter, Mr. Jefferson regularly attended service on the sabbath-day in the humble church. The congregation seldom exceeded 50 or 60, but generally consisted of about a score of hearers. He could have had no motive for this regular attendance, but that of respect for public worship, choice of place or preacher he had not, as this, with the exception of a little Catholic chapel was the only church in the new city. The custom of preaching in the Hall of Representatives had not then been attempted, though after it was established Mr. Jefferson during his whole administration, was a most regular attendant. The seat he chose the first sabbath, and the adjoining one, which his private secretary occupied, were ever afterwards by the courtesy of the congregation, left for him and his secretary. I have called these Sunday assemblies in the capitol, a congregation, but the almost exclusive appropriation of that word to religious assemblies, prevents its being a descriptive term as applied in the present case, since the gay company who thronged the H. R. looked very little like a religious assembly. The occasion presented for display was not only a novel, but a favourable one for the youth, beauty and fashion of the city, Georgetown and environs. The members of Congress, gladly gave up their seats for such fair auditors, and either lounged in the lobbies, or round the fire places, or stood beside the ladies of their acquaintance. This sabbathday-resort became so fashionable, that the floor of the house offered insufficient space, the platform behind the Speaker’s chair, and every spot where a chair could be wedged in was crowded with ladies in their gayest costume and their attendant beaux and who led them to their seats with the same gallantry as is exhibited in a ball room. Smiles, nods, whispers, nay sometimes tittering marked their recognition of each other, and beguiled the tedium of the service. Often, when cold, a lady would leave her seat and led by her attending beau would make her way through the crowd to one of the fire-places where she could laugh and talk at her ease. One of the officers of the house, followed by his attendant with a great bag over his shoulder, precisely at 12 o’clock, would make his way through the hall to the depository of letters to put them in the mail-bag, which sometimes had a most ludicrous effect, and always diverted attention from the preacher. The musick was as little in union with devotional feelings, as the place. The marine-band, were the performers. Their scarlet uniform, their various instruments, made quite a dazzling appearance in the gallery. The marches they played were good and inspiring, but in their attempts to accompany the psalm-singing of the congregation, they completely failed and after a while, the practice was discontinued,—it was too ridiculous.

Not only the chaplains, but the most distinguished clergymen who visited the city, preached in the Capitol. I remember hearing Mr. E. Everet, afterwards a member of Congress, deliver an eloquent and flowery discourse, to a most thronged and admiring audience. But as a political orator he afterwards became far more eloquent and admired. Preachers of every sect and denomination of christians were there admitted—Catholics, Unitarians, Quakers with every intervening diversity of sect. Even women were allowed to display their pulpit eloquence, in this national Hall.

As Congress is composed of christians of every persuasion, each denomination in its turn has supplied chaplains to the two houses of Congress, who preach alternately in the Hall of Representatives. Some opposition was made both to a Roman Catholic and Unitarian, but did not succeed. Clergymen, who during the session of Congress visited the city, were invited by the chaplains to preach; those of distinguished reputation attracted crowded audiences and were evidently gratified by having such an opportunity for the exercise of their talents and their zeal. The admission of female preachers, has been justly reprobated: curiosity rather than piety attracted throngs on such occasions.

 

For several years after the seat of government was fixed at Washington, there were but two small churches. The roman-catholic chapel in F. street, then a little frame building, and the Episcopalian church at the foot of Capitol-hill; both, very small and mean frame buildings. Now, in 1837 there are 22 churches of brick or stone.

“The First Forty Years of Washington Society: Portrayed by the Family Letters …”

By Margaret Bayard Smith

 

Margaret Bayard Smith (1778-1844) was a friend of Thomas Jefferson and chronicler of early life in Washington, D.C. She met Jefferson through her husband, Samuel Harrison Smith, a Republican newspaperman and founder of the National Intelligencer.

https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/margaret-bayard-smith

 

Looks like “This church held its weekly worship services on government property, in the House Chambers of the U.S. Capital Building” isn’t the only one.  ”

 

The wall of separation applies everywhere in the country even on government property , without government interference.

 

 

“Not so. Read Lemon v. Kurtzman and Parker v. Levy, again.”

 

This is how it is written in the Constitution, this is how Thomas Jefferson understood it from his letter and actions, and this is how the men who wrote the Constitution practiced it. This is what I meant when I said simply go back to the time the documents were written and see what was taking place. At the very heart of Jefferson’s idea “Wall of Separation”,  is the notion that the government will not interfere with people’s right to worship God.

 

“Wrong again. “Quoting the “separation” paragraph from Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists, the court concluded that, “coming as this does from an acknowledged leader of the  advocates of the measure, it may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment thus secured.”  Reynolds v. U.S., 98 U.S. 145 (1878).”

 

Let’s look more to “the good old days”. This intent was well understood, as evidenced by court rulings after the First Amendment. For example, a 1799 court declared: “By our form of government, the Christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of Christians are placed on the same equal footing.” Again, note the emphasis: “We do want Christian principles—we do want God’s principles—but we don’t want one denomination to run the nation.”

 

“Yes, let’s look to the “good old days” and the 1799 court ruling where you cherry-picked what you wanted out of a website but neglected the other important parts of it. After your reference highlighted in bold is, “Now, just to be clear, the business about “God’s principles” that McCarthy placed between quotation marks is not a quotation—it is something McCarthy apparently invented out of his own head. It is neither a quotation, nor a paraphrase, of anything that was recorded during the discussions on what would become the first amendment. But he does note that the quotation we’re interested in—“The Christian religion is the established religion” one—comes from a 1799 case.

 

Now in 1799 Samuel Chase was an associate justice of the Supreme Court, as advertised—but these words are not from a Supreme Court decision. They were in fact written in 1796, when Chase was Chief Justice of the Maryland General Court. The case was indeed Runkel v. Winemiller, in which William Runkel, a former minister in the Dutch Reformed Church, sued to get his position back, alleging that his replacement was not qualified according to the laws of his institution. (He won the case, incidentally.) In the course of the decision Chase wrote:

 

Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty. The principles of the christian religion cannot be diffused, and its doctrines generally propagated without places of public worship, and teachers and ministers, to explain the scriptures to the people, and to enforce an observance of the precepts of religion by their preaching and living.

 

Ooops! There’s no “We do want Christian principles—we do want God’s principles—but we don’t want one denomination to run the nation” found in his ruling.

 

Now a naïve reader might imagine from this that Chase was saying that the United States had an established religion, namely Christianity, notwithstanding the first amendment prohibition on any law respecting such an establishment. It’s pretty clear that that’s what people mean us to gather when they produce this with a flourish from their bag of tricks. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course.

 


The case took place in Maryland, under Maryland laws, and the federal constitution didn’t come into it at all. At that time Maryland was under its constitution of 1776—written, I might add, before either the federal constitution or its first amendment had come into being—and the Maryland constitution did in fact make Christianity (in effect) the established religion. Of Maryland.

 

Of Maryland only! Got that?

 

Thus in 1796 this statement was true, for Maryland, and it would remain true until this constitution was replaced in 1851, at which time the Christian requirement was dropped from the guarantee of religious liberty, and Jews as well as Christians were allowed to hold office in the state. Further, it was not until the passage of the fourteenth amendment to the Federal Constitution that the provisions of the First Amendment became binding on the states as well as the Federal government—so, regardless of what McCarthy and his allies would like us to understand, this decision was absolutely irrelevant to any possible interpretation of the First Amendment.

So how did these various commentators come to make such a bonehead mistake? My guess, and it is only a guess, is that none of them did any actual research. I suspect they were all copying from a common source, and my guess is that whoever it was probably hadn’t bother to look into the background of the case, but just seized words that looked shiny to him, like the magpie is supposed to do when building a nest. The thing is, as one writer accurately observed, “There is really nothing extraordinary about this case.” The only thing extraordinary here is how gullible some people can be when they are determined to swallow a lie.

http://rationalrant.blogspot.com/2012/03/samuel-chase-and-first-amendment.html  “

 

 

And how can you make such a statement: “America has grown up since the Constitution was written”. That statement sounds to me like you believe the constitution to be outdated, and that is exactly why it was written;

 

 

“You’re wrong on what I believe.”

 

to keep the values and morals in place and to always be the foundation of this great country the United Sates of America. And then you say: “We have Congress that passes laws and the Supreme Court that rules whether they are Constitutional or not”. Any issue that comes up whether it be in the constitution or not should still be decided using the basis of the constitution as the foundation (which does includes morality) in that ruling.

 

 

“The courts have done that.”

 

Well shouldn’t that be who you should be holding accountable? For they do pass laws that are immoral and unconstitutional.

 

“Says you or are you quoting David Barton?”

 

Once again you are worried about a book

 

“You are delusional. I’m an ordained minister and I teach out of that book.”

 

(ahh but it’s not just a book; it offends people because deep inside they do believe it as the word of God), while the courts allow the murder of innocent children (Abortion) by giving rights to irresponsible people by saying they have a right to do what they want to their own body (which is not true as stated in the Bible for all things belong to God… and that includes us so we do not even have the right to take our own life) which the baby is proven to be fully a separate person from the mother. If you destroy an Eagle still in the form of an egg you would be highly fined and probably serve time behind bars, yet we’ve allowed a government to make it legal to kill an unborn child.

This is why I get so upset when the constitution is infringed upon, when morals are tossed aside by groups of people who protect the guilty and disregard the innocent in order to further their agenda, and it’s being done by many of the people meant to protect us from these very things.

 

“This has nothing to do with the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.”

 

I think I made my point

 

“The only point you made is how gullible you are to believe what you’ve read or heard without checking it out for yourself. Even the Bereans checked the scriptures daily to see if what they were being told was true. Go to https://www.monticello.org/ and check out Thomas Jefferson for yourself. Also, the Library of Congress https://www.loc.gov/”

 

so I’ll quit for now,

 

“I am done – permanently.”

 

“You are entitled to your own opinion but you are not entitled to your own facts” (Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan) when they are spurious at best.”

 

hope you have a great day and God Bless.

 

“Ditto.”

 

Pastor Joan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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