Are We REALLY A Secular Nation?
The claim that the United States is a secular nation is simply a straw man argument. Our nation was founded by God-fearing people – the evidence for which is simply overwhelming – who were not at all timid about their reliance on God (or Supreme Being by any name) in their actions. Some were Deists (belief in a superior power – God in any guise), most were members of established orthodox churches in the colonies, and some were in fact Christian. It is accurate to say that the Judeo-Christian worldview was the foundation on which the founders built our republic. It was written into the Declaration of Independence. All of them cited God (or equivalent) in their admonitions for our budding nation. Our founders, to a man, were in essential agreement.
“It is the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.” –John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776. And this from James Madison, ‘The Father of Our Constitution’: “We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to The Ten Commandments of God.” This is the essential Christian worldview.
You want legal precedent? A Supreme Court ruling (1892) that “this is a Christian nation,” was followed again in 1931 with “we are a Christian people.” Indisputable.
The founders did not want freedom from religion, they wanted freedom of religion. What they were vehement about was that government was not to interfere in religion. They all stipulated that God (by any name) was part and parcel of our founding and did not feel the need to expound incessantly on the subject. This is clear in the Declaration, the Constitution, the Federalist (and Anti-Federalist) Papers, and in countless documents from the Magna Carta through and beyond the Mayflower Compact.
Those who claim that our nation does not have God (by any name) in our initial makeup are flat wrong, so why suffer the argument? Some may wish to consider a ‘living Constitution,’ but they may not alter the events leading up to its writing (recorded history) and inherent in it. If they wish to change the Constitution to ‘make it more relevant,’ the mechanism was built in by the writers: amendment. Go at it, I say, but don’t allow God-denying people to lead the charge because, (and this is important) – they are not qualified to do so because they refuse to accept the initial premise. Only those who understand the thoughts and words of our founders (even if they do not agree with them) are qualified to interpret what they meant. God may be currently out of vogue, but that does not alter history. We are not a secular nation because God is in its DNA.
Nor is it in the purview of the courts to remove God from the mix. Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law an oligarchy – the rule of few over many.
The body that is charged with interpreting it (our Supreme Court) cannot interpret and rule on a Constitution that it doesn’t accept in its entirety. It’s impossible – doing so is clearly unconstitutional.
Interpretation requires understanding the bases and meaning of the words themselves, not to mention the intent. The Constitution was written for a God-fearing nation. That is evident in the writings of the founders. All of them.
So. Why would words such as “In God We Trust” be eliminated from government documents? Does eliminating them eliminate the presence of God in the very foundations of our nation? Does eliminating “under God” from the Pledge nullify God? Does pretending that God was not a factor in our founding take God out of the equation? Does trying to prove that God does not exist (an impossible task) change the facts? No to all. Pretending that our nation was not founded on a Judeo-Christian worldview does not make it so.
This fact is not anti-Jewish, or anti-Muslim, or anti-anything. It is, simply, fact. It is fact that cannot be changed, and trying to change it is simply anti-American and unethical. This does not suggest that Christians are superior to anyone else, or that anyone else has fewer rights than Christians. It is simply historic fact – the way it is. It cannot be changed, even by amendment. There’s no denying that what happened, happened, for whatever reason. History is immutable. Live with it. Amen.