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Should Americans Sue Freedom From Religion Foundation? February 1, 2008

Posted by Daniel Downs in Constitution, First Amendment, Freedom of Religion, God, religion, secularism, Separation of Church and State, Supreme Court.

Should Americans sue the anti-American organization Freedom from Religion Foundation? I know such a statement smacks of the ridiculous, but is it ridiculous. Should not we who are offended by the efforts of Freedom from Religion Foundation (and ACLU) to rob us of our religious national heritage and our connections to the God of our independent statehood sue them for violating our freedom and rights guaranteed us by God as well as the Constitution? Should we accept the repression of our rights to enjoy the benefits of displaying public symbols of that heritage? I do not think so. I cannot believe the millions of Americans who seem to like their heritage should allow the Freedom from Religion Foundation, ACLU, federal government, or state governments to rob us of it.

The Freedom from Religion Foundation may hate our religiously based national existence. They and others may hate God, religion, morality, and any symbols of it, but we are stupid to allow bigots of their ilk to accomplish their goal. As citizens, they are more than allowed to live without religion and to influence their society. However, their lies to society and the courts about matters of Church and State separation or religion and the public square are criminal. Their crime is especially heinous because as lawyers are members of the judiciary. The fraud they knowingly perpetuate is claimed to be law, but legal historians have proven the wall of church and state separation is not nor even has been a Constitutional law. In 1791, Congress rejected the idea of Separation when they debated First Amendment. In the 1870s, Congress again rejected proposed amendments to add Separation to the First Amendment. That means secularists know, a wall of Separation has never exists as Constitutional law. Today, Separation is law created by the Supreme Court not Congress, which means it is not valid.

This legal deceit, Separation of Church and State, continues to spread by true believers including those in Congress, federal courts, and most other institutions. Legal organizations like Freedom from Religion Foundation knowingly use this legal deceit to rob and repress us of our state rights to governmental support of our public religious expression even though no legitimate law exists to prevent municipalities and states to support or allow monuments of the Ten Commandments, prayers in schools, biblical verses etched in public buildings, honoring God in pledges, public ceremonies, or any other public activity.

In my state of Ohio, Freedom from Religion Foundation attempted to persuade state officials to remove nativity scenes from state parks because of one or two criticisms. Our democratic governor refused to permit it. Not because governmental support for religion is written into the Constitution, but because it was part of our nation’s historical holiday heritage. Many other states also have written into their constitutions guaranteed support for public religion.

America was founded not by atheists, secularists, Muslims, Jews, or those of any other religion. Deists were a small minority albeit an influential one, which leaves the Puritans. A predominately protestant people founded the colonies and developed American constitutionalism. They eventually formed the states and the federal government.

Okay, but did they not also create a secular Constitution? That depends on how you define secular. What it means today and what it meant in the 18th century are two different things. The Freedom from Religion Foundation defines it as state (read any public institution or forum) without religion. They can tolerate religion subjugated to the privacy of home or church, but they are intolerant toward its public influence. That is because biblical religion—public by nature—is the antithesis of their secular fundamentalism.

In early America, civil was synonymous with secular. Religion was a vital part of civil society. It was necessary for the development and maintenance of public as well as private morality, virtue, and self-government. That is why many state constitutions written after the U.S. Constitution, like my state, affirm religion and morality as necessary for good government. A careful reading of the Ohio Constitution will show constitutional law gave government a supportive role of public religion, which is seen in the connection of teaching religion at mandated public schools.
There are other reasons why the U.S. Constitution was never meant to be secular. In Jewish Roots of the American Constitution, Prof. Paul Eidelberg, founder and president of the Foundation for Constitution Democracy, shows us the biblical roots of our Constitution.

In the book titled “The Godless Constitution,” the no religious test clause was the key argument for a secular Constitution. I looked up some of the arguments made during the ratification process that are supposedly the source of the book’s argument. I discovered no argument for separation of religion and no argument against public religion. The arguments I reviewed where themselves all about religion. One argument against the test focused on the seeming impossibility of satisfying every possible sects or religious view, let alone those of no religion. Another argument pointed out that an oath was itself religious in nature. Oaths being rooted in biblical religion have had a very long history in law. Even the alternative to an oath—affirmation—was considered an accommodation of religion. Many refused to take an oath because it violated one of the injunctions of the gospels.

Another reason to disregard the idea of a secular Constitution is seen in acts of those who framed our nation’s Constitution laws. The First Continental Congress had an official American Bible published. Congress created chaplaincies for itself and the military. Congress had bible verses etched into the walls of federal buildings to remind all Americans of the source of our liberties. Congress had the Ten Commandment installed in the Supreme Court chambers. Church services were held in the chambers of Congress on Sundays. Presidents called for public days of prayer, repentance, and thanksgiving. Early American state officials legislated similar practices. These are not contradictory acts of people who believed in or made the wall of Separation law.

These are some of the reasons Americans should ban together under legal representation across all states to sue the Freedom from Religion Foundation for its criminal activity against our religious rights as Americans. It is the only way I see that we can protect our inherited form of government, our historical and legal heritage, and our liberty from those who seeks destroy it.

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1. Sheilanagig - February 2, 2008

You say atheists are more than welcome to abstain from religious observation, and in the same breath you say that they should be forced to observe religion in the form of laws based on religion or mention of it on money, etc.

The purpose of the 1st Amendment establishment clause is to prevent the government from endorsing or deterring any one religion or denomination. This is in the interest of fairness to all. What you are proposing is not fair to all and discriminates against about 1 out of every 5 citizens of the United States.

Morals are a personal matter. The government should have no place in dictating morals because it is a subjective matter and leads to government entanglement. Again we come back to fairness. Government should stay out of matters of faith simply because it’s too easy to get tied up in denominational disputes, or accusations of favoritism. The founders of the nation understood this danger as you do not, and created the very first amendment to prevent such a situation.

Your faith cannot be very strong if it is threatened when nobody is persecuting you. Someone questioning religious endorsements is not a threat to you unless you stand to make or lose money by such an endorsement, in which case it would not be about religion at all. All they are doing is questioning the wisdom of government involvement in religious matters and reminding them that there is a very good reason why they should not do so.

2. Michael - February 2, 2008

Oh, yeah, morality is from religion. Give us a break. Religion is the most horrible thing ever to happen to mankind. What we need to do is sue the worst thing that has ever happen to the USA…. GEORGE W. BUSH AND ALL THE CHIRSTERS.

3. Daniel Downs - February 2, 2008

Thanks Sheilanagig for your thoughtful comments. I disagree with your position on morals being a merely personal matter. Your position contradicts most of the people who created this nation, who sat in Congress and state legislatures, determined its Independence, established its Constitutions, and its national religious heritage. They made it clear public morality was necessary for the Republic they founded, and that religion was its primary source. Besides, morals are lived behaviors not just abstract values or ideals. Behavior is both private and public.

I agree government has no business meddling in theological matters or denominational affairs. I have quite a few legal texts from the colonial not many leave out God, bible, and/or 10 Commandment as the basis of British or American law. What contemporary secularists call establishment of religion i.e.,mentioning God, Jesus, displaying the 10 Commandments, nativity scenes, prohibiting school prayer, etc., is not the same as when the Constitution was written. That is the reason history of it exists to evidence the error.

Michael: The only thing worse than religion is secularism. The communists proved it.

4. Sheilanagig - February 2, 2008

Okay, you leave out the matter of fairness. Is it fair to ask one in five people to observe a religion they do not profess? It’s what is being done right now with “In God We Trust” printed on money and “Under God” in the pledge of allegiance.

Imagine if you will that the founders had been Muslim, and that the majority of people in this country now were Muslim. Imagine further that you were a Christian, and did not agree with Islam. Someone is making the statements you made, but in an Islamic context, telling all parties who disagree that they should put up or shut up. Let’s say that your children go to school, and it is common practice for every child to face the east five times a day. Your wife is not permitted to uncover her hair and she is not allowed to work outside of the home. You disagree with all of these things and do not feel that you, your children or your wife should have to observe a religion by default and day to day behavior that they do not share with 80% of the nation.

It might be hard for you to imagine such a scenario, but that is what it can feel like for someone who is not a Christian. There are blue laws which are based on Christian ideas of morality and our children are being made to observe the pledge of allegiance in school. You might feel that it’s simply a statement of patriotism, but someone who is not a Christian might feel that it’s religion hidden in a patriotic statement. This could seem unfair to such an individual who wants to raise their children with their values rather than have them taught another system. Always try to imagine how it would feel to you if you were in their place. Imagine how it would feel to you to see the government reinforcing and supporting this behavior.

Government should not interfere with religion and religion should not interfere with government. This is what the separation of church and state means. It is what keeps us from becoming a society like Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. It’s why some of us are concerned about the increasing government endorsement and assistance to Christian groups. You might not think of it as a bad thing, but some of us view it as you would view a government giving that endorsement and assistance to almost exclusively Muslim groups or Jewish groups. I imagine you would become alarmed if you saw such a thing happening.

I have no wish to deprive you of your right to practice your religion in peace. Please do not support efforts to take away my right to abstain from worshiping or observing religion in peace. Be fair. I bear no ill-will toward individuals who are Christian or any other religion and I leave them in peace. I do not harass them or tell them they are bad people because I disagree with them. I only wish that they had the same consideration for others.

Anonymous - November 4, 2013

the facts remain that our country was founded with principles of freedom and the ability to practice liberties and freedoms without harassment or being compelled by outside forces to go against personal values or beliefs. Our American culture is inherently a Christian culture and I for one am proud of it. It is moral and set up to respect all individuals rights and liberties. That what has made this country so great for so many years. The facts are that no one has ever been forced or compelled to practice any faith or aspect of one in this country. Having to view a nativity scene in a public place is no more of a harrassment then walking be a picture of a star of David for a non Jewish person. It is not infringing upon anyone’s rights to display and express deeply held beliefs and symbols. It is what helps us undetstand one another a accept our diversity which is what so many humanists claim they want. It is however a huge infringing of rights to use the legal system and decades old Supreme Court legislation to bully organizations and even churches now to conform to the new ideals, or should I say the New World order. Especially when these organizations, businesses and churches have enjoyed freedom of speech and to display symbols throughout American history. I for one am not offended by symbols of other faiths. If I saw an open Koran on a table in a Muslim business it would not offend me or make me think that the owners were forcing me to their beliefs. On the contrary. I think it would spark interesting conversation. I would also respect the owners ability to demonstrate his freedom a religion and of speech.I believe that organizations such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation are effectively suppressing and in many cases of pressing individual liberties and certainly religious freedom. They already have freedom from religion if they so choose but that does not give them the right to impose a lack of freedom on others.

5. taylee2012 - April 25, 2012

America was founded on Christian ideology. It is part of what made this nation the greatest nation on earth. Yet these anti-Christian and anti-Americans are attempting to remove our symbols of greatness based on a bogus argument involving the constitution. These people are in the minority. I think we should get a class-action suit going against these groups for trying to take away OUR rights to see OUR symbols remain intact.

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