"Christianity Shall Forever Be Encouraged": Entire Article
"Christianity Shall Forever Be Encouraged”
The Importance of Original Intent
in the Interpretation of the US Constitution
© 2021 by David Vesely. All rights reserved
“Original intent” is a concept that has, for the most part, been completely lost in how our present government interprets our Constitution. To help us understand this term, “original intent” better, let’s look at Webster’s Dictionary meaning for each of these words. When we do that the word, “original” has this meaning:
Origin, Fountain; source; cause; that from which anything primarily proceeds; that which gives existence or beginning 1
Here is how the word, “intent” is defined:
Literally, the stretching of the mind towards an object; hence, a design; a purpose; intention; meaning; drift; aim; applied to persons or things. 2
From these two word definitions, let’s take out the most important parts so we can better understand the meaning behind, “original intent.” For us to begin that process we will start with examining the key words describing the word, “original.” This term speaks of: an origin; a beginning; a source. Next, we need to look at the more important words from the definition of the word, “intent.” This is what we find: a purpose; an intention; a thought process with a goal in mind.
Using the key words in bold font (in the previous paragraph) taken from the definitions of “original and intent”, we make the following statement. Original intent is defined as an original thought process for an intended purpose. The way thoughts are conveyed is through words. I do not know what someone is thinking unless they tell me with their words-right?
This is what our Founding Fathers gave to us when they wrote and adopted our US Constitution. They gave us their thoughts and their words in how our nation should be governed! In addition, to giving us the written Constitution for us to follow--they also gave us historical documentation regarding their original thoughts and words. We will call their original thought processes and documented quotes, meaning they came from the origin or the source—their, “original intent.”
This term, “original intent” is super important for us to understand the great significance it plays in properly interpreting our US Constitution. There are three main methods that are used to interpret the US Constitution. One of the three is original intent or originalism. The other two are: strict construction and living document. The following is a brief description of all three:
Original Intent or Originalism: The US Constitution is viewed in its original context when it was written; who wrote it; and what did the writers intend by it. Questions asked from an original intent perspective are: What did the framers intend by this? Why did they write it then and how did they mean for generations to come to apply it?
Strict Construction: A strict constructionist takes every word of the US Constitution literally. They only look at the words themselves and follow very strictly the meaning of those words. Texturalism is very close to a strict constructionist approach of interpretation.
Living Constitution: Those that take a,"living constitution" approach to the US Constitution believe the constitution is always evolving telling us new things in new ways. This evolution takes place by judicial interpretation. This method of interpreting the US Constitution uses the same words written in our constitution, but applies them with new meaning for a new context.
At this point of our discussion, I am not going to elaborate on the three methods. As you read on, it is my goal for you that you see and understand the method that makes the most practical sense for interpreting the US Constitution is original intent.
In aid to you to better understand the concept of, “original intent” follow along with me into the next several paragraphs to gain a greater understanding of, “original intent” in operation in our daily lives as well as the role it has to correctly interpret the laws our founders gave to us. All of us have examples of using original intent (knowing the intent behind a statement) in conversing with someone else. Possibly, the following has happened to you?
Did you ever hear something from a friend that you couldn’t quite understand what they were telling you because they were repeating something to you that was spoken to them from another person? In other words, the one that is telling you was not the original one who spoke it.
Let me give you an example to help clarify this illustration. Say your friend Joe and yourself are having a conversation about something Joe heard that he thought was important for you to hear. Joe goes on to tell you that he was at a Christian gathering and heard Pete (a mutual friend of Joe and yourself) make this statement. “Folks, we need to get active in politics.” Please, keep in mind, you were not present when Pete originally expressed his thoughts on getting involved in politics.
After hearing Joe say those words, you probably would have some questions—wouldn’t you? If you did not agree with Pete’s words, your first questions may sound like this, “what is Pete nuts? He should know Christians (this illustration is assuming that Pete, Joe, and yourself are biblical Christians) don’t get involved in politics!” “What was he thinking?”
The illustration I am using whether Christians should be involved in politics is only to convey to you the importance of going to the source of who made a statement when you need clarity on what was spoken. I am in NO way, advocating Christians should not be involved in the political process of our government. I am in complete--full support in Christians being active in politics.
I wanted to make that point crystal clear before returning to the illustration of Pete’s original intent, when he said these words, “Folks, we need to get active in politics.”
Moving on with seeking the original intent of Pete’s words, you need to gain an understanding of what Pete said to get his original thoughts or intent—right? What you are seeking after is, what was Pete's thought processes that influenced his words. The question posed before you is--how do I get to know the meaning that Pete had behind his statement?
Would you ask Joe or the other people who heard Pete speak? NO, why? This is because you have to talk to Pete--don’t you? How else would you get the, “original intent” behind what Pete said except by talking with him? That makes sense—doesn’t it?
All of us have examples in our own lives where we needed to speak to someone regarding what they said to us so that we were sure we got the original meaning behind their statement. Husbands and wives have to do this all the time. Or at least they should.
When I was working in the field of sales, I would frequently say to a customer these words in the form of a question, “I just want to make sure I understand what you just said--is it OK If I repeat back to you what I believe you just told me?” What was I doing? I was seeking clarity on what was communicated to me--wasn’t I? Why did I do this?
This was done so I would not misinterpret or get the wrong meaning behind what was said to me. I also did this because we could not go on communicating with effectiveness until I completely understood what I heard spoken to me. After all, I wanted to close the deal and make the sale!
Are you getting the point? If not—consider this. Understanding the thought process or intent behind a statement is super important for the process of communication to continue. How can you effectively communicate with someone if there is any misunderstanding in what was spoken to you?
Why did I say all that and give those examples in the context of discussing the concept of, “original intent” regarding the laws written in the US Constitution? I wanted you to see how important, “original intent” is in our own lives on a daily basis. My intention was to press into your thinking how much we use original intent in communication, most likely, every day.
With this mind set, I believe, you are better prepped to grasp how critical it is that we understand the, “original intent” or the original thoughts that went into writing the US Constitution.
The original thought processes or intent our Founding Fathers had in the creation of the laws written in our Constitution matters greatly. Their, “original intent” was that the US Constitution would work to govern the people back then and us today. They wanted a governing document to stand the test of time.
You will soon see the vast importance our founders placed upon their original thoughts and words—their, “original intent” in regards to interpreting the US Constitution. With foresight they saw the times ahead and knew there would be many opportunities to incorrectly interpret the laws they gave to us. Next, let’s talk about misinterpreting our Constitution that the men who wrote it tried to prevent.
II. Opportunities to Misinterpret the US Constitution
If we went on the streets of Washington, DC and asked 10 people what they believe is the correct interpretation or, “original intent” written in the 1st amendment to the US Constitution, how many different responses do you think we would get? Is it safe to say not all would come back with the same answers? Just so all of us know what this law states, here it for us to have a fresh review:
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. 3
As we refer back to our questioning people on the streets of our nation’s capital, consider this next question. A person’s personal interpretation is important to their obedience to this law—is it not? From what I know it is critical. What if their viewpoint is wrong from the, “original intent” used to create this law?
Here is an even more probing question, how would they know if they were wrong? They could ask a friend or a relative their thoughts—couldn’t they? How would they know what they were told by these people is true?
Wait a minute, they could ask present members of the US Congress or US Supreme Court--right? I guess they could if they could get access to them. But, how would they know if the US Congressman or woman or Supreme Court member were correct? The answer to that last question is simple. They wouldn’t. They would have to assume the member of Congress or the Supreme Court Judge knew what they were talking about—based on the, “original intent” of those who wrote the 1st amendment.
It certainly would be great to presume that a present member of Congress and Supreme Court would be accurate in interpreting the 1st amendment, but how can we be sure. In simple words. We can’t. Why can we not trust their accuracy? They did not make or write this law!
They do have the job like all the other members of our government to stand by it and enforce it. BUT--and it’s a big BUT!
They were not involved in the creation/
documentation of the 1st amendment and its adoption as law!
However, they do take an oath (a spoken pledge) to uphold the US Constitution, along with ALL those who serve in US Governmental Offices.
This brings us to this question, if we cannot count on accuracy in interpreting the 1st amendment from the present law makers and the Supreme Court Justices of our government—who can we turn to for this?
How about speaking with the original ones that made this law? That sounds like a great idea—doesn’t it? So, let’s do that. But wait aren’t those men dead? We certainly cannot speak to them face to face to get the, “original intent” of the 1st amendment--right?
However, they have left for us historical quotes which contain their thought processes or, “original intent” behind this law for us to examine. That discussion will come up shortly. But for now, we are going to continue with the subject of: Opportunities to Misinterpret the US Constitution.
Even before we engage back into that, I want to throw these questions out there for you to ponder on while we continue our examination of the, “original intent” contained in our 1st amendment. Why do you think our Founding Fathers gave to us this as the 1st amendment written in our Constitution? Do you think they were trying to make a point how important it is by placing it first before all the other laws? If yes, why?
Continuing on with our speaking about the importance of, “original intent” that our Founding Fathers had in the creation of the 1st amendment, we need to look at some direct quotes from David Barton’s book, “Original Intent.” But first—I need to prepare you for what you are about to read. As a starting point, we are going to work with an excerpt of the 1st amendment that deals with the establishment and the free exercise of religion.
This phrase is known as the establishment clause: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Next is what we refer to as the free exercise clause: “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Going forward, we are going to group together both clauses and call them," the freedom of religion clause/s." The following is that portion of that law that is commonly referred to today as the establishment clause and free exercise clause (freedom of religion clauses).
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. 3
Honestly, when you read these two clauses as they are written, I do not know how anyone interprets that as a law that separates religion and government from working together for the betterment of our nation!
It is also difficult to discern which clause the so called present interpretation of a separation of church and state applies to—doesn’t it? Or am I missing something?
God’s, “original intent” for religion (Christianity) and government is for them to work together. They are designed by God to be co-laborers to protect the rights given to us by Him and to uphold the moral standard (obedience to God’s Word) for the people of our nation.
It is pretty obvious (unless you have an agenda where you want religion and government separated) both of these clauses are being presently misinterpreted. This article will stress the need to return to the, “original intent” of our founders concerning both clauses. As stated previously and to cut down on an excess use of words, we will refer to both the establishment and free exercise clauses as freedom of religion clauses of the 1st amendment.
Also, just so we are all on the same page with the term, “religion” I want to address why our founders used this terminology. Quite frankly, I do not like the term, “religion” because it implies to me, and probably to you, man made customs and traditions that are contrary to what the Bible teaches.
However, this is not how our Founding Fathers regarded the word, “religion.” They used it quite often to refer to Christianity, and the application of the Word of God to their daily lives. Why we do not view, “religion” the same way they did is a great question. If you have the answer, please contact me with your thoughts.
One last thing, before we dive into David Barton’s book. There was a monumental US Supreme Court case back in 1947 that drastically affected the, “original intent” our founders had for the freedom of religion clauses, that states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
The ideology (ideas and manner of thinking) that came forth out of that court was very big and impactful to American life—even today. It set a precedence for a new standard by which all religious expression, in a government setting, is judged as lawful or unlawful!
Yes, that is why this is such a big deal! Possibly, you have heard the phrase there is a, “separation between church and state?” That statement came out of that US Supreme Court case with an interpreted intent opposing our Founders, “original intent.”
It was not the decision the court made so much that made the huge impact on the correct interpretation of the freedom of religion clauses in the 1st amendment to the US Constitution. Let me explain that further. The court actually ruled in favor of upholding religious freedom in the case of Everson v Board of Education in 1947.
However, they introduced wording with the ideology that was not in support of our founders original intent for why there should be a, "separation of church and state." The Supreme Court of 1947 interpreted the phrase, "separation of church and state" to mean the church does not and cannot get involved with civil government.
There were nine justices on the court in 1947. There is documented proof that four of those justices strongly opposed the decision to rule to support religious freedom. They also were very straightforward with their views on religion has no place in government and the institutions it controls.
To read this documentation for yourself, I refer you to do an online search using this link: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/330/1/#F1 When on this site's home page, under this broad heading, Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) under opinions click on "Case." As you scan through the document look for this wording, "MR. JUSTICE JACKSON, dissenting."
Justice Jackson, along with Justice Rutledge, Justice Frankfurter; and Justice Burton were the ones in strong opposition to the overall court ruling. They also clearly made their opinions known in how they viewed the quote that is coming up shortly from David Barton's book, "Original Intent." They highly favored religion had no place being involved with the state or government. Don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself at: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/330/1/#F1
There is no way I can improve on the quality of thought written in Mr. Barton’s book. This is why I am directly quoting him in some of the content you will read going forward. With that all said, I direct your attention to the text below--speaking of the phrase, “separation of church and state” documented from The US Supreme Court decision in 1947:
The phrase became the contemporary standard for judicial policy in 1947 in Everson v. Board of Education when the court announced:
"The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."
Following this declaration, The Supreme Court—and numerous lower courts—began striking down religious activities and expressions which had been constitutional for the previous 150 years. 4
I want to make sure you caught the huge significance of the last sentence. Prior to the Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education in 1947, religious expressions and activities occurring in places of government were constitutional! This means from 1797 (150 years prior to 1947---the US Constitution was adopted as law in 1789) to 1947 Christianity in government settings was most acceptable and lawful in practice. However, with the ideology that came forth out of the case in 1947 all that has drastically changed to the detriment of our country.
Anytime there are government statements made that eventually become law and oppose (these are acts of sin against God and His Word) the practice of biblical Christianity this does not go good for that nation. If you need proof of that last statement---here it is:
“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a dis-grace to any people.”
Proverbs 14:34 NASB
III. The Effects of Misinterpreting the US Constitution
Following this life altering documentation (the Supreme Court case in 1947) in David Barton’s book, he goes on to list 26 lower court decisions that ruled against certain types of religious expression as unlawful. This was due to what the 1947 US Supreme Court set in motion.
This list is just crazy in how much was affected! Below is a small listing of what I found as simply amazing how the government has infringed on our religious rights. Take a look at what is now unlawful or unconstitutional, in certain areas of our nation, based on the so called, “separation of church and state”:
1. A ruling against students praying aloud over their lunch in a government run public school setting. 5
A. Yes, you read it right! Praying aloud over lunch in this part of our country in a public school is unconstitutional!
2. A school song was struck down because it promoted values such as honesty, truth, courage, and faith in the form of prayer. 5
A. Take a guess at what the setting was for the gathering of students where this song was to be sung. Was it a school assembly? NO, a voluntary extracurricular student activity!
3. No one in a kindergarten class is permitted to ask whose birthday is celebrated by Christmas. 6
4. It is unconstitutional for a classroom library to contain books that deal with Christianity. The same lower court ruling also prohibited by law any teacher possessing a Bible while at school. 6
5. Students cannot see the 10 commandments since they might read, meditate upon, respect or obey them. 5
6. Freedoms of speech and the press are guaranteed to students and teachers unless the topic is religious. 5
7. Students were prohibited from using the word, “Christmas” at school; this also included the exchange of Christmas cards or presents or from displaying anything with the word, “Christmas.” 7
A. What do you think was the justification for this ruling? Any guesses? I will give you a clue in whose name is mentioned in the first part of the word, “Christmas.” Yup, the name of Christ was the stumbling block to make those traditional expressions involved in the celebration of Christmas unconstitutional.
There are more rulings against religious expression in Mr. Barton’s book that we could discuss. I chose the ones dealing with our young (I am including all school age children, when I use the term, “young or youth”) people and public education settings for a specific reason. Over half of the 26 listed in the book, “Original Intent” are speaking about rulings affecting students and teachers in our public schools.
Why do you think that is? Do you think there is a coordinated effort to keep our youth from knowing anything to do with the practices (by this I mean, but is not limited to prayer and Bible reading) of Christianity at the school they attend?
Founding Father Noah Webster (amongst other accomplishments, gave us the Webster’s Dictionary) had a very interesting quote that is very pertinent to our discussion of our young people being deprived of their God given rights to pray and read their Bible even in a government run public school. Read this and then we will discuss the significance of it:
In America the foundational religion was Christianity. And it was sown in the hearts of the Americans through the home, private, and public schools for centuries. Our liberty, growth, and prosperity were the result of a biblical philosophy of life. Our continued success and freedom is dependent on educating the youth of America in the principles of the Christian religion. 8
According to this statement back in Mr. Webster’s time religion in the form of Christianity was encouraged in all of the institutions and places of learning. Do you see that in this quote? If not—please read it again. This is NOT true today--correct? What do you think was responsible in the change in how Christianity is viewed today in our government run schools?
You have already been informed to the answer to this question in an earlier part of this article. There were things happening before what I am going to reveal to you as the answer, but this thing that occurred marked a point of serious misinterpretation of the 1st amendment. This event that took place set a precedent (a standard to go by) in future court rulings.
I quoted for you earlier what is now referred to as the establishment and free exercise clauses of the 1st amendment. Here is another review of that portion of the 1st amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." ( My intention in continually repeating this part of our 1st amendment is for it to be pressed into your memory).
Do you have it yet, as to what was the thing that took place to alter the, “original intent” of the establishment and free exercise clauses? If not, it was the US Supreme Court case of Everson v. Board of Education in 1947. As a reminder, this introduced phrasing and ideology that has led up to it becoming law that there is a wall of separation between church and state.
The views and opinions coming out of that Supreme Court case has contributed significantly to the present law that rules as unconstitutional anything to do with God and the practices of Christianity in government institutions.
This includes any place (properties and buildings) and the people that are using it that are operated by government on the local, state, and national levels.
Yes, that is how deep this wrong interpretation of our 1st amendment has been imbedded into our nation and our way of life!
It literally affects every level of government of our country, which results in the denial of God given rights in government run institutions!
Now that we have stated the case for and given an example of misinterpreting our US Constitution, let’s move on to talk about the historical proof we have that clearly shows the US Supreme Court in their 1947 opinions and dissents brought a great injustice to the correct interpretation of the freedom of religion clauses.
Our founders had no intention to ever remove Christianity from the operation of government—in particular, our public schools. This is where the Supreme Court in 1947, especially in the dissenting thoughts of the four justices aforementioned, got it completely wrong! Coming up is an examination of the, “original intent” behind the freedom of religion clauses of the 1st amendment.
This will provide historical facts that at least four Justices that sat on the US Supreme Court in 1947 were incorrect in their ideologies and their interpretation of our Founders original intent for the freedom of religion clauses in our 1st amendment. There is no documentation that I could find that would support the five justices that ruled in favor of religious freedom in the US Supreme Court in 1947, as being in support of the incorrect (contrary to our founders) interpretation of, "separation of church and state."
We do, however, know the following quote was used in reasons why five justices voted the way they did to uphold religious freedom. Justice Hugo Black made this statement in his opinion of the court ruling:
The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. 4
Did Justice Black and the four other Justices intend this to mean the state should not interfere with the church or the church should not be involved with state affairs? In answer to that--we do not know for sure. We do know with a certainty the other four Justices (Jackson, Rutledge, Frankfurter, and Burton) highly supported this: the church should not be involved with state affairs.
There was also a precedent set by Justice Black's words, regarding a wall of separation exists that should not be breached, that other--later courts took as the church and state are completely separate and should have no involvement with each other.
Moving on, let's talk about freedom of religion as an inalienable right given to us by God--Himself.
IV. Freedom of Religion—an Inalienable Right Given by God
For us to accurately discuss our founders, “original intent” when they wrote the 1st amendment, we need to start with the very first words. This super important phrase is:
“Congress shall make no law”
Remember, our Constitution was set up to have the legislative members (US Congress) be the law making or Legislative branch of our Federal Government. This power was not granted to the Executive (US President) nor to the Judicial (US Supreme Court Judges). Our President can propose things he wants made into law. However, Congress needs to vote on them and approve or disapprove them.
With that brief lesson in US Governmental Authority, we will move forward to talk about why the creators of the 1st amendment wanted to limit Congress in the passage of any laws regarding freedom of religion.
The first and foremost intent the founders had behind Congress, “shall make NO law” is to protect the rights of the citizens. In the case of the 1st amendment, they wanted to protect the people from the Federal Government (US Congress) establishing a national or state religion for everyone to follow. Back then and is still true today religion encompasses many different beliefs and practices. Even our founders were men of different religious backgrounds.
They were comprised of Baptists, Quakers, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and other religious denominations. They wanted each religious group at that time and all down through our American history to have the freedom to worship God as they so desired. It was so deeply pressed into their beliefs that all people should have the liberty to, “work out” with God their relationship with Him. Their, "original intent" regarding freedom of worship was also to apply in a group setting.
This freedom of religion right was termed by our founders as an, “inalienable right.” Inalienable meant not alterable—cannot be removed. Implied in these words were the belief God gave this right to all men and no man or government has the right to take it away!
This brings us to a very interesting point to discuss regarding the importance the writers of our Constitution placed upon Christianity and the Word of God to be absolutely essential to the operation of government laws—both in the writing of and their execution.
From here forward we are going to use the term, “Christianity” for the word, “religion” interchangeably. Because our Founding Fathers did this, I believe, it is safe for us to do it as well.
Next, let’s shift into the one thing our founders believed was the most necessary ingredient to keeping the rights of the citizens intact. In other words, we will discuss the most important thing to them that they firmly believed our government could not operate properly without it.
V. Self Government—Obeying God’s Word--is the Key to the Operation and Preservation of a Constitutional Republic Form of Government
Benjamin Franklin was questioned, after the Constitutional Convention of 1787 completed the writing and adoption of our Constitution, concerning what kind of government they are giving to the people. This was his response:
"A republic, if you can keep it." 9
Mr. Franklin, without hesitation, made that remark because he knew the people that would be governed under that Constitution and form of government had a responsibility in preserving it for their generation and for generations to come. For the sake of simplicity going forward, we are going to call our form of government a, “Constitutional Republic.”
So, we are all on the same page with what may be a new term, “Constitutional Republic” let’s define this as a government by the people and for the people. In a “republic” form of government the people elect representatives to serve them as their voice in all matters of governing. The US Constitution is the document of law for our nation. Thus the term, “Constitutional Republic.” We are not a democracy as many of our present government leaders and mainstream media say that we are.
Another quote by one of our founders, which again happens to be Benjamin Franklin gives us rich insight into why the people are the key ingredient to keep a, “Constitutional Republic” form of government functioning properly. Take a look at this and say, “oh me” or something like it:
“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” 10
This quote introduces the word, “virtuous.” Webster’s Dictionary defines this, in part, as:
being in conformity to the moral or divine law; as a virtuous action; a virtuous life. 11
Referring back to Mr Franklin’s quote regarding only virtuous people can be and remain free, why do you think he made that statement? Please give that question some thought of your own. This is what I see as to the point Benjamin Franklin was making. We need to use our definition of, “virtuous” quoted above to find our answer. When we do that, we can make this powerful, yet sobering, declaration:
As the people become more corrupt with actions against both divine (The Bible--The Word of God) and the moral laws of our land, government needs to pass more laws.
The increase in corruption (lack of morality) calls for an increase in more government control over the people. There is a direct correlation between a decrease in morality resulting in an increase in government ruling over the people. Unfortunately, what happens when the morality goes down the government steps in and passes laws to correct for that. You may ask, “what is so bad about that?” “Why is that unfortunate?”
Here is your answer--Nothing, they need to do that. But they can be known, fairly often and especially today, to overstep their authority and start moving over to restrict or rule as unlawful some of our, “inalienable rights” given us by God. This is the present situation we are in with those in our federal government involving all three branches: Executive (US President)—Legislative (US Congress)—Judicial (US Supreme Court).
Can you see it as to what the people need to do to keep their freedoms and prevent government from growing larger in their control over them? I will give you a clue. The answer to this question is found in the Webster’s Dictionary definition for the word, “virtuous” we quoted earlier. Now do you have it? If not, let me re-state it for you:
“being in conformity to divine and moral law”
This is the obligation or duty of every citizen our founders (specifically in this section of this article-Benjamin Franklin) gave reference to. We need to be in conformity with or practicing divine and moral law.
Based on what our founders, “original intent” was for us to follow to keep our government working properly—consider this next question. What is our responsibility before God to defend and ensure for generations to come a, “Constitutional Republic” from of government for our nation?
Plain and simple in three words:
OBEY GOD’S WORD!
(this starts with giving the Word of God first place
and final authority in everything you say and do)
At this time, I want to give you what I believe are key areas that God is going to hold us accountable for in the preservation of our, “Constitutional Republic.” I am going to list for you six main things, I believe, God asks of us to do. These are for you to consider. You may disagree with them. You may have more or less than five.
I also am not going to get into any detail of discussion regarding them. I will in future articles coming up. Here are the six things (self-government--Obedience to God’s Word, being the most important) I call as essential for proper biblical stewardship of the government our founders gave to us:
1. Self government: “being in conformity to the moral or divine law”
OBEY GOD’S WORD! (give it 1st place and final authority)
2. Pray: for government leaders
3. Vote: according to knowledge of a candidate on 3 issues: abortion; marriage; and Israel (this will reveal their level of morality and their fear of God)
4. Inquire: of any candidate for governmental office on the local, state, and federal level as to their preference in interpreting the US Constitution.
5. Operate: in your God given calling (this includes running for governmental office---if God calls you)
6. Teach: your children to do all of the above. If you do not have children, teach someone. By doing this, it will mean more to you and get it more, “ingrained” into yourself. Pray to God for someone you can impart into.
Self-government could also be defined as practicing biblical Christianity. A biblical Christian lives in obedience to God’s Word to the best of the ability that He (God) supplies. Going forward we are going to imply the practice of self-government, when we use the terms, “biblical Christianity and practicing Christianity.”
VI. Historical Proof the US Supreme Court in 1947 set a precedence for mis-interpreting the US Constitution—Specifically the Freedom of Religion clauses in the 1st amendment
Now we need to turn to looking at quotes from history involved in the formation of our government. These statements and quotes will clearly show us the critical importance as to the practice of biblical Christianity (conformity to divine law) as it relates to preserving and defending a, “Constitutional Republic” form of government.
As we do this, keep in mind we are also looking at historical proof that the US Supreme Court case back in 1947 opened the door for later courts to wrongly interpret the freedom of religion clauses stated in the 1st amendment. We will clearly show the precedent they put in place led to other courts that followed to misinterpret the, “original intent” our founders had for our 1st amendment to the “US Constitution.”
First, let’s look at our founders, “original intent” for the Bible—God’s Holy Word to be of such great importance regarding the education of their children and ours.
Even before the US Constitution was ratified (voted on and passed into law) another law was written called the, “Northwest Ordinance of 1787.” If you are not familiar with this document, it stated what was necessary for a territory to be allowed to become a state and then become part of the United States. Contained in Article 3 of that ordinance is this:
"Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged." 12
Whoa! Did we read that correctly? Religion-morality (Christianity) is necessary for good government?!?! And Christian education shall forever be encouraged? Really? Our founders said all those things? And that was their, “original intent” for the growing country and for all the states that would be added to the nation? YES-indeed! That is exactly what they said and their, “original intent” for education in America!
Let me ask you some simple questions based on Article 3 of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 we just read. How long is forever? Would that include the time in which we now live? Can you see how this historical documentation proves how the ideology of the Supreme Court’s in 1947 was a misinterpretation of America’s Founding Fathers, “original intent” regarding the 1st amendment?
As a refresher to you, the Supreme Court in 1947 set a precedent to imply, “a wall of separation of church and state is in place” which basically meant Christianity and government needed to be separated. Christianity would no longer be welcome in a government setting. That is what the Supreme Court in 1947 put in motion to be accepted as law today.
But wait—did not those who passed into law the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 say, “Christianity (religion) is necessary for good government?” And did they not also say, “Christianity shall forever be encouraged" in the schools and in the education of the children? What are the answers to these questions? YES! They did!
That was historical proof number one of our founders, “original intent” when they wrote the 1st amendment. Their, “original intent” was they wanted to limit the US Congress from passing laws to establish a specific religious faith or belief. The men who gave us our Constitution knew Christianity was essential to good government.
Therefore, they also knew the practices of biblical Christianity needed to be encouraged---not forced---but encouraged. Christianity was and still is vital to the proper functioning and preservation of the, “Constitutional Republic” government of the United States of America.
Do you see your role as self-governing yourself in obedience to God’s Word as to its importance in our government operating under the, “original intent” of our founders? All of us need to, “share the load” for the success of the government foundation given to us by the Founding Fathers of our nation. Obedience to God from what He supplies is the key!
Never did it enter into our founder’s minds to restrict biblical Christianity from government operations in any of their institutions—especially education. The only restriction they wanted, according to the freedom of religion clauses of the 1st amendment, was to keep government control out of religious beliefs and practices.
As already stated, but it is worth repeating—their, “original intent” was to prevent a “national or state religion” for everyone to be demanded by law to follow.
Their, “original intent” was not to erect a wall of separation of church and state to keep Christianity out of the operation of government, but to keep our Federal Government from interfering with the church and the practice of biblical Christianity. Do you get it? Our founder’s, “original intent” was just the opposite of what we see in operation today!
There was no doubt in their minds that the freedom to worship God freely with NO government restrictions was a God given right to all citizens. They also fully knew that God would not be pleased with laws ruling over the people in their freedom to worship Him as their conscience saw fit. In addition to that, I believe, they knew there would be an answering to God for the passage of such laws. They had a fear of God in obeying Him and His Word.
Please join with me in prayer that the fear of God returns
to ALL our present US Government Representatives in all three branches.
In summary of the two previous paragraphs, our founders wrote the freedom of religion clauses of the 1st amendment to keep government interference (Congress shall make NO law) out of a man’s personal relationship with God. This included his beliefs being practiced in a group church setting as well.
They, for sure, also wanted the practice of Christianity to be forever encouraged in the operation of government (all three branches) and in all of the institutions run by government—especially the schooling of children.
Do you remember what was stated in the excerpt we quoted from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 as what is necessary for the operation of good government? Did they not say—Christianity was necessary for good government and for the happiness of mankind? And how long did they say Christianity shall be encouraged? I do believe they used the word, “FOREVER!” Yes, when we look back at their words, “FOREVER” was the word they used.
This leads us into another probing and interesting question, what happens when the freedom to practice Christianity is removed in a place run by our government? For the answer to this, I refer you to what is taking place in America’s public school system at present.
Before, I discuss the answer to the Christian influence being unlawful in public schools—consider this. Is our government in the operation of our schools today FOREVER encouraging Christianity as to our founder’s, “original intent?” In the answer to this last question lies the point I am making here with all of these questions.
NO, our present government is actually discouraging Christian beliefs and practices! On top of all that, they are misinterpreting laws to prevent the FOREVER encouragement of Christianity in matters of public education.
So, what happens when government acts in this manner? Basically, the institution--in this case, our public schools, fall apart! Is that not what we are witnessing today with our government run public school system?
To be fair to the men who wrote the 1st amendment which contains the freedom of religion clauses, they had an, “original intent” to separate government from religion. However, their, “original intent” was for government to not interfere with the practice of Christianity. They never intended for this law to keep Christianity from being exercised anywhere--especially government run institutions.
Their, “original intent” when it came to the practice of Christianity was for, “Congress to pass NO law” that would prohibit the free exercise of the Christian Faith. Remember, our founders stressed the importance of Christianity being expressed in their generation and ours.
“Shall forever be encouraged” was the words they used. Here is another review of our founder’s views toward Christianity and government working together. “Shall Forever be Encouraged,” were their words that are intended to apply to us today:
Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. 12
Now on to further proof the US Supreme Court in 1947 especially the four Justices (Jackson, Rutledge, Frankfurter; and Burton) that disagreed with the final decision misinterpreted our founders original intent for our 1st amendment containing the freedom of religion clauses.
Do you recall what came out of this courts published documentation? They created a precedent for further court rulings to rule in favor of a separation of church and state--which was interpreted as the church and state are separate and should have no operations with each other.
“Shall forever be encouraged” was our founders, “original intent” for the practice of Christianity in our nation for government to function properly and for the happiness of its citizens. Let’s use that phrase as a springboard into examining US History as to how much time passed concerning our government still being in favor of, “shall forever be encouraged.”
This next statement is taken from the US Supreme Court of 1844. Yes, this court unlike the Supreme Court of 1947 were in favor of, “shall forever be encouraged!”
This is just awesome! I love reading this in light of the present lower to higher court rulings in favoring the practice of Christianity being unlawful in government operated places. Are you ready to read what they said? Here it comes:
In a case involving Stephen Girard, who considered the scriptures to be a, “fable” in handing down its decision decreed: “why may not the Bible and especially the New Testament be read and taught as a divine revelation in the schools and its general precepts expounded and its glorious principles of morality be inculcated? Where can the purist principles of morality be learned so clearly as from the New Testament.” 13
WOW! WEE! Did you get all that? Keep in mind this is a US Supreme Court making this statement! They not only defended the use of the Bible in the public schools, but emphasized the beauty and the glory and majesty of God and His Word! Let me ask you, was this an example of, “shall forever be encouraged?”
Although, those exact words (“shall forever be encouraged”) were not used, I would have to say they were making a statement for their time and for the times ahead. Anytime our US Supreme Court records a decision, it is used as a standard of law for that time and in the future. Take for example, the Supreme Court’s statements in 1947 and how they are still being applied today.
When we do the math and subtract the year the Northwest Ordinance was created and this Supreme Court amazing documentation regarding the Bible and the education of children in our schools, we get 57 years. So--57 years from documented proof of the, “original intent” of our founders regarding the practice of Christianity, we still have government supporting, “shall forever be encouraged.”
Are you ready to look at another, “shall forever be encouraged” powerful declaration coming from the US Government? This one is from a US Congress—House Judiciary Committee in 1854. This, “shall forever be encouraged” quote will take us 67 yrs toward forever (time span between the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and this statement by members of the US Congress). This occurred 10 yrs after the Supreme Court of 1844 statement discussed previously.
Had the people, during the revolution, a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that revolution would have been strangled in its cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and its amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity shall be encouraged. There is no substitute for Christianity. That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants. The great vital and conservative element in our system is the doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 14
Are you kidding me?!?! Members of the US Congress made that statement?!?! Yes-they did! Notice the words they used in the latter part of the 2nd sentence:
“the universal sentiment was that Christianity shall be encouraged”
Does that sound familiar? It should. Remember, the Article 3 statement in the Northwest Ordinance? Do you see how this historical evidence, from a Congressional Committee, speaks of the founder’s, “original intent” in the practice of Christianity and these powerful words: “shall forever be encouraged?”
There is so much more to, “unpack” here! So--Let’s get after it. This Judiciary Committee clearly expressed their views of the absolute necessity of Christianity for government and society to function properly—did they not?
If you are unfamiliar with the power that the House Judiciary Committee has, the following is a short history of its founding and purpose. I want you to see the weight this committee has in the function of our government:
Established in 1813, the House Judiciary Committee is the second oldest standing committee in Congress. Today, the committee is at the forefront of some of the most significant issues facing our nation, including protecting constitutional freedoms and civil liberties, oversight over the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, legal and regulatory reform, innovation, competition, and anti-trust laws, terrorism and crime, and immigration reform. The Committee has jurisdiction over all proposed amendments to the Constitution and each of its subcommittees has roots in that document. The House Judiciary Committee usually sends the greatest number of substantive bills to the House floor each year. 15
Are you getting the picture? The House Judiciary Committee holds and carries a lot of power in the laws being passed! Referring back to the quote made by the House Judiciary Committee back in 1854, they were in no way shape or form going to allow any legislation (a bill to be considered for law) that would exercise government control over the gospel of Jesus Christ from going forth anywhere—especially in government run institutions!
We need to see the following quote again. Does not the House Judiciary Committee’s expression of their beliefs in this statement, clearly show they were in perfect agreement in making reference to our founders, “original intent” regarding the practice of Christianity?
At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and its amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity shall be encouraged. There is no substitute for Christianity. That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants. 14
The House Committee of 1854 had no intention whatsoever to separate the church (practice of biblical Christianity) and the state (government)!
They along with our founders stressed the vitalness of the truths of the gospel (Christianity) of Jesus Christ and His effect on the morality of man and the necessity of allowing free access to the people--whether it was a public or government run institution.
Before moving on, let’s review ALL that was expressed toward, “Christianity shall Forever be Encouraged” in the House Judiciary Committee of 1854 statement:
1. A reference to our founder’s, “original intent” for Christianity and government to work together: At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and its amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity shall be encouraged.
2. Another statement regarding our founders view on the need for the longevity of Christianity for government and society to work properly: There is no substitute for Christianity. That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.
My, fellow American Patriots, do you see what we have been given?
We have the TRUTH of HISTORY on our side!
WE NEED TO MAKE OUR VOICES BE HEARD--NOW!
One last point regarding the House Judiciary words of encouragement we read earlier, what did they (the House Judiciary Committee) say our founders would have done if there was ever a war against Christianity in our nation? To answer this, let’s use the words of the House Judiciary Committee of 1854: “that revolution would have been strangled in its cradle.”
Well, what are we going to do about making things right? I am calling on ALL American Patriots—WE THE PEOPLE that love God and love our country. We have been called, by God, for such a time as this to counter the revolution of evil that has occurred in the freedom of religion clauses of our 1st amendment. The Light of Truth is what will dispel the darkness of the deceptive wrong interpretation of the 1st amendment presently accepted as law.
In the next section we will look at more quotes from our founders regarding their, “original intent” for the freedom of religion clauses of our 1st amendment. Their thoughts and words will provide further historical proof the Supreme Court in 1947 started leading us down the wrong path with the wrong interpretation of the, "separation of church and state."
In regards to the mis-leading statements made by this court, the following is a major qualifying question we can ask to determine whether or not they were in agreement with the, “original intent” of the Founding Fathers.
Did our Founding Fathers ever intend for Christianity and government to be separated, where Christianity had little to no influence in government run institutions?
If they did not, that means the US Supreme Court's in 1947 formed ideologies that have been used as a precedence was a gross misinterpretation of our founders, “original intent.” This Supreme Court case laid the groundwork for the creation of a, “so called” law that completely goes against the Founding Fathers of America, “original intent” regarding the freedom of religion clauses of our 1st amendment.
Did those Justices back in 1947 realize that what they were doing was going against our Founders, "original intent?" NO, I do not believe so. In fact, the four Justices (Jackson; Rutledge; Frankfurter; and Burton) rationalized their beliefs by aligning them with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (Founding Fathers of our nation). Again, check it out for yourself at: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/330/1/#F1
David Barton’s materials--especially the book, “Original Intent” is full of historical quotes that, without a shadow of a doubt, provide evidence we are now under government control in taking away our God given (un or inalienable) rights. I highly recommend to you to read this book in its entirety.
Now, we need to move on to discuss further the value and importance of, “original intent.” Before doing that, I want to bring to your remembrance something, already discussed, that has brought about the violation of our God given rights.
These inalienable rights, given by God, are being violated through the misinterpretation of the freedom of religion clauses of our 1st amendment. There was a major shift in the interpretation of, "separation of church and state" that began with the US Supreme Court in 1947 and continues to this day.
VII. Value and Importance of Original Intent
In this next major section of this article, I want us to do a careful examination of quotes by our Founding Fathers as to the value and importance they placed on, “original intent” behind the creation and passage of laws that would govern their new nation and us today.
For them getting at the source of, “original intent” meant going to the very beginning or origin of the proposals and discussions that took place while they worked to create a document of law that the members of the Constitutional Convention could agree on.
Let’s start out with this statement by James Madison:
I entirely concur in the propriety of resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation. In that sense alone it is the legitimate Constitution. And if that be not the guide for expounding it, there can be no security for a consistent and stable, more than for a faithful, exercise of its powers….What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. 16
Do you know what Founding Father that was given the title of the, “Father of the US Constitution?” You probably know the answer. It was James Madison. I wanted to emphasize the following point by asking that question. If there were any of the men involved in writing the US Constitution we should look to for guidance in interpreting our Constitution—HE IS THE MAN!
With that established, we need to breakdown his statement and derive from it the message it holds for us today. In the text previously mentioned, Mr. Madison is telling us there is no legitimate Constitution or grounds for interpreting it without going back to the, “original intent.” He uses the terminology, “expounding it” as another word for interpreting it.
He boldly makes the statement there is no security for consistency in interpreting the US Constitution if one does not---in his words: “resorting to the sense in which the Constitution was accepted and ratified by the nation.”
When we examine the first part of that phrase, “Resorting to the sense” can we correctly interpret that to say James Madison meant go back to the source? I believe we can do that. I say that with confidence because when we look at the context of the wording, “Resorting to the sense” in regards to the entirety of his statement, is not Mr. Madison making an argument for proper, “original intent” interpretation of our Constitution? As stated earlier, can we then say, “Resorting to the sense” is resorting or returning to the source? Yes, we can and will.
On top of that, is he not also giving us a warning of what can happen when the source or, “original intent” is ignored for a more modern-day interpretation? With foresight for our prresent day, Mr. Madison was warning us against adopting a more modern approach to interpreting the US Constitution--now referred to as, "living constitution."
This term, "living constitution." was briefly described in the introduction section of this article. A, "living constitution." interpretive approach to the US Constitution is a method of interpretation that greatly discounts the, “ancient phraseology” and “original intent” of our Founders.
Proponents for using, "living constitution" interpretation believe the "original intent" of The Founding Fathers--the authors of the US Constitution no longer carries the same level of relevancy for today as it once did. I do not know about you, but that is what I perceive, the following quote, is a warning against, "living constitution" interpretation of our constitution. Take another look at this, was it not a prediction of things we are dealing with today?
“What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law if all its ancient phraseology were to be taken in its modern sense. 16
Is that not the situation we find ourselves presently involved with in the misinterpretation in the freedom of religion clauses of our 1st amendment? If you are not, “tracking” with me on that last question—let me explain myself. The Father of the US Constitution, James Madison gave us this warning: “What a metamorphosis would be produced in the code of law...”
Let’s define this big word, “metamorphosis” as transformational changes. Do you think Mr. Madison was alerting us to good or bad changes in the law in this statement? I would have to say, he was speaking of changes not for the good, but for the bad. What do you say?
Again, we have to look at the entire context of his statement and the overall theme of it to make any judgements regarding what James Madison meant to say concerning changes in the law. Let me ask you this, did not the totality of Mr. Madison’s statement involve what was necessary for proper interpretation of the US Constitution? And did he not stress the importance of, “resorting to the sense?”
You can choose to agree or disagree with my next statement. I believe, in consideration of all of James Madison’s documented words, when he mentioned, “resorting to the sense” and “ancient phraseology” he was referring to what we call today as the, “original intent.”
Now that we have that understanding, we need to refer back to my question of what we face at present regarding the US Supreme Court precedent statements in 1947. We are dealing with the negative repercussions, coming from this court, to this day. As a reminder, the following was Justice Black's wording of, "separation of church and state."
"The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."
After you have finished reading this, how would you interpret it? It can be interpreted one of two ways. First, is this to protect the church from government interference? Or second, is it to protect the state from church interference? What is the right answer? Our founders, "original intent." Their views were to keep the state (government) from interfering with the church.
Can you see how Justice Black's statement could be interpreted to the opposite of the Founders, "original intent?" That is exactly what has happened. Now we observe and are supposed to follow as law, the church is completely separate from the state by a wall that is high and impregnable and the slightest breach cannot happen.