The Framers and their unconstitutional Constitution

Many of the same men responsible for, and who ratified, the Constitution,  specifically the first amendment:

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.

were also responsible for other State Constitutions; they also — as government officials — prayed sectarian Christian prayers in public schools and at government meetings and public events.  They taught from the Bible in public schools and used government buildings as churches.  This was the case for their generation and many that followed.

Now we are told that such expressions of religious faith by government officials and school officials are unconstitutional.  But it doesn’t seem that the men who crafted the Constitution thought what they were doing was unconstitutional when they did the very same things.

I have to ask of someone arguing that doing what the Founders did when they mingled religion and government is unconstitutional.  Is it reasonable to believe the Founders didn’t understand the document they crafted?  Or is it more reasonable to think maybe you are misunderstanding the Constitution?

Comments

  1. It´s reasonable to think that the founding fathers of the American constitution had Christian religious belief´s that where obviously interwined in writing the constitution, but what they said as I understand it is that even though the country was built on Christian belief´s other people had the choice to not be of that faith and they should be respected. Now what´s happen is that the people who should be respected are on a crusade on disrespecting those of Christian belief´s. That´s my little take on it, and I´m right!

    • Charly

      That’s right. Religion and Christianity specifically were part of the civil fabric of the day. The Framers of the Constitution approved the first amendment and then proceeded to pray in official government capacities. They proceeded to put the bible in schools and have students and teachers pray Christian prayers. I have to conclude that secularists have misinterpreted the amendment that they believe prohibits such behavior.

      • They don´t misinterpret it, in their view You are imposing on them your religion. That´s their misguided intelectualism, and then there are those who just love to bash christians just for the sake of it. And your talking here to a person that if you ask me if I believe in God? my response is that I don´t know. What I do know is what is right from wrong, and what these people are doing is wrong.

        • Yeah. They think every little display is the inquisition.

          • I think these people are too uptight, let other´s live for crying out loud. They think they have this above moral values over others, they don´t. What they do is, by the way typical coming from socialist, is to shut you down. If you say and do what they consider it´s the worst of the worst they would go after with their little inquisition, and in my book that is called totalitarism. They walk around with their self righteousness morality, like don´t kill animals,don´t experiment on them, or whatever they come up that day when they are bored and to me they are the most hypocrites of all. Trying to save the world, or better said trying to make the world how they want it to be and if you don´t agree with them then you will be called Hitler or Nazi.

  2. The point of the 1st Amendment was that Christianity was the state religion of the union, but no one sect was to be favored over another. That was an early SCOTUS decision. They wanted the Christian faith as the foundation, but they didn’t want to be like Europe where you had to be a member of the State Church or you’d be persecuted. Like Italy, Spain, France, et al as Catholic, German Lutheran, England Anglican, etc.

  3. The point of the First Amendment was never that Christianity be the state religion of the union under any theory of interpretation. There have been questions about whether states, as opposed to the federal government, could establish religions, i.e., whether the establishment restrictions of the First Amendment applied to states. Long-standing jurisprudence says yes, the restrictions apply to the states in the same way. But never has it been contemplated that Christianity or any religion be the state religion of the union.

    • Supreme Court Justice Joseph Storey: “The real object of the (First) Amendment was not to countenance, much less advance, Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Chrisianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects.”

      Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Jay to Jedidiah Morse February 28, 1797: “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

      The First Amendment was to prohibit an official compulsory national religion. Many states, if not most, had official religions. And, as I have compiled, many states required any public office holder to be Christians. Seeing as how many of the framers of the federal constitution also had their hand in their state’s constitution, it stands to reason they didn’t see it as a violation, doesn’t it?

      There was no intent for government to be void of religion or religious atmosphere, much less be secular which is my point. The First Amendment has been so twisted over the decades that kids are getting in trouble for writing about Jesus in the classroom because the school believes it violates the First Amendment.

  4. John, you beat me to it!

  5. I have to ask of someone arguing that doing what the Founders did when they mingled religion and government is unconstitutional.

    Well, they help slaves and declared all MEN equal. They suppressed women too, of course. If their practices weren’t strictly unconstitutional, they certainly are now and should be — and same with the religious stuff. Keep government small and these questions won’t be as pressing.

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