In the past few weeks, whether it has been the release of my new book or my analysis of public opinion surveys, I have received considerable feedback on the topic of religion. It is about time, and certainly an appropriate day, to address the past and current views held by Americans on the subject of religion and America.
To begin with, and the statement in my book that is drawing some attention, is that “the modern progressive interpretation of the commonly heard phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is the single biggest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people regarding their national identity.”
Whether you believe in God, are a Christian, an Atheist or Agnostic, you are certainly entitled to hold those beliefs as outlined in the First Amendment. However, if it is truth that you hold paramount in your life and philosophy, then you must concede my statement is accurate, or risk walking down a path of irreversible ignorance.
The “wall of separation between church and state” that Jefferson wrote about in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association dated January 1, 1802, was referring only to a “federal wall” and was meant to calm fears that the federal government would favor one established church over another, not whether or not religion would have any place in public forums in American society:
In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general [federal] government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of state or church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies.
Indeed, not only were “matters of religion” left “under the direction” of “state or church authorities,” but the presence of those authorities were prerequisite requirements for any and all governments in once “Our Virtuous Republic.” In 1787, the very same year the Constitution was adopted, and by the very same Congress who would adopt it, Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance was overwhelmingly passed. Article III states:
Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.
But wait, according to modern progressive justices, we cannot even have the 10 Commandments hanging in our public schools anymore for fear we might be insensitive to the tyranny of the minority, yet “Religion, morality, and knowledge” were considered one in the same task.
The whole truth of the matter regarding religion and America is that it is all a modern fabrication, a lie designed a mere one generation removed from our own – and in our hearts – Americans know it. Released just today, a survey found that a plurality of Americans – 41% – believe that the Supreme Court has been “Too Hostile Towards Religion” and inconsistent with our history, while just 15% reported they believe the rulings have been “Too Friendly.”
In an article published last week, which of course was met with vitriol filth from the left, I underscored how Americans across the political spectrum view religion to be a positive force in American society. But the American people have lost faith in the leaders of our established religious institutions, whom of which are viewed as hypocrites, and with good reason.
Religious leaders are not fighting against this trend, or for their First Amendment right to preserve and safeguard “Religion, morality, and knowledge” in our country. The political neutering of our religious leaders, which prohibits them from political activity and endorsement, is a modern construction of the 1950’s by none other than the architect of the “Great Society” himself – Lyndon B. Johnson. He was about to lose his Senate seat to a more conservative-Christian candidate – plain and simple.
In an effort that echoes the IRS targeting of the Tea Party and other conservative groups, Johnson used the federal tax code to knee-cap religious leaders who saw him as a threat to individual freedom and morality. Freedom and morality, consequentially, were viewed by our Founding Fathers as indisputably linked, as Franklin stated:
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.
So what then was our Founding Fathers’ ideal vision in respect to the free exercise of religion? Again in Jefferson’s own words, because the left has targeted and distorted his words so frequently, he writes of this ideal vision:
In our village of Charlottesville, there is a good degree of religion, with a small spice only of fanaticism. We have four sects, but without either church or meeting-house. The court-house is the common temple, one Sunday in the month to each. Here, Episcopalian and Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist, meet together, join in hymning their Maker, listen with attention and devotion to each others’ preachers, and all mix in society with perfect harmony.
Unbelievable, isn’t it? Thus far, according to modern progressive justices, not only can we not have the 10 Commandments hanging in our public schools but in any public forum of our judicial system, yet here, the “court-house is the common temple.” Now think back to your false understanding of the “wall of separation between church and state,” and indeed, it “is the single biggest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people regarding their national identity” – whether you are a believer or not.
To read and learn more about religion and America, and the psychological effects of religion on American society, check out Rich’s new book “Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract”