Freedom from Religion?January 26, 2007
“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.”
-US Constitution – 1st Amendment
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., is an educational group working for the separation of state and church. Its purposes . . . are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church . . .”
-Freedom From Religion Foundation – What is the Foundation’s Purpose?
1. A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2. A specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3. The body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
“Everyone has faith.”
It’s quite simple really – everyone has faith. According to Webster, faith is “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe.” Atheism has a belief for all three of the requirements: cause, nature, and purpose of the universe. The Atheist believes that the universe came about through a series of chaotic random events with no plan or meaning – man is just random chance. The Atheist also believes that man is basically good – we all have our own idea of what is “right” and “wrong” so no one is inherently “bad.” Finally, the Atheist also believes that there is no purpose in life – man is just chance and he has nothing to accomplish. Atheism possesses all three requirements for a “religion” – so why are Atheists and Agnostics rallying the nation to fight for “freedom from religion” when Atheism is a religion?
The answer is quite simple. Atheists don’t like Christians. Atheists don’t believe in God – nor do the want to believe in God. When Polytheistic faiths or other Theistic faiths challenge the Atheistic faith in no god, Atheists don’t seem to be very challenged. It is only when Christians stand for what they believe in that Atheists feel threatened. Why is that? We may never know. But we do know that there are many Atheistic organizations fighting for the so-called constitutional right of “freedom from religion.”
“The Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., is an educational group working for the separation of state and church. Its purposes … are to promote the constitutional principle of separation of state and church, and to educate the public on matters relating to non-theism.”
-Freedom From Religion Foundation – What is the Foundation’s Purpose?
What is “the constitutional principle of separation of state and church?” Where is that in the constitution? It isn’t. The phrase “separation of church and state” is not in the constitution. Nor is religion directly mentioned anywhere in the Constitution other than the First Amendment. The First Amendment tells us “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” The first amendment does not separate church and state – rather, it tells us that the United States Government will not establish an official religion nor prohibit the citizens of the United States from practicing religion. So how can there be any campaign for “freedom from religion?”
Not a single organization nor individual is capable of identifying the constitutional right of “separation of church and state” because it isn’t there. Atheists blind themselves to any other point of view, and only allow their view to be used. They believe themselves to be right in absolutely everything. They will not consider that there could be any other possible truth – they are right, absolutely. (Even though there are no absolutes according to Atheism) Since they are absolutely right, only their view is right. Thus all other beliefs are wrong and cannot be taught because it infringes on their belief system.
The only “good” argument for “separation of church and state” comes from the man who coined the phrase – Thomas Jefferson. Interestingly enough, Jefferson was in France during the drafting of the US Constitution. Jefferson used the phrase “separation of church and state” in response to a letter from the Danbury Baptist’s Association. Nehemiah Dodge, Ephraim Robbins, and Stephen S. Nelson sent a letter to Jefferson stating:
Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty–that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals–that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions–that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbors; But, sir, our constitution of government is not specific. Our ancient charter together with the law made coincident therewith, were adopted as the basis of our government, at the time of our revolution; and such had been our laws and usages, and such still are; that religion is considered as the first object of legislation; and therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the state) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights; and these favors we receive at the expense of such degrading acknowledgements as are inconsistent with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondered at therefore; if those who seek after power and gain under the pretense of government and religion should reproach their fellow men–should reproach their order magistrate, as a enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dare not, assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make laws to govern the kingdom of Christ.
The Danbury Baptist’s Association was asking President Jefferson if the US Government would regulate a church denomination as the national denomination. Jefferson replied stating:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
Jefferson replied saying, “No.” Jefferson assured the Danbury Baptist Association that the US Government would not regulate a church nor prohibit a church of practicing religion how they choose to.
Now groups like the ACLU and FFRF have twisted Jefferson’s words into “freedom from religion.” Many people now believe that no religion (or, religion other than Atheism) can be public. Thus they have “a wall of separation of church and state.” They believe that Jefferson fought to keep the church out of the government. However, it was the exact opposite. Jefferson kept the government out of the church. While Thomas Jefferson was President, he actually attended the largest church in the US, which met in the House of Representatives. Also, while Jefferson was President of the United States, he became the first President of the Washington D.C. Public School Board. While the School Board President, Jefferson insisted that the schools use two textbooks – the Bible and Wyatt’s Hymnal. Jefferson even said:
I have always said, always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens.
Now the question is, “Who could think that Jefferson wanted ‘separation of church and state’ as we think of it today?”
The US Constitution states (with reference to religion), “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” As US Citizens, we have the “freedom of religion” – not “freedom from religion.” For in fact, there is no such thing as “no religion.” We all believe something – hence, we all have a religion. The question is, “What do you believe?” and “What will you do with that belief?”
//Bring it World