This weekend we are commemorating and celebrating the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 initiating revolution against an oppressive occupying foreign power. The American Revolutionary War followed leading to independence from a monarchy (British Empire) and a religion (Church of England).

The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787 creating our independent republic. The historic significance of independence is often obscured by the many celebratory events.

The Declaration (not law nor a governing document) used universal terms and declared government derives its “…just Powers from the Consent of the Governed…”.

The Constitution is the original document lawfully establishing our secular republican government. The Preamble states six secular reasons our nation was created for “We the People ”. The Constitution (Article VI) commands “no religious test”  shall ever be required for public office (separating religion from government and protecting government from religion).

James Madison reminded delegates of the Constitution’s secular purpose “This is derived from the superior power of the people.”  We were the first government in history to be formed without acknowledging dependency on a higher authority (emperor, monarch, deity, religion, scripture, etc). There were no public prayers during the Constitutional Convention’s 116 days. Over 80% of colonists did not belong to religion establishments in 1776.

The Constitution created 3 separate and equal government branches for  check and balance on power. The legislative branch enacts laws, executive branch executes laws, and judicial branch interprets laws with exclusive authority to decide Constitution cases.

The first 10 Amendments are our Bill of Rights providing individual liberties for all Americans. 17 additional Amendments have been enacted by Congress and ratified by the states.

The 1st Amendment provides our historic trinity of religious liberties – freedom from government established or endorsed religion, freedom of any religion or no religion, and freedom for religion speech. It forbids our government from lawfully “respecting” a religion, “prohibiting”  free exercise of religion, or “abridging”  religion speech (separating government from religion and protecting religion from government).

Government neutrality is required regarding religion (neither pro-religion nor anti-religion, but religion-neutral). 1st Amendment genesis was the 1785 Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison mandating “No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.”

Original national mottoes created by our Founders are secular – “E Pluribus Unum ” (Out of Many One), “Novos Ardo Seclorum ” (New Order of the Ages), and “Annuit Coeptis ” (Undertakings Favored). They remain on the US Great Seal, one-dollar bill, official documents, etc.

It is fact, history and law we were not founded based on a religion. The 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, an international legal document, confirmed to the world “…the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…”.

Negotiated during 1st President George Washington’s administration, the treaty was unanimously Senate ratified and signed by 2nd President John Adams. The American Consul to Algiers, Joel Barlow (Revolutionary War chaplain and Washington appointee), negotiated it, co-authored the Arabic version signed abroad during Washington’s presidency and authored the English version unanimously ratified and signed in the United States during Adam’s presidency.

World history records the human harm caused when governments and religion combined. Separation of church and state is a fundamental liberty of free people keeping public government out of private religion and private religion out of public government. It was indisputably our Founders’ intent as provided by their original governing documents, evidenced by countless historical records, acknowledged by every President except the current clueless contrarian, and continuously confirmed by the judiciary as the law of our land. It is also provided by most state constitutions.

We became the first nation in history to constitutionally provide and protect freedom of belief by separating government and religion. Even Jesus separated religion and government (Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17). We were genesis for the historic document passed by the United Nations proclaiming “ …everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” (Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948).

Native-American contribution to our independence has also been officially recognized – “…the confederacy of the original Thirteen Colonies into one republic was influenced by the political system developed by the Iroquois Confederacy as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the Constitution itself.” (100th US Congress Resolution).

Those wanting to know the facts, history and law about our independence must study the founding documents (1776 Declaration of Independence, 1782 National Mottoes, 1787 Preamble and Constitution, 1791 Bill of Rights, and 1797 Treaty of Tripoli). The originals were written in English by Americans and are preserved in our national archives.

The solitary eagle was selected as our national symbol by independent-minded Founders. Eagles are free and fearless. You find them one at a time and, unlike submissive species, they do not flock or follow. May loyal and patriotic Americans honor our independence by becoming more like noble eagles and less like herded sheep.

Patriotic Americans of all beliefs can revere our national independence as a secular republic and our individual liberties.

The very definition of a republic is a nation “…of laws and not of man.” – Founder and 2nd President John Adams (“Thoughts on Government”, 1776).

Brigadier General John Compere, US Army (Retired)
Disabled American Veteran (Vietnam Era)
Former Chief Judge, US Army Court of Military Review and US Army Legal Services Agency
Board Member, Military Religious Freedom Foundation
Texas rancher





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  1. Allan Baumann

    Praising God that our nation was established on Judeo-Christian principles and that 52 of the 55 signers of the Constitution were men of faith. May God bless America for we are truly a nation under God.

  2. Tom O

    Every time a theocrat says America was “established on Judeo-Christian principles,” I
    ask them which specific principles unique to Christianity and/or Judaism they’re referring to. I NEVER get an answer,

  3. G

    Yeah, Tom O, I have to agree with you considering the fact that many of these theocrats are highly educated and spent many, many years reading the Bible, going to church, attending religious schools from elementary school to college and attending theology schools

  4. Allan Baumann

    Judeo-Christian Roots of America’s Founding Ideals and Documents –

  5. Grey One Talks Sass

    Allan Baumann,

    I read your propaganda pieces, had to wade through some deep crap – you owe me a new pair of hip-waders, just saying.

    Tom O asked for unique principles, not what vaguely sounds Judeo-Christian. None of the principles listed in the articles are unique as I’ve found the same words in multiple faiths spanning millennia.

    What is unique about your idea of faith Allan? Because thus far it sounds a lot like someone took the ideas from older faiths, cleaned and polished them up a bit, and then slapped a label of Christianity on them and called it good.

    There is nothing unique in the Christian Bible. There is nothing in the Christian Bible that is directly reflected in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I’ve looked. You can look. Report back with what you find.

  6. G

    Baumann, you take phrases from the Bible and then tried to show their US Constitution equivalents in order to prove that the Constitution was based on the Bible quotes.

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