Archive for Sunday, December 4, 2005

Under God

December 4, 2005


To the editor:

In response to Mr. Leiker's letter and his comment about the founding fathers: It is important to note that our founders did not seek to take God completely out of the public sphere. Those who have read the Constitution know that separation of church and state is not a constitutional phrase.

The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This means that the government will not set up a state church or take away the people's rights to worship God. It does not mean that the one true God should not be allowed in the public sphere. Our founders agreed that the only way for a democracy to survive was if it was grounded in the God of the Bible.

"It being the indispensable duty of all nations, not only to offer up their supplications to Almighty God, the giver of all good, for his gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give him praise for his goodness in general, and especially for great and signal interposition of his providence in their behalf." This is the beginning of the Continental Congress Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1782, and it shows that the United States was once a place that relied on God. Hopefully one day we will return to that reliance on the one true God of the Bible.

Chelsea Rebman,



Speakout 12 years, 3 months ago

Written like a true Christian. Are all the founding fathers Christian? Is God only the God of the Bible which was written by men? I believe God is the God of all mankind and not just the Christians. And this country is the country that allows every religion even those that don't worship one God.

Your letter makes a good point but you negate the point by being so closed in your arguments. There are many people of other religions who agree with you but not the pointed Christian part.

bjohanning 12 years, 3 months ago

The phrase "the one true God" disturbs me as it is different for different beliefs. In your judgment it appears to be OK for the state to back religion as long as its your "one true God."

yourworstnightmare 12 years, 3 months ago

The Founding Fathers were a mix of atheists, agnostics, deists, and christians.

Anyone who has ever read the writings of Thomas Jefferson or Ben Franklin would not be so quick to call them christians.

I know there are many who want really badly for our Founding Fathers to have been all christians, but the truth is they were not.

Government should be absolutely neutral with respect to religion, whether it be one religion over another or religion versus no religion.

This protects the government and the rights of all people, and protects religion from government intervention.

These guys were pretty smart for rich, slave-owning upper-class.

Yet_another_opinion 12 years, 3 months ago

Rebman is right.

Like it or not, there is no reasonable argument against the fact this country was founded on Christian principles. It is clear the founders, as a body, acknowledged there is one true God Who has identified Himself in the divinely inspired scriptures of the Bible. Whether or not every founder was a Christian, or all of their religious doctrines agreed, does not negate the fact there was a clear and public acknowledgement of the one true God. Apparently, most of the founders did agree. As a country, until recently, we have acknowledged God as our Providence.

There are those who disagree about the intent of the founders. Some assert the founders had some milk toast opinions about who God might be. There is no question the country was established by people who acknowledged the one true God of the Bible. Apparently, the majority of the individual founders acknowledged the country would exist only by the Providence of the one true God. They did not establish a state religion. They did not pretend there were and would be those who did not agree and who reject the God of the Bible. The founders knew they would live here too, and live here they would, under the protections established in the founding documents. (Run that idea by Lenin or '100 % of the vote Saddam' or the Taliban.) They simply acknowledged that God is Who He said He is. That belief was reflected to varying degrees in their governance of the country and in their other occupations. Just as our own beliefs are reflected in what we do today.

Who really gives us freedom of religion and speech and the like in this country or anywhere else? Who gives us our Bill of Rights and pizza and football games on TV inside a warm house? Where does all that stuff come from? Did George Washington take the credit for winning our independence from the British? The majority of the founders made up their minds about that. Every individual will make up his/her own mind. (Or ride the fence, which is in effect, making up your mind about God.)

Jesus said in John 14:6 of the Bible, "...I am the way, the truth, and the life." He said He is the truth. How many truths are there? How many answers to 2 + 2? What grade would your arithmetic teacher give you if you answered, say 5? If you got an 'F' is the arithmetic teacher a bigoted nut job? Are there gray areas, complex issues here not taken into consideration? I guess if you think there are, there are. In this country, that is your "right". You are free to choose.

Every one of us makes up our own mind. Was Jesus a liar? A bigoted nut job? Did God say he shares Lordship with all the other gods as long as they're really, really nice and make People magazine's 50 most intriguing? Or was He Who He said He is? If we abandon God in this country, who is really abandoned? And how will the country end up? The founders made up their minds about what they thought. And now it is our turn. We are free to choose.

Jamesaust 12 years, 3 months ago

"The First Amendment states that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.' This means that the government will not set up a state church or take away the people's rights to worship God.

Really? Where does it say that? The author is 'full of it'.

'This means that [fill in the blank with whatever you want it to say].'

What it means is what it has been found to have meant for two hundred years: the separation of church and state from each other's unique, exclusive spheres of influence as a means to guarantee in fact freedom of religion from a majoritarian imposition of religious opinion via the overwhelming power of governement.

Our founding documents including the Constitution are remarkable by their lack of reference to anything more than "divine providence." Goodness knows if it were to be re-written today by the likes of the author it would constantly reference "the one true God" and contain Bible references. My, oh my, HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED!!

kansasboy 12 years, 3 months ago

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!! (I bet this gets a removal from some left wing post modernism whacko)

Ragingbear 12 years, 3 months ago

Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers, was a known reformist. Quite often he would upset local religionist about some new idea, question or credo involving God. Sure, he was probably a Christian, but he was an extremely liberal one, probably similer to pastor Paul at Heartland.

And, although discussed quietly, there was many things that pointed to the possibility, and probability that he was at least bisexal.

craigers 12 years, 3 months ago

Not everybody can be right when religion is concerned. Either there is one God, many, or none. Either Jesus is real or He isn't. If He said He is the way, the truth, and the life, no man may come to the Father except through me, then Jesus is the only way. However, others believe Buddha, Allah, or many other gods are the way to a great afterlife or eternity. While there is a possibility for some that all are wrong and there is no God, but not all can be right. Either there is a God or their isn't. Not all paths lead to God. God is real and so is Jesus. Jesus was an actual person who was raised from the dead and the body was never found. All other gods have died and stayed there. There is only one way, both sides ultimately can not be correct.

Bradley Kemp 12 years, 3 months ago

"The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This means that the government will not set up a state church or take away the people's rights to worship God. It does not mean that the one true God should not be allowed in the public sphere. Our founders agreed that the only way for a democracy to survive was if it was grounded in the God of the Bible."

We're very fortunate that you're not in charge of determining what the words of the Constitution mean.

craigers 12 years, 3 months ago

I wasn't trying to justify a state associate religion. I was just stating that while all ideas could be wrong, not all of them can be correct. OMB where are these Kings? Jesus was a real person, not just what people believe. There is no denying that He is existed. It is written not only in the bible but our world history as well. I am not saying you have to believe the same way I do or else we can't get along. I am just saying that in the end or death that there will only be one right answer.

craigers 12 years, 3 months ago

And logicsound don't take a statement and automatically assume arrogance. I don't assume you are arrogant because you don't agree with me. You obviously feel that you are in the right for sound reasons just as I do but arrogance has nothing to do with it.

Broderick 12 years, 3 months ago

I've never understood why the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers are at all relevant to discussing current affairs. Does it really matter what Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton and all the rest thought privately about the existence/nature of God?

The genius of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is that they spell out many things at a high level, and leave the details to us. They provide us with freedom of speech, but don't go into eight pages of detail as to what does and doesn't constitute speech. They leave these questions to be debated anew in every generation.

The founders of our country were not perfect men. By modern standards they were racist, sexist, and probably many other -ists you could think of. They decided that blacks should be counted as 3/5ths of a person and denied suffrage to pretty much anyone who didn't look like them. Some people (mostly liberals) like to fixate on these things, but don't realize that they're falling into the same trap as the Christians above.

Contrary to a certain modern maxim, the personal is NOT political. The Founders understood that, at least. Why can't we?

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