Friday, September 9, 2011
911 Memorial Service and the First Amendment
AU - Americans United for the Separation of Church and State
The AU states: The First Amendment's religion clauses state: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” The Establishment Clause forbids more than the establishment of a national religion; it also forbids laws or actions respecting an establishment of religion. As James Madison, Father of the Constitution, put it “The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion.” In a January 1, 1802 letter, President Thomas Jefferson wrote of the intended relationship between religion and government: “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 prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state.”
The Establishment Clause sets up a line of demarcation between religion and government in our society, and the Supreme Court determines where the line is drawn to accommodate liberties in our ever-changing society. Although the exact language is absent, the Supreme Court has repeatedly determined that the Constitution does indeed call for separation between church and state.
Jefferson's “wall of separation between church and state” was first noted by the Supreme Court in an 1878 opinion by Chief Justice Morrison Waite. Justice Hugo Black later reaffirmed the wall's significance in the landmark case Everson v. Board of Education (1947). Black wrote “In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and state.'” The wall forbids government to actually or effectively favor one religion over another, favor religion over non-religion and vice-versa. Requiring neutrality removes the authority of government from religious practice and protects each citizen's right to express his or her personal beliefs.
Religious Affiliation of U.S. Founding Fathers
# of Founding Fathers
% of Founding Fathers
Episcopalian/Anglican 88 54.7%
Presbyterian 30 18.6%
Congregationalist 27 16.8%
Quaker 7 4.3%
Dutch Reformed/German Reformed 6 3.7%
Lutheran 5 3.1%
Catholic 3 1.9%
Huguenot 3 1.9%
Unitarian 3 1.9%
Methodist 2 1.2%
Calvinist 1 0.6%
The wall forbids government to actually or effectively favor one religion over another, favor religion over non-religion and vice-versa. The Founding Fathers understood that there was only one true religion. They were not concern with false religions and cults. Their concern was that any Christian group would be free to worship Christ as they wish.
Although the exact language is absent, the Supreme Court has repeatedly determined that the Constitution does indeed call for separation between church and state. There were at least 204 people who had a hand in the founding of the United states of America. Basically, all were Christians. There are hundreds of document which affirm that Christianity in Government was freely expressed and observed, but one misquoted statement by Thomas Jefferson over rides hundreds of factual statements by others. Those who work for Satan never let facts or truth get in the way of their mission.
So now as the tenth anniversary of 911 approaches and Americans will be gathered at the WTC site for a memorial service, those who claim to protect the First Amendment actually violate the First Amendment. The Founding Fathers would have held a Christian Memorial Service. Instead our Government ‘prohibits the free expression thereof'.